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: 6/15/2017

Camp Natoma is a special place on the Central Coast, where a week of sleeping under the stars provides campers with an experience they will remember for a lifetime. Campers love to come back year after year, and many of the staff are also former campers. A long standing tradition in San Luis Obispo County, operating since 1941, Camp Natoma is owned and operated by Camp Fire Central Coast of California, a non-profit youth development organization, the camp has been a summer tradition for thousands of families.

Broadcast date: 6/1/2017

Just turn on the T.V. and you’ll find tiny homes are everywhere! While tiny homes aren’t for everyone, they have the potential to provide affordable housing solutions for certain segments of the community. Whether it be temporary housing for a homeless individual, a permanent residence for someone looking to simplify their lifestyle, or as an accessory unit to a primary residence, tiny homes can provide an attractive solution. And while these tiny homes have sparked a big trend, many municipalities have been unprepared for them from a code perspective, and so they have brought with them numerous challenges for would-be owners, builders and city officials alike.

Broadcast date: 5/18/2017

A survey, by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows that about 8% of Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed by a doctor because they can’t afford them. According to the 2016 SLO County Commission on Aging report, an estimated 38 percent—or more than 13,000—of SLO County seniors older than 65 didn’t have enough income to meet their basic needs, this includes health care and prescription medications. Even with Medicaid, nearly 10% of older adults were unable to pay for their prescriptions, because of a coverage gap, known as the "donut hole" and those without insurance or living below the federal poverty level faired even worse— nearly 14% did not take medications as prescribed.

Broadcast date: 5/4/2017

Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every county across the US since 2007. Every community has been affected by this trend. Today, drug overdoses kill more than cars, guns, and falling.

Resilience

Apr 7, 2017

Broadcast Date: 4/13/2017

“The child may not remember, but the body remembers.” Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. While the original research was controversial, experts now consider the findings to have revealed one of the most important public health findings of a generation. Understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior.

Broadcast date: 4/6/2017

The United States is a nation of immigrants and has benefited immeasurably from the talents, values, and contributions of newcomers to our shores. But with shifts in immigration policy, the Trump administration has tightened enforcement and increased deportation actions, and immigrant families and children, who have always faced a multitude of barriers, are living in a heightened state of fear and anxiety.

Broadcast date: 3/23/2017

Everyone knows that volunteering is meant to improve and support our community by giving our time and energy to nonprofit agencies that provide much needed services. However, that’s not where the benefits stop. There are a multitude of personal and professional benefits one can gain from volunteering.

Broadcast date: 3/9/2017

What is the quality of life like in San Luis Obispo County? Do residents feel safe? Are there enough employment opportunities? Do people feel they have access to good schools and services? Is our community healthy? These are just a few of the questions that a consortium of public and private health, education, business, environmental, human service and civic organizations set out to answer when they began the ACTION for Healthy Communities project in the late 1990s. The Vital Signs report is compiled every three years through a collaboration of local organizations which sponsor the project. It is the longest running in San Luis Obispo County.

Broadcast date: 2/23/17

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) was founded in 1975 to open doors for women entrepreneurs by transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers. In the beginning, there were twelve women business owners who met informally in the D.C. area to share information about federal contracts, access to capital and other issues related to their businesses. Since then it has become a unified voice of over 10.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. Find out how NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.

Broadcast date: 2/9/2017

It is widely believed that “the eyes are the window to your soul,” but what many don’t know is that the mouth is the window to the health of the body--or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. Yet, a report by the American Dental Association found more than 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year. And many parents still believe that tooth decay (cavities) are just a normal part of growing up—with tooth decay one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the U.S. The CDC reports about 1 in 5 children 5 to 11 years of age have at least one untreated cavity—and yet they are nearly 100% preventable!  

