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awarded grants

The following organizations have successfully
been awarded Increase the Reach grants to assist
in their efforts to improve health equity in all communities of Kansas.

Increase the Reach Logo

April 2023 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $674,158.94

Family Counts & Consultants, LLC

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: Youth Advocates Battling COVID-19 Hesitancy: "TikTok"

Award Amount: $140,300

Family Counts & Consultants, LLC, in partnership with their fiscal sponsor Feed My People Corp., will provide the following three counties: Wyandotte, Graham, and Norton youth with the most up-to-date CDC and KDHE scientific evidence-based information on COVID-19 to decrease vaccination hesitancy among youth 12-18 years old.


1) Weekly presentations and round table discussions will be provided at each high school in the selected counties, utilizing state-of-art pedagogy to engage students during the Family Advocacy/Home Room/Club. The presenters (co-teachers) will consist of a nurse and a certified teacher. The presentation will be in English and informational handouts and other materials will be available in both English & Spanish. Accommodations will be addressed to serve special needs, ELL & Immigrant students. In addition, a five question pre & post COVID-19 data collection Kahoot survey will reach over 2,000 students. 

2) A 14-member Youth Taskforce, two student representatives per high school, will work together to create and deliver positive and truthful information/messages about COVID-19. Our mission is to impact fellow youth via social media (YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram) dispelling COVID-19 misinformation. In addition, the Youth will produce a monthly "live" podcast, creating E-games, and posts geared to reduce hesitancy. Our goal for this grant project is to partner with the Kansas Department of Education and each school district to broadcast the podcast on their website. 

Immunize Kansas Coalition, Inc.

Topeka, KS

Project Name: Closing the Gap for Immunizations

Award Amount: $250,000

Immunize Kansas Coalition will use Increase the Reach funding to implement initiatives in three key areas: expanding education, supporting local health departments and employers.

1) IKC will use existing education modules to train:

  • Local health departments (LHDs). The focus area will be North and Southwestern Kansas, with focus on the major areas such as the Finney, Ford, Seward, Grant, Stevens, Gray, Hamilton, Meade, Scott and Wichita Health Department.

  • Promotoras de Salud program and leaders in churches and religious organizations.

  • Large employers, especially those that are categorized as essential workers, Farmworkers and beef meat packing plants.


2) IKC will hire 4 Community Health Specialists to provide regional boots-on-the-ground assistance required to implement impactful vaccine education and clinic events, as well as build trusted connections with community partners.


3) Clinic events will include mobile vaccine clinics at churches, sites of employment, and other community facilities or events as identified.


4) Develop an advisory group of faith leaders to advise IKC on bidirectional conversations within the context of faith and vaccines.


5) Develop and launch 3 Statewide campaigns:

a) Q&A panel forum with faith-based leaders to share perspectives on vaccines.

b) Week-long in-person, print and social media outreach event with Mexican Consulate and the IRC.

c) educational outreach to policy makers with digital and print


Hiawatha, KS

Project Name: Social & Health Equity Improvement Project

Award Amount: $211,302

NEK-CAP, Inc. (Northeast Kansas Community Action Program) is an anti-poverty organization which has provided programs and services to low-income individuals and families for the past 57 years. The organization serves 16 counties throughout northeast and north central Kansas. The service area is predominantly rural with the exceptions of the cities of Leavenworth and Manhattan. NEK-CAP, Inc. will work in partnership with FQHCs, public health departments, and other community organizations serving low-income and high-risk vulnerable populations through outreach, case management, a social media campaign, educational events, community engagement, and vaccination clinics to promote uptake of COVID-19 and lifespan vaccinations.

