[written by Jason Ackermann]
If you know anything about the history of health care in Kansas, you know the state has a lot to be proud of. For example, Kansas was among the nation’s leaders in rethinking and redesigning how we treat and educate citizens with physical impairments. The Kansas School for the Deaf was originally founded in 1861 and the School for the Blind was founded in 1867.
Less-known though, is that 100 years later that spirit of experimentation and social responsibility was again encouraging innovation in the field of Public Welfare.
The Kansas Taproots newsletter was issued by the Department of Social Welfare (the forerunner of SRS and later DCF) between 1964-1971. It provided a deep and unique look into the state’s renewed attempts during that period to provide services for poverty-stricken and disabled Kansans. In many ways, it was a publication ahead of its time. Taproots combined examinations of cutting-edge technologies and treatments with stories of their implantation at the local level in Kansas. It gave a voice to the mentally and physically handicapped Kansas. It spoke frankly about conditions of poverty, the diversity of mental illness and physical disabilities, and demonstrated how state and local governments contributed to bringing tangible improvements to the everyday living conditions of thousands of Kansans.
At the same time, Taproots demonstrated that Kansas was participating in a larger national discussion about poverty and inequality in America, which was largely sparked by President Johnson’s 1964 Inauguration speech and his unofficial “War on Poverty.” The publication will be of particular use to those interested in the history of healthcare in Kansas and in everyday life during the 1960s and 1970s.
You can view issues of Taproots at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library:
FEATURED AGENCY COLLECTION
We feature here a different agency or division of a large agency and its publications within the Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library:
Kansas Dept. of Agriculture. Animal Health Division
Kansas Animal Health Department
The Kansas Animal Health Department was established in 1969 by consolidating the Livestock Sanitary Commission and the State Brand Commission. The four divisions of the Department are: administration, disease control, animal facilities inspection and brands. Tasks include, eradicating infectious livestock diseases in Kansas, animal facilities inspection for companion animals, brand registration and Emergency Management also known as Kansas Homeland Defense.
After 127 years as a stand-alone agency, the Kansas Animal Health Department merged with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to become Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health on July 1, 2011. The agency's mission remained unchanged.