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Press Releases

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Year/Month
Clear
2017
471
February 6, 2017
Testimony in support of House Bill 2064, which proposes Medicaid in Kansas
The Kansas House Health and Human Services committee is scheduled to receive testimony in support of House Bill 2064, which would expand Medicaid in our state. Sunflower Foundation issued this written testimony.
healthy living
482
January 26, 2017
Rural grocery solutions sought with $120,000 pilot project

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has approved a statewide $120,000 pilot project focused on supporting community-based strategies to address food access needs in rural areas, such as strengthening local grocery stores.

2016
health care
595
October 5, 2016
Sunflower announces new Program Officer

It is a pleasure to announce that Brandon Skidmore has joined Sunflower Foundation as Program Officer. Brandon has extensive experience in both health and public health systems, most recently serving as Director of the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, where he has worked for more than a decade. 

healthy living
687
July 5, 2016
Sunflower awards more than $560,000 for trails

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $561,047 to 12 communities and one school district to build new trails, or connect and enhance existing trails. The Sunflower Trails program is designed to promote healthy living by helping communities provide all populations with safe and accessible opportunities for outdoor physical activity. 

737
May 16, 2016
Sunflower Foundation Announces Board Appointments

The Sunflower Foundation announces three appointments to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees are Liz Sosa of Garden City, Andrea Krauss of Russell, and Les Lacy of St. Francis. Each will serve a three-year term on the board, expiring in June 2019. 

healthy living
847
January 27, 2016
Request For Proposals Issued for Sunflower Trails

The Sunflower Foundation is pleased to announce the 2016 Request for Proposals for the Sunflower Trails program. The foundation invites municipalities, schools and non-profit organizations to submit proposals for building, enhancing or connecting trails in order to create safe, accessible places for outdoor physical activity and community engagement.

854
January 20, 2016
Sunflower Foundation to establish headquarters and learning center with preservation project on historic Martin’s Hill

The Sunflower Foundation’s Board of Trustees announced today that it will establish its headquarters and a learning center in northwest Topeka by preserving and renovating two historic buildings.

2015
advocacy
897
December 8, 2015
Major Health Foundations of Kansas Urge Legislators, Governor to Expand KanCare

Leaders of the state’s six major health foundations today sent a letter to Kansas legislators and the governor urging them to give KanCare expansion “serious consideration and an open debate,” pointing to new research that shows potential savings for the Kansas budget.

advocacy
939
October 27, 2015
Sunflower Foundation Announces 2016 Advocacy Fellows

The Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellowship Class of 2016 has been announced. This multi-sector class of 15 leaders from across Kansas will learn how to become more effective advocates, with a special emphasis on utilizing civil discourse as a tool to bridge the partisan divide.

health care
1106
May 13, 2015
Foundation Seeks Program Officer for Health Care Systems and Integrated Care
The Sunflower Foundation is seeking a Program Officer to join its team and lead the Health Care Systems and Integrated Care program. Reporting to the President and CEO, the Program Officer will develop, organize and implement initiatives that result in achieving the foundation’s mission and vision.
health care
1119
April 30, 2015
Sunflower awards more than $430,000 to support integrating behavioral and physical health care

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded a total of $432,635 to three providers to support their efforts to integrate behavioral and physical health care delivery in Kansas.

1127
April 22, 2015
Sunflower Foundation Announces Board Appointments

The Sunflower Foundation announces two appointments to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees are Jay Kennedy of Frankfort and Reggie Robinson of Lawrence.

healthy living
1128
April 21, 2015
Sunflower awards more than $250,000 for trails
The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded just over $250,000 to seven communities and one school district to build new trails, or connect and enhance existing trails.
health care
1133
April 16, 2015
Wamego clinic awarded grant to expand efforts to integrate physical and behavioral health care
The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $60,000 to the Community Health Ministry Clinic in Wamego to expand its efforts to integrate behavioral and physical health care delivery.
health care
1134
April 15, 2015
Sunflower grant to help integrate behavioral and physical health care in Labette County

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $172,635 to the Labette Center for Mental Health Services in Parsons to implement their plan for integrating behavioral and physical health care delivery.

advocacy
1167
March 13, 2015
Foundations continue support for Health Reform Resource Project
Members of the Kansas Grantmakers in Health group have approved renewing funding for the Health Reform Resource Project, an initiative to support organizations statewide that are affected by the Affordable Care Act.
2014
1337
September 24, 2014
Announcing the 2014 Graduates of the Advocacy Fellowship Program
The Sunflower Foundation is proud to announce the graduation of fourteen service leaders from the Advocacy Fellowship program. The yearlong program helps community and state leaders develop the knowledge and expertise they need to be more powerful voices for the Kansans they serve.
healthy living
1364
August 28, 2014
Sunflower Foundation Awards More Than $240,000 To Develop Community Trails
The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded a total of $244,675 to seven Kanasas communities and one school district to build new public trails or enhance existing ones.
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The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded a total of $244,675 to seven Kanasas communities and one school district to build new public trails or enhance existing ones.

“It’s a pleasure to grow the Sunflower Trails family, creating more and more outdoor space for communities to share,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation.

“What started as a way to help communities enhance their built environment has evolved over ten years into a dynamic way to engage people around health and wellness,” Hall said. “Each project reflects its unique community, and it’s exciting to see the creative ways each trail is used.”

So far, the program has helped fund more than 125 trail projects across the state. You can find Sunflower Trails near you with this trail finder: http://SunflowerFoundation.org/TrailFinder.

The Board of Trustees approved the following eight grants at its August board meeting:

City of Lawrence
A popular footpath along the Kansas River in Douglas County will soon be much more accessible thanks to this community-driven project. The city plans to open the new 10-foot wide, ADA-friendly trail by spring of 2015. The improved trail — located in Lawrence’s Burcham Park — will connect several existing trails, including a recently completed one behind Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

City of Derby
Madison Avenue Central Park will be the site of Derby’s new one-mile walking trail. Residents of the Sedgwick County town voted for a ½-cent sales tax in 2013 to fund transformation of the park from a treeless lot to an inviting green space. Plans for the park have been developed by a citizen task force.

City of Roeland Park
Volunteers in Roeland Park are working to restore an urban green space called “R Park.” Thanks to vigorous fundraising, this community in northern Johnson County will build an activity center and arts space in the park. A new ½-mile trail will connect to existing walking areas creating a ¾-mile loop.

Riley County
The Riley County Parks Department is creating new green space for the people of  Manhattan to enjoy.  A new ½-mile trail in Fairmont Park will connect with a planned outdoor activity center, and will eventually tie into a proposed nature trail along the river.

City of Conway Springs
Conway Springs in Sumner County plans to build its first community trail this fall. The ½-mile long trail is part of a larger plan to transform a treeless lot into a shaded activity center for parents and children to enjoy the outdoors.

City of Paola
This seven-mile trail will encircle Lake Miola just outside of town. The project is part of the “Paola Pathways” initiative, a grassroots effort to make this Miami County community more liveable and walkable.

City of Tonganoxie
The popular Chieftain Trail in Tonganoxie will be enhanced with a trailhead kiosk showcasing trail maps, exercise information and local history. Distance markers will also be installed on this three-mile community trail in Leavenworth County.

USD #233 Olathe Public Schools
Sunnyside Elementary School will build a ¼-mile trail loop just inside the school-yard boundary to create a safe walking/running environment for students and staff. The school’s grant match comes from several years of fundraising by the school booster club. The “Sunrunners” was the first marathon club in the school district and is now the largest, with more than 200 students.

• • •

Since its inception in 2005, the Sunflower Trails program has partnered in more than 125 trail projects in more than 50 Kansas counties. For additional information about the Sunflower Trails program, please contact Healthy Living & Active Communities program officer Elizabeth Stewart at estewart@sunflowerfoundation.org or (785) 232-3000, ext. 112.

Please direct media inquiries to Director of Communications Phil Cauthon at pcauthon@sunflowerfoundation.org or (785) 232-3000, ext. 101.

1408
July 15, 2014
Sunflower Foundation relocates to new building

As of July 22, the Sunflower Foundation will move its office to a new location. Please update your address books with the new location: 1420 SW Arrowhead Road, Suite 2N, Topeka, KS 66604.

healthy living
1416
July 7, 2014
Registration Open for Kansas Built Environment and the Outdoors Summit

Featuring new sessions and speakers on economics, advocacy and funding, the 8th Annual Built Environment and the Outdoors Summit (BEOS) is set for September 16-18th in the historic Hotel at Old Town in Wichita. Early registration rates are available until July 31st, with special group rates to encourage team attendance. Due to limited space, early registration is strongly advised. 

advocacy
1433
June 20, 2014
Sunflower Vice President To Lead Colorado Health Care Association

After nearly four years as Vice President for Policy, Doug Farmer is leaving Sunflower to take a new job as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Health Care Association. His last day at the foundation will be July 18.

1454
May 30, 2014
Sunflower Foundation Announces Board and Community Advisory Committee Appointments
The Sunflower Foundation announces the appointment of four members to its Board of Trustees: Krista Postai of Pittsburg; Martie Ross of Kansas City; Don Sherman of Wichita; and Beryl Lowery-Born of Topeka.
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The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of four members to its Board of Trustees. Three trustees were appointed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt: Krista Postai of Pittsburg; Martie Ross of Kansas City; and Don Sherman of Wichita. The fourth trustee, Beryl Lowery-Born of Topeka, was appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

All four trustees were appointed to their first three-year term, which will begins in June.

Two members of the Sunflower Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee were also re-appointed by General Schmidt. Dr. Kent Bradley of Valley Center and Francie Currie of Neodesha will start their second three-year terms in June.


Krista Postai is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, the only federally qualified health center serving the poorest region in the state. Previously she was a Vice President at Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center in Pittsburg, where she worked for 23 years.

Ms. Postai is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. She is a board member of the Kansas Health Information Network and is the immediate past President of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

Martie Ross is a Principal at Pershing Yoakley & Associates healthcare consultants, where she advises doctors and hospitals nationwide in navigating the ever-expanding maze of healthcare regulations. She is an expert in new payment and delivery systems and public payer initiatives, and advises clients on health information technology, health reform, patient privacy and security, and rural health strategies.  Previously Ms. Ross was Partner at several Kansas-based firms: Spencer Fane Britt & Browne; Lathrop & Gage; and Foulston Siefkin.

Ms. Ross is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Juris Doctor degree and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology and Philosophy.

Don Sherman is Vice President of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships at Westar Energy, Kansas’ largest electric utility. Prior to joining Westar in 2007, Mr. Sherman was for two decades a successful entrepreneur, founding the first and only African-American-owned radio station group in Kansas, as well as building from scratch Wichita’s largest private security and investigation firm.

Mr. Sherman is a graduate of Baker University in Baldwin City with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He also has an Associates degree in Administration of Justice from Butler Community College in El Dorado.

Beryl “Bebo” Lowery-Born retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas as the company’s Chief Financial Officer in 2013. Previously, she was the company’s Vice President of Finance. Ms. Lowery-Born oversaw its operating division, which included actuarial research, accounting, underwriting and management engineering departments.

Ms. Lowery-Born is a graduate of Washburn University with a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.  She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Science from Kansas State University.


Dr. Kent Bradley is a Valley Center physician in obstetrics and gynecology. He was initially appointed to the Community Advisory Committee in 2011 by General Schmidt.

Francie Currie is an office manager for a family practice clinic in Neodesha. She was initially appointed to the committee by General Schmidt in 2011.


The Sunflower Foundation appreciates the years of service by the four outgoing trustees: Marty Beezley, Chris Ruder, Howard Shuler and Caroline Williams.

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General and the ninth member is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms. The nine-member Community Advisory Committee nominates candidates for the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The committee also acts in an advisory role to the foundation.

The foundation was established in 2000. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, special initiatives and related activities. More information about the foundation’s programs and grants is available here.

1514
March 31, 2014
Sunflower Foundation introduces new Director of Communications
It is a pleasure to introduce Phil Cauthon, the Sunflower Foundation’s first Director of Communications. Phil is a multimedia journalist and communications specialist with a variety of experience in both traditional and new media platforms.
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Dear Colleagues,
It is a pleasure to introduce Phil Cauthon, the Sunflower Foundation’s first Director of Communications.

Phil is a multimedia journalist and communications specialist with a variety of experience in both traditional and new media platforms. He previously worked at the Kansas Health Institute as its Digital Editor, Communications Coordinator and KHI News Service Reporter. Before that, he worked at several newspapers in Kansas and Washington, D.C.

We are excited to now have on staff someone who — for the first time — will be dedicated to communicating the work of Sunflower, its grantees, and other partners. For 12 years, Sunflower has worked behind the scenes in Kansas, directing resources toward helping people and communities achieve and maintain optimal health.

Our mission remains focused on three primary approaches:

  1. Healthy Living & Active Communities — Promoting healthy living in partnership with Kansas communities and schools. Through our Sunflower Trails program, we are building trails that increase opportunities for physical activity in outdoor venues — all with the goal of making the healthy choice the easy choice;
  2. Health Care — Improving health care for the whole person. The Integrated Care Initiative is helping safety-net providers integrate physical care with behavioral health care and at the same time, focus more attention on health and wellness (such as smoking cessation, other addiction treatments, healthy eating and weight management); and
  3. Advocacy & Policy — Developing leaders of Kansas’ nonprofit organizations to be even more effective advocates for the causes and communities they serve. The Sunflower Advocacy Fellowship program teaches advanced skills in advocacy and leadership to help nonprofit organizations shape health policy in Kansas.

With Phil on our team, we can capture and share stories about the work of our grantees in these areas and how they’re improving the health of Kansans.

Soon, we will launch a new version of SunflowerFoundation.org that will give us an outlet better suited to regularly updating our grantees, partners, other stakeholders, and the general public about the latest news from Sunflower. It will be a sharp, easy-to-navigate front door for information about Sunflower’s work, designed for use on tablets and smartphones as well as traditional computers.

Perhaps most importantly, the new website will facilitate delivery of frequent updates via whatever means you prefer. This includes social media, to which Sunflower is committed now that Phil is on board to keep updates fresh and engaging. We hope you’ll follow us or like us on the platforms you use:

As this new chapter for Sunflower unfolds, we hope you won’t hesitate to contact Phil with feedback or questions.

Communications is a two-way street — we want to hear from you!  Are we communicating the right information for your needs? Is there something you’re more interested in getting from Sunflower? Do you have stories to share about your organization’s successes? Are there people or communities whose work with a Sunflower grant should be spotlighted? We hope you’ll let us know!

Email me or email Phil, or call us at toll-free (866) 232-3020.

Billie Hall,
President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation

2013
advocacy
1633
December 2, 2013
Sunflower Foundation announces 2014 advocacy fellows
The 2014 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 14 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.
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December 2, 2013

The 2014 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 14 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve. 

The Advocacy Fellowship class is part of the foundation’s non-partisan advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders. The goal is to bring the perspective of the nonprofit world to public policy.

“We are proud to build on the success of our first four classes with this fifth year of outstanding Fellows,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, which launched the advocacy program in 2008. “We are pleased with the diversity of individuals and organizations that are represented and look forward to another year of exceptional involvement from the group.”

The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media. Doug Farmer, the foundation’s Vice President for Policy, oversees the program.

“Bringing together nonprofit leaders with a wide range of experiences and interests really brings a new voice to policy discussions – on a local, state and national level,” Farmer said. “These Fellows, as well as the classes before them, are committed to learning, engaging and building a network across the state that can address health care issues facing us now and in the future.”


Leaders selected for the 2014 Advocacy Fellowship class are:
COFFEYVILLE

Robert Stiles, Director of Operations/Clinic Director, Montgomery County Clinic
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

HAYS

Bryan Brady, Chief Executive Officer
First Care Clinic

KANSAS CITY

Jerry Jones, Executive Director
Community Health Council of Wyandotte County

Scott Lakin, Director, Regional Health Care Initiative
Mid-America Regional Council

Dana Pugh, Medical-Legal Partnership Fellow/Staff Attorney
University of Kansas School of Law/KU Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic

PITTSBURG

Marlene Willis, Statewide Coordinator, Migrant Education Out-of-School Youth Advocacy Project 
Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush

SALINA

Kathy Mosher, Executive Director
Central Kansas Mental Health Center

TOPEKA

Christie Appelhanz, Vice President of Public Affairs
Kansas Action for Children

Janis DeBoer, Executive Director
Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities

Michelle Ponce, Executive Director
Kansas Association of Local Health Departments

Tawny Stottlemire, Executive Director
Kansas Association of Community Action Programs

TRIBUNE

Lisa Moritz, Administrator/School Nurse
Greeley County Health Department

WICHITA

Teresa Lovelady, President and Chief Executive Officer
Center for Health and Wellness

Rachel Marsh, Staff Attorney
Saint Francis Community Services

healthy living
1794
June 24, 2013
SUNFLOWER FOUNDATION AWARDS MORE THAN $200,000 FOR TRAILS
The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded more than $200,000 to seven communities and one school district to build new trails or enhance existing trails. The Sunflower Trails program is designed to promote healthy living by providing safe and accessible places for physical activity, as well as connect Kansans to each other and the great outdoors.
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June 24, 2013

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees recently awarded more than $200,000 to seven communities and one school district to build new trails or enhance existing trails. The Sunflower Trails program is designed to promote healthy living by providing safe and accessible places for physical activity, as well as connect Kansans to each other and the great outdoors.

