Category Archives: Health Care

Angels Care Home Health Sees New Assistance Need

Billie Jo Drake opens the Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition monthly meeting Dec. 4.

Gary Miller, account executive with Angels Care Home Health company, spoke to the Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition members Wednesday about the company’s offerings.

Gary Miller speaks on behalf of Angels Care Home Health company.


One request is different than in years past, Miller said.

“Seniors are now coming to us for assistance with rent,” he said.

Miller has reasons to believe this is because of their casino spending.

An additional new situation, several generations are living under one roof.

“We are seeing three-generational homes,” he said. This is where grandparents, parents and children are all living in one home for financial and/or personal care reasons.

Angels Care Home Health helps with these situations and many others.

The services they provide are skilled nursing, wound care, falls prevention, medication management with education, disease management with education, therapy for neuropathy with pain, blood glucose monitoring education, pre-palliative care, behavioral health, hospital transition care for CHF, pneumonia, heart attack and physical, speech and occupational therapies.

Angels Care Home Health is officed in Pittsburg and serves the surrounding area.

For more information contact 620-232-2922.

There will be no January coalition meeting.

The Feb. 5 meeting will feature Meaghan Russell from USD 235 who will present about the Team Mates Program.

The coalition meets the first Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church at 123 Scott.


BoCo Inter-Agency Coalition Minutes of Dec. 4

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition General Membership Meeting Minutes, submitted by Chairwoman Billie Jo Drake.

December 4, 2019

  1. Welcome and Board update: Twenty-three members representing twenty-one agencies attended. Billie Jo announced that Nancy Van Etten will be filling the vacancy on the Coalition Board; Nancy will be replacing DeAnn Cambers who has relocated to Crawford County.
  1. Member introductions and announcements:
  • Billie Jo shared information provided by Kerry Pommier, Eugene Ware Counselor, regarding the Community Conversation on the effects of childhood trauma to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, at Fort Scott High School. Guest speaker will be Monica Murnan, a member of the Kansas Legislature and Director of Student Support Services at Greenbush. For more information, call 620-223-3380 or email .
  • Michelle Stevenson, Fort Scott Pre-School Program, shared that the finance simulation organized by Lewis Dunkeson, FSHS, went very well.
  • Shannon Stancer, TFI Family Services, announced that they are in need of drivers.
  • Jean Tucker, Feeding Families, stated that the program is continuing to feed 135 – 200 meals every Wednesday evening.
  • Allen Schellack, Salvation Army, still needs volunteers to ring bells during the Christmas season. Last year over $7,000 was raised for use in Bourbon County; this year’s goal is $10,000.
  • Gary Murrell, Beacon, shared changes in Beacon hours for the holiday season: December 24 hours will be changed from the usual evening hours to 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Beacon will be closed on December 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, and January 1. Beacon will reopen with regular hours on January 2. Gary also reminded members that Beacon clients must be signed up in order to receive food in January. The only date left for sign-up is December 10 during the evening hours.
  • Caleb Smith, Kansas Appleseed, announced that he is planning a Hunger Action Summit on January 17 at the Pittsburg Library.
  • Steve Jameson, SEK-CAP, noted that he is working on guidelines to help adults with mental health issues.
  • Nancy Van Etten, American Red Cross, provided information on the upcoming blood drive: December 17 and 18 at Buck Run Community Center. They still need volunteers to help with escorting; call 215-9749 if you could help.
  • Jennifer Graber and Christine Abbott, Kansas Works, shared that the Annual Job Fair (all ages) and Youth Summit (16-24 year olds) will be April 2 at the Pittsburg Memorial Hall. Christine also shared copies of their new flyer.
  • Michelle Lyon, DCF, reminded members that LIEAP applications will be open January 21, the day after Martin Luther King Day, and will be open until March 31. She encouraged those that receive a denial to follow-up and provide what was missing in the original application. Many times making the corrections will result in an approval.
  • Sandra Haggard, RSVP, stated that she will be doing another Opioid Safety Seminar in the spring. Currently, Sandy has senior volunteers helping at the Beacon and with the veterans activities.
  • Robin Griffin, Thrive Allen County, is working on bike share programs, bicycle trail systems, and opioid prevention.
  • Barbara Longhofer, Kansas Guardianship Program, provided brochures about her program; she now has four volunteers working in the Fort Scott area.
  1. Program: Gary Miller, Angels Home Care Health. Angels Care Home Health provides services to seniors who are fifty-five (55) and older. Gary shared flyers listing all the services they can provide. He noted that they are beginning to see three generational homes and seniors who need assistance with rent and utilities. They do work closely with CHC; their program is covered 100% by Medicare. For those seniors who do not qualify for Medicare, Angels Care will work with their insurance or assist to find another home health facility that is affordable to the client. Further information can be found at or 620-232-2922.
  1. February program will be presented by MeagThe han Russell, USD 235. Meaghan will tell us about their Teammates program. Barbara Longhofer, Kansas Guardianship Program, will present the March program.
  1. Open Forum: Billie Jo reminded members that there will be no General Membership meeting in January due to the first Wednesday being January 1.
  1. Adjournment: Next meeting will be February 5, 2020.

