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Kansas healthcare professionals named to workgroup, work to protect schools from COVID-19

FILE - Governor Laura Kelly announces the creation of the Safer Classrooms Workgroup at Wesley...
FILE - Governor Laura Kelly announces the creation of the Safer Classrooms Workgroup at Wesley Children's Hospital in Wichita on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 12:11 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas healthcare professionals have been named to a workgroup that will work to protect Kansas schools from COVID-19.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says as part of her continued efforts to keep Kansas kids, teachers and students safe from COVID-19, she has chosen members for a new Safer Classrooms Workgroup.

According to Gov. Kelly, the workgroup is made up of highly skilled health professionals from throughout the state who will use the best available science and information to highlight the urgency of protecting kids from the pandemic.

“The perspective of local health care providers will be invaluable in helping Kansans understand the challenges posed by the delta variant, and how to keep our kids safe as they return to school,” Governor Kelly said. “I want to thank all of our Safer Classrooms Workgroup members for dedicating their time, energy, and efforts to keep our kids healthy and in school.”

Gov. Kelly said Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney, practicing Family Physician and Wilson Co. health officer, and Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann, Pediatric Hospitalist Division Director at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita and Pediatric medical Director at Wesley Children’s Hosptial, will serve as the group’s co-chairs.

Members of the workgroup are as follows:

  • G.A. Buie, Executive Director, United School Administrators of Kansas
  • Jennifer Bacani McKenney, MD, Health Officer, Wilson County
  • Jen Brull, MD, Family Physician, Post Rock Family Medicine
  • Lindsay Byrnes, MD, MPH, Medical Director, KUSM-Wichita, Wesley Children’s Hospital
  • Kristie Clark, MD, Pediatrician, Rural Health Clinic
  • Allen Greiner, MD, Family Physician, Wyandotte County Health
  • Dena Hubbard, MD, Kansas American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Rhonda Hutchinson, BSN, RN, President, Kansas School Nurse Organization
  • Kimber Kasitz, BSN, RN, Director of Health, Homebound, and Section 504 Services, USD 259
  • Stephanie Kuhlmann, DO, Pediatric Hospitalist Division Director and Pediatric Medical Director, KUSM-W, Wesley Children’s Hospital
  • Vernon Mills, MD, Pediatrician, retired
  • Kelli Netson, PhD, Neuropsychologist, KUSM-W Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Kevin Riemann, Executive Director, Kansas National Education Association
  • Manuel Solano, MD, Physician and program director, Community Health Center of Wyandotte County
  • Margaret Thompson, RN, ARNP, Nurse Anesthetist, Kansas Black Nurses Association
  • Randy Watson, Ed.D, Commissioner, Kansas State Department of Education

Gov. Kelly announced the launch of the Safer Classrooms Workgroup on Sept. 1.

“Children are catching the virus, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID at increasingly higher rates. There’s nothing more important than keeping our students healthy and in the classroom,” Governor Kelly said. “The Safer Classrooms Workgroup will provide information and guidance to give parents, teachers, school boards, and others the tools they need to make informed decisions to protect our students and our communities.”

For more information about the Safer Classrooms Workgroup, click HERE.

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