“We are pleased to welcome these communities into the growing Sunflower Trails family. Each grant reflects strong community and grassroots planning and support,” said Billie Hall, President & CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “While the Sunflower Trails program focuses on enhancing the built environment, we are learning that a trail can be the catalyst for engaging the community around health and wellness," she added.

The Sunflower Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved the following eight grants at its June board meeting:

New Community-Based Trails

  • City of Baldwin, Baldwin City, will construct a half-mile concrete trail beginning at the town’s historic train depot and ending near a city park. The West Trail will give both depot visitors and residents of the surrounding neighborhood a place to walk and be active while enjoying the beauty of Baldwin.
  • City of Fort Scott and the Youth Activity Team (YAT), Fort Scott, plans to develop a .71 mile concrete trail in a popular city park as part of the community’s overall visioning process. Local fundraising efforts for the park and the Ellis Park Walking/Running Trail included a winning entry into the Guinness Book of World Record for the world’s longest penny chain.
  • Hesston College and the Dyke Arboretum of the Prairie, Hesston, want to expand the arboretum’s existing trail system with a .57 mile long addition. Ten feet wide and made from crushed limestone, the Prairie Window Project will give prairie center visitors and locals alike a great view of the Kansas prairies as they enjoy some activity.
  • Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas will build its first health promotion trail on reservation land in Horton with the half-mile “.Ki ka lo i. mi e ki.” (The Kickapoo Trail). The multiuse trail is an important strategy in the ongoing efforts to combat diabetes and a first step in the community’s plans to showcase the natural beauty and outdoor opportunities of tribal land.
  • City of Paola, Paola, will add to the city’s master plan and trail system with a new expansion to “Paola Parkways.” The completed multiuse trail, anchored in Wallace Park, is just over three miles long and constructed of crushed limestone screening. It will connect to newly marked bike lanes and local recreational facilities.
  • City of Wellington, Wellington, will take advantage of the natural beauty of its Hargis Creek Reservoir by constructing a walking/biking trail adjacent to the shore. The multiuse trail, .75 mile long and constructed from concrete, is part of the community’s comprehensive plan for ongoing health and wellness.

 

Improvements to Existing Trails

  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, White Cloud, plans to enhance its existing NawoBaxoje (Ioway Trail) by adding solar lighting to extend visitor hours and distance signage in both English and the tribe’s native language.

 

New School-Based Trails

  • MoKan 20/20 Vision, Inc., Kansas City, KS will increase opportunities for physical activity on the campus of JC Harmon High School with a new walking trail. The student organization of Leadership 20/20 will learn real-life skills as they help supervise and build the quarter-mile trail and contribute to the vision of their campus serving as a community “hub” of recreation and activity.

Since its inception in 2005, the Sunflower Trails program has helped more than 100 trail projects in more than 45 Kansas counties. The next Requests for Proposals is expected to be released by late July, 2013. For additional information about the Sunflower Trails program, please contact Elizabeth Stewart, Sunflower Trails program officer at estewart@sunflowerfoundation.org or 785-232-3000.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details about the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.SunflowerFoundation.org.

 

healthy living
1884
March 26, 2013
Sunflower Foundation awards more than $1.3 million in grant funding for its integrated care initiative
The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans recently awarded more than $1.3 million in grants as part of its Integrated Care Initiative program
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The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans recently awarded more than $1.3 million in grants as part of its Integrated Care Initiative program. These first grantees represent safety-net providers across Kansas. “The Sunflower Foundation recognizes the leadership of these organizations as they work to improve the delivery of care to Kansans across the state. Integrating medical and mental health care results in better outcomes for consumers and more efficiency for providers,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “We are pleased to be a partner in this work and to support these organizations’ efforts to build their capacity to better serve their patients.”

The foundation's Board of Trustees approved the following grants at its February 14, 2013, board meeting:

  • Area Mental Health Center, Garden City, will partner with United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries and Greeley County Health Services to plan for the implementation of integrated primary care services in multiple mental health settings in addition to its existing mental health care services.
  • COMCARE of Sedgwick County, Wichita, will partner with GraceMed to provide training, consultation services and collaborative planning.
  • Community Health Ministry, Wamego, will enhance integration of services through staff training and development and consultation services.
  • E C Tyree Health & Dental Clinic, Wichita, will partner with Kansas Children’s Service League and Wichita State University to provide staff training, consultation and technology upgrades.
  • Family Service & Guidance Center, Topeka, will partner with Valeo, Shawnee County Health Agency, Shawnee County Medical Society HealthAccess and Washburn University School of Nursing to utilize a consultant to create a framework to develop and begin implementing integrated care teams and explore integrated care training for nursing students.
  • Flint Hills Community Health Center, Emporia, will partner with Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas to provide training, additional staffing and transition the organization from a co-located practice to one that offers an integrated care model.
  • Health Ministries Clinic, Newton, will partner with Prairie View Mental Health Center to expand its current integrated services and add telephonic consultation services.
  • Health Partnership Clinic, Overland Park, will partner with Elizabeth Layton Center to provide behavioral health care services, consultation services as well as cross training for staff using the Cherokee Health Systems model of integration.
  • Heartland Medical Clinic, Lawrence, will partner with the Bert Nash Center to expand its integrated behavioral health care services, support a psychiatric nurse practitioner, train a biller/coder to become certified and expand to a bidirectional model of integrated care by embedding a midlevel primary care practitioner in a mental health center setting.
  • Labette Center for Mental Health Services, Inc., Labette, will build capacity to provide an integrated care "health-home" for approximately 221 Labette County adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI).
  • Salina Health Education Foundation, Salina, will partner with Central Kansas Foundation and Central Kansas Community Mental Health Center to expand its integrated care efforts through training new staff, offering behavioral health care services and through technology upgrades.
  • Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Kansas City, will support a current advanced practice registered nurse, a new integrated care coordinator and a new psychosocial program coordinator.


The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details about the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

healthy living
1913
February 25, 2013
SUNFLOWER FOUNDATION AWARDS MORE THAN $270,000 IN SUNFLOWER TRAILS GRANTS
The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans Board of Trustees recently awarded $270,416 in Sunflower Trails grants to 11 communities to build, expand, improve and connect their trails. The purpose of the Sunflower Trails program is to promote healthy living by providing safe and accessible places for physical activity as well as connecting Kansans to each other and the great outdoors.
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February 25, 2013

The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans Board of Trustees recently awarded $270,416 in Sunflower Trails grants to 11 communities to build, expand, improve and connect their trails. The purpose of the Sunflower Trails program is to promote healthy living by providing safe and accessible places for physical activity as well as connecting Kansans to each other and the great outdoors.

“The Sunflower Foundation is excited to invest in these communities and provide Kansans the environment to be physically active while enjoying our state’s natural beauty,” Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said. “For many cities, building a trail is the first step in launching its community’s overall healthy living initiative. We also are pleased to award, for the first time, grants for specific improvements on existing trails, and grants intended to build connectors between trails.”

The foundation's Board of Trustees approved the following grants at its February board meeting:

New Trails

  • Eureka Lions Club, Eureka, will build the first walking path in its community. This half-mile long, 5' wide path will loop around Lions Park and be part of the town’s Walk Across Kansas program.
  • The City of Lyndon will develop a 4,100' long, 6' wide trail to encircle a city park. The ADA-compliant path will include two loops to accommodate different fitness levels.
  • Pawnee County will continue to revitalize a former Girl Scout camp near Larned by constructing a 4,321' long, 6' wide expansion to an existing multi-use path.
  • The Ottawa County Health Planning Commission, Minneapolis, will create a half-mile long, 5' wide trail that meanders through the trees of Markley Grove Park.
  • The City of Valley Center will build a 1.2-mile long, 5' wide, ADA-compliant walking path around eight soccer fields near the community’s new recreation center.
  • The City of Goodland plans to develop a half-mile long, 6' wide trail within a popular city park, one of the first steps in the city’s overall plan to improve walking opportunities.
  • The City of Eudora will construct a 2,692' long, 8' wide multi-use trail, also part of the city’s master plan to increase walkability and bikability. 
     

Improvements to Existing Trails

  • Prairie Travelers Inc., Wichita, will add distance signage to increase safety and usability along the eight-mile Prairie Sunset Trail between Garden Plain and Goddard.

Trail Connectors

  • The City of Hutchinson plans to partner with Dillons Food Stores to build a trailhead and 1,200' long, 12' wide trail connector that links to a city trail.
  • The City of Ottawa will increase cycling opportunities by constructing a 1,200' long, 8' wide trail connector that safely links the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Prairie Spirit Trail.
  • The City of Colwich plans to complete a walking and cycling loop around a nine-acre lake in its city park by building a 1,405' long, 6' wide trail connector.

Since the Sunflower Trails program began in 2005, the foundation has funded more than 85 trails in more than 40 Kansas communities. The foundation currently is accepting Requests for Proposals (RFP) for constructing, expanding and enhancing community- and school-based trails and trail connectors to help promote healthy living for Kansans of all ages. The deadline for this RFP is May 1, 2013. Click here to learn more about this RFP.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details about the foundation’s programs and grants are available atwww.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2012
1994
December 6, 2012
Foundation Leader Elected to Chair National Board
TOPEKA – Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation has been elected to chair the board of directors of Grantmakers in Health (GIH), a national organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Hall will begin her one year term as chair of the 19-member board on March 16, 2013.
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December 6, 2012

TOPEKA – Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation has been elected to chair the board of directors of Grantmakers in Health (GIH), a national organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Hall will begin her one year term as chair of the 19-member board on March 16, 2013.

Founded in 1982, GIH is known today as the professional home for health grantmakers and as a resource for grantmakers and others seeking expertise and information on the field of health philanthropy. It works to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and to help leverage the combined potential of philanthropy to improve health and health care. GIH currently serves more than 240 funding partners across the country.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to chair the GIH board,” Hall commented, “and I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the nation to continue GIH’s leadership role and service to the field of health philanthropy.”

Reggie Robinson, Lawrence, chair of the Sunflower Foundation board, added, “Billie's election to chair the GIH Board of Directors recognizes her on-going and outstanding service as a member of the GIH Board and her strong leadership of the Sunflower Foundation. Grantmakers in Health has been a valued resource to the Sunflower Foundation since our creation more than ten years ago. We are excited and pleased to support Billie’s new role with GIH and look forward to the leadership she will provide on this important national stage.”

Hall has served as president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation since its founding in 2001. She has served on the GIH board since March 2010. The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details of the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

healthy living
2037
October 24, 2012
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Leader for Sunflower Trails
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Stewart, PhD, as the new program officer for its Sunflower Trails and built environment programs. In this role, Dr. Stewart will direct the long-standing Sunflower Trails program, a statewide initiative to promote school and community-based trails in Kansas communities.
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October 24, 2012

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Stewart, PhD, as the new program officer for its Sunflower Trails and built environment programs. In this role, Dr. Stewart will direct the long-standing Sunflower Trails program, a statewide initiative to promote school and community-based trails in Kansas communities. 

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Stewart to our team,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “Since we began our work in the built environment, we have studied how policies, practices, and environmental factors affect healthy living and physical activity at the community level. Dr. Stewart’s expertise and leadership will help us evaluate and enhance our current programs,” Hall said. [Stewart's BIO]

Dr. Stewart previously served as the evaluation director of practice-based research for the American Academy of Family Physicians, where she worked with physicians across the country through clinical trials and translational research. She has spent the majority of her career in programs and research related to healthy behavior changes at the personal and public health level.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details of the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2156
June 27, 2012
Sunflower Foundation Announces Trustee and Advisory Appointments
TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of two members to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees include Reggie Robinson, Lawrence, reappointed to a second term, and Kraig Gross, Hays, reappointed to a third term. In addition, Howard Shuler, Topeka, was reappointed to a second term by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. The three began their new terms in June.
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June 27, 2012

TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of two members to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees include Reggie Robinson, Lawrence, reappointed to a second term, and Kraig Gross, Hays, reappointed to a third term. In addition, Howard Shuler, Topeka, was reappointed to a second term by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. The three began their new terms in June.

Reggie Robinson is professor of law and director of the Center for Law and Government at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka. He was appointed to his first term on the Sunflower Foundation board in 2009. Kraig Gross is president of Kansas Natural Gas, Inc. He was appointed to his first term in 2006. Howard Shuler is retired superintendent of Schools for Auburn-Washburn USD 437. He was appointed to his first term in 2009. 

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General and the ninth member is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.

At its June meeting, the Board of Trustees elected its new board officers. The officers will serve one year terms, beginning July 1, 2012.

Reggie Robinson, Lawrence, was elected to chair the board.

Caroline Williams, Wichita, was elected to serve as secretary. Williams recently retired as vice president of distribution power delivery with Westar Energy. She was appointed to the foundation board in 2007.

Kraig Gross, Hays, was re-elected as treasurer. He also will chair the board’s finance committee and has served as treasurer since 2008.

The Attorney General also made three appointments to the Sunflower Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee(CAC). The three appointees are Barbara Carswell, Lawrence, appointed to a second term; Dr. Glen Singer, Iola, appointed to a first term; and Susan Cocannon, Beloit, appointed to a first term. Barbara Carswell is vice president at Capitol Federal Savings in Topeka and was appointed to her first term in 2009. Dr. Singer is a family practice physician. Susan Cocannon is executive director of Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation in Beloit. The new members began their new terms in June.

The nine-member Community Advisory Committee nominates candidates for the foundation’s board and acts in an advisory role to the foundation. Eight members of the committee are appointed by the Kansas Attorney General; the chair of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees serves as the ninth member. CAC members also are limited to three three-year terms.

The foundation was established in 2000. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, special initiatives and related activities. Further details of the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2177
June 6, 2012
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Leader and Initiative
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans is pleased to announce that Melody Martin has joined the statewide health philanthropy to serve as program officer for the foundation’s new Integrated Care Initiative, which will focus on the integration of primary and behavioral health care.
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June 6, 2012

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans is pleased to announce that Melody Martin has joined the statewide health philanthropy to serve as program officer for the foundation’s new Integrated Care Initiative, which will focus on the integration of primary and behavioral health care. 

People's minds and bodies are inseparable – except when it comes to health care. All too often, physical and mental health conditions are treated separately from one another. A growing body of research and experience shows that integrating, or systematically coordinating, physical and behavioral health care to treat the whole person can improve health. The Integrated Care Initiative is designed to work in partnership with primary and behavioral health providers. The focus is not on where the patient receives services but how. With integrated care, primary care and behavior health providers coordinate and collaborate closely to provide a seamless continuum of care for the patient. 

The Sunflower Foundation has been interested in mental health for several years. After researching issues in access and quality and assessing how to be most helpful, the foundation determined that integrated care was a good match to its long-term interest in access to health care and support of the health care safety net.

During the early stages of the initiative, Martin will meet with organizations and providers across the state as she and the foundation gain a better understanding of integration efforts currently underway in Kansas and existing perspectives on integrating primary and behavioral health care. The foundation intends to take an incremental approach in creating the Integrated Care Initiative to ensure its relevance to Kansans and to the existing and emerging needs of health care delivery systems. As the program develops, the foundation anticipates opportunities for funding, education and technical assistance. Details will be released as the initiative unfolds.

“The Sunflower Foundation is honored to have Melody join our team and lend her expertise in this area,” Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said. “Melody has been involved in integrative care for several years through her work with the Maine Primary Care Association. Maine has been at the forefront of integrative care, and her experience will be invaluable to Kansas as we embark on this new adventure.” [Martin’s bio]

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details of the foundation’s programs and grants are available atwww.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2011
2352
December 14, 2011
Kansas Foundations Announce Grants to Nine Organizations to Support Implementation of Federal Health Law
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December 14, 2011

TOPEKA - Five health philanthropies that established a fund to help Kansas organizations prepare for health reform announced grants to nine nonprofit organizations totaling $244,800. The grants were awarded through the Affordable Care Act Opportunity Fund, a $450,000 grant pool created by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas Health Foundation, the REACH Healthcare Foundation, the Sunflower Foundation and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The fund, set up at the Topeka Community Foundation, will continue to accept grant proposals through 2012.

“The fund is designed to help Kansas nonprofit organizations take advantage of federal programs and innovation grants that are being offered as part of implementation of the health reform law,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “These grants will enable organizations to pursue expansion and innovation grants and funding for collaborative efforts.”

