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Success Stories

With their farmland in the background, the Petermanns – daughter Emily, mom Stephanie, baby Silas and dad Michael – snuggle on a blanket.

On March 21, Stephanie Petermann was enjoying a healthy pregnancy and looking forward to meeting her baby face-to-face sometime around his July 7 due date. But on March 22, without warning, contractions woke her up.

Holyrood, the small Central Kansas town that the Petermann family calls home, doesn’t have a hospital, so Michael Petermann...

A woman from western Kansas calls the Alzheimer’s Association hotline saying that she’d like to come to an informational meeting in her town about the disease, but her husband doesn’t want her to attend because he’s afraid that if she does, someone might take away his farm.

Kathy Sikes has been on the receiving end of many similar phone calls from rural areas across the state. As the program director for the Alzheimer's Association in Central and Western Kansas, she wants to reduce...

Weeds are not welcome in the gardens at Newton’s Sunset Elementary School.

As the classes learn to identify weeds, some of the children even spend time at recess plucking the invaders from the soil. “They take their jobs as weed pickers very seriously,” says Amber Celestin, who teaches 4th grade at the school. “Woe to the bindweed that dares show its face here at Sunset!”

The garden project also serves as a valuable teaching tool for a wide variety of lessons. “It provides an...

Jason Wesco used to stare at the state map on his office wall and wonder how to get dental care to poor people all across Kansas.

This shortage of oral health care is complex and widespread. Ten Kansas counties have no dentist at all. Several areas of our state lack dentists who will accept Medicaid or Health Wave. And many of the Kansans who need help the most cannot afford to travel to other counties for dental services.

Over time, Wesco came up with an idea to create a...

A young mom in Kansas City was feeding her newborn bottles filled with water because she ran out of formula and didn't understand how crucial it is for babies to eat frequently.

On another visit to a family's home, nurse Colleen Kahn found a tiny boy on the floor with the air conditioner running full blast. There were no blankets or crib in the house, and the baby was almost blue. The nurse ran out to her car to get donated baby blankets and warm the infant up.

The new mother...

Early on a Saturday morning, teens arrive, feet dragging, at Peabody-Burns High School.

“Too early in the morning,” one girl sighs, chin in hand.

“Is everybody awake?” shouts Gene Green. Green is director of the Peabody-Burns Adventure Club, an adventure-based activities and exercise program in Peabody, Kansas. This innovative program gives students an opportunity to experience physical fitness in a way they never have before.

Green directs the teens as they load up a...

In a town of only 900 people, access to group fitness facilities can be limited. But in Ashland, the community has come together to solve that problem by building a fitness center for everyone to use.

The Ashland Fitness Center was built with volunteer labor by residents of Ashland. A $25,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation purchased exercise bicycles, treadmills and elliptical machines for the center.

Vicky Sprengeler, president of the Ashland Fitness Board of...

Not many teenage boys can say they’ve had their artwork displayed in the main hall of a gallery. In fact, it’s likely that very few have even been to an art gallery. But at the Salina Art Center, teenagers had the opportunity to host an opening of their own work.

The Youth At-Risk Programs at the Salina Art Center allow at-risk youth a safe environment to explore art and writing as forms of self-expression. A $20,700 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation helped provide personnel and...

The Kansas Repository, housed at CHC/SEK in Pittsburg, was created in 2009 as a way to prevent wasted medications and ensure that uninsured patients could have access to affordable prescription drugs. Since it began, the repository has seen over $5 million (retail value) in unused drugs pass through its facility, helping over 8,000 Kansans receive necessary medications. It is estimated that number will double in 2012.

On January 1, 2012, the Kansas Repository launched a website that...

The Beans&Greens Mobile Market began in 2011 as an extension of the Kansas City Beans&Greens program, which allows families who receive food assistance to use those dollars at local farmers markets. According to Gayla Brockman, executive director of the Menorah Legacy Foundation, which began the program, the Beans&Greens Mobile Market was launched as a response to a problem.

“There was an obvious need for increased access and affordability,” she says. “We found that low-...

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