Kayla’s Story

Jan 26, 2017

Broadcast date: 1/26/2017

Donna Kelley lost her daughter, Kayla Peach, to a drug overdose in 2012. Kayla, a Templeton High School graduate, was just 24 years old at the time of her death. Kayla who had been full of life, died from a combination of alcohol and morphine pills she had been given at a house party. She was transported the next morning after not being able to be awaken, carried into the car and drove over 30 minutes to her house in Atascadero. She was then left in her bed. She was found later by a roommate unresponsive. Kayla’s story is the story of the silent but very real epidemic of addiction and substance abuse related deaths among our youth.

Broadcast date: 1/12/17

On January 21, 2017, more than 2,000 individuals from all over San Luis Obispo County, as well as residents of Monterey and Santa Barbara counties, will unite in San Luis Obispo to show support for the Women’s March on Washington. They will stand together in solidarity with friends, families, and women everywhere, for the protection of women’s rights, human rights, safety and health, and to look forward to a positive future.

Broadcast date: 12/15/16

Every year the holidays become wrapped more in stuff and less in meaning. However,  this increased commercialization of the holiday season has come with hidden costs to our environment. Are we doing more harm than good with our altruistic consumption?  Can we shop smarter and be more mindful consumers?  How can we all do our part to conserve environmental resources and protect our planet while still taking part in the joy of holiday gift giving?

Broadcast date: 12/1/16

In the homogenous communities of the Central Coast, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to confront matters of racial justice, but given the dramatic killings of unarmed African Americans in other areas of the country, it becomes difficult to turn a blind eye to our country's institutional racism. R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County, and other like-minded individuals, have begun to advance a local dialogue around race to provide space for marginalized groups to be heard.

Broadcast date: 10/20/16

Many experts believe that the epidemic of men’s violence and sexual assault in our country is related to what society is teaching boys about masculinity. But, this traditional “boys will be boys” mentality is beginning to change, as school campuses and community organizations are realizing that this type of unhealthy masculinity is harmful to both women and men, in many areas of their lives. Today, these groups are engaging young men and boys to build a new generation of male leaders who will model strength and masculinity, without violence, through a “Healthy Masculinity” movement to eradicate the harmful expectations and stereotypes our society teaches boys about what it means to be a man.

Broadcast date: 9/29/16

With 17 measures on the California statewide ballot, for the upcoming November election, it is the longest list of state propositions on a single ballot since March of 2000. With hot button issues like marijuana legalization, the repeal of the death penalty, school funding, and gun laws before voters, just to name a few, it’s not just the decision whether to read the record setting 224-page voter guide that is daunting.

Broadcast date: 9/15/16

Long Term Care Ombudsman advocate for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes and assisted living facilities. They work to promote the highest possible quality of life and care for all residents in long term care facilities, in addition to educating consumers and providers and resolving residents' complaints. The Administration on Aging (AoA) reports that there are more than 8,000 volunteer ombudsman nationally, and in 2014 the program investigated over 191,553 complaints on behalf of 125,642 individuals. 

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Karen Jones, Executive Director with Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of San Luis Obispo County and Volunteer Ombudsmen about the important work they do advocating for compassionate and caring assistance for residents in long term care facilities.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast date: 9/1/2016

Central Coast Voices has joined NPR this week in a special reporting project, called A Nation Engaged.

With the twists and turns in the national political campaigns, and the turbulent and often traumatic news we receive from throughout the world, and too often here at home, we want to continue to help you stay and feel engaged, while providing the conversation vital to be an effective citizen.  

This week we will be exploring topics such as diplomacy, immigration, and military and asking this question: “What is America’s role in the world?" Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with experts in international affairs, Alfred J. Fonzi II, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), Shelley Hurt, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at Cal Poly, and Robert Schaeffer, Professor, Department of Sociology at Cal Poly. We hope you will listen and be part of the conversation.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast date: 8/18/2016

How does a community engage the under 40 crowd to involve them in discussion, idea sharing and to shape the future of a city’s political, business and overarching community life?

