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Several highway accidents were reported recently in Kansas City, Kan.

On Sept. 13, a Ford Explorer was exiting I-70 westbound to 78th Street at 2:28 a.m. when the driver went into the north ditch, overcorrected and rolled into the north ditch, according to a Kansas Turnpike Authority trooper’s report.

The 36-year-old driver from Kansas City, Kan., was injured and taken to the hospital, according to the report.

Also injured were two passengers, one 29-year-old man from Kansas City, Kan., and one 28-year-old man from Kansas City, Mo., who were taken to the hospital, according to the report.

Other highway accidents reported recently in Kansas City, Kan.:

At 10:44 a.m. Sept. 12, a Ford pickup truck was eastbound on I-70 west of 78th Street when the draft from a semi lifted the trailer that was being pulled by the pickup truck.
The driver of the pickup, a 65-year-old woman from Medford, Ore., lost control of the pickup truck and the trailer overturned, according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority trooper’s report. She was not injured.

Another injury accident was reported at 1 p.m. Sept. 12 on I-635, just south of Metropolitan Avenue.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report, a Chevy Trailblazer was southbound on I-635 when a noncontact vehicle cut in front of it. The Trailblazer made an evasive maneuver, left the roadway and rolled down the hill, the trooper’s report stated. The Trailblazer came to rest on the driver’s side.
The driver of the Trailblazer, a 40-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man, was injured and taken to a hospital, according to the report.

Another accident was reported at 12:12 p.m. Sept. 12 on I-35 northbound, just north of 18th Street, in Kansas City, Kan.
A Pontiac and a Honda Passport were northbound on I-35. The Passport slowed for traffic, and the Pontiac struck the rear of the Passport, the Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report stated.
The driver of the Pontiac, a 44-year-old man from Blue Springs, Mo., was not injured. He was not wearing a safety restraint, the trooper’s report stated.
The driver of the Passport, a 48-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man, had a possible injury and was taken to the hospital, according to the report.

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A motorist was injured after a rollover and fire at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 on I-635 northbound near 34th Street in Kansas City, Kan.

The driver of a Jeep Wrangler, a 38-year-old woman from North Kansas City, Mo., was injured and taken to a hospital after the accident, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report.

The woman was traveling northbound on I-635 at a high rate of speed when she lost control and struck the inside concrete barrier wall, the trooper’s report stated. She then entered another lane and struck a Kenworth truck pulling a trailer.

The Jeep then rolled onto its top, catching fire, according to the trooper’s report.

The driver of the truck, a 51-year-old man from Duluth, Minn., was not injured, according to the report.

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by Mike Sherry, Hale Center for Journalism
A reconstituted mental health facility in Kansas City, Kan., has been a financial and therapeutic success in its first five months of operation, officials involved in the transition said Wednesday.

“It’s great news so far,” said Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, “and I think it’s only going to get better.”

Bruffett spoke to a group of about 30 people gathered at the Rainbow Mental Health Facility, which reopened in April as a collaboration between the state and mental health/substance abuse providers in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

According to data presented at the briefing, the new Rainbow has served nearly 560 clients, including some more than once. Officials also estimate the facility has saved more than $2 million by diverting patients from Osawatomie State Hospital or hospital emergency rooms.

Once a 50-bed inpatient hospital operated by the state, Rainbow now has a 30-person capacity split equally between a short-term sobering area, an observation station designed for a maximum stay of 23 hours and a crisis-stabilization section for maximum stays of 10 days.

Wyandot Inc., a family of organizations in Kansas City, Kan., that includes a community mental health center, is operating the new center under a three-year contract with KDADS worth $3.5 million annually.

In announcing the new arrangement earlier this year, state officials said spending on the new Rainbow equaled its previous budget when also taking into account inpatient dollars the state has shifted from Rainbow to Osawatomie.

Reopening Rainbow this spring culminated a lengthy process, which began in the fall of 2011 when the state shifted the beds to Osawatomie after authorities cited fire-safety concerns with the facility.

Year-over-year data provided at the briefing also showed that:

• Osawatomie State Hospital has had fewer admissions from the Rainbow service area since the facility opened, with the largest decrease of 42.4 percent coming in June.

• Clients from the Rainbow area have logged 900 fewer bed days at Osawatomie from April through August this year compared with the same period last year.

• Based on information gathered during intake, the emergency room would have been the alternative for about half of the patients served at Rainbow.

Despite the decrease in admissions from the Rainbow service area, Osawatomie has been over capacity several times in recent months, setting a 10-year high of 258 patients on Aug. 26.

One item on the wish list for Rainbow is the capacity to serve clients who are so intoxicated that they need medical attention, said Wyandot Inc. CEO Randy Callstrom.

Officer Thomas Keary of the Overland Park Police Department, who attended the briefing, said Rainbow proved its worth during a call in June involving a male who was drunk and suicidal.

Without Rainbow, Keary said, his best alternative would probably have been an emergency room where he would have had to spend at least two hours.

At Rainbow, he said, “I was in and out of the door in 13 minutes.”

The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. The News Service is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy-making environment. More about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at 785-233-5443.
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