CHCSEK Health Care Update From Krista Postai

Krista Postai

Since taking over operations of the medical clinic from Mercy Hospital earlier this year, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas has been working to add more doctors’ services.

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, 403 Woodland Hills Blvd.

Added Doctors

The following doctors have recently been added or added more days available in the Fort Scott clinic.

Dr. Alicia Pino, D. O. is a board-certified pediatrician and holds medical privileges from Ascension Via Christi Hospital, Pittsburg.


Dr. Holly Gault, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with obstetrics and has medical privileges at Ascension Via Christi Hospital, Pittsburg.


“They aren’t really new,” Krista Postai, CEO and president of CHCSEK said of the two doctors. “Dr. Gault, a family physician, has been with us for more than three years in Pittsburg and lives near Arcadia so is actually closer to Ft. Scott. She has been seeing patients there one day a week and is increasing to two.”


“Dr. Pino joined us this summer; she is a board-certified pediatrician and is currently seeing patients one day a week in Fort Scott. She also sees newborns at Via Christi Ascension and patients in Pittsburg three days a week.”


“We thought it would be more convenient for those Bourbon County women delivering in Pittsburg to have both these doctors more available for follow up visits,” she said.


Dr.  Grant Hartman, a Fort Scott Chiropractor officially joins CHCSEK this month and, beginning in January, will provide chiropractic services at their clinics in both Pittsburg and Fort Scott, Postai said.


Dr. Bashar Marji is the latest addition of specialists added, Postai said. Marji is a cardiology specialist who will come to Fort Scott one Friday each month.


The following are the specialists currently in Fort Scott, with their frequency:

  • Cardiology – Dr. Markham (HCA) – the first, third and fourth Thursday of each month;
  • Urology – Dr. Tawil – every Thursday;
  • Orthopedics – Greg King, APRN (Freeman) – every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday;
  • Surgery – Dr. Hall (Allen County Regional Hospital) – Thursday afternoons, Friday all-day of every week;
  • Cardiology – Renae Bateman, APRN (Mercy) – every Monday;
  • Cardiovascular Surgery – the combination of Dr. Meyer/Dr. Brown/Pam Darnell, APRN/Amanda Lumpkins, APRN/Paige Palmer, APRN (all Mercy) – First and Third Friday of every month;
  • Cardiology – Dr. Marji – one Friday each month


New Clinic Building In Process

CHC/SEK will be building a facility on Horton, just west of the former Mercy Hospital building.


The move to build a new clinic on the Horton Street side of the former Mercy Hospital in on-going, Postai said.


Currently, CHCSEK is finalizing the donation of land from Mercy Hospital, she said. Additionally, they are working on the design of the new building.


“We are looking at eight acres including the helipad,” Postai said.  “We expect to have that done very shortly and are looking at a groundbreaking in the spring.”



Agenda for the Bourbon County Coalition Dec. 4

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition general membership meets each first Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 123 Scott. There will be no January 2020 meeting.

The meeting agenda for December 4, 2019

  1. Welcome and Board update by Billie Jo Drake, chairwoman:
  1. Member introductions and announcements:
  1. Program: Gary Miller, Angels Home Care Health
  1. February program will be presented by Meaghan Russell, USD 235. Meaghan will tell us about their Teammates program.
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next meeting will be February 5, 2020.

New Chiropractor In Fort Scott: Kaylee Clifton

Dr. Kaylee Clifton

 Clifton Chiropractic,  LLC opened a new practice at 203 E 3rd St., Fort Scott on September 3, 2019.

Clifton Chiropractic, 203 E. Third. Submitted photo.

The owner, Dr. Kaylee Clifton D.C, 30, graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Kansas City in 2014. She was a graduate of Jayhawk Linn High School, and her hometown is Centerville.

She has five years of experience and, also maintains a practice in Pleasanton, KS.

“I opened my first practice location in Pleasanton,  in 2015 and decided to grow my business this year. I currently split my time between the two locations.”

