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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 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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February 2022 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $791,634

Center Inc.

Wichita, KS

Project Name: The Center COVID Expansion Project

Award Amount: $47,050

Historically, our primary focus has been underserved populations within the 67214 zip code. We also served the 67219 and 67208 zip codes. We will expand our operations and outreach and offer services to include COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics with expanded days and hours to include weekends and evenings and COVID-19 Round-Table sessions. Social media, print, and billboard campaigns will be designed to increase the reach to unvaccinated individuals, increase vaccination uptake, and dispel COVID-19 vaccination myths. Our expanded focus will be to service African-American and Hispanic communities in the 67204 and 67220 zip-codes, with a goal to improve health equity amongst these vulnerable populations. We will continue our partnership with other organizations to include the Sedgwick County Health Department and Iasis Christian Center in our expanded outreach initiative. Our one-year goal is to help develop and expand access to vaccines and increase vaccine acceptance amongst the unvaccinated within our targeted high-risk populations

Genesis Family Health

Garden City, KS

Project Name: United Against COVID

Award Amount: $247,027

This funding will address health disparities in the region’s ethnic minority, high-risk populations by increasing COVID-19 vaccine events, providing resources and services in multiple languages to increase COVID-19 vaccine information, reduce hesitancy and increase vaccination rates. 

This initiative will: 

  • Increase COVID-19 vaccination events in southwest Kansas by implementing vaccine strike teams that will increase vaccination opportunities in southwest Kansas by working with employers and churches to provide onsite vaccination clinics and in-home vaccination to the homebound.

  • ProvideCOVID-19 information to high-risk under-served populations in their native language through translation and bilingual staff and volunteers via social media, radio, and in-person at community events and in businesses, churches, schools, and homes. 

  • Educate underserved communities about COVID-19and vaccination using a giant interactive inflatable. As the first to learn English in non-English speaking homes, children serve as language and information brokers in these families. The giant “interactive COVID-19 inflatable” will provide an easy-to-understand approach to COVID-19 education at schools and community events. It will engage and educate children and families about COVID-19, it’s impacts on multiple systems in the body and will teach audiences about the COVID-19 vaccine, how scientists developed new vaccines to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the importance of being vaccinated.

Kansas Civic Engagement Table

Lawrence, KS

Project Name: Kansas Covid Canvas

Award Amount: $249,200

The Kansas Civic Engagement Table will expand its current efforts in organizing Vaccine events with partner organizations. We will expand our previous neighborhood canvassing operations in Sedgwick and Shawnee counties to include more events and more neighborhoods. As well as expand efforts into counties with high Social Vulnerability Index scores as partners are located including but not limited to Wyandotte, Reno, and Finney counties. The Table will access the neighborhood’s vaccine access and identify where outreach efforts will be most successful. Then facilitate coordinating meetings for community partners to hold or expand a current vaccine clinic. Prior to the event, we will provide paid canvassing operations that will build neighborhood awareness through door hangers, information table events, and poster hanging. We will then make supporting media buys on social media or in local news. Finally, the Table will oversee the event and collect data to ensure events improve over time. 

Kansas Black Farmers Association

Bogue, KS

Project Name: KBFA - Continuous Outreach in Various Inclusive Demographics (C.O.V.I.D. Outreach)

Award Amount: $248,357

The Kansas Black Farmers Association (KBFA) community outreach specialists and professional licensed medical staff will reach and vaccinate members of ethnic minority communities utilizing our newly certified Mobile Vaccination van. KBFA will concentrate on youth five years and older, BIPOC farmers, and rural families throughout the state. We will use the governor's vaccination data in low BIPOC vaccinated areas. KBFA will continue to work with the Governor's COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force, Kansas Baptist Convention, Ministerial Alliance, NAACP, and KORE Laboratory to provide Educational Programs, Vaccination Events, Farm-to-Vaccine, door-to-door canvassing, Community Needs Assessments and technical support/direct relief. KBFA will address Health Equity by providing accurate data, effective outreach, and building relationships based on trust. KBFA's Mobile Vaccination Van directly to the farms and continue its Farm-to-Vaccine program. KBFA has decades of farmer relationship building. KBFA will increase community-based efforts to provide vaccine access for the lowest vaccinated and highest-risk communities through high-touch, on-the-ground outreach and education. KBFA will increase call center hours, which will help identify where the need is in the state. This data will help KBFA take the Mobile Vaccination Van directly to the people. Populations directly affected by this grant are ethnic minorities, rural farming communities, youth, and veterans.

