Kris Kington-Barker

Host of Central Coast Voices

Kris Kington-Barker has worked in healthcare fields ranging from mental health to hospital administration over the past 30 years and has served as a volunteer and board member for many central coast non-profit organizations.   She owns and operates a local business and, since 2006, has been providing private management consulting with a focus on strategic planning and leadership development for healthcare organizations and nonprofits.

Kris is currently the Executive Director for Hospice of San Luis Obispo, President of the board of the Long Term Care Ombudsman of SLO County and a member of ACTION for Health Communities. She became involved in radio in 1986 when she started hosting Health Matters for KVEC as a volunteer. Kris later hosted Voices on KCBX from 1999 to 2001, and now co-hosts Central Coast Voices with Fred Munroe.

Ways to Connect

Broadcast date: 6/11/2015

Although there are a number of valuable career mentoring programs for youth on the Central Coast, there are none quite like this one. Through aviation education and mentoring, a Different Point of View shows students a world they’ve never seen before.

Broadcast date: 5/28/2015

For most pregnant women, the labor and birth of a new child can be a time of both fear and joy. Although most women have positive birth experiences, for those who have had a difficult or traumatic birth, and, or who suffer from postpartum depression, this usually joyful time can be filled with pain, depression, and loneliness.

Broadcast date: 5/14/2015

Mental illness, such as depression, is very common in older adults. Mental illness in an older adult can go untreated and unnoticed because people often dismiss it as a normal part of aging, or at times symptoms are associated with other medical conditions.  

Broadcast date: 4/30/2015

Broadcast date: 4/16/2015

Hepatitis C is a silent disease. 

Broadcast date: 4/2/2015

Child abuse and neglect can be found in families across the social and economic spectrum. Why does child abuse occur?

Social isolation, financial stress, poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence are all factors that can lead to adults abusing children.  ACTION reports in San Luis Obispo County although there has been a 12% decrease in cases of child abuse from 2006 to 2012, the rate of cases was still higher than the state rate in 2012.

Broadcast date: 3/19/2015

What is Die Wise Training? Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. 

Broadcast date: 3/5/2015

There are more than three hundred miles of ocean along the Central Coast of California, between Santa Cruz and Carpinteria. 

Broadcast date: 2/19/2015

What parent hasn’t been in the middle of a store when their toddler throws a tantrum?  Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. 

Broadcast date: 2/5/2015 

Most people have little understanding of what it means to be transgender. At the most basic level transgender is a term for a person who doesn’t clearly fit into society’s standards of what we believe a woman or a man is supposed to look or act. 

Broadcast date: 1/22/2015

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mental health and substance use abuse coverage has been expanded greatly.  Prior to its implementation, about one-third of individuals with health insurance had no coverage for substance use disorder services, and almost 20 percent had no coverage for mental health disorders.  

Broadcast date: 1/08/2015

Stories of sexual assault on American college campuses have dominated the news this past year. Although a recent federal report estimated only about .02% of enrolled students reported a forcible sex offense, many experts believe that sexual assault is seriously under-reported, and incidences are likely much higher.  

Broadcast date: 12/18/2014

In a 2011 California Healthcare Foundation poll Californians were asked if they felt it was important to discuss Advance Planning with their healthcare providers. 

Broadcast date: 10/30/2014

In 2013 the most recent ACTION report showed that a growing number of San Luis Obispo residents were without insurance, with 12% in 2006 and increasing to 18% in 2013.  The report noted that only 26% of Spanish-Speaking parents had health insurance.  Lack of insurance can be a significant barrier to quality health care, and in many cases results from rising health care costs.

Broadcast date: 10/16/2014

Supporters of building local, sustainable and fair food systems believe that by connecting members of our community to the abundance of local food and farming in the County they can bridge the gap between what people eat and where it comes from, and in doing so, can  strengthen the food culture and the relationship people have with their food. These efforts have the potential to foster strong connections among farmers and have the ability to not only nourish our community, but make local food products more accessible for everyone.

