September 29, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Iola senior health fair
In September, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas participated at the Iola Senior Health Fair. It was a great opportunity for CHC/SEK staff to engage with the community and help people connect to their healthcare needs. Throughout the event, the staff administered vaccines, including flu, pneumonia, RSV, and even COVID-19 vaccines.
September 29, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Senior Health Fair
In September, Thrive Allen County partnered with local organizations to host a Senior Health Fair in Allen County. Attendees could receive flu, COVID-19, and other vaccinations, as well as, talk to health care providers and navigators for any of their needs.
September 17, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Peer Navigators nourishing others in meaningful ways
Did you know that peer navigators/workers who have been successful in their Substance Use Disorder (SUD) recovery journey can remarkably help others experiencing the same situations? According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.
Powerful and effective examples of peer support services related to vaccine equity efforts are happening through the ITR Rise Up Central Kansas Health Equity Action Recovery Team (HEART). Referred to as 'peer navigators', these brave men and women are working hard on their recovery journeys to help others stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the instances of relapse.
ITR Rise Up Central Kansas HEART Project Coordinator Amy Ferguson recently gathered several peer navigators to help distribute food through the Live Like Jesus Today Ministries that is based in Ellinwood, Kan. The mission of Live Like Jesus Today Ministries is to use a faith-based approach to reach communities for Jesus through relational mission works. Not only have Amy and the Peer Navigators been able to help Buzz and Cliffan Birney of Live Like Jesus Today Ministries distribute food to those in need, they have also helped nourish the souls of those who are walking the recovery journey as well.
Amy and the Peer Navigators use their lived experiences to promote physical, psychological, and emotional safety so as to create opportunities for SUD persons to rebuild a sense of control, respect and empowerment. What a great way to nourish others in such a collaborative approach! With continued building of trust in having candid conversations on the importance of a lifetime of vaccines and supporting food distribution efforts, these efforts certainly help others with a sustained recovery process!
September 20, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
local news interview about new covid vaccine
In September, Dr. Elder of GraceMed Health Clinic was interviewed by the local news regarding the new COVId-19 vaccine. (Video: KSN News, Wichita)
To check out the interview, click here.
September 18, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Importance of COVID-19 Vaccinations in black community blog post
In September, the Kansas Black Leadership Council shared a blog post about the importance of vaccinations in the Black community. To check out the post, click here.
September 15, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Celebrating Healthy Families Community Event
In September, El Centro hosted hosted the Celebrating Healthy Families Community Event in collaboration with ITR grantees, Immunize Kansas Coalition, Vibrant Health, and Heart to Heart International. At the community event, attendees could get COVID, T-Dap, and Shingles vaccines as well as blood pressure checks, glucose check, and more! In total, 86 individuals were vaccinated against flu, tetanus, and shingles!
September 11, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Podcast interview with the Sedgwick County Health Department
In September, The Center shared a podcast interview with Lady Michelle Vann and Kaylee Hervey with the Sedgwick County Health Department on the latest update on COVID-19. To check out the interview, click here.
August 26, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Community Vaccination Event
ITR grantees, GraceMed Health Clinic and the Wichita Black Nurses Association collaborated at community vaccination event in August. Attendees were able to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters along with free glucose level and blood pressure checks.
August 10, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Kansas Tribal Health Fair
The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation invited Heart to Heart International to come alongside them for their KS Tribal Health Fair on August 10th from 10am-3pm in Mayetta, KS. Heart to Heart International administered flu vaccinations, checked blood pressures, and tested community members for Diabetes using A1c Point of Care lab testing. This event was in collaboration with the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board. At this event, Heart to Heart International checked 25 community members for Diabetes. 12 out of the 25 or 48% were out of range. They did 27 blood pressure checks and referred one patient for follow up care with the Tribal Health Diabetes Center. 3 COVID vaccinations were administered. Heart to Heart International staff greatly enjoyed their time working with the many tribes that participated in this event, and want to continue addressing health inequities within their rural communities.
Heart to Heart International staff also attended the Kansas Tribal Health Summit in Topeka this year. Staff listened to the elders from tribes talk about their struggles, and government leaders address policy change to improve health equity in Indigenous communities. Discussion was had around health inequities and the importance of vaccination.
August 2, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Importance of Community Connections
In August, KC Healthy Kids shared a blog post about the importance of community connections.
“KC Healthy Kids partners with Increase the Reach to improve health equity in all communities of Kansas. One way to provide this improvement is through helping families overcome vaccine hesitancy and become more confident in their medical decisions. This week on the blog, Alissa Kooyenga, our trauma-informed care program assistant, shared her own experience with vaccine hesitancy for her child.“
To check out the post, click here.
July 31, 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Thrive Allen County and one of their partners, Dickinson County Quality of Life Coalition contracted with Coneflower Marketing to create billboards in Dickinson County. This billboards promote vaccinations, direct people to the Kansascares.org website for more information and also includes the Quality of Life Coalition's logo. So far, they have received positive feedback!
July 2023 - SUCCESS STORY
Laundry Love: Meeting People Where They’re at to Promote Vaccine Equity
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, like many other vulnerable populations - the COVID-19 pandemic affected the substance use disorder (SUD) population. As we experienced, factors included job loss and poor mental health outcomes which could further contribute to substance use challenges. Continued stigma associated with SUD may also affect access to care. However, Rise Up Central Kansas continues to work hard to meet people where they're at through their Health Equity and Recovery Team (HEART) in Great Bend. The ITR funds enable Rise Up HEART to engage with diverse populations not only in Great Bend (Barton County), but also in Ellsworth, Pawnee, Rice, Russell, and Stafford Counties to increase vaccination education, awareness and remove barriers with the SUD population.
What makes this approach unique are the various authentic efforts to reach the communities, including food distributions operated by the faith-based community and holding one-on-one conversations with SUD peer navigators to continue strengthening the trusted relationships and encouraging people to get the lifetime of vaccines to protect against many diseases and infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccines into adulthood as a significant preventive care program and thanks to Rise Up Central Kansas' HEART Team, the peer navigators are removing barriers such as misinformation and transportation barriers. The critically important peer navigators also share their lived experiences as part of the SUD population and gets the dialogue started in a way that is trusted, which is alone a huge win.
Amy Ferguson, Rise Up Central Kansas' Program Coordinator said, "Recently, the HEART Team peer navigators and I were at a local laundromat in Great Bend and we had meaningful conversations with people who were there to do their laundry. The Laundry Love event was held to inform the community on various resources and services. As people from the SUD community, we are actively focused on our recovery journey and have the lived experience to do outreach with others to continue building the trust and engaging with people to urge a lifetime of vaccines to be healthy in many ways." What better way to show compassion in action!