The following organizations received ACA Opportunity Fund grants:

  • Health Innovations Network of Kansas - $30,000 for technical assistance for consortium of 19 northeast Kansas hospitals to examine alternative organizational models to enhance health, health care and cost effectiveness.
  • Kansas Health Institute, Topeka - $30,000 for collaboration with Kansas Insurance Department to assess public knowledge about the health law and develop methods for communicating about changes related to the law.
  • Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Pittsburg - $29,500 for architectural design and site planning to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • PrairieStar Health Center, Hutchinson - $30,000 for architectural design and grant writing assistance to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • GraceMed Health Clinic, Wichita - $30,000 for grant writing, budgeting assistance and financial analysis to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • First Care Clinic, Hays - $21,800 for architectural design and grant writing assistance to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • Flint Hills Community Health Center, Emporia - $28,500 for architectural design and grant writing assistance to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • Konza Prairie Community Health Center, Junction City - $30,000 for grant writing, financial analysis and architectural design to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
  • Salina Family Healthcare Center, Salina - $15,000 for architectural design, budgeting and grant writing assistance to support federal application for capital development and expansion.
    TOTAL GRANTS = $244,800

    The five health philanthropies modeled the ACA Opportunity Fund on funding pools established in other states to help nonprofit and governmental entities take advantage of the more than $20 billion in federal funds expected to be released over several years to support health care improvements.

    Activities that can be funded include legal, actuarial and policy research and activities; technical assistance with federal grant applications; required matching funds for grants; and efforts that engage consumers and other stakeholders in health reform implementation. Grants cannot be used to support indirect expenses of state agencies, nonprofit organizations or collaborative efforts.

    The online application, eligibility criteria and other information are available at the Topeka Community Foundation,www.topekacommunityfoundation.org. Questions regarding the application process can be directed to Sheldon Weisgrau, Director, Health Reform Resource Project, 785-408-8008,healthreformresource@gmail.com.

 

2361
December 5, 2011
Foundation Names 2012 Advocacy Fellowship Class
TOPEKA – The 2012 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.
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December 5, 2011

TOPEKA – The 2012 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.

The Advocacy Fellowship class is part of the foundation’s non-partisan advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders. The goal is to bring the perspective of the nonprofit world to public policy.

“We are proud to build on the success of our first three classes with this fourth year of outstanding Fellows,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, which launched the advocacy program in 2008. “We are pleased with the diversity of individuals and organizations that are represented and look forward to another year of exceptional involvement from the group.”

The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.

“Bringing together nonprofit leaders with a wide range of experiences and interests really brings a new voice to policy discussions – on a local, state and national level,” Hall said. “These Fellows, as well as the classes before them, are committed to learning, engaging and building a network across the state that can address health care issues facing us now and in the future.”

Leaders selected for the 2012 Advocacy Fellowship class are:

COLBY

Sue Evans, Executive Director
Northwest Council on Substance Abuse

EL DORADO

Audra Kenneson, Smart Start Coordinator
Rainbows United, Inc.

GARDEN CITY

Deanna Berry, Executive Director
Russell Child Development Center

KANSAS CITY

Erica Andrade, Health Navigator
El Centro, Inc.

Amy Goldstein, Senior Director of Programs Services and Advocacy
National MS Society, Mid America Chapter

Hannah Sandal, Medical-Legal Partnership Fellow
University of Kansas School of Law

LAWRENCE

David Johnson, CEO
Bert Nash Mental Health Center

OLATHE

Scott Koertner, Director of Programs
Heart to Heart International

OVERLAND PARK

Mark Richards, President and CEO
Marillac, Inc.

PITTSBURG

Linda Bean, Chief Medical Officer
The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

TOPEKA

John Calbeck, Executive Director
Shawnee Regional Prevention and Recovery Services, Inc.

Mildred Edwards, Executive Director
Kansas African American Affairs Commission

Rachel Monger, Director of Governmental Affairs
LeadingAge Kansas

Nick Wood, Systems Change Advocacy Coordinator & Lead Investigator
Disability Rights Center of Kansas

WICHITA

David Sherman, Chief Development Officer
Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters

A brief bio and photograph of each Fellow can be found on the Sunflower Foundation website at: http://www.sunflowerfoundation.org/user/file/2012%20Fellows%20Bios.pdf.

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information is available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2400
October 27, 2011
Foundation Announces Mental Health Grants
The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has approved grant awards totaling approximately $1 million in response to the foundation’s recent “Increasing Access to Mental Health Services” funding initiative. The grants were awarded to eight community mental health centers (CMHCs) located across Kansas.
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October 27, 2011

The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has approved grant awards totaling approximately $1 million in response to the foundation’s recent “Increasing Access to Mental Health Services” funding initiative. The grants were awarded to eight community mental health centers (CMHCs) located across Kansas.

The goal of this Sunflower Foundation funding program is to provide transitional financial support for new or expanded mental health care services that will address barriers to access and disparities in mental health care for the uninsured and underinsured.

The organizations awarded grants include:
• Area Mental Health Center, Garden City
• Central Kansas Mental Health Center, Salina
• Cowley County Mental Health and Counseling Center, Winfield
• Johnson County Mental Health Center, Mission
• Pawnee Mental Health Services, Inc., Manhattan
• Prairie View, Inc., Newton
• The Guidance Center, Leavenworth
• Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Kansas City

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. Further details of the foundation’s programs and grants are available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2540
June 9, 2011
Sunflower Foundation Names Officers
TOPEKA – The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the election of new board officers. The officers will serve one year terms, beginning July 1, 2011.
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June 9, 2011

TOPEKA – The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the election of new board officers. The officers will serve one year terms, beginning July 1, 2011.

Elected to chair the board was Chris Ruder, Lenexa. Ruder is vice president, patient care services, at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City. He was initially appointed to the foundation board in 2005 and has served as board chair since 2009.

Mia Korbelik, Dodge City, was elected to serve as secretary. Korbelik is executive director of the Crisis Center of Dodge City. She was appointed to the foundation board in 2007 and has served as board secretary since 2009.

Kraig Gross, Hays, was elected as treasurer. He will also chair the board’s finance committee. Gross is controller for Kansas Natural Gas, Inc., Hays. He was appointed to the foundation board in 2006 and has served as treasurer since 2008.

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by nine trustees who represent diverse backgrounds and regions of the state. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The foundation was established in 2000. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

2561
May 19, 2011
Kansas Foundations Establish Fund to Prepare State for Implementation of Health Reform Law
Five health philanthropies that fund health programs and initiatives in the state of Kansas this week announced the formation of a $450,000 fund to help Kansas organizations carry out activities that support implementation of the federal health reform law. The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas Health Foundation, the REACH Healthcare Foundation, the Sunflower Foundation and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund established the fund to assist state agencies and nonprofit organizations with planning, research, consumer engagement and other activities related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
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May 19, 2011

Five health philanthropies that fund health programs and initiatives in the state of Kansas this week announced the formation of a $450,000 fund to help Kansas organizations carry out activities that support implementation of the federal health reform law. The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas Health Foundation, the REACH Healthcare Foundation, the Sunflower Foundation and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund established the fund to assist state agencies and nonprofit organizations with planning, research, consumer engagement and other activities related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act Opportunity Fund (ACA Fund) was modeled on funding pools philanthropies have created in other states to help their states maximize federal grant and technical assistance opportunities connected with health reform.

“Our goal in setting up this fund is to ensure that Kansas and its citizens are well positioned to take advantage of federal programs, technical assistance and grants that are becoming available as part of federal implementation of health reform,” said Brenda Sharpe, President and CEO of the REACH Healthcare Foundation. “It is our intent that Kansans receive the full benefit of opportunities related to the law.”

Beginning in June, organizations can apply through the Topeka Community Foundation for grants of $5,000 to $30,000. To be eligible, applicants must be operating in Kansas for the benefit of Kansans. Eligible organizations include:

• State agencies and collaborations of agencies serving Kansas.
• Regional collaborations of organizations with an appropriate fiscal agent (governmental or 50l(c)(3) organization).
• 501(c)(3) organizations.
• Local governmental entities (cities, counties, school districts, public health departments and public hospitals).

Organizations may apply for financial assistance to support legal, actuarial and policy research and activities; preparing federal grant applications; matching funds for grants; and efforts to engage consumers and other stakeholders in health reform implementation. Other funding opportunities may include participation in regional and national conferences related to health reform and public education on provisions of the law. Grants cannot be used to support indirect expenses of state agencies, nonprofit organizations or collaborative efforts.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal statute that was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (signed into law on March 30, 2010), the law is intended to put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond, with most changes taking place by 2014. The law requires state action in many areas, including developing new state laws, regulations and structures to carry out health reform requirements. The law also offers opportunities for health system changes at local and regional levels.

ACA Fund applications will be accepted on a continuous basis through December 2011. Information on the ACA Fund and application forms will be available June 1 on the Topeka Community Foundation web site (www.topekacommunityfoundation.org).

2575
May 5, 2011
2011 Trustee and Advisory Appointments Announced
The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of three members to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees include Marty Beezley, Pittsburg, reappointed to a third term; Christopher (Chris) Ruder, Lenexa, reappointed to a third term; and Caroline Williams, Wichita, reappointed to a third term. The three will begin their new terms in June.
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The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of three members to its Board of Trustees by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The appointees include Marty Beezley, Pittsburg, reappointed to a third term; Christopher (Chris) Ruder, Lenexa, reappointed to a third term; and Caroline Williams, Wichita, reappointed to a third term. The three will begin their new terms in June.

Marty Beezley is currently serving as mayor of Pittsburg. She was appointed to her first term on the Sunflower Foundation board in 2005. Chris Ruder is vice president, patient care services, University of Kansas Hospital. He was appointed to his first term in 2005 and is currently chair of the foundation board. Caroline Williams serves as vice president, distribution power delivery, Westar Energy. She was appointed to her first term in 2007.

The Attorney General also made two appointments to the Sunflower Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The two appointees are Kent Bradley, Valley Center, appointed to a first term, and Francie Currie, Neodesha, also appointed to a first term. Their terms will begin in June. Kent Bradley is an OB-GYN physician at Newton Medical Center; Francie Currie serves as office manager for a family practice physician.

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by a nine-member board of trustees. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General; one is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.

A nine-member Community Advisory Committee nominates candidates for the foundation’s board and acts in an advisory role to the foundation. Eight members of the committee are appointed by the Kansas Attorney General; the chair of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees serves as the ninth member. CAC members are also limited to three three-year terms.

2598
April 12, 2011
Sunflower Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation Fund Outdoor Expansion of Kansas Children's Discovery Center
Two state-based foundations with a common mission of improving the health of Kansans are assuring that visitors to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center (KCDC), Topeka, will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of walking by making major donations to the center's Outdoor Learning Environment.
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April 12, 2011

 Billie Hall, Sunflower Foundation president & CEO (third from left) presents $100,000 check

Two state-based foundations with a common mission of improving the health of Kansans are assuring that visitors to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center (KCDC), Topeka, will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of walking by making major donations to the center's Outdoor Learning Environment.

The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation each provided a leadership gift to fund the cornerstone piece of the Discovery Center's 4.5 acre outdoor space, according to B. Kent Garlinghouse, KCDC founding board chair. The Sunflower Foundation contributed $100,000 and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation donated $50,000, allowing for today’s outdoor groundbreaking.

The Outdoor Learning Environment's master plan features spaces for children to climb, run, dig and explore the great outdoors. Fabric canopies, musical instruments, bridges, water, grassy hills and native plantings will create a hidden oasis that children "discover" along a yellow walking path and among the trees in the outdoor space surrounding the Discovery Center's building at 4400 SW 10th St., in Topeka's Gage Park.

Garlinghouse said funding from the two foundations will ensure that the Yellow Concrete Walking Path is in place when the Discovery Center opens June 1. The walking path connects all outdoor exhibit areas and the perimeter fence ensures a safe and secure environment for visitors. A learning plaza, which also will serve as an outdoor lunch patio, will allow a myriad of outdoor programming.

"These leadership gifts, along with previous support from the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) and the Greene Family of Topeka, fulfill the first major step in completing the outdoor space," said Joanne Morrell, KCDC executive director. "I want to personally thank Billie Hall (Sunflower Foundation), Andy Corbin (BCBSKS Foundation), Steve Coen (KHF) and their respective boards for their tremendous leadership and vision – not only for the Discovery Center but for the overall health of our great state."

Morrell added that it was Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, who suggested the outdoor space include a walking path for young children and their adult companions.

"Outdoor play is so important to children and their health," Hall said. "The idea of a walking path seemed a perfect fit to the center, providing children and their families the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor environment and, at the same time, reaffirming the importance of physical activity."

For Corbin, president of the BCBSKS Foundation, supporting the Discovery Center was a natural fit for the foundation's mission.

"Creating opportunities for our children to be more physically active is critical to combating childhood obesity and to improving the overall health of future generations of Kansans,"

Corbin said. "The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation is pleased to assist the Discovery Center in providing the infrastructure for the outdoor exhibits, including the walking path."

With the key infrastructure in place, Morrell said, remaining items to be added to the outdoor environment include a 13' x 30' indoor/outdoor sunflower climber, a 1/3 acre nature explore classroom, an airplane/control tower, an adventure treehouse, a paleontology dig and the tin man outdoor water area.

These recent gifts increased the center's fundraising total to more than $7.1 million.

"The drive to attain the Mabee Challenge grant created extraordinary community momentum on which the Discovery Center continues to capitalize,” Garlinghouse said. "There are many whose interest heightens the closer we get to the grand opening, and we are grateful for their enthusiastic support."

Morrell added that building construction is 99 percent complete and exhibit installation is 75 percent complete; crews remain on pace for the Discovery Center's grand opening June 1. Visit www.kansasdiscovery.org for more information.

About the Kansas Children's Discovery Center
The Kansas Children's Discovery Center will open to the public June 1. Its 15,708 square foot building is nestled within four wooded acres of Topeka's Gage Park, on land generously donated by the City of Topeka. Through educational and interactive exhibit areas, the Discovery Center will provide numerous opportunities for "Serious Fun," outdoor exploration and discovery. The energy-efficient building creates a positive learning environment and a wonderful connection to the outdoors. From the dramatic roofline that collects rainwater, to the rainbow colored glass wall, to the illuminated beacon vestibule, children and families will enjoy hours of fun in this unique and creative space that excites and expands young minds!

About The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans
The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities. The foundation’s funding priorities include health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation was incorporated in July 2005 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to further strengthen its role in promoting the good health of Kansans. The BCBSKS Foundation focuses its giving on key health issues that can impact the lives of many Kansans, funding programs which are, at their core, health-related. The BCBSKS Foundation seeks out programs that promote health improvement, health care access, health education, healthy behaviors and prevention initiatives. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and serve all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte.

2010
2724
December 7, 2010
Foundation Names 2011 Advocacy Fellowship Class
TOPEKA – The 2011 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.
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December 7, 2010

TOPEKA – The 2011 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.

The Advocacy Fellowship class is part of the foundation’s non-partisan advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders. The goal is to bring the perspective of the nonprofit world to public policy.

“We are proud to build on the success of our first two classes with this third year of outstanding Fellows,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, which launched the advocacy program in 2008. “We are pleased with the diversity of individuals and organizations that are represented and look forward to another year of exceptional involvement from the group.”

The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.

“Bringing together nonprofit leaders with a wide range of experiences and interests really brings a new voice to policy discussions – on a local, state and national level,” Hall said. “These Fellows, as well as the classes before them, are committed to learning, engaging and building a network across the state that can address health care issues facing us now and in the future.”

Leaders selected for the 2011 Advocacy Fellowship class are:


ATWOOD

Heidi Foster, Chief Executive Officer
Rawlins County Dental Clinic

DIGHTON

Vickie James, Director
Healthy Kids Challenge

DODGE CITY

Stephanie Fuhrmann, Forensic Interviewer
Crisis Center of Dodge City

GARDEN CITY

John Washington, Superintendent
Garden City Recreation Commission

INDEPENDENCE

Greg Hennen, Executive Director
Four County Mental Health Center, Inc.

KANSAS CITY

Dustin Jensen Adams, Associate Executive Director
Metropolitan Energy Center

Amy Falk, Executive Director
Caritas Clinics, Inc.

Mark Wiebe, Director of Public Affairs
Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Health

LAWRENCE

Eunice Lee-Ahn, Medical-Legal Partnership Fellow
University of Kansas School of Law

MANHATTAN

Julie Govert Walter, Executive Director
North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging

MAYETTA

Rebekah Jones, Tribal Victim Assistance Program Manager
Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribal Police Department

TOPEKA

Cara Greve, Director, Workforce Center
Kansas Hospital Association

Anna Lambertson, Executive Director
Kansas Health Consumer Coalition

Lalo Munoz, Executive Director
El Centro of Topeka

WICHITA

Schaunta James-Boyd, Executive Director
E.C. Tyree Health & Dental Clinic


The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information is available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org. Click here for information on the Advocacy Fellowship program; click here for bios and photos of the members of the 2011 Class.

 

2730
December 1, 2010
Foundation Announces New Vice President
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation is pleased to announce that Doug Farmer will join the organization as vice president of public affairs. Farmer, currently deputy director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA), will begin his duties December 20.
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December 1, 2010

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation is pleased to announce that Doug Farmer will join the organization as vice president of public affairs. Farmer, currently deputy director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA), will begin his duties December 20.

