TOPEKA – Eighteen community-based primary care clinics across the state will share $500,000 in capital investment grants (CIG) distributed by the Community Care Network of Kansas.
The CIG program, which is funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is an annual competitive process. Clinics are required to complete a detailed application and agree to match the grant amount dollar for dollar. In doing so, CIG recipients leverage the funds in a manner that supports the Kansas Legislature’s goal “to increase the capacity of community clinics so that more underserved Kansans have access to and receive quality healthcare services.”
Since 2008, when lawmakers first allocated CIG for state grantee clinics, the intent has been to enhance the infrastructure of the clinics. The number of patients receiving primary, dental and behavioral health services was growing rapidly – and legislators understood that regular investments in facilities, workforce and knowledge base were necessary.
Patient counts have more than doubled at state grantee clinics since that time, increasing from 156,000 to 322,000 in 2019.
“The CIG program allows clinics to better serve Kansans without borrowing money to do so,” said Community Care CEO Denise Cyzman. “The program also supports the state’s commitment to whole-person care being provided to those who need it most.”
The types of projects to be funded are as varied as the communities in which they reside. Office building needs such as heating and air-conditioning or phones are being replaced. Clinics are being renovated or expanded. Specialized dental equipment is being purchased. At one clinic, a food pantry will be enlarged. And in the midst of a pandemic, some of the grants help pay for projects designed to provide services in a manner that will be safer for both patient and staff.
Salina Family Healthcare Center, for example, received a grant to expand its existing reception area by 80 square feet. CEO Dr. Robert Kraft said they were very excited to have received the CIG award.
“The grant will help us expand and modify our front desk check-in space to increase social distancing between patients checking in,” Dr. Kraft said, “adding safety and privacy in that process.
“It will also allow us to redirect employees entering their work area to not encroach on the public spaces, again providing an added layer of social distancing and safety between patients and staff.”
Other grant recipients now have funding to help pay for basic necessities. George Noonan, executive director of the Caritas Clinics, will replace a phone system so old it’s not supported by the manufacturer any longer.
“This upgrade will increase our efficiency and help us meet the growing need for our services,” Noonan wrote to Community Care. “It’s so essential that we continue to exist in the community we serve to bring quality healthcare to the poor and vulnerable in a compassionate way, and support such as yours plays a crucial role in that sustainability.”
In all cases, CIG recipients must demonstrate increased access to care and the number of existing or new patients who will have improved access to care – and how. Additionally, applicants had to choose between two tiers of grant opportunities: Tier One mini grants of $5,000 – $19,999 or Tier Two major grants of $20,000 – $40,000.
“All the approved awards will help clinics improve access to care in their community,” Cyzman said, “or improve the quality of care. In the middle of a public health emergency, both are needed now more than ever.”
State fiscal year 2021 recipients of capital investment grants:
• Caritas Clinics, $15,000, upgrade phone system.
• Community Health Center in Cowley County, $40,000, remodel to expand clinical services, drive-thru pharmacy, administrative offices.
• Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, $38,343, pediatric dental specialty center equipment.
• First Care Clinic, $5,337, retina scanner.
• Genesis Family Health, $40,000, complete dental service expansion, equipment.
• GraceMed Health Clinic, $31,857, X-ray dental digital equipment.
• Guadalupe Clinic, $17,050, heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
• Health Ministries Clinic, $37,500, immunodiagnostic system.
• HealthCore Clinic, $40,000, food pantry and virtual education center.
• Heartland Community Health Center, $39,934, dental sterilization equipment.
785.233.8483 700 SW Jackson, Suite 600, Topeka, Kansas 66603 communitycareks.org
• Konza Prairie Community Health & Dental Center, $40,000, outdoor sign/message center and indoor digital monitors.
• Marian Dental Clinic, $40,000, remodel dental clinic.
• Mercy and Truth Medical Missions, $40,000, elevator.
• PrairieStar Health Center, $20,073, firewall system.
• Rawlins County Dental Clinic, $25,519, building renovation.
• Rawlins County Health Center, $1,887, electrostatic sprayer units, clean cast saw, HEPA filtration.
• Salina Family Healthcare Center, $7,500, reception area expansion.
• Vibrant Health, $19,999, computer and monitor mounting system.
About Community Care Clinic of Kansas: Community Care exists to achieve equitable access to high-quality, whole-person care for all Kansans, regardless of ability to pay. As the Primary Care Association (PCA) for Kansas, Community Care supports and strengthens its members through advocacy, education and communication. Community Care’s diverse membership includes Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and Look-Alikes (LALs), as well as public and private nonprofit Community-Based Primary Care Clinics (CBPCCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).