Kansas Health Foundation grants $25,000 to Saint Francis Ministries

May 2020 · Ministry News, Press Releases

Grant supports tele-video behavioral health services for children, families impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

 SALINA – May 13, 2020 – The Kansas Health Foundation, Wichita, announced on May 13, 2020, that Saint Francis Ministries is one of the recipients of its annual Impact and Capacity Grant Initiative. This year, the Wichita-based organization is funding nonprofits across Kansas that work daily to improve health in the state as they respond to emergent needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful that the Kansas Health Foundation saw the benefit of supporting expansion of Saint Francis’ tele-video capabilities to meet needs in Kansas,” said The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith, dean, president and CEO. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Francis has continued to provide essential care to more than 7,000 children in the state. Our work with children and families ensures the safety and wellbeing of those in our care and cannot stop for even one day without putting lives at risk.”

The $25,000 grant awarded to Saint Francis Ministries will be used to make sure that face-to-face counseling, therapy and treatment can be done through teleconferencing, which minimizes the risk of exposure to illness.

“It is imperative we continue building this telehealth and telecommunications infrastructure now in order to continue to provide effective services that will keep clients and employees safe,” said Tom Blythe, president and COO. “We anticipate that COVID-19 distancing measures will be utilized far into the future. It’s important to prevent treatment and progress disruptions while maintaining safety and stability in the home.”

The KHF funds will be used to purchase HIPAA-compliant software and equipment. This allows Saint Francis Ministries to continue to provide critical services, including substance abuse treatment, therapy, counseling and anger management support, through the Saint Francis Ministries’ Outpatient Behavioral Health program. That program is open not just to the clients and families Saint Francis Ministries serves through foster care, family preservation, reintegration and adoption, but to anyone in Kansas.

“The KHF board embraced the opportunity to repurpose these funds to quickly react to the impact COVID-19 is having on our state,” said Matt Allen, chair of the KHF Board of Directors, in the organization’s press release. “These funds will assist organizations as they respond to Kansans in need and provide core operations support to sustain their organizations during these uniquely difficult financial times.”

The Kansas Health Foundation is a philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about KHF, visit www.kansashealth.org.

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About Saint Francis Ministries

Saint Francis Ministries encompasses foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, residential care, and community outreach services, as well as refugee resettlement services through Saint Francis Migration Ministries.

Founded in 1945 in Ellsworth, Kansas, the organization now serves more than 30,000 individuals through child and family welfare services in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, and Central America. Additionally, Saint Francis provides supervised living and employment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mississippi. The organization is headquartered in Salina, Kansas.

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