In the newly created position, Farmer will head the foundation’s advocacy fellowship program, now in its third year. The fellowship is designed to provide intensive training to equip nonprofit leaders with the understanding and skills needed to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve. The 2011 class of 15 advocacy fellows will be announced next week. Farmer will also work on policy issues for the foundation.

In making the announcement, Billie Hall, president and CEO of the foundation, said, “We are delighted to have Doug joining our team. His diverse experience in leadership roles in state government and his knowledge of public policy make him the ideal person to direct the foundation’s emerging work in health policy. His insight and expertise will help shape the foundation’s capacity building programs around health advocacy.”

Farmer has also served as chief of staff, Office of Kansas Attorney General; deputy secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment; and assistant secretary, Kansas Department on Aging.

The Sunflower Foundation is a health philanthropy with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.

BIO: Doug Farmer has spent the majority of his professional career working in Kansas state government. He began as an analyst in the state Division of the Budget, providing budgetary and policy analysis related to a variety of state agencies. In 1999, he moved to the Kansas Department on Aging (KDOA), the state agency that promotes programs to improve the lives of Kansas seniors and is responsible for the regulation and financing of the nursing home industry. During his tenure at KDOA, he served as Commissioner of Finance and later Assistant Secretary. In 2003, he joined the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as Deputy Secretary, where he provided general agency oversight and policy development in both public health and environmental regulation. Following a year long stint as the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Kansas, he joined the Kansas Health Policy Authority as the Director of the State Employee Health Plan and later became the agency’s Deputy Director. Farmer holds a Master of Public Administration degree from James Madison University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Davis. He is a native of San Jose, California.

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November 3, 2010
Sunflower Foundation Recognized Nationally for Advocacy and Lobbying Campaign
TOPEKA, KS. - The Sunflower Foundation’s Clean Air Kansas campaign was recognized as a national finalist for a PR News NonProfit PR Award during the recent 2010 annual awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on November 3, 2010. The campaign in support of the passage of the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act was one of six national finalists for the top public relations campaign of the year in the category of advocacy and lobbying.
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November 3, 2010

TOPEKA, KS. - The Sunflower Foundation’s Clean Air Kansas campaign was recognized as a national finalist for a PR News NonProfit PR Award during the recent 2010 annual awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on November 3, 2010. The campaign in support of the passage of the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act was one of six national finalists for the top public relations campaign of the year in the category of advocacy and lobbying.

“The Sunflower Foundation is proud to have played a part in the passage of this historic public health law in Kansas,” said Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation, which supported the campaign. “We are honored by the recognition and congratulate our campaign communication director, Joyce Morrison, for helping shape public opinion on the benefits of having smoke free public places and workplaces in Kansas.”

The award winning campaign engaged constituents across the state to participate in passage of the successful Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act. The smoke free public health initiative identified and engaged more than 11,000 supporters of the statewide clean indoor air policy. More than 5,000 recorded constituent messages also were sent to state legislators.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed the statewide public smoking bill February 25, 2010. The bill, signed by Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, took effect July 1, 2010.

“Because citizens of Kansas elected to speak out on this issue, Kansas in now one of 35 smoke-free states,” Hall said.

The recognition is the second national award for Sunflower Foundation and the Clean Air Kansas campaign. Earlier this year, the campaign received a Pollie Award from the American Association of Political Consultants. To learn more about the finalists recognized by PR News, visit www.prnewsonline.com/awards/nonprofit2010-finalists.

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October 7, 2010
Public Forum Features National and State Experts
TOPEKA – The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation has announced a special public forum on health reform, “On the Front Line: Local Response to Health Reform.” The event will be held 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 28, 2010, at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence.
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October 7, 2010

TOPEKA – The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation has announced a special public forum on health reform, “On the Front Line: Local Response to Health Reform.” The event will be held 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 28, 2010, at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence.

Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, “We are pleased to host this important public conversation on health reform and excited to have the opportunity to bring John McDonough to Kansas. As a nationally recognized health reform expert, Dr. McDonough will help us understand the law and what it means for health care in Kansas.”

A panel of state experts will open the forum with a discussion of the roles that federal government, state agencies, providers and consumers must play in health reform. The panelists include Sandy Praeger, Kansas Insurance Commissioner; Andy Allison, PhD, Executive Director, Kansas Health Policy Authority; Jen Brull, MD, President, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians and private practice physician; Sharon Homan, PhD, Vice President for Public Health, Kansas Health Institute; and Susan Sherry, Community Catalyst, Boston, MA.

The forum will feature John McDonough, DPH, MPA, as the keynote speaker. Dr. McDonough has been on the forefront of health reform for several years. He served as Senator Edward Kennedy’s senior health advisor, as an elected Massachusetts state representative and as the leader of a consumer health advocacy organization.

The forum is free and open to the public. However, because space is limited, advance registration is required. To learn more and register, visit the foundation’s Web site: www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

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September 22, 2010
2010 Fellows Complete Health Advocacy Program
TOPEKA – In ceremonies last week in Topeka, the Sunflower Foundation honored the 15 nonprofit health leaders from across Kansas who were members of the 2010 Class of the foundation’s Advocacy Fellowship program. The recognition took place during the last of six sessions that make up the year-long program.
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September 22, 2010

TOPEKA – In ceremonies last week in Topeka, the Sunflower Foundation honored the 15 nonprofit health leaders from across Kansas who were members of the 2010 Class of the foundation’s Advocacy Fellowship program. The recognition took place during the last of six sessions that make up the year-long program.

The Fellowship is designed to provide intensive training to equip nonprofit leaders with the understanding and skills needed to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve. Training session topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media. One session is held in Washington, D.C.

“This class is an exceptional group of leaders and we know individually and collectively they will be making a difference for Kansans for many years to come,” said Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. This was the second year for the Advocacy Fellowship. The third year of the program will begin in November. Members of the 2011 Class will be announced in October.

Members of the 2010 Advocacy Fellowship Class are:

GARDEN CITY
• Ric Dalke, Executive Director, Area Mental Health Center

HAYS
• Janette Meis, State Director, Kansas CASA Association, Inc.

KANSAS CITY
• Katherine Kelly, Executive Director and Farmer, Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture
• Roberta Lindbeck, Executive Director, Cross-Lines Community Outreach

LAWRENCE
• Dee Ann DeRoin, Founder, Four Tribes Women’s Wellness Coalition, Family Practitioner and Health Educator, Community Health and Wellness
• Jake Lowen, Principal, Kansas Grassroots Consulting

LIBERAL
• Arturo Ponce, Director, United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, HIV/AIDS Education & Outreach

PITTSBURG
• Monica Murnan, Executive Director, Family Resource Center

TOPEKA
• Corrie Edwards, Section Administrator, Child Placement Agency & Residential Program, Bureau of Child Care & Health Facilities, Kansas Department of Health & Environment
• Craig Kaberline, Executive Director, Kansas Area Agencies on Aging Association
• Doug Vance, Executive Director, Kansas Recreation and Park Association

WAMEGO
• Deb Kiker, CEO, Community Health Ministry

WICHITA
• Annette Graham, Executive Director, Central Plains Area Agency on Aging, Sedgwick County Department on Aging
• Anne Nelson, Associate Executive Director, Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Formerly LAWRENCE)
• Brutrinia Arellano, Department of Health and Human Services Emerging Leaders Program

The Sunflower Foundation is a health philanthropy with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.

For more information about the Advocacy Fellowship, visit www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

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July 6, 2010
Sunflower Foundation Announces Grant Awards
TOPEKA - The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans recently approved grant awards totaling $1.2 million to 27 organizations throughout Kansas.
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TOPEKA - The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans recently approved grant awards totaling $1.2 million to 27 organizations throughout Kansas. The grants address three of the foundation’s priority interest areas: increasing access to health care by helping safety net clinics fund direct care staff positions to add or expand services (seven grants); building the organizational capacity of nonprofit health care organizations to improve efficiency and sustainability (15 grants); and promoting physical activity by building community and school-based walking trails (five grants). Details of the grant awards are available on the foundation’s Web site.

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April 27, 2010
Kansan Leads Change in Eldercare
LAWRENCE, KS – Steve Shields is on a mission to change the way we take care of our parents and grandparents. Shields, an international expert on nursing homes, is president and CEO of Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan, one of the nation’s most innovative retirement communities.
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April 27, 2010

LAWRENCE, KS – Steve Shields is on a mission to change the way we take care of our parents and grandparents. Shields, an international expert on nursing homes, is president and CEO of Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan, one of the nation’s most innovative retirement communities.

“Our approach really is pretty simple. It’s to get residents involved in making their own decisions – to take control of their own lives,” Shields said.

Shields is the final speaker in this year’s Sunflower Foundation Advocacy in Health Speaker Series. He will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence. The event is free and open to the public.

Shields will emphasize the importance of nonprofits working together to help change systems of care. “In this time of increasingly scarce resources, we can’t lose our passion and our imagination for creating change,” Shields said. “Now, more than ever, we need to be strong advocates for the people we serve, and we need to help them become more effective advocates for themselves.”

“Steve was selected to present as part of our Advocacy in Health Speaker Series because of his success in changing long-held beliefs and improving lives,” said Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation.

“Sometimes ‘advocacy’ is seen as only happening through direct contact with legislators and local officials, and that’s important. But sometimes advocacy involves pushing for regulatory change – and just getting people to work together in different ways,” she said. “Steve is an excellent example of someone who helped bring about needed change by advocating within a system.”

As a pioneer in eldercare reform, Shields has helped transform traditional nursing homes and retirement facilities into the “Household” model in more than 40 states and 10 countries. He co-authored In Pursuit of the Sunbeam: A Practical Guide to Transformation from Institution to Household and The Household Model Business Case. He is also a faculty member at the Kansas State University Center on Aging, where he teaches leadership in long term care.

This is the Sunflower Foundation’s second year to feature nationally known speakers as part of its advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders in Kansas who want to become more involved in public policy.

This event and the reception following are free and open to the public, but require advance reservations by calling (785) 232-3000 or visiting www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

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April 26, 2010
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Appointments
TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces three new members of its board of trustees, appointed by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six. Eight members of the foundation’s nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.
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April 26, 2010

TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces three new members of its board of trustees, appointed by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six. Eight members of the foundation’s nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.

Appointed by Attorney General Six are Karen Hauser, Salina, reappointed to her third term; Mia Korbelik, Dodge City, reappointed to her second term; and Les Lacy, St. Francis, appointed to his first term. The three appointees will begin their terms in June.

Karen Hauser serves as chief executive officer of Catholic Charities in Salina. She was appointed to her first term on the Sunflower Foundation board in 2005. Mia Korbelik is resource development and marketing coordinator for Good Samaritan Society in Dodge City, where she and her family also operate a farming business. She was appointed to her first term in 2007 and is currently secretary of the board. Les Lacy serves as administrator of Cheyenne County Hospital in St. Francis.

The Attorney General also made three appointments to the Sunflower Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC nominates candidates for the foundation’s board and acts in an advisory role to the foundation. CAC members are also limited to three three-year terms.

The three CAC appointments were Rev. Bobby Love, Olathe, reappointed to a third term; Janet Schalansky, Topeka, reappointed for a second term; and Karen Cochran, Lawrence, appointed for a first term.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

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April 13, 2010
Clean Air Kansas Recognized for Innovation in Grassroots Campaign for a Smoke Free State
TOPEKA - The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans congratulates the Clean Air Kansas campaign that was recognized in two award categories from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) during the recent 2010 Annual Pollie Awards and Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
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April 13, 2010

TOPEKA - The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans congratulates the Clean Air Kansas campaign that was recognized in two award categories from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) during the recent 2010 Annual Pollie Awards and Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The Clean Air Kansas campaign was unique in the public health field because it successfully engaged Kansas residents in advocacy using new technology,” said Billie Hall, president and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation, which supported the campaign. “The Clean Air Kansas campaign focused on grassroots contacts with legislators instead of media buys. When the day of the vote arrived, we wanted to make sure lawmakers had heard the overwhelming calls from their districts for a smoke free state. In the end, people mattered.”

The award winning, innovative strategy employed live phone calls to constituents across the state to engage grassroots participation in the successful public health initiative campaign. The paid phone program identified over 11,000 supporters of the statewide clean indoor air policy.

The campaign also pioneered the use of recorded constituent testimony in support of the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act. More than 5,000 recorded constituent messages were sent to their corresponding elected officials.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed the statewide public smoking bill February 25, 2010. The bill, signed by Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson on March 12th, takes effect July 1, 2010.

“The campaign team, including Jake Lowen, Joyce Morrison, Kaelyn Seymour and Capital Strategies, successfully implemented the new strategies and worked with health care partners across the state to bring about this historic public health law,” Hall said.

The AAPC awards in excellence were presented to Kansas Grassroots Consulting, Domain 51, Grassroots Solutions and Stones’ Phones for their roles in the Clean Air Kansas campaign to keep public places and workplaces in Kansas smoke free.

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February 3, 2010
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the release of three requests for proposals (RFPs). These RFPs call for projects that add or expand services in health care safety net settings, that build the organizational capacity of health-related nonprofit organizations, or that build community or school-based walking or multi-use trails to promote increased physical activity.
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February 3, 2010

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the release of three requests for proposals (RFPs). These RFPs call for projects that add or expand services in health care safety net settings, that build the organizational capacity of health-related nonprofit organizations, or that build community or school-based walking or multi-use trails to promote increased physical activity.

Complete details on these RFPs and directions for the new online application process can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free).

Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of several RFP briefings to be held by telephone conference calls beginning February 8, 2010. These briefings will be specific to each of the three RFPs and will address funding criteria and the new online application process. Information regarding the conference call schedule and instructions for participating are available on the foundation’s Web site or by calling the foundation office.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

2009
3080
December 16, 2009
Organizing Communities for Change is the Emphasis for Next Advocacy in Health Speaker
TOPEKA – Rudy Lopez, Director of Politics at the Center for Community Change, is the second speaker in the Sunflower Foundation’s 2009-2010 Advocacy in Health Speaker Series. His message focuses on the place where passion and politics come together – at the grassroots level.
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December 16, 2009

TOPEKA – Rudy Lopez, Director of Politics at the Center for Community Change, is the second speaker in the Sunflower Foundation’s 2009-2010 Advocacy in Health Speaker Series. His message focuses on the place where passion and politics come together – at the grassroots level.

The key, he says, is to engage people who are affected by the changes they want to see happen. “It’s really about helping people in communities win for themselves instead of trying to win for them,” he said.

Lopez will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. The speech is free and open to the public. A reception to meet the speaker will follow.

“Many groups – organizations, nonprofits, social service agencies – tend to do the work themselves rather than helping those they serve do the work,” explained Lopez, whose own organization helps build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially those of color, to change their communities and public policies.

Programs that consistently rely on the “hand out instead of hand up” model of building community can result in unhealthy consequences, he said. “People become more dependent and less empowered and are without the tools to make the kind of changes that improve their lives.”

Lopez encourages organizations to extend themselves to the communities they serve and not have people come to them. At the lecture in Topeka, he plans to stress the importance of understanding how to empower people living within communities to influence change.

Lopez has served as national field director of Wellstone Action, where he trained thousands of people throughout the country to manage campaigns and run for public office. He also has served as national field director for U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, was a community organizer and has worked on dozens of partisan campaigns at the local, state and federal level.

Lopez is the second speaker in the Sunflower Foundation’s 2009-2010 Advocacy in Health Speakers Series. It is the Sunflower Foundation’s second year to feature nationally known speakers as part of its advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide public policy education and training for nonprofit leaders.

The Lopez speech and reception are free and open to the public. However, seating is limited so advance reservations are required by calling (785) 232-3000 or visiting www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

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November 16, 2009
National Expert Says Advocacy is 'Key to Meeting Mission' for Nonprofit Organizations
TOPEKA – Nationally recognized nonprofit advocacy expert Marcia Avner will kick off the Sunflower Foundation’s 2009-2010 Advocacy in Health Speaker Series with an address about the importance of advocacy in meeting a nonprofit organization’s mission.
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November 16, 2009

TOPEKA – Nationally recognized nonprofit advocacy expert Marcia Avner will kick off the Sunflower Foundation’s 2009-2010 Advocacy in Health Speaker Series with an address about the importance of advocacy in meeting a nonprofit organization’s mission.

“Nonprofits need to engage in advocacy because, if all you’re doing are services, you’re never changing the circumstances that affect the people you serve,” said Avner, who serves as a public policy director with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, a statewide association with more than 2,000 member organizations. “Advocacy is key to meeting mission.”

Avner will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. The speech is free and open to the public. A reception to meet the speaker will follow.

She said nonprofit organizations are a critical part of the policy dialogue and need to approach their work in advocacy as an obligation.

“We have what elected officials need - data, solid research, analysis, experience and expertise and people who back up the work that we care about,” she said. “We have an obligation to make that part of the public dialogue. The decisions will be made with or without the information that nonprofits have, so we need to be at the table to serve as a resource to the decision makers.”

