CHCSEK elects new Cherokee County board member

Special to the Morning Sun /
Jake Letner

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Jake Letner, of Columbus, has been elected to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Board of Directors, representing Cherokee County, CHC/SEK announced this week. 

Letner is the City of Columbus community development coordinator. Born and raised in Pittsburg, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in History at Pittsburg State University and received a Master of Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Letner’s duties at the City of Columbus include coordinating the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Pathways to a Healthy Kansas initiative, according to a press release, where he oversees efforts to improve the social determinants of health in Cherokee County, a task he says goes hand in hand with CHC/SEK’s mission.

“There is an increasing awareness of the influence of non-clinical factors on health outcomes,” Letner said. “CHC/SEK’s commitment to quality healthcare for all includes more than just clinical care and I plan to strongly advocate for holistic solutions to disparities found throughout the region.”

Letner replaces Betha Elliott, who recently left the board after 15 years of service. CHC/SEK has a board member from every region it serves, and the majority of the health center board members must be patients served by the health center.

Cherokee County is historically under-resourced and does not compare favorably with the rest of Kansas in terms of overall health, according to the Kansas Health Institute.

“I am honored to have been selected as a Board Member and I believe that this can change for the better with CHC/SEK playing a major role in improving the health of this community,” Letner said.