Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition General Membership Meeting Minutes



February 1, 2023



  1. Welcome:  Eighteen members representing seventeen agencies attended.  Billie Jo announced that there continues to be an opening on the Coalition Board; they are seeking a volunteer.


  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  • Sandy Haggard, RSVP: At present she has volunteers working with the Teammates program at Uniontown, Beacon, Fort Scott Housing, and Red Cross blood drives. The next blood drive is February 16 at Buck Run, 12:30 – 7:00.
  • Elizabeth Schafer, CASA: CASA is a rewarding way to help the youth in our area.  Pioneer Kiwanis also works to support youth projects. Both organizations would welcome additional members.
  • Lea Kay Karleskint, K State Research: Three classes are in process at this time; she is always looking for partners who can provide space for programs.
  • Dave Gillen, Beacon: Reminded members of all the services that Beacon offers.
  • Donna Cunningham, Family Strong Program: Now housed in the Board of Education building, 424 S. Main.
  • Michelle Stevenson, USD 234 ECPS: Program is full right now but she can always take referrals for a waiting list.
  • Allen Schellack, Compassionate Ministries and Salvation Army: Has lots of resources if there is a need:  hygiene products, medical equipment on a temporary basis, fans, bedding, temporary lodging, gas, etc.  Red Kettle campaign did not go quite so well as last year so they will suffer some budget cuts.  Allen’s hours are 10-2 Mondays through Thursdays; however, call first as Alan may be out of the office assisting someone with a need.
  • Kelly Mengerilli, Early Childhood Block Grant: Works with preschool, Happy Kids, etc. to provide quality child care.
  • Ann Elliott, Family Resource Center: In addition to writing grants and overseeing the Family Strong Grant, she can help with gaps in services.
  • DeeDee, Community Liaison: Helps facilitate a close working relationship between organizations:  Parents as Teachers, Birth to Three, Early Childhood, etc.
  • Christine Abbott: SEK Works: Works with ages 16-24 on completing a GED, job trainings, etc.  Christine is in Fort Scott on Mondays and Wednesdays at the HBCAT office.  SEK Works also provides adult services; the Fort Scott office is staffed all week.
  • Lindsey McNeil, CHC, COPE: works strictly with KU.
  • Lindsey Waterman, CHC and KU: Works with the COPE grant to house homeless, help with applications for apartments, SNAP and Medicaid. COPE is not housed in the clinic but at HBCAT office. They also help with Meals on Wheels.
  • Vicki Wright: SEK Mental Health: Have received a grant to expand training for mental health first aide: how to properly help when someone is in a mental health crisis.
  • Melinda Miller: SEK Area on Aging:  Does case management and assessing; her office is in Pittsburg.


  1. Program: Melanie Wiles, Gentiva Hospice

Gentiva was formerly known as Avalon Hospice.  Melanie’s job is to educate what hospice really is because hospice is underutilized.  Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care where the focus is the patient and family – not the disease.


Medicare adopted hospice services in 1980; therefore, there is no cost for the service.  Hospice is not just treating physical systems; they have a whole team approach.  A physician must refer for hospice.


Hospice care allows patients and families to focus on the things that matter the most – time with loved ones and sharing conversations with family and friends.


Hospice is about treating the whole person – mind, body, and spirit, and bringing comfort, compassion and closure for patients and their families.  It is a plan of care that brings comfort, compassion, and closure for the patient and the family.  Gentiva specializes in honoring life and offering dignity to those who are facing a life-limiting illness.


Contact information for Gentiva Hospice:  2307 South Tucker, Pittsburg, KS 66762, 620-231-8000,


  1. Open Forum: Billie Jo mentioned that our April program will be a presentation by the Fort Scott High School Orchestra Department; the March program is not finalizedb


  1. Adjournment:  Next General Membership meeting will be March 1, at 1:00 p.m.

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