The Kansas Health Foundation recently awarded grants totaling nearly $800,000 to eight Kansas organizations focused on providing access to healthy food, increasing physical activity, decreasing tobacco use and improving access to care.
The Healthy Living Grants Initiative will focus on health strategies for vulnerable populations, as part of the foundation’s mission to improve the health of all Kansans.
“The top threats to health for Kansans are smoking, obesity and access to affordable health care,” said Steve Coen, KHF president & CEO. “Unfortunately, data shows these are critical need areas for low-income Kansans and racially diverse communities – both rural and urban. With these eight partner organizations, we can target our resources so ALL Kansans can have the opportunity for better health.”
The grantees include:
Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence – $100,000
Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence will be incorporating youth program curriculum that promotes healthy, drug-free lifestyles and encourages teens and parent advocates to speak out about tobacco usage concerns. It will also be working towards implementing a community Tobacco 21 policy.
Community Housing of Wyandotte County – $100,000
Community Housing of Wyandotte County will increase Splitlog Farm and Orchard’s production capacity to implement a Farm-to-School program in three neighborhood schools, increase the supply of healthy foods for underserved residents, and increase food preparation and nutrition knowledge.
El Centro, Inc., Wyandotte County – $100,000
El Centro will be establishing a volunteer health worker network to help community members adopt healthier lifestyles.
Episcopal Social Services – $99,924
Episcopal Social Services will create a Kansas Clubhouse Coalition to raise awareness about the clubhouse treatment model for individuals experiencing mental illness. It’ll also work to increase the number of state clubhouses in Kansas and advocate for Medicaid reimbursement for this treatment.
Flint Hills Community Health Center, Inc., Emporia – $100,000
The center plans to hire a full-time community health worker who will focus on access to care for the Hispanic population in the counties it serves.
Kansas Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics – $94,454
The Kansas chapter will implement a systems change at KU Wichita Pediatrics so providers can help caregivers quit smoking, which will ultimately reduce children’s secondhand smoke exposure.
CrossWinds Counseling & Wellness, Lyon County – $84,608
The center will use the funds to support Healthier Lyon County, which plans on improving the health of residents by reducing tobacco use among those experiencing mental illness and increasing the number of youth and adults who regularly participate in physical activity. It also aims to reduce food insecurity by adding farmers markets in seven communities.
Wichita State University Foundation – $100,000
The foundation will increase physical activity in neighborhoods surrounding the university by finding and supporting neighborhood health navigators who will get residents to use walking paths and other exercise opportunities.
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, KHF focuses its work to address health equity in four impact areas: access to affordable health care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement and educational attainment. During its 30-year history, KHF has provided more than $500 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.
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