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On March 30, 2017, Governor Brownback released a statement to accompany his veto of House Bill 2044 to expand KanCare, which would extend affordable health coverage to more than 150,000 hardworking Kansans. Unfortunately, the message contains several false narratives that opponents of Medicaid expansion have used for years, in Kansas and other states. What follows is a point-by-point response to the administration’s key arguments.
The REACH Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors, a 17-member board that provides governance and oversight to the health philanthropy, elected six members at its March 23 meeting. Elected members include individuals within the fields of health policy and law, insurance, finance, education and medicine. The Board elected three incumbents for a second term. The following individuals will begin their board member terms on June 1:
Bond is an attorney with Spencer Fane LLP in Overland Park, KS. She spent much of her 25-plus year career providing legal services to health care providers and managed care entities, including hospitals, physicians and safety net providers. Bond earned a law degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University. She previously was a consulting principal for Pershing Yoakley & Associates, consulting on legal issues pertaining to health reform and worked as an attorney at Lathrop & Gage LLP. Bond served on the boards of the Health Partnership Clinic and Olathe Medical Center. Bond is an incumbent REACH Board member and lives in Johnson County.
Hall brings a 30-plus year career as an educator working in early childhood and elementary school settings in Wyandotte County, Kansas. Hall worked as an education specialist for the Economic Opportunity Foundation’s Head Start program, and as a K-3 reading coach, trainer and grants evaluator for a Reading First federal grant to USD 500 in Kansas City, Kansas. She retired from USD 500 in 2010 but continues to volunteer as a reading intervention consultant. Hall earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Oklahoma State University and Master of Arts in Teaching at Webster University. Hall is an incumbent REACH Board member and lives in Wyandotte County.
Thomas Handley has more than 40 years of senior actuarial and management experience in group insurance and healthcare, including rate development, actuarial evaluation, benefit design and pricing, and underwriting. He previously worked as Vice President and Chief Actuary at Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City, and subsequently was a principal at The Miller Group and later at DeFrain Mayer. Handley serves on the board of GHI, Inc. and Surety Life Insurance Co., including as chair of the Audit and Investment Committee of Surety. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kansas and lives in Johnson County.
Klocke is a Managing Director in the Kansas City office of Prairie Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm that consults to high-net-worth nonprofit organizations, foundations, endowments, trusts, pensions, and individuals. Klocke manages client relationships, investment manager due diligence, and serves on the firm’s Investment Committee. Klocke is an alumnus of the Kansas City Tomorrow leadership program. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and MBA from Kansas State University. He previously served on the REACH Community Advisory Committee. Klocke is an incumbent REACH Board member and lives in Johnson County.
Reuben, M.D., is an emergency room physician and Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Shawnee Mission Health Center. Reuben joined the hospital system in 2000 and has since served as Chief of Staff/President-Elect and Treasurer of the SMH medical staff, the board of trustees and the Medical Executive Committee. His work in emergency medicine has focused on quality improvement and patient experience. Reuben earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has participated in the physician mentor and shadowing program for KU Medical Center. Reuben lives in Johnson County.
Sanders, M.D., spent his career in public service in urban and rural health settings. He retired in 2014 as Chief of Staff of the Kansas City VA Medical Center, which includes a network of specialty services and outpatient clinics in Overland Park, Paola, Excelsior Springs, Belton and Warrensburg. He previously was Chief Medical Officer for the VA Heartland Network, an integrated services network with nine medical centers, tertiary care referral centers, nursing homes and 45 outpatient clinics. He served in leadership roles for the Veterans Health Administration regionally and nationally. Sanders earned Juris doctorate and medical degrees from the University of Kansas. Sanders lives in Johnson County.
The REACH Foundation Board annually seeks candidates who represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the foundation’s six-county service area. Additionally, the Board looks for broad experience in management and governance, finance, policy, health care and volunteer service. The next application cycle will begin in fall 2017. Eligibility and application information is available on the Board of Directors section of the web site.
This month, the REACH Foundation awarded grants totaling $213,102 to six organizations to implement strategies that use care coordinators, navigators, community health workers and engagement specialists to close the information and resource gap between consumers and health systems.
