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K-State Today

June 27, 2022

KSRE addresses the health of Kansas with launch of first cohort

Submitted by Lisa Ross and Elaine Johannes

Grand Challenge for Health circle logo

On June 17, the first cohort of the K-State Research and Extension Grand Challenge for Health initiative launched from the campus of Emporia State University for 20 local extension professionals.

Cohort members are engaged in a 16-week professional development and resource experience with the goal being to address pressing health issues in Kansas through policy, systems, environmental strategies, education and partnerships. With support from Kansas SNAP-Ed and extension's Kansas Health Foundation endowment, the cohort experience features completion of the University of Minnesota's System's Approaches to Healthy Communities online course, coaching from KSRE specialists, "golden-circle" planning, and implementation of the national Cooperative Extension's Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being recommendations. The cohort experience culminates with an opportunity for cohort members from local extension units to apply for a Grand Challenge for Health grant which puts the knowledge and skills gained into action for improved health for all Kansans. The first cohort members include:

Debra Wood, Central Kansas District; Dale Helwig, Cherokee County; Mirna Bonilla Salazar, Chisholm Trail District; Becky Reid, Cowley County; Holly Miner, Wildcat District; Pamela Paulsen, Reno County; Kaitlin Moore, River Valley District; Teresa Hatfield, Meadowlark District; Stephanie DeLong, Sedgwick County; Sara Sawer, Sedgwick County; Tara Solomon-Smith, Wildcat District; Joy Miller, Southwind District; Alyssa Rippe-May, Twin Creeks District; Aimee Baker, Wichita County; Frances Graves, Wildcat District; Katherine Pinto, Wildcat District; Denise Dias, Wyandotte County; Atalie Tompkins, Chisholm Train District; Shandi Andres, Flint Hills District; and Monica Walker, Grant County.

The cohort is coached and supported by Extension specialists Chuckie Hessong, Tandy Rundus, Janelle VanKooten, Elizabeth Kiss, Stephanie Gutierrez, Lisa Ross and Elaine Johannes.

The work of the initiative aligns with the national Healthy People 2030 objectives and Healthy Kansas 2030 objectives.

For information about the community-based health work of KSRE contact Ross, Gutierrez or  Johannes.