Avner also expects to touch on the national health care debate in her presentation, including focusing on nonprofits’ roles as employers as well as their ability to advocate on behalf of the people they serve.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Avner has influenced policy and authored The Lobbying and Advocacy Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations and The Board Member’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy.

This is the Sunflower Foundation’s second year to feature nationally known speakers as part of its advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders who want to become involved in public policy. The series is presented in conjunction with the recently announced Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellowship program.

The Avner speech and reception are free and open to the public. Advance reservations are required by calling (785) 232-3000 or visiting www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

Information on the speakers who will be presenting in January, March and May 2010 will be announced soon.

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November 5, 2009
Sunflower Foundation Announces 2010 Advocacy Fellows
TOPEKA – The 2010 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.
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November 5, 2009

TOPEKA – The 2010 class of Advocacy Fellows for the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been announced. This year’s class of 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state will learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.

The Advocacy Fellowship class is part of the foundation’s non-partisan advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders. The goal is to bring the perspective of the nonprofit world to public policy.

“We are proud to build on the success of our inaugural class with this second year of outstanding Fellows,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, which launched the advocacy program in 2008. “We are pleased with the diversity of individuals and organizations that are represented and look forward to another year of exceptional involvement from the group.”

The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.

“Bringing together nonprofit leaders with a wide range of experiences and interests really brings a new voice to policy discussions – on a local, state and national level,” Hall said. “These Fellows, as well as the class before them, are committed to learning, engaging and building a network across the state that can address health care issues facing us now and in the future.”

Leaders selected for the 2010 Advocacy Fellowship class are:

GARDEN CITY

Ric Dalke, Executive Director
Area Mental Health Center

HAYS

Janette Meis, State Director
Kansas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

IOLA

David Toland, Executive Director
Thrive Allen County

KANSAS CITY, KS

Katherine Kelly, Executive Director
Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture

Roberta Lindbeck, Executive Director
Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Inc.

LAWRENCE

Brutrinia Arellano, Post-Graduate Fellow
Medical/Legal Partnership
University of Kansas School of Law

Dee Ann DeRoin, MD, MPH, Family Practitioner
Community Health & Wellness

LIBERAL

Arturo Ponce, Director
United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries
HIV/AIDS Education & Outreach
Liberal Clinic & Care Center

PITTSBURG

Monica Murnan, Executive Director
Family Resource Center, Inc.

TOPEKA

Corrie Edwards, Executive Director
Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, Inc.

Craig Kaberline, Executive Director
Kansas Area Agencies on Aging Association

Doug Vance, Executive Director
Kansas Recreation and Park Association

WAMEGO

Deb Kiker, Clinic Administrator
Community Health Ministry

WICHITA

Annette Graham, Executive Director
Central Plains Area Agency on Aging
Sedgwick County Department on Aging

Anne Nelson, Associate Executive Director
Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation

In conjunction with the fellowship program, the Sunflower Foundation also will be sponsoring its Advocacy in Health Speaker Series, which brings four national leaders to the state for public forums. All forums are free and open to the public.

This year’s first speaker in the series is Marcia Avner, nationally recognized author and nonprofit advocacy expert. She will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka.

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information is available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

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September 17, 2009
Fellows Graduate From Inaugural Health Advocacy Program
TOPEKA - The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the graduation of its first class of Advocacy Fellows. The 15 members of the program finished a year of intensive training earlier this month with congratulations from Governor Mark Parkinson and a reminder that the advocacy they will do not only leverages the political power of their nonprofit organizations, but will serve those who often don’t have a voice in the public policy debate.
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September 17, 2009

TOPEKA - The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the graduation of its first class of Advocacy Fellows. The 15 members of the program finished a year of intensive training earlier this month with congratulations from Governor Mark Parkinson and a reminder that the advocacy they will do not only leverages the political power of their nonprofit organizations, but will serve those who often don’t have a voice in the public policy debate. 

“This class is an exceptional group and we know individually and collectively they will be making a difference for Kansans for many years to come,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO for the Sunflower Foundation, which launched the program last year.

The Advocacy Fellowship is designed to equip nonprofit leaders with the understanding, experience and expertise needed to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.

As part of the year-long program, participants attended six sessions, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Sessions covered key areas essential to developing skills and expertise in advocacy and nonprofit lobbying. Training session topics included how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.

Leaders who successfully completed the Advocacy Fellowship are:

EMPORIA
• Vicki Worrell, Executive Director, KAHPERD (Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance)

GARDEN CITY
• Stephanie Waggoner, CEO, United Methodist Mexican-America Ministries

KANSAS CITY
• John G. Carney, Vice President, Aging and End of Life, Center for Practical Bioethics
• Kara Lineweber, Director of Policy Advocacy-Research, El Centro, Inc.
• Michael Mayberry, Executive Director, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
• Phelps Murdock, President and CEO, Bridging the Gap

LAWRENCE
• Mitzi E. McFatrich, Executive Director, Kansas Advocates for Better Care
• Elizabeth E. Weeks Leonard, Associate Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law

PITTSBURG
• Krista Postai, Executive Director, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

SHARON SPRINGS
• Chrysanne Grund, Project Director, Greeley County Health Services

TOPEKA
• Rick Cagan, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Kansas Chapter
• Shannon Cotsoradis, Executive Vice President and COO, Kansas Action for Children
• Cathy Harding, Executive Director, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved

WICHITA
• Rosa Molina, Executive Director, Medical Service Bureau
• Brian Walker, Executive Director, Kansas Food Bank

The Sunflower Foundation is a health philanthropy with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.

The 2010 Fellowship class will be announced in October. For more information about the Advocacy Fellowship, visit www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

3248
July 1, 2009
Sunflower Foundation Names Board Officers
TOPEKA – The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the election of new board officers. The officers will serve one year terms, beginning July 1, 2009.
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July 1, 2009

TOPEKA – The Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the election of new board officers. The officers will serve one year terms, beginning July 1, 2009.

Elected to chair the board was Chris Ruder, Lenexa. Ruder is vice president, patient care services, at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City. He was initially appointed to the foundation board in 2005.

Mia Korbelik, Dodge City, was elected to serve as secretary. She is development director for United Methodist Mexican American Ministries, Garden City, and involved in managing a family farming operation. Korbelik was appointed to the foundation board in 2007.

Kraig Gross, Hays, was elected as treasurer. He will also chair the board’s finance committee. Gross is controller for Kansas Natural Gas, Inc., Hays. He was appointed to the foundation board in 2006.

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by nine trustees who represent diverse backgrounds and regions of the state. Eight trustees are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The Sunflower Foundation was established in 2000. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

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May 26, 2009
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Board Members
TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces three new members of its board of trustees appointed by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS). Eight members of the foundation’s nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.
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May 26, 2009

TOPEKA – The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces three new members of its board of trustees appointed by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS). Eight members of the foundation’s nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Kansas Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Trustees are limited to serving three three-year terms.

Appointed by Attorney General Six are Kraig Gross, Hays, reappointed to his second three-year term, and Reggie Robinson, Lawrence, appointed to his first three-year term.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas appointed Howard Shuler, Topeka, for his first three-year term. The three new trustees will begin their terms in June.

Kraig Gross serves as controller for Kansas Natural Gas, Inc., Hays. He was appointed to his first term on the Sunflower Foundation board in 2006. He currently is treasurer of the board and also chairs the finance committee.

Reginald (Reggie) Robinson serves as president & CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, Topeka. Robinson replaces Harry Craig, Topeka, who was among the first Sunflower Foundation trustees appointed by then-Attorney General Carla Stovall in 2000.

Howard Shuler is retired Superintendent of Schools for Auburn-Washburn USD 437, a position he had for 19 years. Shuler replaces Tom Miller, Topeka, former CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, who has served as the BCBSKS appointment to the Sunflower Foundation board since it was created in 2000.

The Attorney General also made three appointments to the Sunflower Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC nominates candidates for the foundation’s board and acts in an advisory role to the foundation.

The three CAC appointments were Robert Thomen, Chanute, reappointed to a third term; Doug Sheern, Abilene, reappointed for a second term; and Barbara Carswell, Lawrence, appointed for a first term.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

3306
May 4, 2009
Sunflower Foundation Offers Unique Grants in Response to Current Economic Challenges
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a unique statewide grant opportunity through the release of a new request for proposals (RFP), titled Finding Solutions in Challenging Times. Grants will offer short-term support to help nonprofit health and human services organizations meet emerging needs related to the current economic downturn. Funding preference will be given to organizations with missions to provide services for low income, uninsured populations and those with special needs. The RFP offers three application deadline options: June 1, July 28 or September 22, 2009.
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May 4, 2009

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a unique statewide grant opportunity through the release of a new request for proposals (RFP), titled Finding Solutions in Challenging Times. Grants will offer short-term support to help nonprofit health and human services organizations meet emerging needs related to the current economic downturn. Funding preference will be given to organizations with missions to provide services for low income, uninsured populations and those with special needs. The RFP offers three application deadline options: June 1, July 28 or September 22, 2009.

Complete details on this RFP and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free).

Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of the telephone briefings to discuss the RFP, which will be held May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2009. Information regarding the briefing schedule and instructions for participating are available in the RFP documents posted on the foundation’s Web site. The foundation welcomes questions about the application process or guidelines.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

3319
April 21, 2009
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunities
TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the release of two requests for proposals (RFPs). These RFPs call for projects that build the organizational capacity of health-related nonprofit organizations and that build walking trails to promote increased community-based and school-based physical activity.
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April 21, 2009

TOPEKA - The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the release of two requests for proposals (RFPs). These RFPs call for projects that build the organizational capacity of health-related nonprofit organizations and that build walking trails to promote increased community-based and school-based physical activity.

Complete details on these RFPs and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free).

Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of the RFP briefings to be held by telephone conference calls April 24, 28, 29 and 30, 2009. These briefings will be specific to each RFP. Information regarding the conference call schedule and instructions for participating are available in the documents posted on the foundation’s Web site. The foundation welcomes questions about the application process or guidelines.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

3360
March 11, 2009
Health Affairs editor brings national perspective to Kansas
TOPEKA – Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy, and an on-air analyst on health issues with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), is the next speaker in a new series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans.
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March 11, 2009

TOPEKA – Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy, and an on-air analyst on health issues with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), is the next speaker in a new series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans.

Dentzer will speak at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. The speech and reception that follows are open to the public, but reservations are required by calling 785-232-3000.

Dentzer became editor of the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs in May 2008 after a decade as the on-air health correspondent for The NewsHour. The journal is published by Project HOPE, an organization providing health education and humanitarian assistance worldwide.

“We feel very fortunate to have Susan Dentzer join us for our series,” said Billie Hall, president and CEO for the Sunflower Foundation. “Her background in national and international health issues, as well as her front-row seat on health care reform in our country, will make this a timely and insightful presentation – one that will be incredibly useful for the advocacy work being done in Kansas.”

Dentzer is the third of four nationally known speakers the Sunflower Foundation is bringing to Kansas to highlight the importance of effectively communicating and advocating for health issues in the state. The first was acclaimed author and activist, David Cohen, a former leader of the Advocacy Institute and Common Cause. The second was public policy expert Ann Wiesner, a principal with Grassroots Solutions, a Minnesota-based firm specializing in helping non-profit organizations achieve their public policy objectives.

Dentzer is an award-winning journalist who has been recognized nationally for her work on Alzheimer’s disease, women’s health issues and nursing home reform. In 2005 she won an Excellence in Health Care Journalism award from the Association of Health Care Journalists for “Wounded Soldier” and “Wounded Warrior,” stories about a paralyzed and brain damaged soldier who was severely wounded in Iraq.

Prior to joining The NewsHour in 1998, Dentzer was chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for U.S. News and World Report and senior writer covering business news for Newsweek. A graduate of Dartmouth, Dentzer now lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. The foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information can be found at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

2008
3439
December 22, 2008
Grassroots strategist brings expertise to Kansas
TOPEKA – A public policy expert who believes non-profit organizations can be more effective in designing, organizing and implementing grassroots strategies is the next speaker in a new series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans.
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December 22, 2008

TOPEKA – A public policy expert who believes non-profit organizations can be more effective in designing, organizing and implementing grassroots strategies is the next speaker in a new series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans.

Ann Wiesner is a principal with Grassroots Solutions, a Minnesota-based firm specializing in helping non-profit organizations achieve their public policy objectives. She will conduct a workshop-like presentation for the public at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 7, 2009, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka.

“At this critical time, with the economic challenges facing businesses and our government, it is imperative non-profit leaders are equipped with the expertise they need to advocate for those they serve,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO for the foundation.

“Ann brings a depth of knowledge and enthusiasm to her work that will give people interested in engaging in the public policy debate the tools they need to be successful,” Hall said.

Wiesner is the second of four nationally known speakers the Sunflower Foundation is bringing to Kansas to highlight the importance of effectively communicating and advocating for health issues in the state. The first was acclaimed author and activist David Cohen, a former leader of the Advocacy Institute and Common Cause.

All speeches and the receptions that follow are free and open to the public. Advance reservations are required by calling 785-232-3000.

Wiesner will provide first-hand accounts about how non-profits can develop grassroots campaigns that effectively contribute to changes in public policy. Her clients include groups working on issues ranging from tobacco control to anti-poverty policy, and include organizations such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, North Carolina Justice Center and Illinois Community Action Associations.

“This is an opportunity to hear from an outstanding presenter,” Hall said. “She brings a very down-to-earth approach to public policy, which sometimes can seem out-of-reach to those most affected by policy decisions.”

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. With nearly $100 million in assets, the foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information can be found at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

3469
November 22, 2008
Sunflower Foundation taps nonprofit leaders for new advocacy initiative
TOPEKA – A new program launched by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans provides 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state an opportunity to learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.
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November 22, 2008

TOPEKA – A new program launched by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans provides 15 nonprofit leaders from across the state an opportunity to learn how to become effective public policy advocates for their organizations and the people they serve.

The first Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellowship class of 2008 – 2009 is part of the foundation’s new non-partisan advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders. The goal is to bring the perspective of the nonprofit world to public policy.

“This is a critically underserved area for nonprofits,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, which surveyed nonprofit leaders prior to launching the advocacy initiative. “The fellowship program provides nonprofit leaders the opportunity and skills to become powerful voices for the Kansans they serve.”

The fellowship program includes six sessions over the course of a year, including one visit to Washington, D.C. Topics include how to develop advocacy strategies, build coalitions and grassroots efforts, navigate the political process and work with the media.

“We believe bringing the nonprofit perspective to policy discussions not only benefits the individuals and their organizations, but is important if we are going to find solutions to today’s complex health problems,” Hall said.

Leaders selected for the first fellowship class are (click here for photos and bios of the Fellows):

EMPORIA -
• Vicki Worrell, Executive Director, KAPHERD (Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance); Associate Professor, Emporia State University

GARDEN CITY -
• Stephanie Waggoner, CEO, United Methodist Mexican America Ministries

KANSAS CITY -
• John G. Carney, Vice President, Aging and End of Life, Center for Practical Bioethics
• Kara Lineweber, Director of Policy Advocacy-Research, El Centro, Inc.
• Michael Mayberry, Executive Director, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
• Phelps Murdock, President and CEO, Bridging the Gap

LAWRENCE -
• Mitzi E. McFatrich, Executive Director, Kansas Advocates for Better Care
• Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, Associate Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law

PITTSBURG -
• Krista Postai, CEO, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

SHARON SPRINGS -
• Chrysanne Grund, Project Director, Greeley County Health Services

TOPEKA -
• Richard "Rick" Cagan, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI Kansas
• Shannon Cotsoradis, Executive Vice President and COO, Kansas Action for Children
• Cathy Harding, Executive Director, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved

WICHITA -
• Rosa Molina, Executive Director, Medical Service Bureau
• Brian Walker, President and CEO, Kansas Food Bank

In conjunction with the fellowship program, the Sunflower Foundation recently announced the start of it its speakers’ series, which brings four national leaders to the state for public forums. All forums are free and open to the public.

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. With nearly $100 million in assets, the foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy. More information is available at www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

3480
November 11, 2008
National activist and advocacy expert to kick off Speaker Series
TOPEKA – Nationally recognized activist, author and advocacy expert David Cohen will launch a new speaker series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Cohen, who has led two of the nation’s most progressive advocacy groups – the Advocacy Institute and Common Cause, is expected to draw on his decades of experience working as an advocate and strategist on major social justice and political reform issues, from civil rights to anti-poverty work.
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November 11, 2008

TOPEKA – Nationally recognized activist, author and advocacy expert David Cohen will launch a new speaker series sponsored by Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Cohen, who has led two of the nation’s most progressive advocacy groups – the Advocacy Institute and Common Cause, is expected to draw on his decades of experience working as an advocate and strategist on major social justice and political reform issues, from civil rights to anti-poverty work.

The speaker series, Advocacy in Health, is part of the Sunflower Foundation’s advocacy initiative, which is designed to provide education and training opportunities for nonprofit leaders who want to become involved in advocacy and public policy.