Us Doing Us

Valley Center, KS

Project Name: Communicate and Vaccinate against COVID-19

Award Amount: $72,556.94

Us Doing Us, Inc. will partner with Bowen Pharmacy, Parsons, KS, to increase COVID-19 vaccination capacity aiming to increase the number of Labette County residents aged 65 and older to become fully vaccinated and boostered against COVID-19. Our partnership will expand the Pharmacy’s hours of operations to include extended weekend, morning, and evening hours for COVID-19 vaccinations. Our initiative will include a marketing campaign in both English and Spanish to inform Parsons and other residents located within a 30-mile radius of Parsons about our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations and expanded hours. We will also use a four-prong approach in both English and Spanish to educate our target population about the benefits of COVID vaccines, dispel vaccination myths, and provide information about the vaccination clinic’s extended hours through:

  1. Social media campaigns

  2. Strategic billboard messaging

  3. Featured radio and newspaper ads

  4. Targeted direct mailers. 

Increase the Reach Logo

december 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $445,222

Center, Inc. (2nd Year Award)

Wichita, KS

Project Name: The Center COVID-19 Expansion Project for 2023

Award Amount: $59,160

Historically, our primary focus has been underserved African American and Hispanic high-risk populations within the 67214, 67208, 67219, 67204, and67220 zip-codes. Our current “Increase The Reach” grant ends April 2023. Upon award of this grant, our campaign will continue to increase the reach to unvaccinated individuals, increase vaccination uptake and acceptance, decrease vaccination hesitancy, and dispel COVID-19 vaccination myths through use of social media, print media, radio, podcasts, and community forums. Our partnership with other organizations is essential to our success. We rely on their expertise and resources to help us provide the best possible services to our targeted population. Our partners include the Sedgwick County Health Department, Iasis Christian Center, AB&C Bi-Lingual Resources, LLC, Facts Not Fear ICT and Sistah's Can We Talk (SWCT). Each of these organizations brings something unique to the table, and we are proud to collaborate with them to improve the health and well-being of our community. Our goal is to provide resources and improve communication so that everyone can have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information aboutCOVID-19.

CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness

Emporia, KS

Project Name: Improving Vaccine Outreach and Confidence Among Underserved Populations in Lyon County Kansas

Award Amount: $119,925

Funding will be used to increase vaccine confidence through education, outreach, and partnerships by developing and implementing targeted community engagement strategies to promote COVID-19 and other vaccination efforts. Funding will allow us to develop, enhance, and implement community engagement strategies to promote vaccination efforts, with a heavy focus on COVID-19. We will amplify messaging including translation for non-English speaking residents in order to promote vaccination, especially among underserved and vulnerable populations. We will provide an educational campaign to address vaccine misinformation and increase vaccine confidence and vaccine uptake in a culturally-appropriate manner. Our educational approach will involve developing outreach campaigns by utilizing and adapting CDC materials to target audiences including our populations of focus. The educational campaign will provide COVID-19 information to high-risk under-served populations in their native language via social media, radio, printed materials (flyers, posters, door hangers), billboards and in-person at community events, festivals, and in businesses, churches, schools, and homes. We will utilize trusted community voices who are connected to populations of focus. Funding will help employ a Community Health Worker who will strengthen existing partnerships and establish new partnerships to address the needs and barriers of individuals in underserved populations.

La Familia Senior Community Center (2nd Year Award)

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Health Education on COVID-19 and Vaccination Awareness Across the Life Span

Award Amount: $179,362

This project is focused on providing specific/germane to Hispanic elderly and other elderly, especially those that are socially vulnerable, lacking access to health education programs, bilingual, regarding COVID-19 disease (and types and variants), immunizations, as a disease preventive approach as well as lessening the severity of the disease, especially those with compromised immunity system, including immune building strategies. Immunization information given, across the life span, especially seasonal needs, such as influenza and pneumonia. Educational strategies, based on both andragogy and science, is directed to increasing confidence regarding COVID-19 vaccination safety, addressment of COVID-l9 Long-term, so as to increase health as well as active participation in immunizations, now including boosters, i.e. via private primary care provider or contiguous stores, e.g., CVS, Walmart, Dillon's, as well as official county/city scheduled programs.

Sunflower Community Action, Inc.

