Kansas Common Sense

Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thanks for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them.

Touring the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center
On Thursday afternoon, I visited the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (KU ADC) and received an update on the ADC’s work to find ways to prevent, treat and improve care outcomes, and to ultimately discover a cure for Alzheimer’s. KU ADC is distinguished amongst Alzheimer’s research institutions as one of only 31 National Institutes on Aging-designated and funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the country.

I also heard more about KU ADC’s promising research into how the body’s metabolic processes are affected by the disease, and how diet and exercise may have an important role in preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. We also discussed KU ADC’s efforts to expand its impact throughout Kansas, including in rural communities, by extending community-based patient, provider and caregiver support through the My Alliance for Cognitive Health and the Lifestyle Empowerment for Alzheimer’s Prevention programs. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee with funding jurisdiction over a bulk of Alzheimer’s research, I’ll continue fighting to make certain we support this work.

I appreciate KU ADC Director Dr. Russell Swerdlow and Co-Director Dr. Jeffrey Burns for taking the time to update me on KU ADC’s research and community support efforts, and for lending me the time and expertise of their talented and dedicated staff.


HHS, UNOS Delay Dangerous Liver Allocation Policy
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) announced that they have agreed to delay implementation of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s (OPTN) new liver allocation policy until May 14, 2019. The policy was originally scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2019.

If implemented, this policy would negatively affect Kansas patients waiting for a liver transplant by shipping locally-donated organs to coastal states with low organ donation rates, like California and New York. I will continue working with our strong coalition of policymakers, transplant centers, like the University of Kansas Health System and St. Luke's Health System, and patient advocates to halt any changes that would impact Kansans and those on transplant waitlists in the Midwest.

Statement on the Kansas Supreme Court Abortion Ruling
I am saddened by this week’s Kansas Supreme Court decision that determines the constitutional right to an abortion. An unborn child is a distinct human being and our laws should defend its right to life. This decision underscores the urgent need for federal legislation that will protect innocent life at all stages, and I will continue working to see such legislation achieved. 

President Trump “Unsigns” UN Arms Trade Treaty
From its outset, the UN Arms Trade Treaty has represented a threat to the lawful private ownership of firearms in our country, and at no point has it represented a real solution to the illegal export of arms. The United States should ratify treaties only when they are in our national interest, clear in their goals and language, respect our sovereignty and do not infringe upon our constitutional freedoms. Because the ATT failed to meet any of these tests, I have joined Senator Inhofe in leading a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate in opposition. I commend President Trump for his decision today to formally reject the ATT and to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearm ownership. Click hereto read more.

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops
Clay County
I continued my Kansas Listening Tour this week with a stop in Clay Center. During the meeting, we discussed veterans’ healthcare and the VA MISSION Act, trade, border security and the vital role educators play in our community. Thank you to the Clay Center Lions Club and Vern Swanson for hosting our discussion.


Ellis County
On Friday, I hosted another Kansas Listening Tour stop in Ellis County, where we discussed veterans’ healthcare, VA MISSION Act implementation efforts, agriculture in Kansas, farmer mental health, healthcare reform and our efforts to reverse liver allocation policies, as well as immigration reform and our efforts to secure the southern border. Thank you to Ellis Mayor David McDaniel and Ellis City Council members Jolene Niernberger and Bob Redger for attending. Also, thank you to the Ellis Memorial VFW Post #9139 for hosting today’s meeting and to everyone who attended and shared their thoughts with me.


Following my stop in Ellis, I was in Hays to hear from more folks across Ellis County. Thank you to those who took time to visit with me on Friday. It was great to be back in Hays and I appreciated the opportunity to be with friends from Hays.

Updating Omaha Ag Leaders on Flooding Prevention Efforts
Recent flooding in the Midwest has created new challenges for farmers and ranchers. On Monday, I met with the Omaha Agri-Business Club regarding the need to develop a comprehensive plan for the Missouri River Basin and to discuss our recent Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works field hearing in Iowa where we heard directly from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leadership, local farmers, elected officials and producers.

Additionally, I discussed the completion of the ITC report and how it was an important step toward passing the much-needed USMCA. Thank you to the Omaha Agri-Business Club for hosting me and for the productive discussion on how to improve our region’s agriculture.


Touring AdventHealth in Shawnee
On Monday, before heading back to Washington, D.C., I toured AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, formerly Shawnee Mission Medical Center. During my tour, I was able to see the B.E. Smith Family Center, a state-of-the-art early learning program that specializes in caring for children with developmental diversity. AdventHealth will break ground on a new home for the center this week, and I was pleased to hear of the world-class work being done by all those involved in this program. Thank you to AdventHealth CEO Sam Huenergardt, Executive Director of Marketing Cooper Doug Spear, Director of Advocacy Molly Haase, Regional Director of Managed Care Cooper McInnes, and Director of the Leann Britain Development Center at the B.E. Smith Family Center Amy Milroy for our discussion on ways we can improve the health of the region and for the informative tour.


Capitol Tour
Becci Akin of Lenexa
James Breneman of Prairie Village
Pegge Breneman of Prairie Village
Terry Carroll of Wichita
Jaye Cole of Lawrence
Rick Cole of Lawrence
Jimmy Hovious of Hutchinson
Sharon Hovious of Hutchinson
Marguerite Kennedy of Topeka
Randal Kennedy of Topeka
David Kruse of Kansas City
Susan Kruse of Kansas City
Leona Lott of Minneapolis
Gail Nuckolls of El Dorado
Larry Nuckolls of El Dorado
Coty Sleeper of Gardner
Kaitlyn Sleeper of Gardner
Kensley Sleeper of Gardner
Megan Sleeper of Gardner
Jennifer Stove of Olathe
Terry Stove of Olathe
Gregory Wright of Wichita
Janet Wright of Wichita
Amanda Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Beckett Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Greeley Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Kensington Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Naiyah Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Paxon Wurdeman of Pittsburg
Mandi Young of Lenexa

Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority
Shannon Oury of Lawrence

It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard. 

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,

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