Gov. Laura Kelly visited Pittsburg this week to announce a $200,000 Empowering Health Grant from UnitedHealthcare for the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Kelly was joined by Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman, and State Rep. Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg).

"I want to thank the team at UnitedHealthcare for their generosity, which will benefit the Pittsburg community and Southeast Kansas for years to come," Kelly said. "The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas performs life-saving work in the Pittsburg community. My administration is committed to working with our local and federal partners to provide Kansans access to affordable, quality health care."

Norman also discussed CHC/SEK’s importance to the community, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas staff are on the front lines of public health’s response," Norman said. "This grant will increase their capacity to improve the health of Kansans."

The Empowering Health grant will be used by CHC/SEK to support its Community Health Action Team with a behavioral health nurse and social worker, so it can better address social isolation and behavioral health needs among existing and new patients with low incomes in the area.

"By giving more Kansans access to health insurance, our community partners like Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas would no longer have to cover the cost of care for uninsured individuals," Murnan said. "This would free up funds to increase patient care, add new services, extend community outreach, and bolster the local economy."

Kelly said during the ceremony Wednesday that her administration is committed to supporting local health care organizations across the state by fighting for quality, affordable health care for more than 150,000 Kansans by expanding Medicaid.