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Increase the Reach


Increase the REach

Increase the Reach logo

The Increase the Reach grant opportunity was an initiative started in 2021 to improve health equity in all communities in Kansas. Projects helped develop and expand access to vaccines and increase vaccine acceptance among those who are unvaccinated. While all organizations included COVID immunizations in their program activities, many also promoted the importance of all lifespan vaccines. (e.g., MMR, polio, influenza, pneumonia).


Funded projects also placed emphasis on populations and geographic areas identified as socially vulnerable with low vaccination rates. Individuals may be from high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities.


The 36 awarded organizations had documented success in reaching vulnerable populations. Of the organizations, 70% were non-profit groups, 24% were Federally Qualified Health Centers or safety net clinics, and 6% were county-owned hospitals. All were known as the “trusted voices” in their communities working to improve health equity. Each awardee looked at the needs of their populations of focus and designed events to meet those needs. Increase the Reach grant dollars were used for one-on-one education, mobile clinics, awareness campaigns and special events such as back-to-school and Juneteenth days. Local Health Departments were not eligible and instead encouraged to apply to the Immunization Action Program funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).


The average award was $167,000, with several organizations awarded the maximum amount of $250,000, totaling $7 million in funds.

Key Partners


Governor Laura Kelly is the 48th Governor of the State of Kansas. As a state senator for 14 years, Kelly was a leading voice in promoting healthy families in Kansas, and the importance of top-notch public schools in communities of all sizes. As governor, Kelly has worked tirelessly to rebuild state’s broken foundation. Since taking office, she fulfilled her promise to fully fund public schools, she led the passage of a comprehensive 10-year infrastructure plan, and she has rebuilt Kansas’ economic development recruitment tools. Kelly has made it her life’s work to fight for children and families in her community, on the job, as a four-term state senator and now as Governor. 


As one of the leading Institutes at Wichita State University, the Community Engagement Institute is comprised of multiple Centers and Initiatives that engage with community organizations, nonprofits, health and human service organizations, coalitions, and grassroots groups across Kansas. The Community Engagement Institute serves as the grant administrator for Increase the Reach.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Logo

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention works in collaboration with local health departments and other healthcare providers to intervene in the spread of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, vaccine-preventable diseases and sexually-transmitted infections. Federal funding for Increase the Reach was provided to KDHE from the following Federal Award: 6 NH23IP922627-02-08 Immunization Cooperative Agreements.

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