Healthy Bourbon County Action Team Newsletter, Nov. 2021

Hoener Recognized as the 2021 National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health’s Community Star for Kansas

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health is a national nonprofit membership organization that represents the 50 state Offices of Rural Health around the nation and promotes a healthy rural America through state and community leadership.

NOSORH sets aside the third Thursday of every November to celebrate National Rural Health Day (NRHD).

“Jody Hoener is a prime example of how one person can make a massive impact on the lives of thousands of people,” according to the NOSORH award presentation.Though she may not be a household name to the roughly 7,500 residents of Fort Scott, her dedication, passion, strategic planning and grant writing skills, and deep commitment to addressing the community’s health disparities are evident every place you turn in Bourbon County, Kansas.”

To view the award presentation:

Jody Hoener. Submitted photo.

This Day is an opportunity to ‘celebrate the power of rural’ by honoring the selfless, community-minded spirit that prevails in rural America. Learn more: https: /

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team Newsletter

T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s

CEO’s Message P. 2

Grant Program P. 3

Bronson Bikeway Plan P. 4


Highlight P. 5


Jody Hoener

A Message from the CEO

At The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team, we are celebrating and giving thanks. We have seen a considerable number of large wins in 2021 and we are eternally thankful for the BCBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant that helped our organization get off the ground in 2016. We have built lasting relationships as they continue to support us and our work to build healthier, thriving communities.

We remain steadfast to our mission and purpose to support our local food systems, advocate for increased access to recreation and physical activity, work with all sectors of Bourbon County on creating healthier environments and making the healthy choice the default.

Our community has been awarded almost $1 million from the BCBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant since 2016. This solid foundation has given us the capacity to grow our organization and address challenges head on with strength and determination. This year we have celebrated building our program to address poverty at the Center for Economic Growth with the $78,175 award from USDA Rural Business Development and then a $560,140 award from the Patterson Family Foundation to expand.

This funding is critical to our work in addressing the social determinants of health. The health of a community – and its people – is dependent on a number of social, political, economic, and environmental conditions. We believe in investing in our people. Today we recognize the gifts of our collaborations and grateful for our partners at Pittsburg State Small Business Development Center, Southeast KANSASWORKS, and The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. These relationships have shown to be mutually beneficial while making measurable impacts on the lives of individuals and the community as a whole.



Grant Program

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) was recently awarded the Patterson Family Foundation Grant. Through this grant HBCAT created three grant programs: Start up businesses, Restaurants and food retail, and Farmers/Ranchers. A healthy workforce is a prerequisite for economic success in any industry and in all cities. Through these grant programs, the HBCAT is supporting local entrepreneurs and building up more resilient food systems.

All applicants must enroll with PSU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The Action Team’s Center for Economic Growth. The services that SBDC provides are, but not limited to, developing business plans, financial cash flow projections, registering for LLC, applying for EIN, Marketing, and setting up KS Sales Tax Payable Account.

Dacia Clark, the Assistant Director, is in Fort Scott’s HBCAT office Mondays and Fridays or available by appointment via Zoom.

The three grant options available are: Minority, Women owned, Minority owned Startup businesses ($5,000)

Restaurant and Food Retail ($7,000) Farmers/Ranchers ($10,000)

Grant applications can be picked up at HBCAT’s office located at 104 N National Fort Scott, KS or at The Chamber of Commerce.

Any questions regarding the Grant Program can be directed to Rachel Carpenter at 620- 215-2562 or through email at [email protected]

A special thanks to Fort Scott Community College’s Cheerleaders for handing out Community Health Needs Survey flyers at Walmart! The Community Health Needs

Survey gathers data, solicits community member perspectives, and collects information about the community’s resources. More information will be gathered through focus groups. It will measure health and wellness beliefs/perceptions about needs and resources, the community environments, and demographics. It will ensure programs, policies, and systems changes are designed, planned, and carried out in a coordinated manner that benefits the entire county. Thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey and sharing your voice on the needs of the community.

City of Bronson Opts-In to Tri-County Bikeway Plan

Prairie Pathways has made major progress with the approval of sign placement from both City of Uniontown and City of Bronson Council members.

Prairie Pathways began as ABC Trails in 2018 when leaders of Thrive Allen County, The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team, and Live Well Crawford County initiated conversations to build a tri-county bikeway trail system. Funding was soon obtained from the Sunflower Foundation to turn the idea into a strategic planning document.

Committee members from all three counties informed the document entitled, “ABC Trails Active Transportation Plan.” This plan was formally adopted by resolution by all three county commissions in early 2019.

Grant funds from HBCAT’s BCBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant was awarded for branding and implementation of the transportation plan. ABC Trails was re-branded to Prairie Pathways. Thrive Allen County obtained additional funding through a CDRR grant to purchase signs. HBCAT worked with Bourbon County’s Public Works Department to purchase signposts with BCBS Pathways grant funds and install the signs.

Although COVID-19 pandemic delayed progress, we are very excited about seeing Prairie Pathways signs up in the very near future.

Uniontown Saddle Club Benefits from $4,000 Grant

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team was awarded a $4,000 grant on behalf of Uninontown’s Saddle Club from The Fort Scott Area Cmmunity Foundation. The grant funds are going to be used to add 8 new RV electrical receptacles that the rodeo contestants will be able to utilize. This affordable housing option will allow any visitors to stay in Uniontown year round and increases access to outdoor recreation!


KANSASWORKS is a resource The Healthy Bourbon County Action offers to help strengthen the workforce of Bourbon County. They work with individuals seeking employment and connects them with local employers they have partnered with.

Christina Abbott who is in Fort Scott on Mondays and oversees the youth program. She helps youth who are 16-24 years old and who are typically out of school. Some of the services that Christina provides are skills training, work experience, and GED classes. There is also a workshop available called LifeWorks that focuses on career exploration and preparation.

Ashley Finnie will also be joining the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team on Fridays.

Ashley oversees the adult program with KANSASWORKS. Individuals who are 18 years or older who are dislocated workers can enroll in services such as on the job training, job searching, career guidance and participate in mock interviews.


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