Category Archives: Health Care

Opioid and Stimulant Conference Nov. 10

The 6th Annual Kansas Opioid and Stimulant Conference will take place on November 10th, at the Hotel Topeka, formerly the Topeka Capitol Plaza.

Due to the significant rise in psychostimulant overdoses in Kansas, the conference has expanded to include topics related to stimulant prevention, treatment, and recovery for the second year.

DCCCA, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Advisory Committee present the conference.


November 10






Call for Proposals Open Now Until August 31
Proposals will be requested for workshops that emphasize knowledge-sharing, skill-building, practical application, and audience engagement. Sessions should focus on emerging trends, building skills and knowledge, and advocacy for best practices to address the prescription drug, opioid, or stimulant crises across disciplines. Proposals should fit into one of the following topic areas associated with opioids and/or stimulants: prevention, provider education, prescribing, pain management, treatment, recovery, intervention, neonatal abstinence syndrome, naloxone, first response, criminal justice, or law enforcement. Note: Presenters may submit proposals on other topics; however, they must relate to prescription drug, opioid, and/or stimulant prevention, treatment, or recovery.


Submit Your Presentation Proposal Now


Registration Opens: September 15, 2022



View Conference Website at


Our mailing address is:
3312 Clinton Parkway
Lawrence, KS 66047

Postai: CHC Expansion Impacts Fort Scott Positively

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is  proceeding with what will ultimately be a $10 million investment in their newly renovated building in Fort Scott that they are fully funding, according to Krista Postai, CEO and President.

The  renovation project is located at the former Price Chopper building at 2322 S. Main.

“We are on schedule to be in the new building in December as planned,” she said. “We did discover tunnels underneath the former grocery store that we weren’t expecting which came as quite the surprise, but are addressing the situation especially in those areas which will be supporting heavy equipment such as the CT Scanner and Mammography Unit.”

Renovation began Feb. 2022 on the future CHC/SEK Fort Scott Clinic in the former Price Chopper building on South Main Street.
The Price Chopper building, 2322 S. Main.

CHC currently is housed in a portion of the former Fort Scot Mercy Hospital on Woodland Hill Blvd. but their lease is up in December 2022.

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

Postai Provides Impact Studies

CHC/SEK and Fort Scott were featured in a national case study focusing on the transition of the Mercy Clinics to CHC/SEK, Postai said.

Postai attached the case findings plus the information compiled on the economic impact on the community, which were completed by Capital Link.  Capital Link is a national, non-profit organization that has worked with community health centers and
primary care associations for over 25 years to plan for sustainability and growth, access capital, articulate value and improve and optimize operations and financial management,  according to info in the study.

The current CHC project value to the community is shown to have both temporary impacts during construction and ongoing impacts from expanded operations including economic, employment and tax impacts.

To view the detailed study:

Capital Project Value Impact of Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Fort Scott-1


The introduction to the case study:

“When Mercy Hospital Fort Scott (Mercy) closed its doors in Fort Scott, Kansas, after 132 years in operation, the rural community of 7,800 was left without a hospital. In the tumultuous aftermath of this closure, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK or CHC), a Federally
Qualified Health Center based 30 miles away in Pittsburg, Kansas, stepped forward to take over two of the closed
hospital’s primary care clinics, providing a range of primary and preventive care services in Fort Scott, partially
filling the gap left by the hospital’s closure.
The circumstances leading up to the hospital’s closure and its impact on the community have been well-
documented by Sarah Jane Tribble in NPR’s nine-episode podcast, “Where it Hurts, Season 1: No Mercy.” This
case study focuses on CHC’s response to the closure and its efforts to restore access to primary care in Fort Scott,
while the community grieved the loss of its hospital.
Through interviews with CHC/SEK’s leadership, Capital Link explored CHC/SEK’s response to Mercy’s closure,
the subsequent impact on the community and the current state of the situation, in order to highlight lessons
learned for rural centers in similar situations.”

To view the entire case findings in detail:

CHC SEK Case Study – FINAL-1

Question on Property Taxes

The CHC building at 902 S. Horton will soon be the Fort Scott Community College Nursing Department. March 2023 is the scheduled transfer.

Recently on social media there was a comment that CHC had neglected paying property tax on their building at 902 Horton Street that currently houses some of their staff and a Veteran’s Administration local office.

Postai responded with the following:

“CHC/SEK is a non-profit 501(c)3 and, like the Mercy Health System, Ascension and most other healthcare organizations is exempt from property taxes,” Postai said. “Fort Scott Community College is also exempt, as is the Veterans Administration who currently occupies the Horton Street Building along with CHC/SEK staff.”

“Appropriate paperwork has been filed and is working its way through the system and we were advised by the county to hold payments pending final determination, which is what we’ve done.”

