Announcements & Shared Resources

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Action Alert: Two Bills Would Limit Authority of Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Regulating Vaccinations.  Please take action now!


SB 212

Kansas bill SB 212 would weaken the ability of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) from regulating important rules in regards to vaccine regulations. Similar to Kansas Bill HB 2601 from the 2019-2020 session, this bill would limit the authority of the KDHE in determining important safety measures for students in public education. With the introduction of SB 212, vaccine regulation would be authorized by the state legislature, which meets four months out of the year and lacks necessary background and medical expertise to determine appropriate action. Along with this language, Kansas Bill SB 212 would limit KDHE’s authority in regulating vaccination during statewide public health emergencies (i.e. COVID-19). As of February 11, this bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Health.

Action Needed Now:  Please reach out to members of the Senate Health Committee now with the following message:

  • SB 212 removes decision-making authority from vaccination experts and places it with the political body.  Being able to react to disease based on science and timeliness is essential to preventing the spread of disease.  Vaccination is science not politics.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic only reinforces the importance of public health in retaining its authority to regulate vaccines in a way that serves all Kansans based upon best practices rooted in science and facts.
  • Please vote “no” on SB 212 and maintain the vaccination structure that works for Kansas.

Senate Committee on Public Health

Chair: Sen. Richard Hilderbrand

Vice Chair: Sen. Beverly Gossage

Ranking Minority Member: Sen. Pat Pettey

Sen. Molly Baumgardner

Sen. Renee Erickson

Sen. Cindy Holscher

Sen. Kristen O’Shea

Sen. Mark Steffen (Bill Sponsor)

Sen. Mike Thompson  


SB 213

Kansas bill SB 213 would prohibit an employer from taking action against employees who choose not to vaccinate. This bill would limit the types of mandates that companies in Kansas could place on employees who don’t choose to vaccinate. This bill is particularly problematic for hospitals and local health departments as vaccination is a contingency of employment to protect patients from vaccine preventable diseases. As of February 11, this bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce.

Action Needed Now:  Please contact Senators on the Senate Commerce Committee with the following message:

  • SB 213 infringes on the rights of employers to protect the health of their employees by requiring vaccination, potentially putting all workers at risk.
  • SB 213 ignores and dilutes vaccination standards that have eradicated outbreaks for generations of workers.
  • SB 213 ignores the necessity of certain employers, such as hospitals and public health departments that must require vaccination as a contingency of employment to protect patients.
  • Please vote “no” on SB 213 and protect the rights of workers to avoid preventable disease in the workplace, along with the customers they serve.

Senate Committee on Commerce


Chair: Sen. Robert Olson

Vice Chair: Sen. Mark Steffen (Bill Sponsor)

Ranking Minority Member: Sen. Tom Holland

Sen. John Doll

Sen. Cindy Holscher

Sen. Kristen O’Shea

Sen. Virgil Peck

Sen. Alicia Straub

Sen. Caryn Tyson


Next Steps:


Hearings are imminent. Nurture KC (MAIC)  will keep you updated with an additional action alert when hearings are scheduled. It is important that Nurture KC, including members of the Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC) and our valued partners, provide testimony informing the committee of the importance of retaining the current process on immunization regulations. Most of all, please reach out to your legislators and discuss the importance of vaccination and the KDHE in preventing disease.


Shelby Ostrom

Director of Community Initiatives, MAIC

Nurture KC



CHWs Building Resilience: TIE it Together Through Teaching, Integration & Empowerment

The Community Health Workers Association of Missouri and the Department of Health and Senior Services are pleased to announce the second Missouri Community Health Worker conference to be held virtually on March 16-17, 2021.

The goals of the conference are to improve attendees’ knowledge of Community Health Worker activities within Missouri and how Community Health Workers can be utilized. Attendance at the conference will also increase Community Health Workers’ knowledge about available resources.

It is anticipated approximately 250 individuals, comprised of employers, potential employers, insurers and Community Health Workers, will virtually attend the conference. Sponsorship is being sought for meals, refreshments and Community Health Worker travel expenses.

Click here for CHWAM Annual Meeting Information.

As COVID-19 vaccines begin rolling out across the country CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from HHS, CDC and CMS.

With information coming from many different sources, CMS has compiled resources and materials to help you share important and relevant information on the COVID- 19 vaccine with the people that you serve. You can find these and more resources on the COVID-19 Partner Resources Page and the HHS COVID Education Campaign page. We look forward to partnering with you to promote vaccine safety and encourage our beneficiaries to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity.

