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Health Foundation funds to aid preventive programs at Kansas clinics

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, July 15, 2013, at 8:57 p.m.

As part of a three-year program to enhance preventive services, the Kansas Health Foundation has awarded $235,000 to 15 clinics throughout the state, including about $75,000 to Wichita clinics.

To receive the grants, each clinic developed a plan specific to its needs and goals with a focus on preventive services.

Many of the clinics will focus on tobacco cessation and prevention and obesity prevention, according to the release. Other areas of focus include childhood immunizations, cervical cancer screening and diabetes management.

“We have a strong history of working in prevention and working with the safety net clinics,” said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “Fifty percent of preventable deaths are related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes, so to do anything to prevent those from happening is important.”

GraceMed, which is receiving $20,000, will focus on obesity, tobacco cessation and diabetes, said Venus Lee, the clinic’s associate executive officer.

“We’ll now have more resources to concentrate on those areas and training materials to get that going,” Lee said.

According to GraceMed’s budget proposal for the grant, it will use about $2,500 of the grant for educational materials on tobacco cessation, weight management and diabetes.

The rest of the funds will go toward compensating medical providers for their time to teach the classes and a quality assurance coordinator, who is responsible for putting “flags” in the clinic’s electronic health record system to target patients who may need additional services.

“Identifying patients isn’t the hard thing. Making sure they have everything they need once they’ve been identified is, and now we’ll have more resources to do that,” Lee said.

Guadalupe Clinic will use its $10,000 for primary health care screening for the uninsured, unemployed and underemployed, said David Gear, executive director.

“We’re committed to setting goals with individuals and encouraging them and teaching them how to modify their lifestyles during this process,” Gear said.

The areas the clinics are focusing on are often intertwined, Gear said, where an obese person may also have hypertension or diabetes or both.

“If you can fold those things together, one affects the other,” he said.

The E.C. Tyree Health and Dental Clinic is receiving a $20,000 grant and will focus on obesity prevention, said Schaunta James-Boyd, executive director.

The clinic plans to hold classes for the community that cover related areas like diabetes, nutrition, food portion sizes and exercise, she said.

“We want to teach realistic things that people can do by themselves as well as with families,” she said.

The grants are part of a partnership between the Kansas Health Foundation and the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved. Clinic providers will also take online training courses through the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, said Cathy Harding, executive director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

The clinics had to apply for the grants and complete surveys on how they would use the money, said Harding.

“There’s a lot of work in the state regarding integrating primary care and public health care,” Harding said. “This is the perfect project because of the overall opportunity to put prevention efforts into the clinics and to partners with public health and really have an impact.”

One year after the end of the grant period, they plan to follow up with the clinics to see how specific quality measures improve, Harding said.

List of grantees:

• Shawnee County Health Agency and Community Health Center, Topeka, $20,000

• E.C. Tyree Health and Dental Clinic, Wichita, $20,000

• Salina Family Healthcare Center, Salina, $20,000

• GraceMed Health Clinic, Wichita, $20,000

• Flint Hills Community Health Center, Emporia, $20,000

• First Care Clinic, Hays, $20,000

• United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, Garden City, $20,000

• PrairieStar Health Center, Hutchinson, $20,000

• Center for Health and Wellness, Wichita, $15,000

• Agape Health Clinic, Pratt, $10,000

• Mayflower Clinic, Wichita, $10,000

• Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence, $10,000

• Silver City Health Center/KU Health Partners, Kansas City, $10,000

• Atchison Community Health Clinic, Atchison, $10,000

• Guadalupe Clinic, Wichita, $10,000

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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