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Proclamation notes impact of abuse
But, it also encourages and offers hope
recovery month pic
Representatives from Rise Up Central Kansas, the 20th Judicial District Central Kansas Community Corrections and Juvenile Services, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, and others pose for a photo outside the Barton County Courthouse Monday morning. The County Commission had just approved a proclamation marking September as National Recovery Month. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Substance misuse exacts more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care, said Central Kansas Community Corrections Director Amy Boxberger. In addition, the impact of substance misuse on family dynamics increases the likelihood of Acute Childhood Experiences (ACEs). 

That is why it is important to observe September as National Recovery Month, she said. The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved a proclamation making this official.

Boxberger, also a Rise Up Central Kansas community member, presented the proclamation. It details the impact of recovery through better management of health, home, purpose and community.

The big news was the announcement that Rise Up Central Kansas, a program helping lift people out of poverty, had merged with the Central Kansas Partnership, a coalition of several task forces addressing health issues in the county through the Health Department.

“This is a merger that simply can’t be beat,” Boxberger said. 

Five of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. can be attributed to ACEs, she said, citing the Centers for Disease and Control. Furthermore, 61% of adults have experienced at least one of the experiences with 16% impacted by four or more. 

“However, ACEs can be reversed,” she said. By working with the Health Department, they will address prevention, intervention and resilience. 

Those representing Rise Up success stories took turns at the lectern reading the proclamation:

“The misuse of tobacco, alcohol impacts on family dynamics caused by substance misuse may include strained relationships, financial hardships, poor performance at work or in school, exposure to other drugs, reckless behavior, theft or other criminal behavior,” one said. 

“Testing for ACEs includes abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, specifically listing physical, emotional and sexual abuse; mental illness; incarceration; household violence and absent parent, the possibility of which is increased in homes affected by alcohol and illicit drug use and misuse,” said another.

“Recovery is a process,” one of the speakers said. “This includes change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential by better managing health, home, purpose and community.”

“Rise Up Central Kansas, united with Central Kansas Partnership, is one of the local resources for recovery and resilience-based services,” another Rise Up graduate said.

“By building a durable network of mental and physical health professionals, social service workers, school officials, law enforcement personnel and persons with lived experience, Rise Up Central Kansas partners are poised to offer families the means to build resilience, offsetting the effects of ACEs and reducing the public cost of addiction,” said one of the Rise Up participants.

“All families are encouraged to reach out to public or private resources as are necessary for assistance in dealing with substance misuse, recovery and resilience,” another noted.

“Citizens are urged to be mindful of the work needed to recover from substance misuse, to give grace and opportunities to those persons in our community living in recovery and to be present in the lives of our children, helping to build resilience for future generations,” the final speaker said.

“The efforts you have put forth are outstanding,” Commissioner Jim Daily said. “You’re doing a great job.”

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Heard concerns from Great Bend High School volleyball coach Shelly Duvall over the quarantining of her entire team due to a positive case of COVID-19.

•  Approved a proclamation marking September as National Recovery Month.

Substance misuse exacts more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care. In addition, the impact of substance misuse on family dynamics increases the likelihood of Acute Childhood Experiences, said Amy Boxberger, 20th Judicial District Central Kansas Community Corrections director and Rise Up Central Kansas community member, The proclamation details the impact of recovery through better management of health, home, purpose and community.

• Approved the Central Kansas Community Corrections fiscal year 2020 year-end outcomes.

The Kansas Community Corrections Act provides grants to Kansas Counties to develop and maintain a range of programs for adult offenders assigned to community corrections agencies. A Comprehensive Plan (grant application) was submitted that set the goals for Fiscal Year 2020. 

The year-end outcomes then set out the results at the close of the year and require the review and approval of the Barton County Commissioners, as the Administrative County for the 20th judicial District.

• Approved the payment of the Employers Mutual Casualty Company deductible.

Barton County’s policy for insurance with EMC contains a $10,000 deductible. EMC has submitted the County a bill for that amount in reference to a loss, said County Administrator Phil Hathcock said. 

This was the result of a lawsuit against the county that has since been dismissed, he said.

• Approved distribution of SPARK funding to cities and school districts in the county.

On June 16, the State Finance Council approved the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce’s proposal to distribute $5,268,052 to Barton County to help address the health and economic challenges inflicted by COVID-19 based on Barton County’s population and impact from COVID-19, with funds provided for reimbursement of COVID-19 related costs. Barton County has received the necessary documentation to distribute portions of these funds to the cities and school districts, County Administrator Phil Hathcock said.

• Approved SPARK funding for the Health Department.

The Barton County Health Department has been awarded Coronavirus Relief Funds via the SPARK Taskforce, as a component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Funds must be expended by Dec. 30, said Health Director Karen Winkelman.

• Approved the purchase of voting equipment to improve social distancing at voting locations.

County Clerk Donna Zimmerman and Grant Coordinator Sue Cooper included the purchase of certain election equipment in the Reimbursement and Direct Aid plans for SPARK funding. So, the two asked the commission to approve the purchase of six ExpressVote Ballot Marking Devices and two Poll Pads, all with appropriate software, licensing and support.  

With the addition of equipment, voting locations will be able to increase social distancing measures, thus protecting both the public and election workers against the spread of COVID, Zimmerman said.

• Approved the purchase of a radar recorder for the Engineering Department. The department is periodically asked to study traffic counts and/or speed data on county and township roads, said County Engineer Barry McManaman. So, he requested approval for the purchase of a Black Cat II Radar Recorder from Jamar Technologies Inc. The $4,300 purchase includes the radar recorder, software for report generation, mounting hardware, batteries and a three-year warranty.