If you are a healthcare provider:

Both the CDC and CMS have useful resources for your practice. Look to CDC for the latest science, vaccine administration information and patient-focused resources.

You can find additional resources on the CDC Resources for Health Care Providers Page.

CMS released aCOVID-19 Provider Toolkit to ensure health care providers have the necessary tools to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The toolkit includes information on:

You can also review the set of COVID-19 FAQs, which has information specific to health care providers who bill Medicare for administering COVID-19 vaccines.

Here’s what else you should know:

  • Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine, so there will be no cost to your patients with Medicare.  Medicare will reimburse you for administering the vaccine.
  • State governments are handling the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Look for updates from your state and local officials as more doses of the vaccine become available for additional priority groups.
  • People without health insurance or whose insurance does not provide coverage of the vaccine can also get COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.  Providers administering the vaccine to people without health insurance or whose insurance does not provide coverage of the vaccine can request reimbursement for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine through the Provider Relief Fund.
  • Most professional associations have pages devoted to COVID-19 vaccination.  Your association may have advice tailored to your discipline, specialty and/or location.

How can you help educate your patients?

  • You are a trusted source…encourage your patients to get the vaccine when it is available to them.
  • Let them know the vaccine is no cost and will help keep them from getting COVID-19. Learn more about the benefits of the vaccine.
  • Let them know the vaccine is safe and that safety is a top priority for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Remind them to continue practicing the 3Ws (Wear a Mask, Watch your distance, Wash your hands).

Questions? Please e-mail us:

The Midwestern Public Health Training Center has created many podcasts on a variety of topics like rural public health, COVID-10, a ten-part series on Tackling Equity, and Leadership. Since the Kansas Legislature is in session, now might be a good time to re-visit Advocacy. In this series, we explore why advocacy is important for public health, how to do it, and learn from stories of public health practitioners, elected officials, and other advocates.

Overcoming Public Health’s Humility ListenTranscript

Celebrate Every Win ListenTranscript featuring our very own Becky Tuttle

We Have to Ask for What We Need ListenTranscript featuring our very own Dennis Kriesel

Change Comes Through Relationships ListenTranscript

Please consider giving these podcasts a listen or a read to strengthen our collective will to reengage in policy advocacy.

Community Health Worker Training Program for High School Students & Young Adults ( MSM HSYACHW) provided through Morehouse School of Medicine and it is 100% virtual. During the MSM HSYACHW program, students undergo a 7-week training utilizing the Morehouse School of Medicine HSYACHW Digital Learning Curriculum. The MSM HSYACHW training includes a combination of virtual shadowing experiences, self-guided and facilitated curriculum activities, and interactive virtual sessions led by medical and public health professionals. The program is open to rising 10th–12th grade students and recent High School graduates. The June application is now open; the deadline to apply is March 31. Website:

2021 Kansas Health Institute Health Policy Series: Bring It!

Whether it’s your lunch, your questions or your opinion, be sure to bring it!

You’re invited! Join us for a series of virtual events.

For five lunch hours over three weeks, the Kansas Health Institute is offering a series of health policy conversations. Grab your lunch and join us for free-flowing discussions about these critical topics from noon to 1:00 P.M. CST.

Register here for individual sessions or the whole series!

    • February 16: A Playbook for Modernizing the Kansas Behavioral Health SystemJoin us to discuss recommendations developed by the working groups of the Special Committee on Mental Health Modernization and Reform.
    • February 18: When “Don’t Spit on the Sidewalk” is Not Enough: Public Health and the COVID-19 Response – Join us for a frank conversation about the successes and challenges of the public health system as the pandemic response continues.
    • February 23: A Shot at Vaccine Policy – Join us for a discussion of both the State and Federal components of vaccine policy decision-making, particularly as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccines.
    • February 25: Telehealth: Portal to Health – Join us in this session to unpack recent policy changes and future considerations around telehealth, as well as understanding variations in internet access across the state.
    • March 2: Covering Kansans: A Snapshot of Public and Private InsuranceJoin us for a lively discussion of health coverage options in Kansas, including the potential impact of legislation that would expand KanCare.

Self-Paced Course: A Brief Introduction to HIPAA for Community Health Workers

Self-guided course now available!

After completing the training, you will be able to:

  • Define HIPAA
  • List key components of protected health information
  • Identify at least three circumstances where CHWs apply HIPAA during their workday
  • Recognize one circumstance when you have an obligation to report HIPAA covered information.