“We are thrilled to have David Cohen bring his experience to Kansas,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the foundation. “He delivers an incredibly inspirational message that will have us all motivated to get involved in the public policy process –whether in our hometowns, the state or at a national level.”

Cohen will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. A reception to meet the speaker will follow.

Cohen is the first of four nationally known speakers who will come to Kansas in the next few months to highlight the importance of nonprofits getting involved in public policy, advocating on behalf of the people they serve and contributing to common solutions.

All four speeches and the receptions that follow are free and open to the public. Advance reservations are required by calling 785-232-3000.

The other speakers are:

ANN WIESNER – Grassroots organizing expert
3:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2009,
Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka

Wiesner is a principal with Grassroots Solutions, a national firm specializing in organizing and training. She will provide first-hand accounts about how to use grassroots strategies to influence public policy.

SUSAN DENTZER – Health correspondent,
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Editor, Health Affairs
3:30 p.m., Wednesday March 18, 2009,
Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka

As editor of Health Affairs, Dentzer oversees the leading health policy journal in the country. In addition, she serves as health correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, a national television news program on PBS. An award-winning journalist, she is dedicated to providing in-depth coverage of health care, health policy and Social Security.

ANDY GOODMAN – Public interest communication specialist
Wednesday, May 20, 2009,
Hyatt Regency, Wichita

Goodman is the author of “Storytelling as Best Practice” and “Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes,” and has trained thousands in the art of using communication to promote public interest causes and interests.

“Our goal with the speakers’ series is to introduce ideas that can spark change in the policy arena,” Hall said. “We want to encourage and strengthen the involvement of the nonprofit sector when it comes to advocacy and public policy engagement, and this provides an opportunity to learn from the best.”

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. With nearly $100 million in assets, the foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.
 

3493
October 29, 2008
Kansas small businesses say health care costs a priority and rank policy options
TOPEKA – A new survey of small business owners shows rising health care costs are among their top concerns. In Kansas business owners favor policy options that make it easier for small businesses and employees to purchase health care coverage but stop short of supporting an employer mandate – indicating it would hurt small business.
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TOPEKA – A new survey of small business owners shows rising health care costs are among their top concerns. In Kansas business owners favor policy options that make it easier for small businesses and employees to purchase health care coverage but stop short of supporting an employer mandate – indicating it would hurt small business.

The state survey of more than 200 small business owners was funded by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, and is a part of a national survey commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We wanted to make sure the voices of small businesses throughout Kansas were heard in this debate about rising health care costs and what to do about them,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “Small businesses drive new job growth in our economy and it is important their perspectives are factored into any debate about reform.”

While the national survey results will not be released for several weeks, Sunflower released the Kansas results this week in conjunction with “Insuring a Healthy Kansas” conference sponsored on October 30 by the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas. The conference is being simulcast from the Kansas Union at KU, Pioneer Communications in Ulysses and The Entrepreneurial Center in Phillipsburg.

“We wanted to provide statewide data that could help inform this discussion about what is next,” Hall said. “The findings show that small business owners are looking at a collaborative approach to finding a solution. The conference brings together some of the leading experts in our state and we wanted the perspective of small business to be represented.”
According to the survey, 60 percent of small businesses in Kansas (2-50 employees) provide health care coverage. However, for companies with less than 10 employees, that number drops to 53 percent.

Overall, the survey found that:

  • Small business owners are facing health care costs rising at an unpredictable rate
  • They are worried about the issue in terms of their families and businesses
  • They connect offering health care benefits to retaining quality employees, particularly among those companies who offer coverage now
  • They see a role for government in addressing the issue but do not like mandates

In Kansas, according to the survey, small business owners supported the following (See Chart 1):

  • Creating a small business tax credit
  • Making health care coverage portable so individuals and families can keep their coverage when they change jobs or employers
  • Passing medical liability reform to eliminate lawsuits against doctors who have followed patient care safety standards
  • Promoting a government-sponsored pool for small businesses

However, a majority of respondents said an employer mandate would hurt their small business. (See Chart 2)

When asked about specific approaches to controlling rising health care costs and increasing the number of Americans with health coverage, Kansas small businesses are open to several approaches, with as many as half supporting a government-guaranteed option. (See Charts 34 and 5)

“This tells us that small business owners are considering a broader set of policy options,” Hall said. “They favor a market-based approach, but are open to other options including government sponsored-pools and tax credits.”

“This is the kind of data we find invaluable,” said Sandy Praeger, Kansas Insurance Commissioner and President, National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “It reinforces what we hear from small businesses and their employees almost every day – that the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance is hurting their ability to stay profitable and competitive.”
Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners conducted the survey from August 22 to September 5 in Kansas. They surveyed 200 owners, presidents and CEOs of companies with 2 to 50 employees and over-sampled 38 companies with 25 to 50 employees.

“Small business owners know first-hand what we’re discussing at this week’s conference – that this is an economic issue,” said Marcia Nielsen, Executive Director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority. “We look forward to working with small business owners and other employers to find solutions that will help them and their employees in the future.”

The Sunflower Foundation is a charitable organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. With approximately $100 million in assets, the foundation’s funding priorities are health care access, healthy behaviors and prevention, capacity building and advocacy.

2007
3982
June 28, 2007
Tobacco Poll Shows Kansans Favor Smoke-free Ordinances
TOPEKA - A statewide public opinion poll of Kansas voters indicates a strong majority favor laws prohibiting smoking in all indoor workplaces and public facilities. Additional findings show a great concern about secondhand smoke and support for an increased cigarette tax.
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June 28, 2007

TOPEKA - A statewide public opinion poll of Kansas voters indicates a strong majority favor laws prohibiting smoking in all indoor workplaces and public facilities. Additional findings show a great concern about secondhand smoke and support for an increased cigarette tax.

The poll was commissioned by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, a Topeka-based philanthropy. It was conducted earlier this year by Public Opinion Strategies, a national survey firm, and covered a variety of tobacco-related issues.

In addition to 500 Kansas voters, the survey over-sampled Republican primary voters. The margin of error for Kansas voters was +/- 4.4 percent, and among Republican voters was +/- 4.9 percent.

Among the three primary findings:

1) Clean indoor air

Kansas voters overwhelmingly favor a statewide law prohibiting smoking in all indoor workplaces and public facilities.
• 71 percent of Kansas voters (59 percent strongly favor)
• 71 percent of Republican primary voters also support the proposal (57 percent strongly favor)
Nearly one-third of current smokers also support a smoking ban. In addition to a statewide initiative, Kansas voters also support local initiatives to prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces and public facilities.

2) Secondhand smoke

Kansas voters overwhelmingly believe secondhand cigarette smoke is a health hazard.
• 83 percent believe it is a health hazard
• 59 percent believe it is a “serious” health hazard
• Similar for Republican primary voters: 81 percent believe it is a health hazard while 51 percent believe it is a “serious” health hazard

3) Spending programs

Support is strong for increasing the current 79-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes.
• 64 percent for all voters
• 65 percent for Republican primary voters

“Our intent with this poll was two-fold,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation. “First, we wanted to inform our own work, which includes a focus on tobacco use prevention, and, second, we wanted to help policymakers understand how tobacco-related issues are perceived in Kansas.”

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and Kansas, according to health experts. The Sunflower Foundation wants to use information from the statewide poll to inform decision making in the state, Hall emphasized.

“We hope we can continue the dialogue about tobacco and its health consequences – with the long-term goal of finding solutions that protect the health of all Kansans,” Hall said.

4060
April 11, 2007
Sunflower Foundation Appointments Announced
Topeka: The office of Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison has announced the appointment of four trustees to the board of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Eight members of the nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
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April 11, 2007

Topeka: The office of Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison has announced the appointment of four trustees to the board of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Eight members of the nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The trustee appointments include the reappointment of Karen S. Hauser, Salina, and Gregory Unruh, Onaga. New appointments include Caroline A. Williams, Wichita, and Mia S. Korbelik, Dodge City.

The attorney general’s trustee appointments come from candidates nominated by the foundation’s community advisory committee. The members of the community advisory committee are appointed by the attorney general.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

2006
4247
October 6, 2006
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the organization’s semi-annual request for proposals (RFP). This funding opportunity, called RFP 07-102, calls for programs and projects that address issues specified in four funding categories within the foundation’s interest areas. The funding categories are Bridge Grants, Capacity Building, Physical Activity and Walking Trails.
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October 6, 2006

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the organization’s semi-annual request for proposals (RFP). This funding opportunity, called RFP 07-102, calls for programs and projects that address issues specified in four funding categories within the foundation’s interest areas. The funding categories are Bridge Grants, Capacity Building, Physical Activity and Walking Trails.

Complete details on this RFP and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free), or by e-mail request to info@sunflowerfoundation.org.

The submission steps and deadlines involved in applying to this grant opportunity are determined by the funding category under which application is made. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of several RFP briefings to be held by telephone conference calls October 16, 18 and 24, 2006. These briefings will be specific to the RFP funding categories. Information regarding the conference call schedule and instructions for participating are available in the RFP General Information document posted on the foundation’s Web site.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

4325
July 20, 2006
Sunflower Foundation Appointment Announced
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of Kraig L. Gross, Hays, to a three-year term as a member of the organization’s board of trustees. Gross, who is Controller/Office Manager for Kansas Natural Gas, Inc., Hays, was appointed to the position by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.
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Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans announces the appointment of Kraig L. Gross, Hays, to a three-year term as a member of the organization’s board of trustees. Gross, who is Controller/Office Manager for Kansas Natural Gas, Inc., Hays, was appointed to the position by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.

The Sunflower Foundation is governed by nine trustees who represent diverse backgrounds and regions of the state. Eight members are appointed through a process overseen by the attorney general. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

2005
4613
October 5, 2005
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the organization’s semi-annual request for proposals (RFP). This initiative calls for programs and projects that address specified issues within the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.
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October 5, 2005

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity through the organization’s semi-annual request for proposals (RFP). This initiative calls for programs and projects that address specified issues within the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.

Details on this funding opportunity and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free), or by e-mail request to info@sunflowerfoundation.org.

The first step in applying to this grant opportunity is the submission of a concept paper, due November 15, 2005. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of several RFP briefings to be held by telephone conference calls October 19 and 20, 2005. These briefings will be specific to individual program areas. Information regarding the conference call schedule and instructions for participating are also available on the foundation’s Web site. Those who submit concept papers will be notified in December if they have been selected to submit a full proposal. Invited full proposals will be due February 15, 2006.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

4773
April 28, 2005
Sunflower Foundation Appointments Announced
Topeka: The office of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has announced the appointment of five trustees to the board of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Eight members of the nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
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April 28, 2005

Topeka: The office of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has announced the appointment of five trustees to the board of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Eight members of the nine-member board are appointed through a process overseen by the Attorney General. One trustee is appointed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

The trustee appointments include the reappointment of Brenda Gray, Wichita. New appointments include Marty Beezley, Pittsburg; Karen Hauser, Salina; Christopher Ruder, Lawrence; and Chris Sandoval, Dodge City.

The attorney general’s trustee appointments come from candidates nominated by the foundation’s community advisory committee. The members of the community advisory committee are appointed by the attorney general. Three new appointments to the community advisory committee have also been announced, and include Bernard Franklin, Kansas City; Phyllis Gilmore, Olathe; and Kris Kobach, Overland Park.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

4796
April 5, 2005
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity. This is a new request for proposals (RFP), calling for programs and projects that address specified issues within the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.
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April 5, 2005

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity. This is a new request for proposals (RFP), calling for programs and projects that address specified issues within the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.

Details on this funding opportunity and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 (local) or 866-232-3020 (toll free), or by e-mail request to info@sunflowerfoundation.org.

The first step in applying to this grant opportunity is the submission of a concept paper, due May 15, 2005. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in one of several RFP briefings to be held by teleconference April 20 and 22, 2005. These briefings will be specific to individual program areas. Information regarding the teleconference schedule and instructions for participating are also available on the foundation’s Web site. Those who submit concept papers will be notified in June if they have been selected to submit a full proposal. Invited full proposals will be due August 15, 2005.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

4844
February 16, 2005
Sunflower Foundation Announces Grant Awards
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $97,750 to 13 community-based coalitions throughout Kansas. The purpose of the grants is to enhance community-based tobacco use prevention and control programs. The Sunflower Foundation awards are a component of a partnership with the American Legacy Foundation and their Funders for Tobacco Control grant program. The program, which project is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The coalitions receiving grants are based in Barton, Cloud, Cowley, Dickinson, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Lyon, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, Reno, Riley and Sedgwick Counties.
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February 16, 2005

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $97,750 to 13 community-based coalitions throughout Kansas. The purpose of the grants is to enhance community-based tobacco use prevention and control programs. The Sunflower Foundation awards are a component of a partnership with the American Legacy Foundation and their Funders for Tobacco Control grant program. The program, which project is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The coalitions receiving grants are based in Barton, Cloud, Cowley, Dickinson, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Lyon, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, Reno, Riley and Sedgwick Counties.

Billie G. Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, “The growing number of Kansans who are uninsured and underinsured has increased an already heavy burden on safety net providers. We are pleased to be able to support efforts by these organizations to build their capacity to provide essential health care services to those in need.”

A complete list of grantees, including a brief description of their projects, will be available in the near future on the foundation’s Web site: www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The organization has a statewide focus and a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

4885
January 6, 2005
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity. This is a new request for proposals (RFP), calling for programs and projects that address specified issues within one or more of the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.
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January 6, 2005

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a statewide grant opportunity. This is a new request for proposals (RFP), calling for programs and projects that address specified issues within one or more of the foundation’s three program areas: access to health care, capacity building, and healthy behaviors and prevention.

Details on this funding opportunity and application documents can be found on the foundation’s Web site, www.sunflowerfoundation.org, or are available by calling the foundation at 785-232-3000 or toll free at 866-232-3020, or by e-mail request to info@sunflowerfoundation.org.

The first step in applying to this grant opportunity is the submission of a concept paper, due February 15, 2005. Potential applicants are invited to participate in one of several RFP briefings to be held by teleconference beginning January 18. A required registration form for the briefing conference calls is also available on the foundation’s Web site. Those who submit concept papers will be notified in March if they have been selected to submit a full proposal. Invited full proposals will be due May 1, 2005.

With this announcement, the Sunflower Foundation is also inaugurating a new funding plan to issue semi-annual requests for proposals. Following this current grant opportunity, subsequent calls for proposals will be issued annually on May 15 and October 15.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

2004
4935
November 17, 2004
Sunflower Foundation Names Program Officer
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has appointed Yvette Desrosiers-Alphonse as program officer for the organization. Prior to joining the Sunflower Foundation, Ms. Desrosiers-Alphonse served as program officer for The Rapides Foundation in Alexandria, Louisiana. In addition to her work in philanthropy, she also brings significant experience in public health to her new role, including service with the U.S. Peace Corps.
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November 17, 2004

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has appointed Yvette Desrosiers-Alphonse as program officer for the organization. Prior to joining the Sunflower Foundation, Ms. Desrosiers-Alphonse served as program officer for The Rapides Foundation in Alexandria, Louisiana. In addition to her work in philanthropy, she also brings significant experience in public health to her new role, including service with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Ms. Desrosiers-Alphonse is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College and a Masters of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health. Ms. Desrosiers-Alphonse’s expertise includes health education, health promotion and access to health care.

Billie G. Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, "We are delighted to have Yvette as part of our team. Her experience in public health and philanthropy will be a great benefit to our grantmaking program and our work to address public health issues in Kansas."

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The organization has a statewide focus and a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities.

5067
July 8, 2004
Sunflower Foundation Announces American Legacy Foundation Grant
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the American Legacy Foundation, a national public health foundation based in Washington, DC.
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July 8, 2004

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the American Legacy Foundation, a national public health foundation based in Washington, DC.

The grant will enhance existing activities and support new efforts in tobacco use prevention and control through community coalitions across Kansas. The Sunflower Foundation is granting an additional $300,000 of its own funds to support the project, which will be administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The grant comes through the American Legacy Foundation’s Funders for Tobacco Control Grant Program, a national funder partnership effort designed to increase the number of foundations across the country that fund tobacco control programs in their communities, and develop a broader base of philanthropic organization involvement in tobacco control.

Billie G. Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, "The American Legacy Foundation is committed to reducing tobacco use in the U.S. by promoting a range of prevention and cessation programs. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to participate with this respected foundation in this unique national, state and local partnership. Because of this program, community-based tobacco use prevention and control efforts in Kansas will be strengthened, potentially saving thousands of lives and keeping many young people from ever taking up the life-threatening habit of smoking."

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The organization has a statewide focus and a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

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The American Legacy Foundation is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, DC, the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use through grants, technical assistance and training, youth activism, strategic partnerships, counter-marketing and grass roots marketing campaigns, public relations, and outreach to populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco. The foundation’s national programs include Circle of FriendsTM, Great Start, a Priority Populations Initiative, Streetheory and truth®. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states and the tobacco industry. Visit www.americanlegacy.org.

