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Safety-net clinics receive grants




WICHITA -- In an effort to beef up preventive services available at safety net clinics, the Kansas Health Foundation has awarded grant funding to 15 clinics in 11 cities across the state totaling $235,000.

"Safety net clinics in our state do a tremendous job of providing care under challenging circumstances," said Steve Coen, chief executive of the Kansas Health Foundation, which is the Kansas Health Institute's major funder. "We are pleased to partner with these clinics in expanding and strengthening their ability to provide services to clients that are designed to prevent illnesses before they occur."

The clinics will receive between $10,000 to $20,000 each, with the amount determined by the number of patients each served in 2012. First Care Clinic in Hays is among the recipients and will receive a grant of $20,000.

Foundation officials said many of the clinics would use the grants on preventive services aimed at decreasing the prevalence of chronic diseases, specifically through tobacco cessation and obesity prevention. Some would focus on childhood immunizations, cervical cancer screening and diabetes management.

The grants are part of the foundation's work with the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU) and the University of Kansas School of Medicine, which will be providing educational and technical support to the clinics.

"We are excited about this new opportunity designed to help our clinics' patients actually prevent chronic diseases from developing," said Cathy Harding, executive director of KAMU. "Often patients come to our clinics for the first time because of an illness. The resources these grants will provide, combined with the KU Med educational assistance, will give our clinics additional tools needed to help these patients prevent future chronic diseases."