The Health Care Coordination and Navigation Grants align with the foundation’s strategic plan focus on eliminating barriers to health access and care within the outcome area – Strong Safety Net. The 2017 grants are aimed at addressing the health care needs of homeless individuals, undocumented and documented immigrants, migrant workers, refugees and youth transitioning out of foster care – population groups that experience greater health disparities due to economic situation, language and culture, housing insecurity and other factors.
The Health Care Coordination and Navigation grants represent a partnership with organizations that have demonstrated success in working with these population groups and in implementing peer support models that improve access to health care services.
“The resources and assistance provided by these agencies are often a lifeline for their clients,” said William Moore, Ph.D., Vice President of Program and Evaluation. “Without these types of supports, many of these individuals would not seek or receive care – it’s too complex, expensive, and linguistically and culturally difficult to navigate. The organizations selected for funding have been effective at removing barriers to health care.”
The 2017 grantees include:
|El Centro, Inc.
|Working primarily with Spanish-speaking, new immigrant and low-income individuals, provide health navigation services to individuals and families in Johnson and Wyandotte counties, KS, to help them enroll in coverage and understand their benefits plans, make health appointments, secure specialty care and navigate payment requirements. Navigators also serve as advocates for fair treatment and timely primary and specialty health care services. In 2016, El Centro provided assistance to more than 1,100 clients.|
|Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County obo Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund
|Working in partnership with the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund, provide medical case management for migrant and year-round farmworker families in Lafayette County, MO. The Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund annually assists 200-350 individuals and family groups with health care coordination, transportation, interpretation, appointment scheduling and follow-ups and patient advocacy designed to address multiple barriers to care for the migrant workers. The project has served these roles for 33 years, focusing specifically on the needs of rural, seasonal migrant workers.|
|Jewish Vocational Services (JVS)
|As the metro area’s largest refugee resettlement organization, JVS provides social services to hundreds of refugees and immigrants each year, including health education, health care navigation, patient advocacy, interpretation and community education. The JVS Healthcare Coordinator project puts in place intensive case management aimed at decreasing anxiety and alienation along with strengthening clients’ capacity to secure required health screenings and essential services for themselves and their families. The project will serve 150 refugee individuals and families, addressing medical, mental health and oral health needs, providing enrollment assistance, and teaching clients how to access care.|
|Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)
|KCU’s Score 1 for Health program provides care coordination and health care navigation using registered nurses to engage with families on their children’s health screening and service needs. For this project, KCU will expand the work of a bilingual dental community health worker to provide health care navigation services and information to Latino families on oral health as well as primary care and vision services. The project will build on a pilot project in a Kansas City, MO, elementary school to assist with scheduling dental appointments and promoting preventive oral health care. The project also provides wrap-around support through referrals to school nurses, social workers and safety net health care clinics.|
|reStart has used care coordination services for homeless persons since 2005. In 2015, the organization formally structured the services to focus on chronically homeless single adults who often are high utilizers of emergency services. The care coordinator works to build trust and rapport with clients who exhibit multiple and complex health, mental health and chronic conditions in order better address their particular needs. Services include assistance with benefit applications, advocacy and legal referrals for benefits denials, assistance with scheduling appointments, transportation and chronic disease education.|
|Synergy Services, Inc.
|Synergy Services opened an onsite medical, mental health and dental clinic in 2010 to overcome barriers that prevented homeless and runaway youth from receiving health services. This population often suffers from physical and mental health issues resulting from poverty, neglect and other conditions related to their homelessness. Synergy’s integration specialist works with the youth to help with appointments and follow-up, Medicaid applications and development of treatment plans. The integration specialist works closely with Synergy case managers, therapists and other staff on coordinated assessments and care plans.|
|Total Awards: $213,102|
For more information on the Strong Safety Net outcome area and strategies, review the Funding Priorities section of the web site.
Fall is a time when REACH Foundation staff members begin to wrap up the year’s projects and think ahead to our philanthropic investments for the next year. One of the larger commitments we make each year is core operating grants to nonprofits our Board of Directors considers to be essential partners in our effort to achieve health equity through health coverage and care.
