Millions in grants for medical, mental health care announced
Governor Laura Kelly announced Wednesday, May 17, that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has awarded $65.4 million made available through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee and State Finance Council. This round of awards funds programs designed to close service gaps in the continuum of care by addressing statewide shortages of health and behavioral health services and the state’s increasing demand for a well-trained health care workforce.
“My administration continues to be laser-focused on increasing access to mental health resources and care, which is fundamental to safe and healthy communities,” Governor Kelly said. “Thanks to the work of KDADS, the SPARK Committee, the State Finance Council and the awardees, we are making progress in knocking down barriers to mental health care in Kansas.”
“Having this money in the community will result in more services being available in certain geographic regions of the state and increased capacity through expanded services,” said Scott Brunner, KDADS Deputy Secretary of Hospitals and Facilities. “Kansans with disabilities, long-term care needs, and those suffering from mental illness will be the ones to realize the positive changes and impact we’ll no doubt see as a result of programs that will be implemented by our awardees.”
Funds have been allocated to service providers, educational institutions, local units of government and non-profit organizations with proposals in three program areas to the following grantees:
Expansion of health care facilities: The facility expansion must result in more services being delivered within a defined geographic area or clearly increase service capacity through more licensed bed space, expanded treatment facilities, or additional credentialed providers.
• South Central Kansas State Mental Health Hospital – $25 million: Sedgwick County will create a new 50-bed mental health hospital, which will be owned and operated by the state. The regional facility would address the shortage of in-patient beds and allow patients to remain closer to home and family. Additional beds will ease jail overcrowding by shortening the wait time for inmates awaiting competency evaluations or treatment. The facility will be developed with room for expansion.
• KVC Health Systems: New Olathe Psychiatric Hospital Joint Venture – $12.7 million: KVC Health Systems has formed a joint venture to build a new 72-bed state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital in Olathe. The project includes building three-24 bed units, which will provide an additional 48 youth beds and 24 adult beds to the mental health system.
• Wichita State University and the University of Kansas: Health Sciences Education Center (HSEC) – $15 million: Wichita State University and the University of Kansas are partnering to build a joint health sciences education center (HSEC) in Wichita. The health sciences complex will centralize health care education, collaboration, and research. Students will receive state-of-the-art health care education that will ultimately improve the quality of health and health outcomes for all Kansans. Initially, approximately 3,000 students and 200 faculty and staff will be housed at the center with opportunities for growth in existing and new programs.
Expansion of reach of current service providers: Innovative delivery models using technology must be used to expand the reach of current service providers or to reach additional Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries.
• Windsor Place Nursing Homes Without Walls – $1.6 million: Windsor Place will conduct a rigorous examination of its technology bundle to improve consumer well-being and impact nursing home admissions, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and the overall cost of caring for seniors.
• Rock Regional Hospital Growing Community Capacity – $5 million: As a small, independent community hospital, Rock Regional is working to address the needs of an aging population, declining rural hospital access, and overwhelmed urban emergency rooms. Rock Regional will undertake an expansion of service providers to serve the community with additional health care capacity.
• The University of Kansas Health System Care Collaborative ASPIRE Rural Transformation Model – $1.1 million: The University of Kansas Health System Care Collaborative is a clinically integrated network comprised of 82 health care providers across 72 rural Kansas counties, actively assisting them in the implementation of new models of care. The project will improve health outcomes in rural communities by strengthening the local delivery system through new models of care while expanding successful Medicare programs to Medicaid beneficiaries through centralized telehealth services. Target outcomes are improved quality outcomes for the management of chronic conditions, reduced avoidable emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and reduced hospital readmissions. The initial cohort will involve rural hospitals and clinics in northwest and central Kansas.
Expansion of workforce training: Workforce training expansion must increase students being trained to serve in the medical field.
• Kansas Health Science Center: Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine – $5 million: The Kansas Health Science Center – Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine class size will nearly double the number of student doctors over the next two years. Once fully operational, 170 new physicians will be produced annually. Additionally, there is a focus on initiatives to retain physicians in Kansas.