“We had actually mailed a check to the county for the taxes, who returned it to us because they anticipate our tax-exempt status will also apply to this building and they’d just have to refund our payment,” she said.

“In the meantime, we’re proceeding with what will ultimately be a $10 million investment in our newly renovated building (on Main Street) in Ft. Scott that CHC/SEK is fully funding itself.

“Any money from the sale of the Horton Street Building will be utilized toward the redo of the former Price Chopper building (on Main Street) which will also include classrooms for use by Fort Scott Community College at no cost to them.

“A portion of the funds will also be used for scholarships at FSCC.

“We will be in the new facility by the end of December and are looking forward to expanding services, recruiting additional professionals and serving all regardless of ability to pay. 

“I am always available to answer any questions and can be reached at 620-235-1867 or on my cell at 620-249-9936. My email is [email protected]. Krista Postai, CEO, CHC/SEK.



Drug Overdose Epidemic Survey

The Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Advisory Committee is conducting a public opinion survey regarding the drug overdose epidemic in Kansas. The purpose of this survey is to assess community needs regarding overdose prevention and response resources. These data will be used to develop a comprehensive drug overdose prevention plan for Kansas. Please disseminate among your personal and professional networks. The survey can be found here:


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 Who says breast cancer awareness is only for October? 

Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients, as stated on the front door of the CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott.

CHC/SEK Fort Scott to host mammogram screening event

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is hosting Mammo Mania, a mammography screening event for women age 40 and older who have not received a recent mammogram.

The event will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17 at the Fort Scott main clinic located at 401 Woodland Hills Blvd Fort Scott.

Women in Southeast Kansas rank far below state and national averages in receiving this life-saving screening, and having the service available within the clinic helps remove barriers many women have in receiving timely breast cancer screenings. Likewise, the walk-in event will give patients an option on when they can arrive.

Because CHC/SEK believes every woman should have the best quality mammogram available, every patient receives a 3D exam.  A physician’s referral is also not required. The screening is available to eligible women regardless of ability to pay.

CHC/SEK uses the Hologic Genius system that screens the breast in 4 seconds for a much less compression time, with less radiation exposure than many conventional mammography machines. The Genius exam is also superior for denser breasts, that that can hide early signs of cancer in a traditional mammogram. 

In addition, the Hologic Genius scans potentially reduce patient callback by up to 40 percent compared to 2D, sparing the emotional and economic toll of additional testing, including biopsies when there could be nothing wrong.

For more information people can call 620-223-8484.


Care to Share Cancer Support Group Rummage Sale: May 7

Submitted by Lavetta Simmons

Care To Share Cancer Support Group will have a rummage sale,Saturday, May 7 , 2022, 8am to 1 pm at  Buck Run Community Center, 835 S. Scott Avenue, Fort Scott.


 Do you have clutter? Or too much stuff?
We are asking for donations from you!
It’s time to clean out, and bring it to us Friday night, May 6, 5to 7 pm to Buck Run Community Center.
Let us turn your unwanted stuff into funds for our local cancer patients and their families.
Our mission statement is:
To provide friendship and support through emotional and financial assistance to individuals who are cancer fighters and their caregivers…because we care to share.
We are 100% volunteer individuals, no paid employees, so everything donated goes 100% right back into our community for our cancer fighters.
Last year we were able to care and share 1,134 times for a total of $65,711.69 with our cancer families, and we could not do it without you, our wonderful caring and sharing community.
If you have items that needs out of your home or garage, load them up and bring them to us Friday night, May 6, 5 to 7pm, Buck Run Community Center.

Lavetta Simmons, in front of the Care to Share office at 904 S. Horton.
Thank YOU for Caring and Sharing!!
For more information contact Lavetta Simmons-620-224-8070
For Crawford County contact Teresa Davenport-620-362-3042
For Linn County contact Richard Long-913-626-9732

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg adds OB/GYN

OB/GYN Kari Hamlin, MD, has joined Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.

As a Kansas native, Dr. Hamlin knows the importance of close-to-home, community-based care and is excited to care for women in all stages of life.

Dr. Hamlin earned her undergraduate and Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Kansas and then did her OB/GYN residency through UKSM-W at Wesley Medical Center.
She also earned Master’s degrees in both Business Administration and Health Care Leadership from Friends University.

Prior to joining Ascension Via Christi, Dr. Hamlin spent nearly a decade caring for patients at other rural Kansas family medicine clinics and medical centers. During that period, she served as chief of Obstetrics and chief of Staff for Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center.

“We are excited that Dr. Hamlin chose Ascension Via Christi to practice, further improving access to care for women in Southeast Kansas,” says Drew Talbott, hospital president. “Dr. Hamlin’s knowledge, courtesy, patient-first mindset and compassion makes her a great fit for our OB/GYN team.”

Patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamlin by calling 620-230-0044. For more information, visit



About Ascension Via Christi


In Kansas, Ascension Via Christi operates seven hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs nearly 6,400 associates. Across the state, Ascension Via Christi provided nearly $89 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2021. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the leading non-profit and Catholic health system in the U.S., operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 145 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit

New KS Bill to Allow APRNs To Pracitice Independently

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Bipartisan Bill Removing Barriers to Health Care

~~ Senate Substitute for House Bill 2279 Allows Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to Provide More Care to Kansans~~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that she signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2279. The bipartisan bill expands access to health care in Kansas by removing barriers, allowing advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice independently.

“Kansas, like so many other states, is experiencing a health care shortage – especially in rural parts of the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This will improve the availability of high-quality health care by empowering APRNs to reduce local and regional care gaps.”

“This bill will increase access to care for all Kansans, many of whom rely on safe and expert APRN care today,” Amy Siple, APRN, president of Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association, said. We applaud Governor Kelly and the Kansas legislature for taking this step towards greater access, quality outcomes, and reduced regulatory barriers. As the 26th state to remove these barriers for APRNs, Kansas demonstrates a commitment to improving the health of its citizens.”

Senate Sub. for HB 2279 requires an APRN to maintain malpractice insurance and national certification for initial licensure as an APRN. It also requires that these medical professionals comply with federal Drug Enforcement Administration requirements related to controlled substances to prescribe controlled substances.

Additional information about Senate Sub for HB 2279 can be found here.

SEK Health Department: Prevent-Promote-Protect

Rebecca Johnson, SEKMCHD Director.

Submitted by Rebecca Johnson BSN, RN; SEK Multi-County Health Department Administrator/SEK Local Health Officer



Who are we?

We are the SEK Multi-County Health Department.

1971, the Bi-County Health Department was started with Anderson County and Linn County. Kansas Department of Health and Environment worked with these two counties because of their low immunization rates. Several years later, Allen, Bourbon, and Woodson Counties joined to form the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department. In 2006, Linn County left the SEKMCHD leaving the four counties – AllenAndersonBourbon, and Woodson.


Who are our staff?

Allen County: Megan Neville, RN-Public Health Nurse; Traci Ridge-Accountant; Susan Belt, MT(ASCP)- Reg. PHEP Coordinator/Planning & Outreach Coordinator; Vicki Howard-Home Visitor; Ruby Gulick-Administrative Assistant; Deidre Wilson, RN-WIC Coordinator/Public Health Nurse; Dr. Rebecca Watson-Medical Director; Cara Walden, RN-Public Health Nurse; Cynthia Frisbie, RD, LD-Dietician

Anderson County: Samantha Mason BS, RN-Public Health Nurse; Mika Mader-Administrative Assistant

Bourbon County: Hannah Geneva, RN-Public Health Nurse; Kendell Mason-Administrative Assistant; Holly Fritter-Home Visitor; Linda Lawrence-Special Projects Assistant; Rebecca Johnson, BSN, RN-Administrator/SEK Local Health Officer

Woodson County: Tiffany Davidson, RN, BSN-Public Health Nurse; Joni Diver-Administrative Assistant


What do we provide to our community?

Public Health


What is Public Health?

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases. Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world. (


Why is Public Health important?

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research—in contrast to clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health also works to limit health disparities. A large part of public health is promoting health care equity, quality and accessibility. (


The 10 Essential Public Health Services:


The strength of a public health system rests on its capacity to effectively deliver the 10 Essential Public Health Services:

  1. Assess and monitor population health.
  2. Investigate, diagnose and address health hazards and root causes.
  3. Communicate effectively to inform and educate.
  4. Strengthen, support and mobilize communities and partnerships.
  5. Create, champion and implement policies, plans and laws.
  6. Utilize legal and regulatory actions.
  7. Enable equitable access.
  8. Build a diverse and skilled workforce.
  9. Improve and innovate through evaluation, research and quality improvement.
  10. Build and maintain a strong organizational infrastructure for public health.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services provide a framework for public health to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities.

To achieve optimal health for all, the Essential Public Health Services actively promote policies, systems and services that enable good health and seek to remove obstacles and systemic and structural barriers — such as poverty, racism, gender discrimination, and other forms of oppression — that have resulted in health inequalities.

Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to achieve good health and well-being.



Other services we provide to our community:


Family Planning:

Breast Exam, Pap, Lab Work, STD testing, Blood pressure screening, hemoglobin, blood sugar, nutrition counseling & birth control if desired.


Infants, Children, & Adults


KanBe Healthy Screening:

For Kancare eligible children up to 18 years of age. Full physical, hearing & vision screenings, and lab work.