Last week, the REACH Foundation Board approved 2017 Core Partner grants – 27 grants at $50,000 for a total of $1,350,000. This set of awards represents the inclusion of 14 new partners and an additional investment of $265,000 over 2016. Grantees include advocacy organizations, direct service providers in primary care, mental health and oral health, and organizations that provide coordination of health initiatives in our service area.
Core operating grants have been central to the foundation’s grant making for a decade. Core Partners are invited to apply for the general support grants based on their organizations’ alignment with the foundation’s theory of change and strategic priorities; the strength of their operations and program performance; and their impact on health in our service area. The funding can be used for personnel, equipment, technology and other business expenses as determined by the organization. The foundation has awarded more than $12.4 million in core operating grants since 2006.
Bill Moore, Ph.D., Vice President of Programs and Evaluation, said the organizations funded for 2017 have demonstrated “a capacity to reduce uninsurance in our service area and increase the number of consumers who receive care.” The foundation has placed an additional emphasis on supporting organizations that are working intensely to address the health care needs of particularly vulnerable populations, including homeless youth and adults; foster care youth in transition; and immigrants and refugees.
Moore said the expanded list of core partners reflects the foundation’s interest in supporting organizations that are making significant strides in creating access to health coverage and care. Grantees are invited to participate in a learning community that will focus on topics related to organizational effectiveness, planning and leadership growth.
Grant terms will begin in January 2017 for a 12-month period.
2017 Core Partner Awards
|Cass Community Health Foundation|
|Communities Creating Opportunity|
|Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Inc.|
|Community Health Council of Wyandotte County|
|Comprehensive Mental Health|
|El Centro, Inc.|
|Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County|
|Health Partnership Clinic|
|Jewish Vocational Service|
|Johnson County Mental Health Center|
|Kansas Action for Children (KAC)|
|KAC on behalf of Kansas Center for Economic Growth|
|Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved|
|KC Care Clinic|
|Mattie Rhodes Center|
|Missouri Budget Project|
|Missouri Health Care for All|
|Silver City Health Center|
|Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center|
|Thrive Allen County|
|Tri-County Mental Health Services, Inc.|
|Turner House Children’s Clinic|
|Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare|
MERRIAM, KANSAS – The REACH Healthcare Foundation is accepting applications from individuals with an interest in issues pertaining to health equity and health care access to fill positions on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The deadline to apply is Thursday, December 15, 2016.
The REACH Foundation is a regional philanthropy that awards grants and provides other support to strengthen health coverage and services for uninsured and medically underserved people. The foundation’s service area covers six counties in the bi-state area: Allen, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas; and Cass, Jackson and Lafayette counties in Missouri, including Kansas City, Missouri.
The foundation is governed by a 17-member Board with diverse professional expertise and personal experience and interest in health. Applicants must 18 or older and reside within the six-county service area. Terms are three years; members are eligible to serve two terms.
In considering applications, the Board seeks candidates who reflect the demographic diversity of the REACH service area. Other priorities are candidates with financial, management, health services, nonprofit and/or volunteer experience.
Applicants must complete a Statement of Interest form and submit a resume by December 15, 2016. The form and other information is available at: https://reachhealth.org/about/board-of-directors/
The selection process will be completed in March 2017. New members will begin their terms in June 2017.
For questions, contact Brenda Sharpe, REACH Foundation President and CEO, at (913) 432-4196.
From the President and CEO
Over the past week, we have been grappling with the news that due to continuing budget shortfalls in Kansas, the Governor’s Office has made more than $56 million in cuts to Medicaid, primarily by reducing the reimbursement rate paid to health providers who treat patients covered by KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program, by 4 percent. These cuts will trigger even bigger losses than the $56 million because the federal government provides $1.28 for every $1 the state spends on Medicaid.
We are deeply concerned about this latest action. Medicaid reimbursement rates are already low, which makes it difficult to attract and retain health providers to serve low-income populations in Kansas. We believe this reduction will have a chilling effect on efforts to recruit health providers in underserved communities and may result in some physicians dropping out of Medicaid provider networks altogether. If this occurs, then access to preventive health care and treatment will be further out of reach, leaving people without options close to home.
