In August 2018, the Quincy Mall was in crisis. A few years earlier, JCPenney, one of the mall’s three large department store anchors, had closed. That month, the two remaining stores, Sears and Bergner’s, closed within weeks of each other. “It left us with just this huge big-box vacancy,” said Mike Jenkins, the property manager at the 500,000-square-foot mall in Quincy, Illinois. The loss of such major tenants has been a death sentence for many malls. But the shopping center had a stroke of luck. The same time the department stores closed, one of the small city’s two large medical providers was looking for a space to house a planned outpatient surgery clinic.
Public health officials in St. Louis are expanding their efforts to reduce opioid addiction statewide. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health unveiled new online resources Wednesday designed to connect doctors with information on opioids, pain management and substance abuse. The toolkit is the latest addition to the county’s prescription drug monitoring program, which was established in the absence of a statewide program.
This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” during the 11am hour Thursday. This story will be updated after the show. Here are several ways to listen live . There are roughly 2.8 million people living in Greater St. Louis, many of whom would be surprised to know that they share the space with a good variety of wildlife. The St. Louis Wildlife Project now has four seasons of data that they hope will give insight into how wildlife occupy and utilize the region’s urban spaces. For the past year, they’ve collected images from 34 motion-activated cameras planted in parks and green spaces across St. Louis. They’ve spotted foxes, turkeys, river otters, and even a couple bobcats.
This interview will be live on “St. Louis on the Air” over the 11 a.m. hour Friday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live . In an age of crumbling infrastructure across the U.S., sidewalks have been no exception to the pattern of decay. The city of St. Louis alone is home to roughly 2,000 miles worth of sidewalks, and both the physical condition and suitability of those streetside pathways vary widely. David Newburger, St. Louis’ commissioner on the disabled, thinks about sidewalks quite a bit. He notes that he’s old enough to remember when curb cuts — sloped curb faces that are particularly critical for someone using a wheelchair — were few and far between. These days, Newburger says, a lot of effort goes into the design of new sidewalks to ensure that they are safe and passable for everyone, including pedestrians with disabilities. As he and colleagues work to update sidewalks and maintain ADA compliance, they’re also thinking about sidewalks within the
Every Saturday, a cohort of physicians carves time out of busy schedules in an effort to fill a gap for health care for people in the St. Louis region. Started by members of the Muslim Community Services of St. Louis in 2008, the Salam Clinic is a model of interfaith charity. The initiative was simple: provide free medical care to the uninsured and underinsured. Doctors of various religious backgrounds gladly signed on, including the Deaconess Nurse Ministry. The first clinic opened in north St. Louis at Lane Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The second opened its doors in 2013 in Ferguson at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Last November, Salam opened its third location at Epiphany United Church of Christ in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood. And this Sunday, the nonprofit’s first Salam Psychiatry Clinic will open at its Ferguson location.
For years, an empty three-story warehouse on the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Whittier Street was just another eyesore in north St. Louis. But last summer, workers began to dismantle the 136-year-old building and saved about $250,000 worth of brick, lumber and other materials. The city had selected the former moving and storage warehouse as its first project to deconstruct, or take apart, a building to salvage its components. Unlike demolition, deconstruction saves valuable materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It also doesn’t emit harmful pollutants into the surrounding community and provides more jobs because it requires more workers.
ROLLA — As more industries, including transportation, are looking to electricity to deliver more power, Missouri University of Science and Technology wants to help meet that demand. The school is leading a research effort to develop the equipment needed to deliver voltages that are up to 100 times what are found in the average household outlet. “The goal is to figure out how to deliver high voltage cheaply and safely,” said Mehdi Ferdowsi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T.
Engineers at the University of Missouri-Columbia are developing a wearable device that could provide much-needed cooling on extremely hot days. The device is a small wired patch made out of a special type of porous plastic that doesn’t require any fans, pumps or electricity to cool the wearer. The technology reflects sunlight away from the body to reduce the person’s exposure to heat.
More than 11,000 St. Louis-area families will learn this week that their medical debt has been paid, thanks to donations from local churches. United Church of Christ congregations and the Deaconess Foundation announced Saturday they had purchased $12.9 million in medical debt for a fraction of the cost. They worked with the New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, which used the donations to purchase the debt from collectors. Church leaders used Saturday’s announcement at Christ the King Church in Black Jack to make the argument that medical debt is a symptom of a system that devalues poor people and people of color — and call for political action.
The number of people enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program reached a five-year low in December, falling to 846,554. That’s 130,000 fewer people — including 100,000 children — on the rolls since January 2018. Democratic lawmakers and other critics said the large drop in enrollment is a sign that the state agency in charge of administering the program is culling people unfairly and leaving them without needed medical services.
