Cheerful Business Meeting

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

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.

Increase the Reach Logo

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.

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.

Increase the Reach Logo

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.