“My passion for chiropractic care started at age 15, I’ve always known this was my career choice,” Clifton said. “I saw firsthand the positive changes it can have on someone’s life. My favorite part of being a chiropractor is helping, educating and inspiring patients to lead healthier lifestyles and teaching them how the body has the power to heal itself. I love getting the opportunity to help better someone’s quality of life every day!”

“I love to work with school kids to teach them the importance of form and technique to better protect their bodies for the future.”


Services Clifton provides are adjustments for all ages (pediatrics to geriatrics), decompression therapy, pregnancy, sports injuries, acupuncture, activator, Graston, and school physicals.

 Karen Stewart is the office manager.

Karen Stewart. Submitted photo.

 In 2020 Clifton will add Department Of Transportation Physicals to her list of services available.

“I am currently in the process of completing my training and certification to be able to perform DOT Physicals,” she said.

Clifton is a provider for Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Health Care. She also accepts other major insurances.

Clifton lives outside of Prescott on a cattle ranch with husband, Tim, along with three dogs and a pet calf.

They have been married for five years and enjoy going on new adventures when time allows, she said.  Their favorite hiking area is in Sedona, AZ.

“I grew up around Centerville and have family around that area as well as the rest of my family living around the Fort Scott area,” Clifton said. “I went to Fort Scott Community College and then to K-State, before getting my degrees at Cleveland Chiropractic College.

Contact info: 620 644-5000, email – – To schedule online


Community Health Center Extends Services

Updated Oct. 17

Krista Postai

Krista Postai, President and CEO of Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, said they expanding services.

Mercy Hospital announced in October 2018 that they would be closing December 2018.

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.

CHC/SEK then  assumed responsibilities, securing physicians and staff to provide a clinic to the community at the Mercy Hospital site, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.

The CHC/SEK is currently planning to build a new facility on the Horton Street side of the former Mercy Hospital site.

CHC/SEK will be building a facility on Horton, just west of the former Mercy Hospital building.

“We have selected an architect for our new Fort Scott clinic,” Postai said.  “It’s Zingre and Associates from Ft. Scott and  we are in the midst of designing the new facility.”

“We only have a two-year lease for our current space which Mercy clearly indicated is not renewable,” Postai said. “We knew from the beginning that we would have to build a new clinic, which we’ve shared publically to the various groups we’ve talked with, including the city and county. To help make our startup affordable in Ft. Scott and give us time to plan, Mercy discounted the rent amount for us and  everyone in there, which is greatly appreciated.”

“Overhead (electricity, gas, etc.) is extremely expensive in the existing space, as is ongoing maintenance on the building,” Postai said. ” So there is no way we could assume the financial burden of a 177,000 sq. ft. building that is only being minimally utilized. Others who have evaluated ownership of the building came to the same conclusion. We know Mercy recognizes that and have evaluated options including demolition although, to my knowledge, no final decision has been reached.”

“CHC/SEK is planning on expanding its services to include dental care, mental health care, a women’s center, more accessible pharmacy, etc. which can’t be accomplished in the existing space we now occupy without a major investment in renovation in a building with a uncertain future,” Postai said.  “Our model of care also supports integration of services. For example, children coming in for their well child check may also have a visit with the dentist or someone struggling to manage their diabetes may meet with a therapist or a patient educator as part of their medical visit. Numerous support staff also coordinate care or work with special populations (e.g. expectant mothers)  which requires space within the clinic. So, we’re working with our Ft. Scott staff to determine what they want and need in a new building built specifically to support our ‘one-stop’ approach or, as our vision says, ‘Healthcare The Way It Should Be.'”


In addition, CHC/SEK also  will assume responsibility of Mercy’s clinic in Columbus in January 2020, Postai said.

” We will be combining our existing Columbus clinic with Mercy’s clinic,”  Postai said.  “Mercy will continue to manage the hospital in Columbus which is owned by the city.”

Postai said CHC/SEK is also extending its reach into Oklahoma.

“CHC/SEK was one of 77 health centers in the U.S. to receive grants to open new health centers and we will be doing so in Miami and Wyandotte, Oklahoma,” she said. ” Our center in Miami is currently operated by Mercy who asked us if we would assume responsibility and we agreed to do so. The one in Wyandotte is in a school and will primarily serve the students, their families and school staff. We will have the clinics open before the end of the year.”


The organization is also working to secure future doctors for the area, and former Mercy Hospital CEO Reta Baker was selected to administer the program to do just that.

Reta Baker is now CHC/SEK’s Vice President of Clinical Education, with the office located in Pittsburg.