Click here to register:

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP31685 “Regional Public Health Training Center (PHTC) Program”. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

The Office of Regional Operations – Region 7, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invites you to a free Grants 101 Virtual Workshop.

Date:  Monday, March 8th – Tuesday, March 9th

Time:  9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST (both days)

Location:  Zoom

Who Should Attend:  Community and Faith-based Organizations, Hospitals, Health Centers, Colleges and Universities, Public Health Departments, Tribes and Tribal Organizations or any Organization/Individual who wants to learn more about working with Federal Funders, as well as Foundations.

Topics at a Glance:

  • The Federal Grant Application Process
  • Federal Funding Opportunities Panel
    • Health Services and Resources Administration
    • Administration for Community Living
    • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Technical Resources Demonstration
    • HRSA Data Warehouse
    • Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub)
    • Uniform Data System (UDS) Mapper
  • Engaging and Collaborating with Foundations
    • Missouri Foundation for Health

Please register here.

For more information, contact

Nearly 40 national partner organizations band together to bring communities culturally appropriate information and health services. 

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) has joined the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)’s National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) of partners to inform community-driven response, recovery, and resiliency strategies for addressing the impact of COVID-19 on communities. 

In response to the needs of communities most impacted by COVID-19, NACHW has partnered with Morehouse to integrate the qualities, roles and expertise of Community Health Workers (CHWs, including Promotoras de Salud and Community Health Representatives) to improve the cultural humility and appropriateness of community engagement, education, data collection and information dissemination strategies with communities that experience physical and social vulnerabilities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. NACHW has been awarded a contract from Morehouse to recruit, hire and support eleven CHW Liaisons who share trusting relationships, lived experience, culture, language and geography with specific priority communities in the NCRN initiative. Liaisons will develop and cultivate partnerships with individuals and organizations in these geographic areas, as they support six national goals in the NCRN initiative.

“Our partnership with Morehouse provides a unique opportunity for NACHW to amplify CHWs as equity leaders, community partners and skilled providers who can increase access to COVID-19 education, testing, contact tracing, health and psychosocial services and vaccines for communities who experience historic and systemic barriers,” says NACHW Executive Director, Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN. 

The launch of the NCRN occurs alongside the release of new digital technology accessible through the NCRN website. It provides location-based recommendations on where community members can get a COVID-19 test, fill prescriptions and get a COVID-19 vaccine when distribution increases in the coming months.

“Our national network connects individuals, families, community organizations and clinical providers to timely and relevant COVID-19 information and services in their neighborhood,” says Dominic Mack, MD, MBA, Professor of Family Medicine and Co-Director of the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network in the National Center for Primary Care at MSM.

The NCRN launch follows a $40 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to coordinate a strategic network focused on delivering COVID-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic. 

To access new COVID-19 resources, visit 

The University of Kansas has developed a Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP). They are currently recruiting for the Spring 2021 session. Their goal is to increase the number and reach of Tobacco Treatment Specialists in Kansas. To achieve this goal, they are reaching out to behavioral health organizations throughout Kansas that do not currently have a Tobacco Treatment Specialist on staff.

 Scholarships are available through the Kansas Health Foundation Tobacco Treatment and Recovery Behavioral Health Initiative. Spots are limited. Entry is competitive. With your organization’s help, they can fill this session with deserving individuals working hard to serve the clients in your community on their journey to recovery from mental health and substance use disorders.

 Details on the Spring 2021 training are below. Please share this information with the appropriate contact at your organization.

 The upcoming TTS training program consists of:

  • An online training that takes 14-18 hours to complete
  • Interim quizzes and a final exam
  • Required one-day virtual skills building workshop
  • National as well as Kansas-specific treatment resources

 Important dates to remember:

  • You must attend a brief, virtual orientation session the week of March 22nd. Date and time TBD.
  • You must complete the online coursework in a 6-week period (March 29 – May 9, 2021)
  • You must attend the one-day virtual training on Friday, May 21, 2021.

 Free continuing Education credits are available, and you will receive a certificate of attendance.

If you are interested in enrolling and are able to attend the required in-person components (listed above), please complete the online application: KU Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training

Application deadline is February 21st at 11:59pm.

 You will be notified of your status the week of March 1st. Keep an eye out for this email as you will be required to confirm your enrollment if accepted.

 If you have any question, please do not hesitate to email: Lety Sarmiento or Karla Van Goethem at

KU Tobacco Treatment Specialist (pdf)