There was a huge announcement during a press conference at Geary Community Hospital
Jolana Montgomery-Matney, Executive Director of the Geary Community Healthcare Foundation told an audience of local leaders and community members that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a $3.5 million Healthy Start grant aimed at reducing infant mortality rates, and improving the health of mothers and infants. It will focus on a Geary County based project. “Geary Community Healthcare Foundation has been awarded $2.824 million dollars for the Healthy Start grant.”
The funds will be used in the “Delivering Change: Healthy Moms Healthy Babies initiative of the Geary County Perinatal Coalition. Jill Nelson will serve as Director of Development for the Foundation and as the Project Coordinator for the Healthy Start Grant. “The project was created in response to a growing need for improved access to healthcare, improved health of women of child bearing age, and improved outcomes for infants born in our community.”
Nelson added, “Specifically the Delivering Change initiative will be expanding the efforts to increase access to healthcare, breast feeding rates, interconception care, family and social support, and safe sleep for infants.”
Nelson confirmed the remainder of the grant money not allotted to Delivering Change locally will be used by the state to administer the grant, and for data analysis, which is a big piece of the grant.
Recent Kansas State University graduate and former Delivering Change intern Shirley Robinson has been named the ob-navigator for the project. Terra Stroda, Perinatal Coalition President, stated it is the first role of that kind in Kansas. “will serve to help women navigate into and through healthcare, to link them to helpful services in our community, and to follow through post delivery to assist with continued support and resource referral.