5075
June 30, 2004
Sunflower Foundation Announces Grant Awards
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $344,724 to 23 selected applicants throughout Kansas. The awards were in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals titled "Building the Capacity of the Health Care Safety Net in Kansas."
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June 30, 2004

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $344,724 to 23 selected applicants throughout Kansas. The awards were in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals titled "Building the Capacity of the Health Care Safety Net in Kansas."

In this funding cycle, the foundation targeted nonprofit safety net providers that deliver a significant amount of their health care services to the uninsured, underinsured and other vulnerable clients. Grants were awarded to assist these organizations in improving their organizational capacity through enhancements in areas such as organizational assessment, program evaluation, strategic planning, client management services, communications, financial management, fund development, governance, information systems and leadership development.

Billie G. Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, "The growing number of Kansans who are uninsured and underinsured has increased an already heavy burden on safety net providers. We are pleased to be able to support efforts by these organizations to build their capacity to provide essential health care services to those in need."

A complete list of grantees, including a brief description of their projects, will be available in the near future on the foundation’s Web site: www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000. The organization has a statewide focus and a mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and related activities.

5178
March 19, 2004
Sunflower Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity Addressing Obesity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Kansas. The foundation is looking for projects that help people make healthy choices – projects that increase opportunities for and remove barriers to physical activity and healthy eating.
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March 19, 2004

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Kansas. The foundation is looking for projects that help people make healthy choices – projects that increase opportunities for and remove barriers to physical activity and healthy eating.

This targeted funding by the Sunflower Foundation is in response to the building evidence that overweight and obesity in Kansas are increasing at an alarming rate, as they are nationally. In fact, many are calling the situation an epidemic. The foundation recognizes that this public health problem is complex and needs to be addressed through a variety of community-based intervention sites, including schools, worksites, restaurants, health care settings, parks and recreations facilities, neighborhoods and communities. This request for proposals focuses on approaches in these and related sites.

Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, “We are all hearing more every day about the growing obesity epidemic. We are concerned about the implications of this problem, both in terms of the health risk to individuals and the cost to society, and have committed significant resources to helping find solutions in Kansas. This funding opportunity is one strategy to create and support systems that help individuals across our state establish and maintain healthy and active lifestyles.”

The postmark deadline for proposals is April 23, 2004. Complete information and funding guidelines are available on the foundation’s Web site, by calling the foundation at (785) 232-3000 or toll free at (866) 232-3020, or by e-mail.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

5208
February 18, 2004
Sunflower Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity Targeting Safety Net Capacity Building
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to strengthen the capacity of health care safety net providers in Kansas. Typically, these are providers that deliver a significant level of health care to the uninsured, those covered by Medicaid and others unable to pay for services. Funds will be available to help qualifying organizations strengthen their capacity to serve by assessing or implementing capacity building needs and by forming collaborations to improve services.
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February 18, 2004

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to strengthen the capacity of health care safety net providers in Kansas. Typically, these are providers that deliver a significant level of health care to the uninsured, those covered by Medicaid and others unable to pay for services. Funds will be available to help qualifying organizations strengthen their capacity to serve by assessing or implementing capacity building needs and by forming collaborations to improve services.

Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, “Safety net providers in Kansas continue to demonstrate a remarkable commitment to meeting the health care needs of the vulnerable populations they serve. But, as the demand for their services continues to increase, many find their resources stretched to the limit with few options available for building capacity. It is the hope of the Sunflower Foundation that the funds committed to this initiative can help strengthen these organizations and their ability to serve the health care needs of their clientele.”

Applications for this funding opportunity must be postmarked by March 15, 2004. Complete information and funding guidelines are available on the foundation’s Web site (www.sunflowerfoundation.org), by calling the foundation at (785) 232-3000 or toll free at (866) 232-3020, or by e-mail (info@sunflowerfoundation.org).

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

2003
5521
April 11, 2003
Sunflower Foundation Announces Grant Awards
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $320,000 to 39 selected applicants throughout Kansas. The awards were in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals titled "Strengthening the Organizational Capacity of Safety Net Providers."
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April 11, 2003

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced grant awards totaling $320,000 to 39 selected applicants throughout Kansas. The awards were in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals titled "Strengthening the Organizational Capacity of Safety Net Providers."

In this funding cycle, the foundation targeted non profit health care organizations that deliver a significant amount of their health care services to the uninsured, underinsured and other vulnerable clients. Grants were awarded to assist these organizations in improving their organizational capacity through enhancements in areas such as strategic planning, governance, information systems, fund development, management, client management services and evaluation.

Billie G. Hall, president and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, "We recognize that core safety net providers in Kansas are experiencing increased demands on their services while often operating with declining resources. We are pleased to support these organizations which provide essential health care services to those in need."

A complete list of grantees, including a brief description of their projects, is available on the foundation’s Web site: www.sunflowerfoundation.org.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it will support through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

5609
January 13, 2003
Candidates Sought for Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees
Topeka: Candidates are being sought for two positions on the board of trustees of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, by the organization’s nominating entity, its Community Advisory Committee. Final appointments to the foundation’s board are made by the Kansas Attorney General from the nominations submitted by the Community Advisory Committee.
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January 13, 2003

Topeka: Candidates are being sought for two positions on the board of trustees of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, by the organization’s nominating entity, its Community Advisory Committee. Final appointments to the foundation’s board are made by the Kansas Attorney General from the nominations submitted by the Community Advisory Committee.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

In selecting members of the organization’s board of trustees, consideration will be given to whether the board as a whole represents the geographic, racial, ethnic, gender, age, socioeconomic and professional diversity of the state of Kansas. Kansans who would like to be considered for these positions are invited to submit a cover letter expressing their interest and a resume by January 29, 2003, to:

Rochelle Chronister, Chair, Community Advisory Committee
c/o Sunflower Foundation
P.O. Box 1454
Topeka, KS 66601-1454

For further information, contact Billie G. Hall, president and CEO, Sunflower Foundation, 785.232.3000 or toll free 866.232.3020.

2002
5636
December 17, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity Addressing Obesity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to support efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Kansas. The organization has issued a call for Letters of Intent to explore diverse approaches and strategies that address obesity prevention, intervention, research, data and information. Following a review of all responses to this call, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal for funding.
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December 17, 2002

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced a funding opportunity designed to support efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Kansas. The organization has issued a call for Letters of Intent to explore diverse approaches and strategies that address obesity prevention, intervention, research, data and information. Following a review of all responses to this call, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal for funding.

The Sunflower Foundation’s interest in this issue is not new, but has been heightened as more evidence becomes available regarding the health consequences of obesity. Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the organization, said, "It’s clear that the impact of this complex problem is significant, whether calculated in health risk or in resources, and pervasive, affecting all segments of the population, regardless of age, race or gender. The prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity and their associated health problems are important public health goals, a great interest to our board and the impetus of this funding opportunity. We are confident that many organizations in our state have the capacity to advance creative and effective projects that address obesity in the Kansas population and we are eager to review the ideas put forward in response to this call."

Further information regarding this funding opportunity is available on the foundation’s Web site (www.sunflowerfoundation.org), by calling the foundation at (785) 232-3000 or toll free at (866) 232-3020, or by e-mail (info@sunflowerfoundation.org). Letters of Intent in response to this call are due January 24, 2003.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

5637
December 16, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Announces Board Appointment
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, announces the recent appointment of Jeffrey O. Ellis, J.D., to its board of trustees. Mr. Ellis practices Law in Overland Park, Kansas, where he is a partner in the firm of Lathrop & Gage. His expertise includes the areas of health care, corporate/general business and insurance coverage. He has served in numerous capacities at the local and statewide level, including as a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Task Force on High Risk Insurance Pools, the Kansas Insurance Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Health Care, and as a task force chair of the Governor’s Commission on Health Care. Mr. Ellis was appointed to the Sunflower Foundation board of trustees by Attorney General Carla J. Stovall to fill the unexpired term of Dave A. Lindstrom, an Overland Park businessman who resigned his position earlier in the year.
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December 16, 2002

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, announces the recent appointment of Jeffrey O. Ellis, J.D., to its board of trustees. Mr. Ellis practices Law in Overland Park, Kansas, where he is a partner in the firm of Lathrop & Gage. His expertise includes the areas of health care, corporate/general business and insurance coverage. He has served in numerous capacities at the local and statewide level, including as a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Task Force on High Risk Insurance Pools, the Kansas Insurance Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Health Care, and as a task force chair of the Governor’s Commission on Health Care. Mr. Ellis was appointed to the Sunflower Foundation board of trustees by Attorney General Carla J. Stovall to fill the unexpired term of Dave A. Lindstrom, an Overland Park businessman who resigned his position earlier in the year.

Mary Carol Pomatto, Ed.D., chair of the foundation’s board, said "We are delighted to have Jeff join our board. He is very involved in his community and in activities across Kansas and is concerned about the issues that are important to our organization. He will bring a unique and beneficial perspective to the Sunflower Foundation."

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

5665
November 18, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Announces New Funding Opportunity
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, has announced a unique funding opportunity designed to strengthen the organizational capacity of safety net providers. Typically, these are health care providers that deliver the majority of their services to the uninsured, those covered by Medicaid and others unable to pay for services provided. Funds will be available to assist qualifying organizations in several areas, including governance and management development, information systems, fund development, client management services and evaluation.
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November 18, 2002

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, has announced a unique funding opportunity designed to strengthen the organizational capacity of safety net providers. Typically, these are health care providers that deliver the majority of their services to the uninsured, those covered by Medicaid and others unable to pay for services provided. Funds will be available to assist qualifying organizations in several areas, including governance and management development, information systems, fund development, client management services and evaluation.

Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation, said, "We are aware that many providers in this category have a critical need for resources, especially as the vulnerable populations they serve increase in numbers. It is the hope of the Sunflower Foundation that the funds committed to this initiative can help strengthen these organizations and assist them to provide more efficient and effective services to their growing constituencies."

Applications for this funding opportunity are due December 31, 2002. Further information and funding guidelines are available on the foundation’s Web site (www.sunflowerfoundation.org), by calling the foundation at (785) 232-3000 or toll free at (866) 232-3020, or by e-mail (info@sunflowerfoundation.org).

5815
June 21, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Announces First Grant Awards
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced its first grant awards. The grants are in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals extended to health-based organizations statewide and were primarily awarded based on priority areas of interest established by the foundation’s board of trustees. Those priorities included programs to expand the number of Kansans with health insurance, to increase the capacity of safety net health care providers, to seek long-term solutions that address health care workforce shortages, to gain new insights into factors leading to and prevention efforts regarding obesity in children and youth, to increase access to prescription drugs for the low income elderly and to explore strategies that strengthen volunteer caregiving as an important component of health care for the aging.
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June 21, 2002

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced its first grant awards. The grants are in response to the organization’s recent request for proposals extended to health-based organizations statewide and were primarily awarded based on priority areas of interest established by the foundation’s board of trustees. Those priorities included programs to expand the number of Kansans with health insurance, to increase the capacity of safety net health care providers, to seek long-term solutions that address health care workforce shortages, to gain new insights into factors leading to and prevention efforts regarding obesity in children and youth, to increase access to prescription drugs for the low income elderly and to explore strategies that strengthen volunteer caregiving as an important component of health care for the aging.

Mary Carol Pomatto, Ed.D., chair of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees, said, "We’re excited to begin our work as a health philanthropy. The grants we’re awarding represent new resources directed to communities across the state at a time when public and private funding for health and social services is limited. We had an overwhelming response to the announcement of our first grant opportunity, confirming the growing needs of organizations that are committed to improving the health of Kansas residents and giving us some very hard choices to make among many excellent proposals." Dr. Pomatto indicated that the populations served by the programs of the approved grants are generally representative of the state’s population distribution, with every geographic region receiving funding from the foundation through regional or statewide programs. Projects funded also target multiple racial and ethnic groups, seniors, youth and the uninsured and underinsured.

In this first funding cycle, the foundation’s resources allowed it to grant approximately $2.5 million to the 46 selected applicants; a total of nearly $11 million was requested from 139 applicants. The grant recipients are primarily not-for-profit health and social services organizations, with additional awards to several university-based programs and state initiatives. A complete list of grantees and their projects is available under the "Grantee News" page of the foundation’s Web site: www.sunflowerfoundation.org. The organization’s next grantmaking cycle will begin in July, 2002, with details of the funding opportunity and criteria to be announced on the Web site and through the media.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it will support through a program of grants, awards and other related activities.

5955
February 1, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Announces Community Advisory Committee Members
Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the appointment of nine individuals to its Community Advisory Committee. The appointments, made by Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall, complete the new organization’s compliment of governance and advisory entities. The ongoing role of the Community Advisory Committee is to nominate candidates for appointment by the Attorney General to the organization’s Board of Trustees, which also has nine members, and to provide input to that Board on other matters as requested. Two State Senators and two State Representatives, appointed by the leadership of the Kansas Legislature, also serve as Legislative Advisors to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
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February 1, 2002

Topeka: The Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans has announced the appointment of nine individuals to its Community Advisory Committee. The appointments, made by Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall, complete the new organization’s compliment of governance and advisory entities. The ongoing role of the Community Advisory Committee is to nominate candidates for appointment by the Attorney General to the organization’s Board of Trustees, which also has nine members, and to provide input to that Board on other matters as requested. Two State Senators and two State Representatives, appointed by the leadership of the Kansas Legislature, also serve as Legislative Advisors to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The members of the Community Advisory Committee, chosen to reflect diverse representation from across Kansas, include: Rochelle Chronister, Neodesha; Lynn Mitchelson, Kansas City; Margaret Myers, Hutchinson; Verna M. Rundell, Syracuse; Karen A. Seals, Lawrence; Dale Sprague, McPherson; Anita Strnad, Munden; Sandra S. Vader, Shawnee Mission; and Oren M. Windholz, Hays.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it will support through a program of grants, awards and other related activities. The philanthropy expects to announce its first year program guidelines and funding opportunities in March.

5970
January 17, 2002
Sunflower Foundation Names New Officer
Topeka: Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, today announced that Larry Tobias has been named the organization’s Program Officer.
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January 17, 2002

Topeka: Billie G. Hall, President and CEO of the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, today announced that Larry Tobias has been named the organization’s Program Officer.

In making the announcement, Hall said, "I am delighted that Larry is joining the Sunflower Foundation staff. His hospital background, both in governance and at the executive level, gives him a broad knowledge of the health care delivery system in Kansas. His awareness of the unique health care challenges of communities across the state and experiences in coalition development will be valuable assets to the Foundation as we work to establish grantmaking strategies that will benefit Kansas citizens."

Tobias, a native of Lyons, comes to the Foundation from his position as Vice President of Community Relations at the Kansas Hospital Association. Immediately prior, he served as the Kansas Health Foundation/Kansas Hospital Association Community Health Fellow, following seven years as the Vice President of Operations at Memorial Hospital in McPherson.

The Sunflower Foundation was created in 2000 with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state. The mission of the Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it will support through a program of grants, awards and other related activities. The philanthropy is governed by a nine-member board of trustees, who represent diverse interests and regions of the state. The Sunflower Foundation expects to announce its first year program guidelines and funding opportunities in early 2002.

2001
6112
August 28, 2001
Sunflower Foundation Names CEO
Topeka: The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees announced this week the selection of Billie Hall, Topeka, as the foundation’s first Chief Executive Officer. The Sunflower Foundation is a new Kansas health foundation created to serve the health needs of Kansans.
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August 28, 2001

Topeka: The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees announced this week the selection of Billie Hall, Topeka, as the foundation’s first Chief Executive Officer. The Sunflower Foundation is a new Kansas health foundation created to serve the health needs of Kansans.

Sunflower’s board chairman, Mary Carol Pomatto, Pittsburg, said, "The Board of Trustees is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Billie Hall as CEO of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Over the next few months we will be identifying the strategic direction for the foundation, establishing a permanent office, and developing grantmaking guidelines to address the health care mission of the organization."

Hall has an extensive background in community health, program development, and public health policy. As Sunflower’s CEO, Hall will be responsible for implementing the foundation’s strategic plan, establishing the operational policies and procedures, developing the grantmaking program and guidelines, and directing the foundation’s endowment.

"I am excited about the contribution the Sunflower Foundation can make in improving health and access to care for all Kansans. Collaboration will be a key component in our work as we encourage the development of new partnerships across the state," said Hall.

Hall, who most recently served as Vice President for the Kansas Health Institute, Topeka, has more than 20 years experience in working with public and private health systems. She has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washburn University, Topeka.

She has served as Executive Director of the Community Health Council, Inc., Manhattan; Director of the Jane C. Stormont Women’s Health Center, Topeka; and Director of Corporate Services for Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Topeka.

Her professional experience includes coordinating a community alliance to develop managed care strategies for rural areas, consulting work that resulted in $1.5 million in grants to support health and social service organizations, and working closely with members of the Kansas Legislature on public policy issues.

In 2000, the Sunflower Foundation was formed with $75 million in proceeds from a settlement between the Kansas Attorney General, the Kansas Insurance Department, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to resolve Blue Cross’ charitable obligations to the state.

