Health Care News Cooperative Will Cover Missouri, Kansas

Date: October 8, 2014
Contact: John Martellaro
Phone: (816) 235-1592 or
For immediate release:
October 8, 2014

Contact: John Martellaro
(816) 235-1592

KANSAS CITY, MO — Four not-for-profit news organizations are cooperating in an unprecedented effort to cover health and health care news across Missouri and Kansas.

Heartland Health Monitor is the name for the joint effort involving KCUR public radio; the Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT-TV; the Kansas Health Institute News Service; and Kansas Public Radio. All the partners will produce content for the cooperative, and present it on multiple broadcast, print and digital platforms.

Heartland Health Monitor is based at KCUR and led by veteran journalist Dan Margolies, KCUR’s health editor. The Health Forward Foundation, along with other funders, is providing financial support for the cooperative.

The concept is based on the highly successful Harvest Public Media agriculture-based reporting collaboration, also headquartered at KCUR. Nico Leone, general manager of KCUR, said the unique strength of Heartland Health Monitor is that it involves two states, and journalism organizations operating on multiple platforms.

“This cooperative will allow us to cover health in the bi-state area in greater depth and breadth than any of us could do alone, and with much greater reach that will give this coverage far greater impact,” Leone said. “We are open to, and are reaching out to, additional potential collaborators in Missouri and Kansas.”

“Health is a topic that involves government, the private sector and the non-profit sector; that has a profound impact on our local and national economies; and that touches people’s lives on a daily basis,” said Kliff Kuehl, president and CEO of KCPT. “It requires extensive resources to cover it effectively and meaningfully, and that’s what this cooperative enables us to do.”

“The KHI News Service was created to fill a gap in coverage of this essential subject area, caused by the contraction of traditional media,” said Jim McLean, executive editor of the KHI News Service and an editor/reporter for Kansas Public Radio. “Similar not-for-profit journalism operations focused on health have sprung up around the country. Heartland Health Monitor takes the concept to the next level by reaching across a state line that bisects a major metropolitan area, to provide thorough coverage of urban, suburban, rural and statewide health issues in both Kansas and Missouri.”

KCUR, a service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is the National Public Radio affiliate for Kansas City and provides news, arts and public affairs content online and on radio at 89.3 FM. KCPT is the Public Broadcasting Service affiliate for Kansas City, a nonprofit, community-owned television station serving the greater Kansas City area that provides programming and services—on air and off—that entertain, educate and enrich the community.

The Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT is a multimedia center for journalism that distributes local content through a variety of channels, including public television, public radio, the internet and social media. Its goal is to cover the issues and stories of the Kansas City region in a comprehensive, in-depth and innovative way.

The KHI News Service is an editorially independent program of the Kansas Health Institute. Supported by foundation grants and underwriters, it also covers health issues for KPR – 91.5 FM – the National Public Radio affiliate at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.