“We also are working with the University of Kansas School of Medicine to establish a family practice residency program in southeast Kansas,” Postai said. “To provide administrative oversight of this program – and all of our clinical education students – is Reta Baker, former hospital CEO in Ft. Scott. She has been named VP/Clinical Education and her office is located in CHC/SEK’s system office in Pittsburg.”

With all the outreach activity of CHC/SEK, “We are nearing 500 full-time employees,” Postai said.

Here is the list of CHS/SEK outreach from Krista Postai:

“Crawford County:  Our main clinic in Pittsburg plus a dental-only clinic downtown and we just opened a school-based health center in Pittsburg High School. A mobile medical van goes daily to the middle school and elementary schools. We also have the clinic in Arma.

Cherokee County … we have a clinic in Baxter Springs and Columbus.

Bourbon County … we have Walk-in Care and the main Ft. Scott clinic.

Linn County … we have clinics in Mound City and Pleasanton.

Labette County – we have a clinic in Parsons.

Montgomery County – we have a clinic in Independence and three in Coffeyville – a main clinic, one in the elementary school and one in the middle/high school.

Allen County – we have a clinic in Iola.

We will be opening two clinics in Ottawa County, OK in December – one in Miami and one in the Wyandotte Schools.

We also employ nurses in multiple schools, as well as behavioral health specialists throughout the region.”

CHCSEK offices are located at 3011 N. Michigan, Pittsburg, KS 66762. The phone number is 620-235-1867.

The CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott’s number is 223-8040.

Council on Medicaid Expansion Meets

Governor launches first meeting of bipartisan Council on Medicaid Expansion


Governor Laura Kelly’s call for a bipartisan, Kansas-specific plan to expand Medicaid coverage took an important step forward Monday with the first meeting of the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion.


“Many Kansans struggle to cover the costs of basic health care. Some people can’t afford coverage at all. The status quo is not working for Kansans,” Kelly said. “No family should have to choose between health coverage and paying the mortgage.”


Medicaid expansion would provide access to affordable healthcare for approximately 150,000 Kansans who fall in the “coverage gap,” where an individual does not qualify for Medicaid, but does not make enough to afford healthcare.


In the 2019 legislative session, Governor Kelly presented a Medicaid expansion plan with bipartisan support that mirrored a similar bill that passed both chambers in 2017, but the bill was ultimately vetoed by then-Governor Sam Brownback.


Last session the House of Representatives passed the Governor’s bill, but the Senate did not allow a vote. Instead, the Senate promised to vote on a Medicaid expansion bill in the early months of the 2020 legislative session.


“As I’ve made clear, Medicaid expansion tops my 2020 priority list,” Kelly said. “I was encouraged that both chambers and both parties ended the last session in agreement: 2020 will be the year we finally get this done.


“After all the years Kansans have had to wait for Medicaid expansion, we must get this right.


“That’s why we need some kind of ‘compass’ to help prevent things from veering too far off course should unvetted, risky policies surface at the end of the process. I hope whatever you come up with can be used as one tool to help evaluate whether various ideas move us closer to —  or further away from — our desired outcomes as a state.”


Governor Kelly asked the Council to focus on two questions:


  1. What do we need Medicaid expansion to achieve for Kansas?
  2. What can we learn from other expansion states that will help — or hinder — those goals?


“Good public policy is the product of thoughtful, bipartisan discussions, supported by data-driven decision-making. That’s the conversation I am asking this Council to have,” Kelly said. 


Among discussed items during the initial Council meeting:


  1. A review of the Medicaid expansion landscape across the U.S., with a focus on the fiscal and health impacts associated with expansion as well the different policy levers used in implementation. Overall, expansion states saw a substantial decline in the uninsured rate for non-elderly adults, as well as improved financial and health outcomes for recipients.


  1. An overview of the Kansas Medicaid system, KanCare, and the promising impact of expansion on access to preventative and behavioral healthcare for low-income Kansans.


  1. Presentations by experts from Montana and Ohio on the economic and health outcomes associated with expansion. Montana found that Medicaid made it easier for residents to find work, generated about $30 million in yearly cost savings, and increased access to care for veterans and their families. Ohio saw similar benefits, noting expansion’s role increasing the state’s capacity for behavioral health services and decreasing medical debt for enrollees by half.


The Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion’s next meeting is Oct. 29.


For access to the handouts, slides, Executive Order and other materials, go to:

Air Ambulances?