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ROUND two 2021 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $1,189,606

Care Beyond the Boulevard, Inc.

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: Care Beyond the Boulevard Vaccine Coordinator

Award Amount: $250,000

Care Beyond the Boulevard strives to provide healthcare to the homeless, uninsured and underserved of the Greater Kansas City Metro area. This is done through a unique healthcare delivery system in which fully licensed medical providers travel on the streets in a mobile medial unit and to make-shift clinics to provide services while meeting people where they are. The funding from Increase the Reach is increasing the vaccine awareness and access to those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in the metro. Access to healthcare, particularly preventative care is vastly lacking in the poor communities and individuals of Kansas. Providing lifesaving vaccines is a vital service that can help improve overall health to those served by Care Beyond the Boulevard.

Heartland Medical Clinic, Inc.

Lawrence, KS

Project Name: Increasing the Reach in Douglas and Jefferson Counties

Award Amount: $138,325

Heartland Community Health Center is Increasing the Reach for access to care, lifetime vaccinations and COVID-19 immunization in Douglas and Jefferson counties. Through mobile 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 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. With media support and the support of trusted community members in high vulnerability and low vaccination areas, the mobile vaccine outreach events will bridge gaps in healthcare access and immunization rates. Together we can Increase the Reach.

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition

Manhattan, KS

Project Name: Protect Yourself, Protect Your Baby: Breastfeeding Parents & COVID Vaccines

Award Amount: $177,186

Breastfeeding is truly life-saving, especially during a pandemic. When a breastfeeding parent receives a COVID vaccine, not only do they receive protection from COVID, they pass along this protection to their breastfeeding child through antibodies in their breast milk. This two-generational protection is at the core of the Protect Yourself, Protect You Baby campaign to increase COVID vaccination rates among the over 31,500 breastfeeding parents in Kansas each year. A statewide campaign will be created with trusted champions within the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities to reach breastfeeding parents in their communities. Social media, image and video libraries, live stream events, and social messaging will be used to combat misinformation and address breastfeeding parents’ concerns about receiving a COVID vaccine. This “grassroots” to “grass-tops” approach will ensure parents receive accurate information and are able to talk with trusted sources from a wide range of backgrounds, programs, and systems, to make an informed decision regarding the COVID vaccine.

Common Ground Producers and Growers, Inc.

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Connecting Communities/Increasing the Reach

Award Amount: $250,000

Common Ground will utilize the “Increase the Reach” grant funds to further enhance an already developed and effective outreach program which began in August through the Kansas Beats the Virus (KBTV) initiative. Upon completion of this initiative, Increase The Reach funds will have supported Common Ground in providing information and vaccination assistance for 15 events in Sedgwick, Butler , and Geary Counties. We will continue to identify areas with vaccine hesitancy and to provide information to reduce and/or eliminate transportation issues and other barriers to communities during the COVID interruption. Diverse groups of participants range in age from 13-90 years of age. Common Ground is not limited by our mission statement but empowered by that statement to help wherever the need exists with food as one of the most important and tools for outreach.

Vibrant Health

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: Increase the Reach of COVID-19 and Lifespan Vaccines in Wyandotte County, KS

Award Amount: $250,000

Vibrant Health's proposed project will increase COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5-11 years of age and increase COVID-19 and lifespan vaccinations for adults 19 years and older in Wyandotte County. Grant funds will be used to support salary expense of the Vaccination Strike Team, who will provide 4 vaccination events weekly in various community and clinic locations, plus expenses for contract services for funded partners’ participation in planning and promoting community vaccine events; training/consulting support from Children’s Mercy Kansas City; and acellular service plan to ensure internet connectivity at community events with our electronic health records system. Vibrant Health projects vaccinating at least 6,000 children and adults during the project period.