Wichita, KS

Project Name: SCA Vaccine Initiative 2023

Award Amount: $86,775

The SCA Vaccine Initiative project targets communities of color in Wichita, KS area zip codes of 67201, 67211, and 67214. The objective is to raise awareness of the importance of immunization for prevention and protection from infectious diseases, primarily COVID-19 and influenza, with the overarching goal to increase participation to receive full vaccinations as well as help distribute additional vaccines. The project works in active collaboration with partnering organizations including the Sedgwick County Department of Health, Black Nurses Association, health providers, faith coalitions and places of worship, elected civic officials, Neighborhood City Halls, and businesses to succeed and obtain project outcomes. This ambitious and important project has had at least one touch-point with 3,724 at-risk community members throughout the life of this project (July 2021 through September 2022) and anticipates helping increase vaccine distribution to many more individuals in 2023. One of the largest barriers in individuals reaching a vaccination site is transportation. SCA hopes to resolve this challenge by issuing Uber services or bus passes to individuals.

Increase the Reach Logo

October 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $335,050.05

Central Kansas Partnership, Inc.

Great Bend, KS

Project Name: Rise Up: Health Equity and Recovery Team (HEART)

Award Amount: $174,250.05

Since the start of COVID-19, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that substance use disorders (SUDs) are among other health conditions identified as a precursor for increased risk of a person becoming severely ill from COVID-19. A 2020 survey conducted by the Addiction Policy Forum found that half of the people participating in the survey who were affected by SUDs (actively using drugs or in recovery) expressed an unwillingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Central Kansas Partnership will use ITR funds within the implementation period of November 2022 through December 2023 in Barton, Ellsworth, Pawnee, Rice, Russell, and Stafford Counties of Kansas to increase vaccinations with our SUD population. To quote, “We can’t lead this population; we must walk next to them. They are not going to walk through an office door on their own to learn about the COVID vaccinations. They are distracted with other activities and conflicting priorities.” While valuable, we know that a static office space and group sessions must be paired with individualized attention that seamlessly fits into the client’s day. HEART will engage in proactive conversations about COVID-19 vaccines (and other vaccines), access to healthcare, and health equity will occur with discussions about COVID-19 hesitancy, fertility, and mRNA technology. 

Heartland Community Health Center (2nd Year Award)

Lawrence, KS

Increasing the Reach in Douglas and Jefferson Counties

Award Amount: $111,675

Heartland Community Health Center will use funding to expand access to care, lifetime vaccinations and COVID-19 immunization in Northeast Kansas. Through community outreach and targeted media campaigns, Heartland is engaging at-risk community members in lifetime health and wellness. With a media campaign designed by the Director of Marketing, Heartland will continue to customize national messages into local targeted print marketing, billboards, targeted radio advertising, and video production for social media. The focus of the media campaign is to engage parents in well-child visits, adults 65 and over in COVID-19, flu and pneumonia vaccinations, and welcome all that need care including those from high vulnerability areas. Community outreach will focus on school-based education through the Healthy Futures program in ten counties and senior congregate locations throughout Douglas and Jefferson counties. With media support and community outreach in high vulnerability and low vaccination areas, the mobile vaccine events will bridge gaps in healthcare access and improve immunization rates. The first year of funding laid the groundwork for Heartland to expand on the success of the program. Together we can Increase the Reach.

KC Healthy Kids

Kansas City, KS

Vaccine Education to Young Children

Award Amount: $49,125

KC Healthy Kids (KCHK) will implement a multi-tiered approach and escalated education to those expressing a lack of vaccine confidence and/or those convinced by misinformation. The project will target underserved young families with children attending non-Head Start Early Care and Education Centers in Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas. Early care and education centers are primarily located in low-income areas and serve low-income populations, most of whom qualify for childcare subsidies. This approach will include 1) Education and Outreach; 2) Case Management; and 3)Facilitating Access to Vaccine Services. Approximately 315 children and their families across seven centers will benefit. KCHK has established trusting relationships with parents as a result of engagement over several years utilizing effective strategies to build a culture of support. KCHK has implemented a family involvement, awareness and training program across multiple early care centers to ensure parents know how to participate in education and health services. Parents rely on the integrity, good faith and competency of KCHK staff. These same staff will recommend vaccines and refer families to health providers qualified to administer vaccines safely. The project will build vaccine acceptance among parents of unvaccinated children and strengthen the capacity of early education to better respond to the health equity of participating families. Funds will support salaries, materials, and mileage.