The following is part of a series that National Public Radio is doing on the closure of Mercy Hospital in December 2018.
Sarah Jane Tribble shared a link to the group: No Mercy: What Happens When A Rural Hospital Closes?

The latest out of Fort Scott and the No Mercy series. Big thanks to Dawn Swisher-Anderson, who allowed me to interview her wise and well-spoken kids. Both Susan Glossip and Dawn told me last week that they did not buy a membership.

One Kansan Dead in Vaping Outbreak

Health Officials Report Death in Vaping Related Lung Disease


Kansas health officials have confirmed the first death in the state associated with an outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes.

The recent death was a Kansas resident over the age of 50. According to Kansas State Epidemiologist Dr. Farah Ahmed, the patient had a history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly.

The national investigation has not identified any specific vaping or e-cigarette products linked to all cases. Many patients report using vaping or e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol.

Kansas does not have detailed information on what types of products were used by the deceased.

“Our sympathies go out to the family of the person who died,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Health officials are working hard to determine a cause and share information to prevent additional injuries. As that work continues, I urge Kansans to be careful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials.”

Kansas State Health Officer and Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman said health officials nationwide continue to work aggressively to gather information and determine what has caused these lung injuries.

“It is time to stop vaping.” Secretary Norman said. “If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify. I’m extremely alarmed for the health and safety of Kansans who are using vaping products and urge them to stop until we can determine the cause of vaping related lung injuries and death.”

To date, Kansas has six reports associated with the outbreak. Three patients have been classified as confirmed or probable cases and three cases are still under investigation. State investigators determine if cases are confirmed or probable after examining the medical records of suspected cases and consulting with the clinical care team to exclude other possible cases.

To protect patient confidentiality, no further information will be provided regarding each of these cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the addition of the Kansas report, is reporting 6 deaths and more than 450 possible cases of severe lung injury in 33 states and one jurisdiction.

While investigations into these cases continue, CDC is recommending people avoid vaping or using e-cigarettes.

Also, people with a history of vaping who are experiencing lung injury symptoms should seek medical care.

Nationally, symptoms among cases included shortness of breath, fever, cough, and vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms reported by some patients included headache, dizziness and chest pain.

For individuals wanting more information on how to quit tobacco products, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Click below for more information:


Kansas Youth Suicide Prevention

State Agencies Join Together to Create Youth Suicide Prevention Resource


TOPEKA – In support of September as Suicide Prevention Month and National Suicide Prevention Week September 8-14, state agencies, along with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, are releasing a unified resource that outlines actions that all Kansans can take to protect and empower youth.


“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Kansans age 15 to 24 and it is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 5 to 14 – this is unacceptable,” said Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “Every one of us has a role to play, whether you’re a friend, parent, community member or school employee. We need to come together to help our youth.”

The resources, which can be found online, identify actions that everyone can take. The agencies involved in its creation include: KDHE, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, in collaboration with the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

“As we mark National Suicide Prevention Week, I want to commend the work of all the agencies involved in creating the tip sheets as resources for Kansans and look forward to working closely together as we lead a collaborative effort to strengthen the overall Kansas response to youth suicide,” said Gina Meier-Hummel, Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Resource Link:


Kansas Medicaid Expansion

Governor Kelly announces the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion


Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion. This Council of legislators, policy experts, advocates, stakeholders and community leaders will spearhead the Medicaid expansion efforts in the 2020 legislative session.


The members of the Council and their current positions are listed below:


Tom Bell – President and CEO, Kansas Hospital Association

Sen. Ed Berger – State Senator, District 34

Rep. Susan Concannon – State Representative, District 107

Denise Cyzman – CEO, Community Care Network of Kansas

Ximena Garcia M.D., Community Health Advocate

Cathy Harding – President and CEO, Wyandotte Health Foundation

Rep. Don Hineman – State Representative, District 118

April Holman – Executive Director, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas

Dave Kerr, former president of the Kansas Senate

Kyle Kessler – Executive Director, Association of Community Mental Health Centers

Sen. Carolyn McGinn – State Senator, District 31

Rep. Monica Murnan – State Representative, District 3

Dr. Lee Norman – Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

David K. Livingston – CEO, Aetna Better Health of Kansas

Sen. Pat Pettey – State Senator, District 6

Rep. Jason Probst – State Representative, District 102

Jerry Slaughter – Interim Executive Director, Kansas Medical Society

Kevin Sparks – CEO, United Health Community Plan for Kansas

Michael Stephens – President and CEO, Sunflower Health Plan

Sen. Gene Suellentrop – State Senator, District 27

Suzanne Wikle – Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore – State Representative, District 36