La Familia Senior Community Center

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Immunization Awareness, COVID-19, and Educational Programming

Award Amount: $49,095

This project will provide focused, bilingual information about COVID-19 prevention via education, mailers and electronic communications. The project will encompass teaching methodologies, based on andragogy and science, to increase confidence regarding COVID-l9 vaccination safety, so as to increase participation in immunizations, such through private primary care provider contacts, as well as official county/city scheduled programs. Educational process will seek to increase learning, instill awareness, and focus upon vaccination hesitancy by increasing knowledge of the preventive system advocating for vaccinations. Delivery will be bilingual, both English and Spanish, employing informational handouts, lecture notes, models, PowerPoints, discussion space, and use of experts, as indicated. Classes will be face-to-face, utilizing state-of-art presentations. All materials will be in both English and Spanish (translated) and classes will have an interpreter physically present for professional interpretation, as well as conduit by which to receive feedback from participations, so interpreted back to presenter. Accommodations will be addressed, as needed, regarding vision, hearing, and seating, especially since the key section of the target will be the elderly. Materials will be evaluated for scientific base. Scheduled programs for vaccination will be consistently shared.

Wichita Black Nurses Association

Wichita, KS

Project Name: COVID-19 Vaccinations of Black and Brown People, and other people of color by trusted health care professionals

Award Amount: $75,000

The Wichita Black Nurses Association will use these funds to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and Boosters, and administer Covid-19 vaccines as trusted professionals to Black, Brown, and other People of Color in vulnerable areas of Wichita, and Sedgwick County. We will identify these populations by zip codes and other measures in terms of geographs. We will look to provide service to those underserved, unemployed, poor, and uneducated on the medical science of the vaccine in terms of efficacy. Covid-19 has had an inequitable impact on communities of color in terms of being sicker, and deaths. While we have 53% of Kansans being vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine, only 43% of Hispanics and even less with33% of blacks; therefore it is important to provide Covid-19 vaccinations and Boosters to those at risks with other co-morbidities. WBNA has a signed an agreement with the Sedgwick County Health Department to provide WBNA with vaccines and booster shots. We developed a plan of actionable tasks with churches, other for-profit, and nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide these services. We plan Mobile Vaccine Clinics outdoors at events with the SCHD. We also have a Partnership with True Care Pharmacy in El Dorado, Kansas to provide Covid-19 vaccines, and boosters. They bring the vaccines to the event planned by WBNA. We have a Partnership with HealthCore and GraceMed to provide vaccines at their location to serve the vulnerable in the community.

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ROUND ONE 2021 TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED: $1,732,034

Avenue of Life

Kansas City, MO

Project Name: Impact KCK COVID-19 Vaccination Outreach

Award Amount: $60,284

Avenue of Life is the backbone organization for Impact KCK, a one-stop resource for homeless families who have been referred by the four Wyandotte County school districts' McKinney-Vento liaisons. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Avenue of Life had to make adjustments to the ways it serves 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. Additional funding allows Avenue of Life to designate an Impact KCK Navigator to oversee COVID-19 education and equity, intentionally working with the other 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.

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Inc.

Pittsburg, KS

Project Name: Equity for All -- Reaching the State's Most Vulnerable

Award Amount: $250,000

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas -- located in the least healthy and most economically-challenged section of the state -- will continue to identify and serve the most vulnerable populations through education, and ultimately vaccination, of adults, adolescents and children against all infectious diseases including COVID-19 and its variants.  Targeting the low-income population of 10 counties, CHC/SEK will renew its efforts to collaborate with health departments, school districts, higher education, public and private partners, churches, correctional facilities and social service agencies to work to ensure 100% access to all vaccines regardless of ability to pay while also raising public confidence and understanding among all populations in a culturally-appropriate manner. As the initial COVID-19 funding is expended, this funding will sustain and expand efforts to develop health literacy and proactively protect all ages from the infectious diseases that have negatively impacted the quality of life in rural Kansas.

Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, Inc. (CHC)

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: WyCo Connect - CanVaxx Initiative

Award Amount: $250,000

CHC plans to increase vaccine confidence through education, outreach, and partnerships, and ensure equitable distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. CHC will do this through promoting COVID-19 vaccinations among underserved populations, addressing vaccine misinformation, providing local education campaigns, increasing vaccine confidence for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals, increasing accessibility for people with disabilities, and partnering, planning, and implementing vaccination activities with critical organizations, high risk-specific populations, and organizations and business. Funding will primarily be used for contracted staffing, services, and consumable supplies. This effort will positively impact 20,000 systemically and systematically oppressed individuals in Wyandotte County, KS.

El Centro

Kansas City, KS

Project Name: ¡Vacúnate! (Get Vaccinated!)