Increase the Reach Logo

september 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $400,000

Wichita State University: Alce su voz

Wichita, KS

Project Name: COVID-19 Vaccine Equity for Guatemalan Indigenous Communities in Kansas

Award Amount: $250,000

This project aims to increase vaccination rates and overall health outcomes in Guatemalan indigenous immigrant communities in southwest, south-central, and southeast Kansas. These communities speak Mayan languages, including K’iche’, Akateko, and Q’uanjob’al, which are not mutually comprehensible with Spanish, and community members face multiple intersecting barriers to health equity. COVID-19 vaccination rates are low, due to vaccine hesitancy, lack of transportation, limited access to healthcare services, distrust of outsiders, inadequate cultural sensitivity among Kansas healthcare providers, and language barriers. Alce su voz (‘speak out’) a community-based organization that aims to improve health equity for speakers of Spanish and indigenous languages in Kansas, has convened a team of bilingual nurses and community health workers, K’iche’, Akateko, and Spanish interpreters, community leaders, and interpreter trainers to collaborate on community engagement, education, and vaccination campaigns in indigenous communities in Kansas. The project period is August 2022-December 2023; initial team training and community engagement will take place in Fall 2022,a vaccine campaign will occur in Spring and Summer 2023, and the project evaluation will be completed in Fall 2023. Partners include Comunidades indígenas en liderazgo (Indigenous Communities in Leadership) and Genesis Family Health.

Wichita Black Nurses Association (2nd Year Award)

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Improve Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Equity within Socially Vulnerable Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups in the Wichita Community

Award Amount: $150,000

The Wichita Black Nurses Association will use funding to improve Covid-19 confidence and vaccine disparity in racial and ethnic minority groups within the Wichita Community and Sedgwick County. The Wichita Black Nurses Association was established in 1973 and have been a trusted leader, community voice, and healthcare provider to black, brown, and other people of color who are socially vulnerable in our community. The Wichita Black Nurses Association provides education on preventative healthcare, and follow-up health care to maintain optimal healthy outcomes for black and brown people; and others ethnic minorities that are socially vulnerable in the Wichita Community.

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August 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $730,125

Heart to Heart International

Lenexa, KS

Project Name: Health Equity Accessibility Lifeline Project (HEAL)

Award Amount: $250,000

The KC Program’s Health Equity Accessibility Lifeline Project (HEAL) will provide vaccines and community health outreach to socially vulnerable, underserved, and high-risk populations throughout the state of Kansas. The HEAL Project will partner with health centers, safety-net clinics, school districts, community-based organizations, and social service agencies to increase access to equitable vaccine distribution and health care needs. These partnerships are the crucial link in building trust within these target populations. The HEAL Project team will support, augment, and amplify partner healthcare efforts to build capacity and extend reach within their communities by offering extended hour vaccine clinics, trained licensed professionals, preregistration links, promotion, on-site registration, Community Health Workers, and healthcare product support.

Kansas Black Leadership Council, Inc.

Lawrence, KS

Project Name: Addressing Low COVID-19 Vaccination Rates and Vaccine Hesitancy among Black and African American Communities in Sedgwick, Wyandotte, Johnson and Shawnee Counties

Award Amount: $246,504

The Kansas Black Leadership Council (KBLC), in partnership with The Community Voice and the African American Affairs Commission, will engage with the Black and African American community in Sedgwick, Wyandotte, Johnson and Shawnee counties to address low COVID-19 vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy. We will hire a Community Outreach Coordinator to develop and implement our program to increase knowledge and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination, with special emphasis on the age group (5 - 35) with the lowest vaccination rate. KBLC will engage local organizations in our efforts and harness the experience and reach of The Community Voice. Our project will engage local communities in conversation to establish the reasons for non-vaccination, then use this knowledge to create relevant materials that increase confidence in vaccines and provide current details about receiving vaccinations. Materials may include posters, flyers, videos, social media posts, etc. We will also sponsor and organize family-friendly community events featuring entertainment that is popular with our target age group, and purchase ads in print and social media. We will translate materials when appropriate to reach communities in their preferred languages.