Healthy Start Home Visitor:

Provides home visits to pregnant mothers and parents of newborns. Provides parents with resources and referrals for various assistance programs they are eligible for. Breastfeeding education provided.


Adult Physicals:

Basic adult physical provided by registered nurse for employment purposes. Physicals also provided for State of Kansas foster care or adoptions.


Childhood Physicals:

Physicals for public schools, daycares, Headstart or preschool. Full physical, hearing & vision screens, lab work. No Athletic Physicals.


Blood Pressure & Glucose Checks:

We will monitor blood pressure/blood glucose and keep a record for you.


Pregnancy Tests:

Provided for $15.00. Referrals to DCF, WIC, HSHV, and family doctor are provided.



Women, Infant, & Children – State Program to help promote the healthy development of children. Call for more information.


STD Testing & Treatment:

We will test for and treat gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.


Lab/Blood Draws:

Cholesterol, diabetes, drug screens, pregnancy, CBC, Thyroid, prostate. For a full list and pricing please call.


Child Care Licensing:


Call for more information






How to contact us:

Allen County: (620)365-2191

Anderson County: (785)448-6559

Bourbon County: (620)223-4464

Woodson County: (620)625-2484

COVID-19 Second Booster Available

KDHE Supports FDA and CDC Recommendation for Second Dose of COVID-19 Booster for Certain Individuals

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has authorized the over 2,000 COVID-19 vaccine providers across Kansas to begin offering a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for individuals aged 50 and over and certain immunocompromised individuals following authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, CDC recommends adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations, including those who are over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

The following updates were made to booster shot eligibility.

  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with certain kinds of immunocompromise at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. These are people who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.
  • A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 4 months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older with the same certain kinds of immunocompromise.

Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. COVID-19 booster shots are authorized for all people ages 12 and over. To find a vaccine near you, visit



Ascension Via Christi Wound Center receives Center of Distinction recognition

Acsension Via Christi. Submitted photo.

The Wound Center at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg has been recognized as a Healogics Center of Distinction based on its outstanding clinical and operational results in 2021 despite the
extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic.

To earn this recognition, centers must achieve or exceed a 92 percent patient satisfaction rate and 75 percent wound adjusted comprehensive healing rate and have an outlier rate of less than 16 percent; Pittsburg’s wound center numbers were 95 percent, 80 percent and 12 percent.

“I am so proud of the work this team does,” says Charlotte Russell, director of Physician Services, noting how well they work with each other on patients’ behalf. “In addition to being clinically proficient, they are all so kind and accommodating. They truly are a blessing to our Mission.”

Rachel Stevens, MD, serves as the wound center’s medical director and Tammie Caves as its clinical
program director.
To learn more about the Wound Center, call (620) 235-7522.

About Ascension Via Christi
In Kansas, Ascension Via Christi operates seven hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs nearly 6,400 associates. Across
the state, Ascension Via Christi provided nearly $89 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year
2021. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering
compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is
the leading non-profit and Catholic health system in the U.S., operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 145 hospitals and
more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit,

CHC/SEK continues testing, vaccine for uninsured

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) will continue to test and vaccinate under-insured, or patients without insurance for COVID-19 even though the federal program that reimburses hospitals, clinics, doctors and other service providers for COVID-19 care for uninsured people is coming to a close.

“COVID-19 is still with us,” said Jason Wesco, President & Chief Strategy Officer at CHC/SEK. “If uninsured individuals in our communities hesitate to get care because of the cost, we’ll likely see more cases, and the consequences those cases might cause.”

With lack of additional funding, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced this week that the program that reimburses hospitals, clinics, doctors and other service providers for COVID-19 care for uninsured people is ending. “The lack of funding for COVID-19 needs is having real consequences,” Martin Kramer, a spokesman for the Health Resources and Services Administration, said in a statement. “We have begun an orderly shutdown of the program.”

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down dramatically across most parts of the country, however with another Omicron variant surging in Europe, some scientists are concerned that another US surge could be on its way.

Wesco says CHC/SEK wants anyone who thinks they might be ill to be tested and treated.

“It’s important not only for your health, but for the health of your family, friends and neighbors,” he said. “Continued testing and vaccination are the right thing to do, and the key to putting this pandemic behind us.”

Input Sought in Health and Wellness Assessment

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team staff are looking for up to 12 participants to give information to a community health and wellness assessment in eight separate sectors in the community, according to Jody Hoener, President and CEO of the HBCAT.

“Please take a look below and consider providing your input either online or in person,” she said. “Eight different dates with 24 time slots!! We are hoping you can find a time that fits your schedule!”

HBCAT is located at 104 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott.