Reno County Health

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First quarter 2018

Heal Purpose: To inspire and advance policy, systems, and environment changes that make it easier for Reno County residents to lead healthy lives.

Grant Reports:


2 schools have submitted school wellness policy grant applications
6 tobacco free parks communities in Reno County
13 worksite wellness pledges
1 healthy restaurant and 1 healthy food retail pledge
448 community perception surveys completed

Kansas Health Foundation – Health Equity

Health Equity workgroup is formed and has identified Lincoln neighborhood as focus area for the grant
First quarterly grant report has been submitted
Currently in phase of gathering information and forming relationships

Workgroup Reports:

Vitality Team:

New group focus to help advocate for trails
Bike workstations installed – Zoo, Crestview Bible Church, Ave. A Park
Bike workstations to be installed – State Fair, 43rd & Plum and City of Buhler, all to be purchased with Friends of the Trail funds
2nd Saturday Bike Rides, and Bike to Work Day going strong and will continue
Play on Plum Bike Rodeo

Healthy Kids:

R.J. Gardner new workgroup chair for 2018
New direction for group – advocacy work

Health Care:

Restructured team which includes executives from healthcare providers
Now a policy driven group
Will coordinate the Community Health Assessment
In the process of selecting Pathways pledge direction as a team
Working to coordinate efforts on what is best for the community

Mental Health:

Formed a Stepping Up Council with the goal of reducing the # of mentally ill who are put in jail
Working towards a county/city proclamation to become a Stepping Up Community

Worksite Wellness:

13 worksites now meeting monthly
Working on the development of  a community worksite wellness portal
10 Worksites attended the Food and Beverage workshop and are working on their plan

Food Policy Council:

Working on recruiting new voices to the table to begin work on the creation of a Food System Plan

Healthy Foods:

2 new hoop houses are up in Hutchinson, with 2 more to be installed.  Production of vegetables could start in 2018
Working to combine group with Food Policy Council

Tobacco Free Living: 

6 Reno County communities now have tobacco-free parks
Producing a tobacco-free parks video to educate residents
Adding ½ pagers into youth sports coaches’ packets regarding tobacco-free parks

Heal Structure:

Moving towards volunteer chairs/community driven
Hutchinson Community Foundation will serve as 2018 Logistical Organization
Hutchinson Recreation Commission will serve as 2018 Marketing Organization
Advisory Council will meet monthly
All members of Advisory Council will attend an annual retreat to develop policy priorities for the year and for their workgroup
Members of Advisory Council are encouraged to move towards civic engagement

2017 Successes:

Successful school advocacy work
New website and list of members
Working with people who are doing Pathways pledge work
Working to reduce the stigma of mental health/ Stepping Up Community
Transitional year with leaders taking responsibility to make an impact
Play on Plum and Play Dates in the Park
Adding hidden voices to the table who are not usually at the table
Looking forward to what lies ahead
Wide variety of voices at the table
New relationships and partnerships formed

The Healthcare Access Team includes:

  • Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
  • Hutchinson Clinic
  • Prairie Star Healthcare Facility
  • Reno County Health Department
  • Hospice and Homecare of Reno County
  • Horizons Mental Health Center

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 3, 2018


First quarter

During the First Quarter 2017, the Taskforce was introduced to a program through Blue Cross-Blue Shield program that offered Hutchinson a healthy community grant.  Organizations within the taskforces agreed to work as together to obtain a grant through the group's work.  The hospital had the opportunity to separately pledge to for a potential grant through the program.  Those will be separate programs that will also blend in with our CHIP program.

The physician clinics continue their work to determine baseline data for both measures - physician office visits that incorporate counseling or education related to physical activity and that utilize BMI in counseling patients about their health. The five physician clinic members of the taskforce will continue their work.

Expanding Behavioral Health into our community systems is being addressed by the Community Mental Health Task Force.  They have several priorities:

  • Working with legislators and local elected representatives to discuss the mental health issues that are impacting Reno Co.
  • Anti-Stigma Campaign for May 2017
  • Present at the First Course monthly Education event
  • Create the foundation for a “Stepping UP” Community

Exploring options for grants for:

  • Community Case Worker models
  • Mobile Screenings throughout the county

Second quarter

The Healthcare Taskforce reviewed some data regarding the community from the HEAL Reno County Advisory.  For the most recent years of data published, 2013-2015, Reno County ranked 64th in Health Outcomes, 65th in Health Factors, rankings are getting worse over the last 7 years, and the percentage of Low-birth weight infants is rising. 