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Ermina Karim, president and CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, Audrey Bigelow, Member of the Founding Five for the SLO Scoop and Courtney Meznarich, a leader with SLO U40.  They will be discussing recent efforts to increase U40 (under 40) engagement in the City of San Luis Obispo.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Urban Century

Aug 3, 2016

Broadcast date: 8/4/2016

After many decades of decline due to suburban sprawl, downtown communities are being reborn. Across the country, downtowns are once again becoming vibrant, desirable destinations to live, work, and play. The documentary film Urban Century – America’s Return to Main Street, examines the current revitalization of Main Street America and the significance that downtown's play in their communities and the possibility that they may be the key to economic prosperity moving forward.

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with members of the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association, Executive Director, Dominic Tartaglia, and downtown business owner, community leader, and Economic Committee chairwoman, Jules DuRocher, owner of Jules D. They will talk about the upcoming documentary film screening of Urban Century – America’s Return to Main Street and the current revitalization of Main Street America, discuss the film and the emerging economic, residential and entertainment trends in the hearts of cities just like yours.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast date: 7/21/16

We are enduring one of the most polarizing elections in recent memory.  The nominees for the major political parties are entering the election with historically low popularity, and minor party candidates are gaining support in polls.  Is this the end of the American party system as we know it?  How are these nationwide patterns impacting political competition and representation on the Central Coast?

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with political scientists Alex Keena, a Visiting Lecturer in American Politics at the University of Richmond in Virginia and Michael Latner, Director of the Cal Poly Master’s in Public Policy Program, two of the four co-authors of the new book Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty, to discuss electoral competition and its consequences.  They will explore the evolution of our political parties, and how political institutions shape representation and sovereignty in this turbulent era. 

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast date: 7/7/16

The documentary film In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye shares the intimate story of three individuals, who like a growing number of families are in search of a more personal and fulfilling way to say goodbye to loved ones. Rejecting the mainstream tradition of hiring funeral professionals, the documentary film examines the growing trend of families caring for their loved ones after death.

Both a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death care movement, In The Parlor: The Final Goodbye takes viewers on a journey where very few have gone, and challenges us to reflect on this uncomfortable subject, which so often is hidden away and ignored.

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Heidi Boucher, writer, producer, and director, of the documentary film, In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye as they discuss how individuals, with the support and guidance of their families, and communities, are being cared for after their death, at home.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast Date: 6/23/16

Improving the quality of life by providing the gift of better vision and health, I Care International collaborates with community service groups, civic and government organizations, translators, and the medical and business communities, both locally and in host countries to provide eye care services to less fortunate men, women and children around the world.

Join host Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with founder of I Care International optometrist Dr. Phil Ortiz, OD, and Central Coast volunteers, Jim Patterson, Leigh Livick, and AVID student Jabnia Hernandez, about how these dedicated individuals work to change the lives of individuals one by one. 

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.

Broadcast date: 6/9/16

On June 9th, California’s End of Life Option Act (SB 128) will go into effect, and the state will become the fifth in the U.S. to permit physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. That means that a patient who has been diagnosed as having six months or less to live can then request life-ending medication from their physicians. The law has been highly controversial, and heavily protested, by groups far and wide, from faith groups to patients rights’ organizations. Now, with its passage, efforts turn towards educating the terminally ill, their families and medical providers about the law.

Broadcast date: 5/26/16

The purpose of HomeShareSLO is connecting people and homes. 

Broadcast date: 5/19/16

While the Affordable Care Act has made coverage more available and affordable for many Americans through subsidized insurance and an expansion of Medi-Caid in states which have opted to do so, several million Californians still don’t have health insurance. 

Broadcast date: 4/28/16

The upcoming Americans for the Arts Survey has important economic, social, and educational value to  the Central Coast and can benefit local schools and arts organizations on a local and regional level. 

Broadcast date: 4/14/16

East LA Interchange is a documentary film that follows the evolution of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights from multiethnic to predominately Latino and a center of Mexican-American culture in the U.S. 

Broadcast date: 3/31/16

In 2015 the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo housing opportunity index reported San Luis Obispo as the 4th least affordable housing market among regions of similar population size, placing it at the lowest end of the affordability scale in small markets. 

Broadcast date: 3/3/16

Despite the swift passage of SB 277, mandating childhood immunizations, many parents continue to be concerned about the safety of vaccines and their effectiveness. 

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