News Briefs

UnitedHealthcare donates $200,000 to southeast Kansas health center

By: - August 26, 2020 10:00 pm
Gpv. Laura Kelly lauded a $200,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Gpv. Laura Kelly lauded a $200,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will use a $200,000 grant to support a social worker and behavioral health nurse working in Pittsburg to address social isolation and health needs of low-income patients.

On Wednesday, Gov. Laura Kelly said the grant from UnitedHealthcare would improve the health center’s capacity to deliver front-line aid.

“The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas performs life-saving work in the Pittsburg community,” the governor said. “My administration is committed to working with our local and federal partners to provide Kansans access to affordable, quality health care.”

The health center opened in 1997 and operates with 400 employees serving 55,000 patients each year with medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services.

State Rep. Monica Murnan, a Pittsburg Democrat, said the state ought to accept the opportunity to expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The Kansas Legislature and Kansas governors have debated the issue for years. Govs. Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer opposed expansion, while Kelly has made a priority of widening Medicaid services to as many as 150,000 people in Kansas. 

“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.”

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.