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17 community projects receive Kansas Health Foundation financing
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WICHITA – Since the Kansas Health Foundation launched the Kansas Community Investment Fund in January 2019, 17 community impact projects have received a total of $1 million in loans and $27,700 in grants.

KCIF loans/grants are for for-profit and nonprofit organizations improving community health in under-resourced areas by enhancing access to care, educational attainment, civic and community engagement, and promoting healthy behaviors.

“Impact investing is a new way for foundations to invest with community development financing to improve the health and economic vibrancy of Kansas communities,” said Jeff Usher, KHF senior program officer. “With these loans, we can address critical community and economic development challenges related to our KHF impact areas.”

Under Health Behaviors, High Jinks Recreation Club received a $45,000 loan to renovate an existing vacant space into a community center and gym serving Ellsworth and Ellsworth County. This was funded in August 2019.

Other recipients included:

Access To Care

• Emporia Memory Care: $44,100 loan for a new inpatient nursing/rehabilitation facility for individuals with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease (Emporia, Lyon County, funded February 2019).

• Integrated Clinical Health: A $45,000 loan will be used to create a behavioral health care practice offering mental health and substance use services (Lawrence, Douglas County, funded November 2019).

• Jayhawk Pharmacy: A $40,000 loan will help the pharmacy expand to a second location inside Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s new west campus, and will be used for medicinal inventory and medical equipment (Lawrence, Douglas County, funded April 2020).

• McNary Chiropractic $28,000 to build McNary Chiropractic, which will offer various chiropractic services for all ages (Manhattan, Riley County, funded October 2019).

• Molly Reynolds, DDS: A $65,000 loan has been approved to purchase an existing dental practice and create a new building (several local dentists are retiring or closing their doors) (Cherryvale, Montgomery County, funded April 2020).

• Visionaries Eyecare: A $90,000 loan will be used by Dr. Miller to create an optometry practice with the future addition of 2-3 staff (Hutchinson, Reno County, funded December 2019).

Civic Engagement

• Courtland Building Venture: $45,000 loan to remodel an existing building for a co-working space that is rented by people who can work remotely, telecommute or are home based (Courtland, Republic County, funded March 2019).

• IdeaTek Telecom: A $225,000 loan and $25,000 grant to expand broadband service to rural, low-resource communities who don’t have access to the internet (Hutchinson area, Reno County, funded October 2020).

Educational Attainment

• Bright Minds Academy: To help fill a community need for day-care services, a $30,000 loan was approved to start up a new day-care center in Hays, with initial capacity of 36 children and expanding to 59 in the future (Hays, Ellis County, funded December 2019).

• Cornerstone Childcare Center: A $27,300 loan and $2,700 grant to help expand a newly purchased childcare center by adding a sprinkler system within the multi-floor building (Abilene, Dickinson County, funded August 2020).

• Cozy Corner Learning Center: A $41,000 loan will be used by Cozy Corner as it expands to a second commercial location to respond to additional child care needs (Concordia, Cloud County, funded January 2020).

• Sunshine Daycare: $62,048 to refinance an existing loan and cover construction costs for expansion to Sunshine Daycare to accommodate 20 additional students (Winfield, Cowley County, funded June 2019).

Healthy Behaviors

• Up & Away Indoor Play: A $45,000 loan to offer a new, safe indoor play place for children (Lawrence, Douglas County, funded October 2019).

• Clearwater Wellness Center: $60,000 loan to expand the wellness center by adding additional weight-lifting capacity and more classroom instruction space (Clearwater, Sedgwick County, funded March 2020).

• SWFIT: $15,000 loan to purchase and expand Southwind CrossFit, a local CrossFit gym (Hays, Ellis County, funded August 2019).

• Watts Fitness: A $65,000 loan to help the fitness center expand (Fort Scott, Bourbon County, funded August 2019).

Of the $2.1 million KCIF initiative, $1.5 million is available for loans, and NetWork Kansas will contribute an additional $1.5 million to this revolving loan fund, which is available through 2021. Loans that are repaid will also be used for new KCIF loans. As manager of the KCIF process, NetWork Kansas has received approximately $310,000, and the remaining funds are being used for loan support and administration, marketing and communications.

In October 2020, KHF and NetWork Kansas welcomed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as the first corporate sponsor of KCIF, with a Blue Health Initiative Trailblazer grant totaling $150,000 annually for the next three years.

“The Kansas Health Foundation is excited to bring on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as the first corporate sponsor of KCIF,” said Deanna Van Hersh, KHF interim executive vice president. “Their commitment to invest in businesses and non-profits across Kansas will help improve the health of Kansans and also strengthen our communities.”