The Foundation is governed by nine trustees, eight appointed by the Kansas Attorney General and one appointed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The trustees are to invest the $75 million and use the proceeds to further the Foundation’s charitable purpose. The Foundation will support health care related activities through a widely publicized program of grants and awards.

Earlier this year, the board of trustees elected Dr. Mary Carol Pomatto, Assistant to the President/Legislative Liaison at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, as Chairman of the Board. Brenda Gray, Director of University Relations, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, was elected Secretary of the Board; and Harry Craig, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Martin Tractor Company, Topeka, was elected Treasurer.

The remaining six trustees include: David Lindstrom, Overland Park; Dr. Vernon Mills, Leavenworth; Penney Schwab, Garden City; Cindy Rainey, Lawrence; Greg Unruh, Scott City; and Tom Miller, Topeka.

2000
6393
November 20, 2000
Sunflower Foundation’s Board of Trustees
Attorney General Carla J. Stovall today announced the appointment of nine members to the Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. This new public health foundation was created as part of the $75 million settlement between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), Attorney General Stovall and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius. The $75 million will remain as a permanent endowment for public healthcare, with only the interest earned being available for expenditure on an annual basis by the trustees.
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November 20, 2000

Attorney General Carla J. Stovall today announced the appointment of nine members to the Board of Trustees of the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. This new public health foundation was created as part of the $75 million settlement between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), Attorney General Stovall and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius. The $75 million will remain as a permanent endowment for public healthcare, with only the interest earned being available for expenditure on an annual basis by the trustees.

"I was absolutely delighted with the high personal caliber and range of expertise of the 95 Kansans who applied to serve on the governing body of the Sunflower Foundation," Attorney General Stovall said. "The difficult task was in choosing only eight, because every individual would have brought unique talents and perspectives to the board."

The Settlement Agreement dictated that the Attorney General select eight trustees with the ninth being selected by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Stovall sought recommendations from statewide elected officials, legislative leadership, community groups, and the public at large.

"My hope, too, is that the newly elected President of the Kansas Senate and Speaker of the Kansas House, as well as the minority leaders of each body, will each designate a legislator to serve on a legislative advisory group, to advise the Board of Trustees as they make decisions regarding the health needs of Kansans."

BCBSKS filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Stovall in May 1997 to determine whether or not BCBSKS had any charitable financial obligations that stemmed from its original organization and operation. The Attorney General was sued because the responsibility to protect the charitable assets of the people of Kansas rests with the Attorney General. She maintained that BCBSKS had charitable obligations while BCBSKS believed it did not. The Insurance Commissioner intervened in the lawsuit and sided with the Attorney General.

On August 21, 2000, Attorney General Stovall, President and CEO of BCBSKS John Knack, and Insurance Commissioner Sebelius announced that they had reached a settlement of the lawsuit. BCBSKS agreed to pay $75 million to fund a new public health foundation that will serve the health needs of Kansans in several ways, which include providing health care and health care information, promoting preventive health care which can include tobacco prevention and providing other health-related services.

In accordance with the settlement agreement, members of the Board of Trustees must reflect the diversity of the state's geographi, ethnic, gende, age, socioeconomic and professional characteristics. They also must have qualifications and qualities that will most benefit the Foundation in carrying out it charitable purposes.

Because of the unique responsibility of the Attorney General in protecting public charitable monies, the settlement agreement required the Attorney General to appoint the members and to oversee the establishment and operation of the foundation.

The members of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees are as follows:

Harry Craig, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Martin Tractor Company, of Topeka. Since 1993, Craig has been a member of the Board of Directors of Stormont-Vail HealthCare and currently serves as Vice Chair. He also is a member of the Kansas Board of Regents and is a trustee of the Menninger Foundation. Craig was nominated by Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh.

Brenda Gray, Director of Marketing for Foulston & Siefkin, L.L.P, of Wichita. Gray is a recipient of the 2000 A. Price Woodard Award from the National Conference of Community and Justice which fights discrimination and bias. She is a 1992 Leadership 2000 Alumna, a member of the Wichita Eagle Editorial Community Advisory Committee, and the past president of the Family Services Institute Board of Directors.

David Lindstrom, former Kansas City Chiefs player and now a Kansas City-area business man, of Overland Park. Lindstrom was recently honored as Leadership Kansas Alumnus of the Year. He is past chair of the Kansas Special Olympics, a board member of the Shawnee Mission Medical Center Foundation and the founder of the Kansas City Sports Walk of Stars.

Dr. Vernon Mills, general pediatrics doctor, of Leavenworth. He is a member of the board of directors for Heartland Health, Providence Hospital and PrimeCare Northeast Kansas. Dr. Mills was nominated by Jerry Slaughter on behalf of the Kansas Medical Society.

Dr. Mary Carol Pomatto, Assistant to the President/Legislative Liaison and Professor of Nursing at Pittsburg State University, of Pittsburg. Pomatto has served as the Assistant to the President since 1996 and has served as a Professor in Nursing since 1974. She was nominated by Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger, and State Senator Jim Barone.

Penny Schwab, Executive Director of United Methodist Western Kansas Mexican-American Ministries, of Garden City. Schwab has served as the executive director since 1986 and also is a charter member of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved. She was nominated by the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

Cindy Rainey of Lawrence has more than 25 years of experience in professional and volunteer fundraising. She has worked for many non-profit organizations throughout the country from the American Red Cross to science museums. Prior to her financial development work, she was a laboratory technologist involved in cancer research in pharmacology laboratories at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Sloan Kettering Research Institute in New York City.

Greg Unruh, President and CEO of the Scott County Hospital, of Onaga. Prior to joining the Scott County Hospital in 1994, Unruh was the administrator of Senior Institutional Services for Lutheran Medical Center in Wheatridge, Colorado. Unruh was nominated by former United States Senator Sheila Frahm based on his health-related background and experience.

BCBSKS's appointee to the Board of Trustees is Tom Miller, former President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, of Topeka. Miller was employed by BCBSKS for 30 years. His professional experience with BCBSKS included finance, medicare, medicaid, medical affairs and health information services.

According to the settlement agreement, three of the trustees shall serve for one year, three shall serve for two years and three shall serve for three years. Replacements will be nominated by the nine members of the Community Advisory Committee, who shall be appointed by the Attorney General by March of 2001. The CAC members will reflect the same diversity and qualifications as the Trustees and the Attorney General welcomes applications from persons interested in serving on this committee.

"These members of the Sunflower Foundation have accepted a unique and exciting challenge - to improve the health of Kansas citizens for generations to come!" Attorney General Stovall said. "There will be a tremendous amount of work involved in assessing the health needs the foundation should address and I am grateful so many citizens are willing to devote the time and energy necessary to perform this valuable community service."

6484
August 21, 2000
Outline of Foundation Structure and Governance
The Attorney General shall immediately begin paperwork to incorporate The Sunflower Foundation and to receive its tax-exempt status from the IRS. She also shall organize its first meeting of incorporators or Trustees.
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August 21, 2000

The Attorney General shall immediately begin paperwork to incorporate The Sunflower Foundation and to receive its tax-exempt status from the IRS. She also shall organize its first meeting of incorporators or Trustees.

Within 30 days of August 21, 2000, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) will transfer $75 million to the Wichita Community Foundation to be held on a temporary basis for the Foundation. Any interest earned shall inure to The Sunflower Foundation.

SELECTION OF MEMBERS OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

Within 60 days of August 21, 2000, the Attorney General shall select eight Trustees to serve on the initial board - after consultation with elected officials and community groups. Three of these trustees shall serve for one year, three shall serve for two years, and two shall serve for three years.

  • Trustees shall reflect the geographic, ethnic, gender, age, socioeconomic and professional diversity of the state.
  • Trustees shall have the qualifications and qualities which will most benefit the Foundation in furthering its charitable purposes.
  • With the exception of the BCBSKS designated Trustee, no other Trustees shall currently, or within the last 10 years, have worked for (or been on the board of) BCBSKS.
  • Trustees (except for initial staggered terms) shall serve for three year terms and may be reappointed for two additional terms.
  • No Trustee shall be paid compensation, but shall be reimbursed for expenses.
  • No Trustee shall hold or stand for elected office while a Trustee.

Within 30 days of August 21, 2000, BCBSKS shall appoint a Trustee to serve a 3 year term. BCBSKS may continue to have one Trustee on the Board as long as BCBSKS remains a domestic corporation.

Within nine months after the creation of The Sunflower Foundation, the Attorney General shall appoint nine persons to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Three of the CAC members shall serve for one year, three shall serve for two years, and three shall serve for three years and will reflect the same diversity and qualifications as the Trustees. The CAC will nominate three candidates for each Trustee position open and the Attorney General (after the initial board) will select from these candidates.

  • No one may serve on the CAC for more than nine years.
  • No current or former Trustee of The Sunflower Foundation may be a CAC member within five years after having served as a Trustee.
  • No CAC member may serve as a Trustee within five years of serving as a CAC member.

PURPOSE OF FOUNDATION

The foundation shall make grants and engage in other activities (consistent with being a non-profit) which further its charitable purpose to serve the health needs of Kansans, including providing health care and health care information to indigent, uninsured, and under-insured persons; promoting preventive health care (including reducing tobacco use and addiction), and other health related services.

  • Foundation cannot engage in political/campaign activities.
  • Foundation cannot engage in self-dealing for benefit of any Trustee or CAC member.

Each year the Foundation shall pay out no less than five percent of the Fair Market Value of its assets. The Foundation is intended to be a permanent endowment and Trustees will adopt spending/investment policy to that effect.

Each year the Foundation will provide to the CAC and the Attorney General an annual report including the grants made, expenses incurred, and revenue generated. The AG will make this available to the Governo, the Kansas Legislature, and the public.

6484
August 21, 2000
Statement of Attorney General Carla J. Stovall
On behalf of John Knack, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, I am pleased to announce today a settlement of the lawsuit filed by Blue Cross against the Attorney General in May 1997.
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August 21, 2000

On behalf of John Knack, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, I am pleased to announce today a settlement of the lawsuit filed by Blue Cross against the Attorney General in May 1997.

As you may remember, the lawsuit was filed to simply determine whether or not Blue Cross/Blue Shield had any financial obligations to the people of Kansas that stemmed from their original organization and operation, which I maintained had significant charitable characteristics. Blue Cross had a contrary view. The Insurance Commissioner intervened and sided with me. Keep in mind, this issue was not unique to Kansas. Thirty-one other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have resolved or are involved in similar disputes with the Blue Cross organizations within their jurisdictions.

Earlier this year, Judge Nancy Parrish, of Shawnee County District Court, issued a ruling that made both sides win and lose simultaneously. She held that BCBSKS had charitable obligations (the Attorney General wins), but that they concluded in 1969 not in 1999 (Blue Cross wins). Both sides were set to appeal, and the litigation would have continued for another couple of years. Instead, the parties began settlement discussions and are able to announce the details of the settlement to you today.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas will pay $75 million to create The Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans. Consistent with the controlling principle of cy pres, the money that was owed to the people of Kansas must be used for purposes consistent with the intent of the original donors. People giving money in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's to Blue Cross intended that their money would benefit the health of Kansas citizens. The Sunflower Foundation will make grants and engage in certain other activities which further its purpose of serving the health needs of Kansans by 1) providing health care and health care information to indigent, uninsured, and under-insured persons, 2) promoting preventive health care (which includes - but is not limited to - reduction of tobacco use and addiction), and 3) engaging in other health related services.

Because the sole responsibility for protection of public charitable monies rests with the Attorney General, I will continue to play an active role in establishing this foundation and nurturing its development. I will immediately move to incorporate the Sunflower Foundation and to appoint its eight initial members of the Board of Trustees. Blue Cross also will have the right to appoint one member of the Board of Trustees.

Thereafter, Trustees will be nominated by a Community Advisory Committee, which I shall appoint in nine months. Members of the Board of Trustees and the Community Advisory Committee will reflect the diversity of the state - and will recognize our geographic, ethnic, gender, age, socioeconomic, and professional characteristics. They must also have qualifications and qualities which will most benefit the Foundation in carrying out its charitable purposes. More specific limitations on these individuals is contained in the press packet.

I welcome letters of interest regarding people who would be valuable members of our initial Board of Trustees. Those letters can be sent to me at 120 SW 10th, Topeka, 66612. The letters will get routed to me more quickly if the senders clearly designate "The Sunflower Foundation" boldly and clearly. In several months, I will solicit names for those people who should be considered for a position on the Community Advisory Committee.

The $75 million is intended to be a permanent endowment and the Trustees must implement investment and spending policies consistent with that principle. They will issue an annual report detailing their investments and revenue, as well as grants made and expenses incurred. I will make this report public.

I am pleased that this issue has been resolved in Kansas in the manner in which it has. The people of Kansas benefit from a permanent endowment dedicated to health care and BCBSKS benefits because it can now conduct its business and serve its policyholders, without the cloud of litigation, while remaining financially viable and stable.

It has been a pleasure to work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and its President and CEO, John Knack. I greatly appreciate the cooperation and professionalism of John and his staff.

6484
August 21, 2000
$75 Million to Fund New Health Care Foundation
Attorney General Carla J. Stovall, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, John W. Knack, and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius announced today at a news conference in Topeka that they have reached an agreement in the lawsuit that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) filed in May 1997. As part of the settlement, BCBSKS has agreed to pay $75 million to fund a new public health foundation.
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Monday, August 21, 2000
Contact: Mary Tritsch or Tiffany Ball, Kansas Attorney General's Office, 785-296-2219
Graham Bailey, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, 785-291-8846
Nicole Basso, Kansas Insurance Commissioner's Office, 785-368-7163

$75 MILLION TO FUND NEW HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION

Attorney General Carla J. Stovall, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, John W. Knack, and Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius announced today at a news conference in Topeka that they have reached an agreement in the lawsuit that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) filed in May 1997. As part of the settlement, BCBSKS has agreed to pay $75 million to fund a new public health foundation.

"This is a great day for public health in Kansas. I am honored to have created, with my partners here today, the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansas," Attorney General Stovall said. "I think it's appropriate to use the money from this agreement to incorporate a new public health foundation. The Sunflower Foundation will serve the health needs of Kansans in several ways, such as providing health care and health care information, promoting preventive health care which can include tobacco prevention, and providing other health-related services."

The agreement resolves litigation that was filed by BCBSKS against the Attorney General to resolve whether or not BCBSKS had charitable assets because of the manner in which the company was originally organized and operated. The Kansas Insurance Department, an intervener in the lawsuit, also approved the agreement.

According to Knack, BCBSKS decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid putting the company under continued risk of losing all of its assets.

"Our board of directors felt it was best not to gamble on the results of an appeals court decision that would keep the suit in litigation for at least another year and potentially jeopardize all our policyholders' assets," Knack said. "We need to know where we are in today's competitive marketplace environment and go forward from there."

Attorney General Stovall believed this lawsuit was inevitable either with the State of Kansas as plaintiff or BCBSKS as plaintiff.

"I am glad BCBSKS took the initiative when it did to create an opportunity for this issue to be judicially addressed," Attorney General Stovall said.

Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius said she joined the lawsuit to protect the people of Kansas who are BCBSKS policyholders.

"I believe this is a fair and reasonable amount for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to pay," Insurance Commissioner Sebelius said. "The financial viability of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas affects tens of thousands of people across the state. As the largest health insurer in the state, it was important to me that Blue Cross and Blue Shield remain financially sound."

The settlement comes as a result of a Shawnee County District Court ruling earlier this year that held that BCBSKS has charitable obligations stemming from its origin in 1941 through 1969.

According to the terms of the agreement, within 30 days, BCBSKS will transfer the $75 million to the Wichita Community Foundation on a temporary basis until the Sunflower Foundation is formed and obtains tax-exempt status as a charitable organization. The Sunflower Foundation will be governed by nine trustees - eight appointed by the Attorney General and one appointed by BCBSKS. The trustees will invest the $75 million and use the proceeds to further the Sunflower Foundation's charitable purpose. Each fiscal year the Sunflower Foundation will distribute a minimum of five percent of its assets in grants in order to support health care related activities. At least once a year, the trustees will report the foundation's affairs, financial condition and significant activities to the Attorney General and a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) which also will be set up as a result of the agreement. The Attorney General will provide that information each year to the Governor and the Legislature.

In selecting the board members, consideration will be given to ensure that the board represents Kansas' geographic, ethnic, gender, age, socioeconomic and professional diversity. In addition, each member shall possess the type of qualifications and qualities that will most benefit the Sunflower Foundation in furthering its charitable purpose.

No later than nine months after the creation of the Sunflower Foundation, the Attorney General will appoint nine members to the Community Advisory Committee. The committee members will be selected based on the same qualifications imposed on the trustees. CAC members will select three trustee candidates for each vacancy on the Sunflower Foundation's board of trustees, from which future trustees will be appointed.

"Thirty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have or are addressing the preservation and conversion of Blue Cross and Blue Shield's charitable assets," Attorney General Stovall said. "I am pleased that this has been resolved in Kansas and BCBSKS can pursue business opportunities that will best serve its needs and the needs of its policyholders."