For Immediate Release
May 9, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE, KHA Award 9 Additional Community Health Assessment Grants

TOPEKA - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) this week have awarded nine rural communities in Kansas each a grant to support their local community health assessment efforts. The grants are funded by the Kansas Rural Health Options Project (KRHOP), a public-private partnership of not-for-profit and government organizations including KDHE’s Bureau of Community Health Systems, KHA, Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services and Kansas Medical Society. KRHOP offers technical support, networking opportunities, funding and other resources to Critical Access Hospitals and other rural health care providers.  

KRHOP funding supports outset initiatives spearheaded by the community’s health care providers and its hospital to address the health needs of the community, which could include events like holding town hall meetings or conducting community surveys. This is the second group of communities in Kansas this year to receive funding for the same projects; in April, 12 communities were awarded KRHOP grants.

The following counties are receiving KRHOP grants: Anderson, Gove, Harper, Kingman, Pawnee, Potawatomie, Rooks, Sherman, and Smith. Each county will receive $3,000.

KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer Robert Moser, M.D. said it is important for rural communities to partner with their hospitals to effectively address public health needs. “I can attest to the determination of rural health care providers to find innovative ways to improve health outcomes,” said Moser. “KDHE is committed to supporting those initiatives through investments like this where communities are not just taking a closer, comprehensive look at their health indicators but are focused on partnering to help leverage available resources.”

These health assessments could result in the enhancement a local system of transportation for getting residents to health appointments; organizing more diabetic support groups; or building a stronger partnership to plan for and apply for funding to develop a safety net clinic.

“Kansas hospitals are continually looking at the needs of their communities,” said Tom Bell, President and CEO of Kansas Hospital Association. “This program helps foster collaboration, not just between the hospital and the health department, but by also bringing together a broad-based group of community leaders to discuss health needs, explore data, set priorities and develop potential action strategies that will improve the health of the community.”

For more information on KDHE’s and KHA's rural health partnership efforts, please visit http://krhop.net/projects.php.