Konza Prairie Community Health Center is one of 10 organizations across the state of Kansas awarded more than $1.7 million in Increase the Reach grant funds for projects meant to address health equity and vaccine confidence.

The Increase the Reach Initiative is a partnership between the Wichita State University Community Engagement Institute and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Increase the Reach provides an opportunity for community-based organizations that have proven success in reaching vulnerable populations to receive funding to continue their vital work in promoting health equity through vaccinations. The program specifically aims to reach populations experiencing low vaccination rates, including both racial and ethnic minority populations, as well as rural communities.

Konza’s share of Increase the Reach funding is $250,000. Konza plans to use these funds to hire community health outreach workers in both Geary and Riley County. This health outreach staff will collaborate with key community partners to increase COVID-19 vaccination capacity across Geary and Riley counties, including among high-risk and underserved populations. Konza community health workers will collaborate closely with local healthcare and public health organizations to organize vaccination activities, develop strategic vaccination plans, amplify COVID-19 vaccine messaging and address vaccination disparities.

“The healthcare system can be difficult to navigate, and the COVID-19 pandemic made it even more difficult. Our goal is to make it easier,” said Lee Wolf, Konza CEO. “We will work closely with community partners to hire community champions and give them the resources they need to connect people to COVID-19 vaccine, testing and primary care services in both Geary and Riley County.

The Increase the Reach grant program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a financial assistance award totaling $79,278,482 funded by the CDC/HHS.

More information about Konza Prairie Community Health Center can be found at kpchc.org. For more information about Increase the Reach, visit increasethereach.com.

Recommended for you