A few weeks ago on St. Louis on the Air , we learned about a brand-new medical device that allows users to measure nutritional ketosis with a breathalyzer. Nutritionists say they’ve witnessed the reemergence of the keto diet as a means for weight loss in the past few years. Both during and after that segment aired, we received a lot of questions about the keto diet, as well as some concern that this may be an unhealthy choice for some people. So, we looked into it on Thursday’s show with people who follow the latest research on the topic.
Siteman Cancer Center’s newest location will bring access to new treatments and clinical trials to the Metro East. The cancer center's Shiloh, Illinois, location began accepting patients this week. As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, Siteman’s facility will go beyond traditional treatment and allow patients to receive experimental procedures such as immunotherapy and genomics, Siteman Cancer Center Director Tim Eberlein said.
Vast wildfires in Australia, California and elsewhere continue to have wide-sweeping impacts, testing the limits of firefighters on the front lines and presenting new challenges for experts in all sorts of sectors. At St. Louis University’s Geospatial Institute — also known as GeoSLU — researchers are using remotely sensed images and spatial analysis to extend our understanding of these disasters and others. The geospatial technology helps them predict wildfires as well as map the extent and severity of wildfires after they have occurred. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Sarah Fenske led a conversation about the difference this research can make. She talked with Ness Sandoval, associate professor of sociology at St. Louis University and an associate director of the Geospatial Institute, and with Shawn Steadman, director of SLU’s emergency management program.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has identified a new batch of lakes and streams that do not meet water quality standards. The state agency added 60 water bodies to this year’s draft list of impaired waters, including several in the greater St. Louis region. Many of the listed water bodies had high concentrations of bacteria or algae, often linked to runoff from cities, towns and farms.
The Missouri Foundation for Health and a national think tank are commissioning $1.5 million in grants for researchers to study the causes and effects of Missouri’s gun violence epidemic. Foundation representatives hope the research will better inform policymakers on the best ways to prevent people from dying, said Jessi LaRose, a senior strategist at the St. Louis-based nonprofit. The foundation aims to fund studies about urban gun violence, rural gun fatalities, accidental shooting deaths and suicides. It also seeks research on why so many black men are dying from gun violence and the effectiveness of programs aiming to curb gun deaths, such as St. Louis’ Cure Violence anti-homicide initiative, approved by the Board of Aldermen last year .
Jefferson County health officials plan this year to increase testing for lead contamination in residential areas near where companies mined for heavy metals several decades ago. The county’s health department will work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to educate residents about potential lead contamination in their yards. The agencies also are encouraging parents to have their children’s blood tested for lead.
Thousands of Missouri residents have received certification cards for medical marijuana, and dispensaries are gearing up to begin sales of the product later this year, likely in the spring. Physicians have the ability to prescribe medical marijuana to patients via the state’s certification form , although they are not obligated to do so. On Friday's St. Louis on the Air , host Sarah Fenske spoke with two physicians, who are also sisters, to get a sense of why they react differently when patients request their signatures on medical marijuana certification forms.
If a woman at a restaurant chokes on a chicken bone, millions of people know to wrap their arms around her abdomen and dislodge it, thanks to countless classes that teach first aid. But if she starts hyperventilating during a panic attack, many people wouldn’t know how to help. If she stops showering or coming to work, her friends might not know what to do. To teach people how to respond, St. Louis organizations have started training the public in mental health first aid , which aims to offer immediate help for people experiencing emotional and mental health emergencies. It’s the same idea as traditional first aid, except that the wounds treated are emotional.
Since last spring, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid nearly $70 million to Missouri residents who filed flood insurance claims. Payments are likely to keep accumulating, as claims are still being processed and more flooding could occur this year. The National Weather Service predicts that above-average precipitation and abnormally moist ground conditions in the Upper Midwest this winter could increase the chance of major flooding in the St. Louis region in the spring.
The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opened with a big splash on Christmas Day. Thousands of area residents have been streaming through its gates in the two weeks since, and aquarium staff have had to turn some families away due to sellout crowds. For executive director Tami Brown, that's been the only downside of an otherwise successful launch of the new downtown destination. Many visitors have expressed excitement about their experiences, staff have been enthusiastic about their interactions with visitors and animals, and the marine species that now call the aquarium home seem to be adapting well. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , Brown joined host Sarah Fenske for a deeper dive into the new activity at Union Station. Joining the conversation was St. Louis Aquarium curator Aaron Sprowl, who discussed the wide-ranging creatures and their transition to a new space. The segment included an audio tour of the aquarium, first impressions from children and adults alike, and plenty of