Konza Prairie Community Health Center to expand telehealth solutions

Doctor Toby Anderton at North Canyon Medical Center says while it took some getting used to,...
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 12:50 PM CST
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LENEXA, Kan. (WIBW) - Sunflower Health Plan has awarded a grant to Konza Prairie Community Health Center in Junction City in order to improve telehealth solutions.

Konza Prairie Community Health Center says in 2020, Centene, the parent company of Sunflower Health Plan, along with the National Association of Community Health Centers formed the Medicaid Telehealth Partnership which was meant to increase access to care for Federally Qualified Health Centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It said as part of the partnership, Sunflower Health Plan announced that it has awarded Konza Prairie Community Center in Junction City with a grant to help improve telehealth solutions.

According to the Health Center, leveraging its grant, it will improve information technology infrastructure and expand its telehealth services with the funding. It said the investment will allow it to increase its ability to serve the health needs of residents in the Flint Hills area, which will create a safe experience during the COVID-19 pandemic while also improving convenience and accessibility for everyone.

“As we have worked to continue to provide essential healthcare services to patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a robust information technology infrastructure that supports access to telehealth services has never been more clear,” said Lee Wolf, Konza Prairie Community Health Center CEO. “Making sure patients have access to the services they need has required rethinking the way we provide healthcare. This funding will expand the capacity of our organization to provide alternative care methods, including telemedicine, curbside care, and home visits for patients throughout the region.”

Konza said while telehealth services saw increased usage in the years before the pandemic, especially in rural areas, moving in-person healthcare services to virtual environments fastened because of the pandemic. However, it said not all healthcare providers have the ability to quickly buy equipment and give training and technical assistance to manage the telehealth platform. It said Centene and NACHC recognized the needs and worked with Sunflower Health Plan to create a local impact, especially with traditionally underserved communities.

“The past year has drawn attention to the importance of telehealth solutions, as communities struggled to conveniently access healthcare services. This has also shined a light on the struggle of people in rural areas with limited healthcare providers,” said Michael Stephens, Sunflower Health Plan CEO and president. “By providing this telehealth grant, we’re not only helping Konza respond to the ongoing pandemic; we’re investing in the future health of the communities that we live in and serve.”

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