Award Amount: $200,000 

The project includes eight strategies for reaching underserved Latino, immigrant and Spanish-speaking individuals: (1) Provide education about COVID-19 and Flu vaccines, addressing rumors and common myths the community has; (2) Utilize our Promotoras de Salud to conduct community outreach and disseminate vaccine information/education; (3) Provide tailored information about vaccine events happening locally in Spanish; (4) Offer enrollment assistance in Spanish for Latinos trying to find a vaccination site through our Enrollment Specialist; (5) Continue our commitment to equity through participating in local and state equity taskforces; (6) Work with local organizations to provide vaccination clinics, either hosted on-site or facilitated through El Centro; (7) Advertise and enroll participants for vaccine clinics we host/facilitate; and (8) Work with local Latino media partners to announce and advertise vaccination clinics.

Ellsworth County Medical Center

Ellsworth, KS

Project Name: Community Vaccination Events

Award Amount: $196,647

Ellsworth County Medical Center will provide traveling vaccine clinics in non-traditional settings serving areas of the county where high-risk populations reside. Planned settings include senior housing areas, partnerships with schools to help plan and support vaccinations for children, rural areas with low-income and transportation issues, congregate settings serving people with disabilities, and partnerships with businesses to support vaccinations for their employees and families.

GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc.

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Bust Vaccine Myths; Increase Vaccination Confidence

Award Amount: $21,112

To effectively address vaccine misinformation, CDC guidelines encourage customized local interventions. These guidelines include (1) listening and analyzing the misinformation circulating in the local community (2) engaging and listening to the community to identify the perceptions, content gaps, and misinformation (3) sharing accurate, clear, and easy-to-find information, and (4) using trusted messengers to boost credibility. GraceMed will adapt these CDC guidelines to combat vaccine myths through outreach, education, and partnerships in the communities the organization serves. These activities will be carried out by GraceMed's four  Chaplains.  GraceMed's Chaplains, who provide spiritual care to the organization's patients and staff, are trusted messengers in the communities the clinic serves. They will participate in 52 events during the year reaching out through churches, schools, community events, and local businesses to engage the community in vaccine discussions.  The clinic's target will be the underserved including communities of color, homeless persons, low-income and rural populations.  

Guadalupe Clinic, Inc.

Wichita, KS

Project Name: Providing for the Most Vulnerable

Award Amount: $90,000

We are aggressive in going on-site to businesses, churches, and schools to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the Clinic offers the COVID-19 vaccine every week on a walk-in basis on Tuesdays and Fridays. Nurses and medical assistants are the predominant workforces for these efforts; however, non-medical staff conduct/manage data entry and site set-ups. Volunteer pharmacists, nurses, and interpreters are used if available. Funds will be allocated to market the vaccine, correct disinformation through education (in Spanish and English), and purchase PPE equipment and cleaning supplies.

Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Topeka, KS

Project Name: Learn, Play, Protect Classroom Kit Project

Award Amount: $163,991

Children learn best through play, and finding playful ways to help children understand the amazing power of vaccines is a critical piece of reducing vaccine hesitancy for families. These funds will make it possible for teachers throughout Kansas to receive a Learn, Play, Protect classroom kit filled with evidence-based activities developed by educators working in collaboration with healthcare professionals. Activities will educate children about germs, hand washing, how vaccines work, and ways to be healthy, for example, food selection and participating in regular well-child check-ups.

Konza Prairie Community Health Center, Inc.

Junction City, KS

Project Name: Konza Prairie Community Health Center Increase the Reach

Award Amount: $250,000

Konza Prairie Community Health Center will increase COVID-19 vaccination capacity across Geary and Riley Counties, including among high-risk and underserved populations, by collaborating with key community partners to place one  community outreach worker in each community.  The community health worker will collaborate closely with local healthcare and public health organizations to organize vaccination activities, develop strategic vaccination plans, amplify COVID-19 vaccination messaging, and address vaccination disparities.

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center

Chanute, KS

Project Name: Neosho County Health Task Force/ Community of Immunity 

Award Amount: $250,000

The grant will support the work of Community of Immunity, which began in April 2021 when a few community organizations met to discuss ways to increase Neosho County Immunization numbers. Project Goals include: Vaccine promotion, information dissemination to rural residents, coordinating with existing vaccine sites and public health partners, securing equipment to launch vaccination clinic advertising campaigns, hosting vaccine clinics and increasing rural community and individual patient literacy on the benefits and safety of the vaccine.