Unfortunately, some people believe that Medicaid is an abundantly-funded entitlement that should be trimmed. While that narrative may have taken hold in some quarters, it simply isn’t the case. Kansas already has one of the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility rates in the country – at 33 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. In plain language, a parent earning over $6,630 per year – or $127.50 per week – in a household of three makes too much money to qualify for the state’s Medicaid program.
With the Affordable Care Act, all states have the opportunity to expand Medicaid to people up to 138% of poverty. As we know, if Kansas had expanded KanCare this year, the federal government would have covered 100% of the cost. That 100% match will become a 95% match in 2017, 94% in 2018, and ultimately settle at 90% match in 2020 and beyond. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have recognized the financial benefit and opted to draw down the federal expansion dollars, freeing up state funds that are currently being used to pay for health services to cover other critical needs.
Other states that were considered strong holdouts, such as Oklahoma, are taking a fresh look. It’s hard to downplay the potential of that amount of federal funding. It is particularly puzzling to watch Kansas lawmakers and the Administration do just that when the state is grasping for revenues to fill its budget hole.
Over the past three years, Kansans like me and my family have heard that the revenues simply aren’t available and that the only option is to reduce state spending and thereby core services. It’s true that because of policy decisions, revenue streams have slowed to a trickle, but there are resources available to our state. Our leaders have decided to turn their backs on these resources – more than $1 billion to date – that would pay dividends in the form of a robust workforce and economy.
As Kansans wait for an explanation, health leaders and consumer advocates have launched a new alliance – the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas – and invited people who think there’s a better answer than “no” to sign on. You can find the Alliance at www.expandkancare.com, and sign up for news and information on forums and other events.
If you believe Kansas has the capability to forge its own state-based solution and should draw down our own federal tax dollars to do so, particularly when our own state resources are running thin, then join the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, as our foundation has, and learn how Kansas can advance a pro-health and pro-growth movement.
Thank you for your engagement on this important issue.
Brenda R. Sharpe
President and CEO
Nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about the rules and opportunities related to lobbying and advocacy can attend a workshop presented by the Alliance for Justice on Tuesday, May 24, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.
The workshop will review the rules and differences regarding lobbying and advocacy, the benefits and opportunities for 501(c)(3) organizations to become engaged in advocacy efforts, and how nonprofit organizations can partner and leverage efforts with other groups. The training will presented byAbby Levine, director at Bolder Advocacy, a project of the Alliance for Justice. Levine is one of the nation’s leading experts in federal tax and election law and their impact on nonprofits.
The workshop is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Francis Families Foundation, the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the REACH Healthcare Foundation and Support KC.
Find details and registration information here.
The Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. The Alliance provides a voice and leadership on issues related to justice and equity on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women’s rights, children’s, senior citizens’ and other groups.
In 2015, the REACH Healthcare Foundation awarded The City of Olathe Fire Department a $20,000 capacity grant to fund further development of the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Program. The program, which deploys firefighter paramedics to medically assess individuals who request service, but do not need to visit an emergency room, determines needs and resources, and helps connect patients with the appropriate care in the community.
The MIH Program has been selected as a recipient of the 2016 Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Masimo Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award.
The CFSI/Masimo awards ceremony brings together representatives of all the national fire and emergency service organizations as well as members of Congress to advance important issues in Washington, D.C., that benefit firefighters. The awards presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 5, at the 28th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the MIH Program has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government by the Alliance for Innovation.
Innovation Award recipients are chosen from among hundreds of nominations received by a committee consisting of national city and county managers and Alliance for Innovation staff. The selection committee looks for dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day government operations and practices, implementing creative business processes and improving community civic health. The awards ceremony will be held at the 2016 Transforming Local Government Conference from June 15-17 in Saint Paul, MN.