Broadcast date: 10/02/2014

According to the CDC, with over 38,000 people dying by suicide in the U.S. each year, the numbers of deaths from suicide now surpass deaths from motor vehicle accidents. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention claims as many as 90% of individuals dying by suicide have treatable mental disorders, many of which have gone untreated or discovered.  

 

Broadcast Date: 9/18/2014

 

Broadcast date: 9/4/2014

The San Luis Obispo Literacy Council reports as many as 25 million Americans cannot read or write. There are an estimated 25,000 functionally illiterate adults in San Luis Obispo County alone. 

Broadcast date: 8/21/2014

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of San Luis Obispo County was created in the 1970’s to meet the needs of residents experiencing care problems in nursing homes. Today, Ombudsmen serve as advocates for over 3,000 residents of long term care facilities in San Luis Obispo County, including nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. These volunteers and staff work to promote the best possible quality of life, support residents’ rights, encourage respect and ensure residents are free from abuse.

Broadcast date: 8/7/2014

As communities throughout the state continue to look for opportunities to increase the availability of clean energy, many are looking at the feasibility of forming Community Choice Aggregations. What is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)? CCA allows communities to pool together participating electricity customers for purchasing and generating power on their behalf.

Since 2010 the County of San Luis Obispo has seen a marked increase in the number of people with disabilities. ACTION reported in 2013 at least 14% of survey respondents either had a permanent physical or mental disability that substantially limited a major life activity, or there was someone in their household who did. Although many would consider access for people with disabilities as a civil right, too often people with disabilities are treated as a social minority.

Nationwide there are more than 2.3 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In San Luis Obispo County alone, ACTION estimates veterans make up close to 10% of the population.  Reports suggest that some 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD and/or Depression.  It’s believed that 50% of those with PTSD do not seek treatment. PTSD can have potentially lethal consequences. Asking for help is extremely shaming, especially for combat arms soldiers.

What is human trafficking? This serious offense carries no simple answer to that question. This problem, inherent in almost every country across the globe, is multifaceted and complex and its victims are increasing in numbers.  The human trafficking industry globally earns an expected $32 billion every year. And California is no stranger to these crimes.

Opiod abuse and addiction to such drugs as heroin and prescription painkillers, like oxycontin, is considered  a serious public health issue, and can have potentially devastating consequences on the individual, family and community.  What treatment options are available for individuals battling this deadly disease? How can we work as a community to help families and individuals dealing with these issues?

In 2013 ACTION reported more than three quarters of the people they interviewed in San Luis Obispo County were concerned about drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse. Among these groups of drugs, rates of opiate addiction across the nation are increasing at alarming rates.  Last year, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) noted a dramatic 183% increase in emergency room intakes associated with pharmaceutical opiates and opioids from 2004 to 2011. Heroin intakes also increased by 21%.

While heart disease and lower respiratory disease remain leading causes of death in the U.S., 25% of household income is spent on transportation and 40% of car trips are less than 2 miles. In spite of these statistics, Americans are changing their behavior. From 2000 - 2011 we have seen a 47% increase in bicycle commuting in the United States. In San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles that number increases to an incredible 80%.  

Each year, National Equal Pay Day reflects how far into the current year women must work to match what men earned in the previous year. Due to a gender gap in pay, it takes women an extra three months of wages to make up that 23-percent difference.

About 60 percent of Americans say that making sure their families are not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important,” yet 55 percent have still not communicated their end-of-life wishes to their loved ones. “The Conversation” is often avoided in our culture, but when is the right time to have it?  How do we start the discussion?  

In San Luis Obispo County, the average cost for full-time infant care in a childcare center is $12,795.  As California’s economy continues to recover, who is there to ensure an adequate supply of high quality and affordable early childcare and education for our children as parents begin re-entering the workforce in increasing numbers?  Host Kris Kington-Barker will be joined by Raechelle Bowlay-Sutton from the San Luis Obispo County Child Care Planning Council to discuss this topic.

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