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Kansas Health Foundation to award grants to 16 groups

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at 10:36 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, July 22, 2013, at 6:53 a.m.

Sixteen Wichita area organizations will receive a total of more than $330,000 in Kansas Health Foundation Recognition Grants during the program’s fall cycle, the foundation announced in a news release Wednesday.

This cycle, the KHF has provided about $900,000 in grants statewide for 48 projects that aim to promote health and wellness.

“Throughout the state there are outstanding organizations doing innovative and impactful work in their communities,” said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation, in a statement. “This grant program allows us to support these initiatives and recognize the dedication of the groups and individuals making them a reality.”

Up to $2 million is allocated by the foundation each year for the recognition grants, which are awarded in the spring and fall. About $20 million has been awarded in recognition grants since the program began in 1994.

The recognition grants can be up to $25,000. Recipients are selected by an independent review committee made up of Kansans from all over the state.

Any tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that will use the money for charitable purposes and that will execute a project that aligns with the foundation’s mission of improving the health of Kansans is eligible.

Among the grant recipients that received $25,000 was Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita. The organization has received the grant a few times in the past, said Susan Smythe, CEO.

“What they provide us is critical for these families,” Smythe said.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita serves about 2,400 families at its three locations in Wichita each year, providing room and board for families of sick children.

“For some, if they didn’t have a place to stay, they may forego the medical care,” Smythe said.

Another $25,00 recipient was the Kansas School for Effective Learning. Executive Director Carolyn Bunch said the funding would go a long way for the program.

“For us, $25,000 is huge,” Bunch said. “This comes at a primary time for us.”

The grant money will go toward supporting high school completion and GED preparation programs to help low-income Kansans pursue careers in health care.

Here’s a complete list of Wichita grant recipients:

• Kansas Food Bank Warehouse, $25,000

• Ronald McDonald House Charities of Wichita, $25,000

• American Red Cross Midway Kansas Chapter, $25,000

• Kansas School for Effective Learning, $25,000

• Big Brothers Big Sisters, $24,605

• Kansas Children’s Service League, $23,806

• Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation, $23,108

• Girls on the Run of Sedgwick County, $22,800

• United Way of the Plains, $21,862

• Comcare of Sedgwick County, $21,248

• Communities in Schools of Wichita/Sedgwick County, $20,729

• Fundamental Learning Center, $20,468

• Real Men Real Heroes, $19,100

• Flint Hills Therapeutic Riding Center, $18,207

• Children First CEO Kansas, $13,187

• Union Rescue Mission, $4,321

When Wesley Medical Center, which was a nonprofit hospital associated with the United Methodist Church, was sold to the for-profit Hospital Corporation of America, the profits went toward the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and the Wesley Medical Endowment Foundation, which is now the Kansas Health Foundation.

The Kansas Health Foundation’s endowment was $200 million.

For more information on the Kansas Health Foundation, go to www.kansashealth.org.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com.

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