This week, the REACH Foundation will notify grantees of a change in the foundation’s non-discrimination policy requirements for applicants. The REACH Foundation’s Board of Directors adopted a Diversity and Inclusion Policy several years ago that called for the foundation to promote and support diversity and inclusion not only through our organization’s governance and employment policies, but also through our grant making, and policy and advocacy efforts. The foundation’s policy included sexual orientation and gender identity from the start, but we recognized that some of our grantee partners might need time to discuss these requirements in order to adopt changes. Therefore, we allowed for a phased-in approach and worked with organizations that needed assistance with the development of policies that would meet our funding requirements.
For 2017 funding, all grant applications must include a board- or trustee-adopted non-discrimination policy for both employment and service provision that includes race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and any other consideration made unlawful by applicable law. Although gender identity and sexual orientation are not currently protected classes under federal or Kansas and Missouri state law, the Board of the REACH Healthcare Foundation is committed to a broader definition of non-discrimination.
Foundation staff is available to talk with organizations about their agencies’ diversity and inclusion policies, and answer questions about this funding requirement. Members of our program team also are available to facilitate dialogue about health equity, and the role of governance and management of nonprofit and governmental health and human service providers in promoting non-discrimination, diversity and inclusion to improve the health of all people.
If you or your organization’s staff or board members have questions about this funding requirement, please contact William Moore, Ph.D., Vice President of Programs and Evaluation, at 913-432-4196. As always, we welcome your thoughts and conversation regarding this change in requirements.
Thank you for your engagement on this important issue.
Brenda R. Sharpe
President and CEO
The REACH Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors, a 17-member board that provides governance and oversight to the health philanthropy, elected six members at its March 24 meeting. The elected members included individuals with oral health, higher education, nonprofit, finance and health care law experience. Five are new to the REACH Board; one is an incumbent elected to a second term. All elected members are residents of the foundation’s six-county service area.
The following individuals will begin their terms on June 1:
Arif Ahmed, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Health Administration at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC, where he leads the health leadership and management programs and guides development of health-related executive education. Ahmed completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Policy/Research and Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He began his career as a dental surgeon in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Laura Bond, JD, is an attorney with Spencer Fane LLP. She has spent much of her 25-plus year career providing legal services to health care providers and managed care entities, including hospitals, physicians, MCOs and safety net providers. Bond earned a law degree from the University of Kansas. She has served on the boards of Health Partnership Clinic, Olathe Area United Way, Olathe Chamber and the Olathe Medical Center.Angela
Angela Harse, JD, is Staff Counsel/Assistant Risk Manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Office of General Counsel. She previously worked at Dentons and as a Partner and Associate at Husch Blackwell. Harse has focused her practice in the health care area, monitoring regulatory changes and developing risk mitigation strategies. She earned a law degree at UMKC School of Law. She is a member of Children’s Mercy Hospital Hands and Hearts Auxiliary Board.
Vicki Hohenstein, MBA, CFA, is Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager and a member of Tower Wealth Managers Board of Directors at Tower Wealth Managers/Country Club Trust. Hohenstein previously was Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for Bank of Kansas City. Hohenstein is a REACH Board incumbent, serving on the Finance Committee, and previously served as Vice Chair of the REACH Community Advisory Committee.
Danielle Jones, MPH, is an Army Public Health Center Fellow assigned to advise the Senior Commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In this role, Jones provides analysis of public health programs, policies, services and protocols to enhance the readiness and resiliency of the community. She brings a background in health promotions. Jones earned a Masters of Public Health at the University of West Florida.
Lisa Thurlow, DDS, is the clinical director of the dental hygiene program at Concorde Career College in Kansas City, MO, and maintains a clinical practice at Johnson County Dental Care. Thurlow has served as president and other leadership roles for the Fifth District Dental Society of Kansas and as a Kansas Dental Association delegate. She served on the dental peer review committee for more than 15 years. Thurlow earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery at UMKC and completed her residency at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Kansas City, MO.
In selecting members, the REACH Board looks for candidates who represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the foundation’s six-county service area. The board also seeks candidates with experience in nonprofit management and governance, financial services, health care and volunteer service, and who share the foundation’s interest in issues that affect individual and community health.
The next application cycle will begin in fall 2016. The deadline to apply for consideration for 2017 is December 15, 2016. Eligibility and application information is available on the Board of Directors section of the web site.