Bo Co Coalitions Minutes for October 6


Bourbon County Interagency Coalition

Minutes of the general meeting of members

October 6, 2021

The meeting was opened at noon by Nancy K. Van Etten, a member of the Bourbon County Interagency Coalition Council due to the absence of Billie Jo Drake.

Zoom participants were Elizabeth Billings and Rhonda Hoener.

In-person participants: Megan Rogers, Elizabeth Schafer, David Gillen, Christine Abbott, Jody Hoener (presenter), Patty Simpson, Sandy Haggard and Allen Schellack.

Announcements: Elizabeth Billings works in Lawrence, KS, and she is the community outreach partner for United health care for eastern KS. His email is [email protected]; the phone is 785-840-5996.

Rhonda Hoener is the Community in schools representative for 235 USD at Uniontown.

Sandy Haggard is with RSVP and has volunteers with the Beacon and Fort Scott Housing Authority. His email is [email protected]; the phone is 620-432-0422. Contact her if you have volunteer opportunities or if you are interested in volunteering in the community.

Allen Schellack represents Salvation Army and recently received a grant to distribute heaters and blankets to those in need. Allen is organizing the Bell Ringers for Christmas at Wal-Mart. He can help with taxi vouchers, obtaining identity cards and birth certificates. His phone number is 620-223-2212.

Patty Simpson is with the Fort Scott Housing Authority, 620-223-4570, located at 315 Scott Avenue in Fort Scott. She states that they have a total of 190 units and now have units open for anyone in need.

Megan Rogers, Safe House Crisis Center and Victim Advocate Outreach Services. The phone is 620-231-8692. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They are currently organizing a “Deck Your Door” event to raise funds and raise awareness in the center. You can contact her at the above phone number and her email is [email protected]

Elizabeth Schafer is a CASA volunteer and member of Pioneer Kiwanis. She also helps feed families at the Methodist Church. They served 280 people last week. His email address is [email protected]

David Gillen is the director of the Beacon at Fort Scott. His phone number is 620-223-6869. The email is [email protected] The Beacon is open MTWF from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. and closed on Thursdays. Beacon helps with food distribution twice a month and with utilities and rent as needed. Registration for the pantry is October 1st but October 29e. Call ahead to make an appointment and bring your photo ID, full parental custody documents, and proof of income. It’s best to call ahead and know what to bring to verify your need for assistance. Community Christian Church and Beacon are doing “Adopt a Child” this year and there will be free gifts on December 17th from 9pm to 1pm. The Elks are making food baskets this year for adults without children. Additional information is available on the Beacon Facebook page.

Christine Abbott is the Youth Career Counselor for Southeast Kansas Works and is in Fort Scott once a week on Tuesdays. She has an office in the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team office located at 104 N. National Street in Fort Scott. His phone number is 620-223-2160. Send an email to [email protected] Christine told us that there are currently 67,000 jobs available in Kansas. Young Adult Summit 2021 sponsored by Kansas Works is free to attend. It’s Thursday, October 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the PSU. Bill Cordes is the keynote speaker. Contact Jennifer Graber if you have an interested student or youth who would like to attend (ages 16-24). His contact details are [email protected]; the phone number is 620-794-1271.

Nancy shared information from the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department (SEKMCHD). Holly Fritter’s Healthy Start Home Visiting Program has a Mom and I presentation on October 20e @ 3:30 p.m. approximately Baby basics. It will be at 524 S. Lowman, Fort Scott. SEKMCHD offers on-site flu vaccination clinics for businesses and flu shots by appointment at the health department. They keep abreast of COVID-19 recalls and additional doses; go to or call 620-223-4464 for information and appointments. Free parenting lessons, Parenting with love and logic will be taught by Jan and Dave Elliot. Call the health department to register. Classes start on 14/10.

Program: Jody Hoener, President and CEO of Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) presented an interesting and comprehensive program on HBCAT’s mission, history, past and current projects, grants awarded, future goals and the Health Needs Assessment Survey. Jody’s email is [email protected] and his phone number is 620-215-5725. The HBCAT web page is

HBCAT began in 2016 as a joint effort between Mercy Hospital and the City of Fort Scott with a Pathways to Healthy Kansas grant from BCBS of KS. This was a 4-year grant with a one-year bonus extension. A BCBS KS Pathways Phase 2 grant of $ 400,000 was received this year. The mission of HCBAT is to increase access to physical activities, to a healthy diet, to promote the cessation of commercial tobacco and to encourage economic growth in Bourbon County.

Currently, KU is helping HBCAT with their partners CHC / SEK and Ascension Via Christi, assess and assess the health and wellness opportunities for Bourbon County through a survey with a deadline of October 31, 2021. Use this web link to complete the survey: The survey is very important to meet the needs of our county and will help HBCAT and other organizations apply for grants.

Current projects include a $ 234 high school smoke free program to tackle vaping and tobacco use and together develop an evidence-based and / or promising practice strategy, implement a smoke-free housing policy in Uniontown collective housing to create a healthy smoke-free environment, work with the City of Fort Scott and Land Bank to address neighborhood disparities, and build relationships with communities across the county to address the social determinants of health and economic growth.

HCBAT received a grant from the Patterson Family Foundation of $ 560,140 and the money from this grant will be used to employ a program coordinator (Rachel Carpenter), help create wealth and employment opportunities for all community members, develop creative place-building projects in the east and downtown neighborhoods of Fort Scott and Uniontown provide grants to low income / minority / women-owned start-ups, businesses food and subsidies to farmers and ranchers to increase food production throughout the year.

The BSBS KS Pathways Action Plan for 2022 focuses on food-related projects with school districts, K-State Extension, grocery stores, pantries and community centers. In the third year the focus will be on storytelling and higher education projects with the FSCC.

HBCAT publishes a newsletter every month. Send a request to Jody if you would like to receive the newsletter. His email is [email protected] If you need help writing a grant application, Jody and her team are ready to help. The HBCAT program, “The Center for Economic Growth” is partially funded by USDA Rural Development. The partners are the PSU Small Business Development Center, KANSASWORKS, FSCC and the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. They offer quarterly education workshops for women entrepreneurs. The one-year series is called “Dare to Dream”. Thirty-five women attended the first meeting and at the second she expects sixty-two women to attend.

Finally, Jody shared that one of the best ways to keep up to date with the work of HBCAT is through Facebook. This site is kept up to date and easy to access:

Open Forum: The group discussed the pros and cons of changing the time for the General Membership Meeting. The consensus is to change our meeting time to 1:00 p.m. from January. In addition, the group discussed finding a meeting place with a reliable internet connection where we can continue to have face to face and Zoom meetings. Jody offered to use the HBCAT headquarters, indicating that there was room for a group, access to a good internet connection, and equipment available to run Zoom meetings. The consensus of the group is to try out the HCBAT location proposed by Jody for next month’s meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m. The next general assembly of members will take place on November 3, 2021 at 12:00, HBCAT headquarters located at 104 N. National. It’s at the north end of Luther’s BBQ building. There is parking on the street and across the street near Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Report submitted by

Nancy K. Van Etten, member of the board of directors

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