The Hutchinson Clinic and Prairie Star have been working on the physician office visit initiative in getting physical activity, BMI and counseling done with each visit.  They had pulled data from the two groups, but the data is not comparable so it was not useful.  They have decided to look into a shared website for working on sharing patient information.

All the Taskforce members participated in the Soroptomist Health Fair with booths for health screenings, health information, education, lab draws and interactions with the public in different ways regarding healthy discussions.

Reno County Health Department has been awarded a grant for a one year pilot for a Community Health Worker program.  They are working with the hospital to develop the program.

Hospital is developing their BC/BS pledge plan to develop and improve the indoor walking are called “The Tunnel” to encourage more community members and employees to increase activity.

Third quarter

The Healthcare Taskforce attempted to brainstorm ideas of how to create a program that is sustainable with healthy fresh food that those in need would use, would be located where those in need could get to it, and information so those in need would know how to use the food.

The group also considered what it would take to create such a place.

Issues:  Cost and Sustainability

The Healthcare Taskforce had the opportunity for a leadership group do a mini-analysis on the taskforce to help us provide better leadership.  The outcome was good.

In the third quarter, we are going back to our original mission.  We feel we have gotten off the track.  We need to pull the leaders of our organizations, the decisions makers that can commit money if necessary to a decision and that we need to regroup.

Our focus is still to our community and the Community Health Needs Assessment, just in another method.

Fourth quarter

The CHIP – Healthcare Access Taskforce was assembled as the taskforce that would oversee several teams that would be addressing the needs identified in the CHNA (Community Health Needs Assessment).  Those teams included:

  • Healthy Kids
  • Vitality Team
  • Healthy Foods
  • Work Well Group
  • Healthcare Access
  • Tobacco Free Living

The Healthcare Access Team mission statement was established: "Health Care Organizations building relationships, collaborating and supporting the development of the CHA and CHIP."

The Healthcare Access Team met in 4th Quarter to establish membership of key healthcare providers in the community, i.e.:

  • Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
  • Hutchinson Clinic
  • Prairie Star Healthcare Facility
  • Reno County Health Department
  • United Way
  • Wesley Towers
  • USD 308 Student Health Nurse

It became evident that ‘access to care’ has many meanings.


The Reno County Health Council began planning for the 2016 CHIP in early 2015. The first step was to gather Reno County demographics and statistics compared to the rest of Kansas and the U.S. Next, the committee created a survey. The purpose of the survey was to get the public opinion about community health problems in Reno County. The council then used the results to identify the most pressing problems that can be addressed through community action. The council then presented a smaller survey to segmented groups in order narrow the focus and gather opinions from those of all ages. The ultimate goal was to identify three key health issues that can be influenced through community action.          

         Reno County Data         Reno County '15 Survey         Key Health Issues Survey

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From here, the committee hosted a community forum to present their findings and gather suggestions and ideas on how to resolve or better the communities’ key health issues and to put that in to a CHIP for 2016. The date for this was April 26th, 2016 at the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center Pavilion.

Through the Community Forum in April of 2016 and council meetings in May & June the committee was able to narrow the focus to two key health issues. The focus areas for Reno County will be obesity & mental health.

On July 6th the committee and various community leaders met to discuss and narrow down strategies that can be implemented to make progress on Reno Counties Obesity issue. The committee will convene to do the same for Reno Counties mental health issue. From here the Community Health Improvement Plan can begin to take shape.

7/19/16- Below is the 2016 Reno County Data Book:


8/19/2016 - Implementation Plan


In May of 2013 the Reno County Health Council released a Reno County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). After engaging in a year and a half of strategic planning, including a public survey in 2012, the team completed the Reno County Data Book and the Community Health Improvement Plan. Click on the documents below to view:                                   


The Community Health Assessment data was both quantitative and qualitative.  Input was gathered from residents through community forums, focus groups and over 2,000 respondents to an online and paper survey.   Other assessments involved gathering data on the health status of the community and the workings of the local public health system, as well as an assessment of forces likely to impact the health of the public in the near future. Below is a slideshow of the plan in action and the outcomes.