May 4, 2023

Kansas Hospital Association Receives Janet Sevier Gilbreath Project of the Year Award

Kansas Hospital Association receives Janet Sevier Gilbreath Project of the Year Award

HUTCHINSON, Kan.— Kansas Hospital Association was honored with the 2022 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award at a May 2 celebration in Hutchinson. The annual award, named in honor of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund’s first chairperson, is given to one funded project each year best exemplifying the Fund’s vision of strategic philanthropy and demonstrating scale, results, operational excellence, and social justice.

Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) was honored for its leadership in building sustainable rural health care for the future of Kansas. Through partnerships, data driven research and active community engagement, KHA developed a new model of health care delivery, the Primary Health Care (PHC) model.

As Kansas continues to face challenges in delivering rural health care, KHA has answered the call. Kansas has more financially vulnerable hospitals than any other state and this issue is exacerbated by declining populations in rural regions.

“More than 10 years ago, the Kansas Hospital Association and Healthworks boards recognized the importance of looking to the future to ensure access to health services in rural communities would remain,” said Chad Austin, president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association. “Kansas hospitals provide essential health care services to a growing population of rural residents. Kansas communities depend on hospitals to be there when they need them – to respond swiftly to emergencies, to help patients cope with acute and chronic illness and to care for those who have no place left to turn – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is an honor to be recognized for this work.”

The Kansas Hospital Association, Kansas’ trade association of hospitals dedicated to improving hospital care and achieving optimal health for Kansas, and their non-profit health foundation, Healthworks, have partnered with the Health Fund to advance rural health for nearly a decade. In 2014, with a grant provided by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and research conducted through Healthworks, KHA brought forth this new model of health care delivery, the PHC model.

Over the last several years, KHA has worked with policymakers, stakeholders, and the public through education on the changing health care needs of rural Kansas and the benefits of the PHC model. They have built public engagement and held conversations with local communities to develop a process that works for all.

In the winter of 2020, Congress passed the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model, which mirrored the Primary Health Center model, and in 2021 Kansas became the first state to pass state legislation establishing the REH model.

According to United Methodist Health Ministry Fund President David Jordan, “We are looking to the future of rural health care in Kansas with optimism. The work of KHA is building a sustainable and effective delivery model that will continue to serve all Kansans.”

During the celebration, Monica Murnan, former Kansas State Representative and Director of Community Support Services at Greenbush was recognized as the 2022 recipient of the Kim Moore Visionary Leadership Award for her outstanding work for Kansas child.

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