Konza Receives $250,000 Grant to Create New Community Health Jobs

(Junction City, KS) – Konza Prairie Community Health Center is one of ten organizations across the state of Kansas to have been 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 (KDHE). Increase the Reach provides an opportunity for community-based organizations who 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, 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. 

More information about Konza Prairie Community Health Center can be found at:  www.kpchc.org. 

For more information about Increase the Reach, please visit: www.increasethereach.com

This Increase the Reach grant program is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $79,278,482 with 100 percent funded by the CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by the CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/.v10-01-2021