Lakeview Village Foundation

Lenexa, KS

Project Name: Vaccine Outreach

Award Amount: $150,000

Since March 2021 to present Lakeview Village has given over 3000 vaccines to high risk population. This grant money allows us to keep this project and expand into the community by serving more vulnerable populations, seniors/those experiencing poverty. We will expand to more HUD housing in the area and continue with the Lakeview Village Vaccine Hot Line for the public and anyone to call to request an appointment for the vaccine. The funds allow us to keep our full time nurse and be able to offer vaccine clinics daily and at different times as needed, and allow her time to travel to other places that are needing 1 person vaccinated that can not get out of the facility or their home.

University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: Building Vaccine Awareness and Readiness for Birthing Persons and Caregivers: A Family-Centered Approach

Award Amount: $83,621

The funding will be used to create awareness and education on COVID-19, T-dap, and influenza vaccines for Black birthing persons and their families through an interactive educational online tool. A community-informed approach using focus groups and interviews will be used to learn from Black birthing persons, providers, and the community about concerns on the COVID-19, T-dap, and influenza vaccines, vaccine hesitance, and vaccine uptake. Findings will help create the interactive online platform within the Kansas Birth Equity Network website. Next, will be the development of a birthing person vaccine roadmap based on focus group findings and CDC and ACOG recommendations. The roadmap will provide a graphical knowledge-base and educational platform to analyze and highlight interactions between Black birthing persons and families and providers. The publicly available web tool will allow continuous updating to ensure the most reliable representation of the COVID-19, T-dap, and influenza vaccines are available for Black birthing persons, providers, and health departments.

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July 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $317,420

Avenue of Life (Second Year Award)

Kansas City, MO

Project Name: Impact KCK COVID Immunization Outreach

Award Amount: $67,420

Avenue of Life is the backbone organization for Impact KCK, a one-stop resource for homeless families who have been referred by the 4 WYCO school districts McKinney- Vento liaisons. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Avenue of Life had to make adjustments to the ways we serve the 2,000+ families in the Impact KCK program. Many have become destabilized (lacking in essential items and proper nutrition, lost employment, behind on payments, slated for evictions and/or utility disconnect) due to the impact of COVID-19. The additional funding allows Avenue of Life to designate an Impact KCK Navigator to oversee COVID-19 education and equity, intentionally working with the rest of the Impact KCK Navigators and partnering organizations to ensure underserved populations are receiving the resources they need to decrease vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates and accessibility.

Thrive Allen County

Iola, KS

Project Name: Rural Communities Vaccine Promotions

Award Amount: $250,000

Thrive Allen County will work with rural, community-based organizations across the state of Kansas to implement vaccine promotion and address vaccine hesitancy amongst the most vulnerable populations against infectious diseases including COVID-19 and its variants. Targeting low- to moderate-income populations across the state, Thrive and its partners will collaborate with local health departments, school districts, higher education, social service agencies, and other partners to raise public confidence in vaccines and understanding among rural populations in a culturally-appropriate manner.

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april 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $250,000

Mercy and Truth Medical Missions

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: Increasing Confidence in Covid-19 Vaccinations Among Refugees and the Underserved in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties

Award Amount: $250,000

Mercy and Truth will increase vaccine confidence among refugees and underserved populations in Wyandotte and Johnson counties, with particular focus on the refugee population in Kansas City, Kansas. Funding supports amplified and targeted messaging, education, and outreach to promote COVID-19 vaccination, with a variety of media vehicles including billboards, marketing materials, social media posts, radio spots, print media, and online advertising. Funding also supports a Community Health Worker (CHW) who is fluent in Swahili and English and familiar with the refugee and underserved communities, to assist with messaging and education, and conduct community and individual outreach efforts to promote the vaccine. Messaging is tailored to the populations served, considering their preferred language and sources of information, literacy levels, use of social media platforms, and trusted sources of health information. The CHW engages organizations to connect with members of the community to provide information, answer questions, and make presentations. Locations may include community centers, religious institutions, employers, schools, and businesses, with attention to locations where people gather, live, and work. Vaccines may be provided or scheduled at these events. The CHW conducts individual outreach to members of the refugee population, who remain unvaccinated or who are not fully vaccinated, and work to remove stigmas.

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