Improving Health Conditions

Thrive’s vision is that Allen County will be the healthiest rural county in Kansas.  We also believe that so many of the factors that impact health come from outside the doctor’s office– our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. Geographic location, education and income all directly impact how healthy we are.

Knowing this, Thrive works collaboratively across organizations and sectors to find ways to improve the conditions that impact quality of life.  This means everything from recruiting doctors and dentists to building trails.

We’ve provided the tools below as resources to help you better understand what we’re facing in Allen County, and different strategies that we can use as a community to address these conditions.

Our County Health Ranking

Allen County’s health ranking tends to fluctuate over time — #94 in 2011, #93 in 2012, #86 in 2013, #79 in 2014, #87 in 2015, and #91 in 2016 — but the challenge is clear. We’ve made some progress, but we can–and must–do better. Learn about our county health ranking by using the University of Wisconsin/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “County Health Rankings and Roadmap” at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Kansas Health Matters

Kansas Health Matters is a one-stop source of non-biased data and information about community health in Kansas. It is intended to help hospitals, health departments, policy makers, community planners and members learn about issues, identify improvements and collaborate for positive change.  Check it out at www.kansashealthmatters.org.

Improving Health With the County Health Calculator

Thrive uses tools that include the County Health Calculator to develop strategies for improving the health and well-being of our residents.  For example, we’ve learned here that “In Allen County, Kansas, if 5% more people attended some college and 3% more had an income higher than twice the federal poverty level we could expect to save 4 lives, prevent 40 cases of diabetes, and eliminate $200,000 in diabetes costs every year. Learn more about how we can improve Allen County using this easy-to-use tool at www.countyhealthcalculator.org.

Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) provides information to policymakers, as well as everyday citizens, to help improve the health of Kansans.  Their news service is a particularly helpful source of timely happenings in Topeka that affect us in Allen County.  Thrive and KHI have partnered on projects to help improve health conditions in Allen County and across Southeast Kansas.  Learn more at www.khi.org.

Project 17

Project 17 is an initiative to improve health and economic conditions in the seventeen counties of Southeast Kansas.  Thrive has been a partner in launching and supporting Project 17, which has assumed many of the goals of the 2010 SEK Regional Health Initiative that was jointly sponsored by Thrive and Kansas Health Institute.   Project 17’s goal is to work regionally to solve problems that are not contained within city limits or county lines.  Check it out at www.twsproject17.org.

The REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

The REACH Healthcare Foundation and The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (HCF) are key strategic partners to Thrive and our county as a whole in the effort to improve our health.  The two foundations were established after the sale of the non-profit Health Midwest System to HCA, a for-profit company.  Allen County Hospital was leased by Health Midwest and acquired by HCA, which meant that Allen County became one of six counties (Allen, Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas, and Jackson, Cass and Lafayette in Missouri) served by the two foundations created after the sale.  Both REACH and HCF fund health-related efforts in Allen County; go to REACH or HCF to learn more.

Alliance for a Healthy Kansas

Thrive Allen County is proud to be a member of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, which is working to expand Kancare to better insure ALL Kansans have adequate healthcare coverage.  For more information, visit their website: Alliance for a Healthy Kansas