May 22, 2020 7:05 PM

Marshall: Federal funding delivers testing to rural Kansas

Posted May 22, 2020 7:05 PM

From U.S. Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall's Office...

WASHINGTON - The 174 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in Kansas will receive an additional $8.6 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to enhance coronavirus testing in the communities they serve.

“The U.S. is the world leader in testing and this additional investment means more tests will be available to Kansans in every corner of the state,” said U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. “President Trump made a commitment to ensuring any American who wanted a test had access to one, and I applaud him for following through on his promise. Kansas now has the testing infrastructure it needs to continue safely reopening.”

Funding for RHCs was made available through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and will allow the state’s RHCs to expand access to testing in the rural communities they serve. Now fewer than 10 percent of the state’s counties are without a health care provider receiving direct federal funds for coronavirus testing. 

The funding to RHCs builds upon the $22.4 million in funding allocated to the state’s 19 community health centers plus the $81.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the State of Kansas to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts and related activities. Together the State of Kansas and federally backed healthcare facilities have received more than $112.2 million for testing and related activities.

“The federal government continues to support our nation’s healthcare infrastructure, allowing our physicians to protect and serve their communities, no matter location or size,” said Rep. Marshall.

The CDC maintains a guidance for testing criteria, however, states have the authority to change the testing criteria in response to changing developments. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has updated its criteria with separate requirements for testing over the course of the outbreak. 

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May 22, 2020 7:05 PM
Kan. families receive additional food support through Pandemic EBT program

TOPEKA —The Department for Children and Families in collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) announced this week the creation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program (P-EBT). The program will help families who have been impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 to purchase food for their children.

“We know the pandemic has made it difficult for families to access food, especially if they relied on school meals,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Thanks to the partnership between DCF and KSDE the state will be able to automatically enroll most families into the P-EBT program, so they receive their benefit as quickly as possible.”

“Food insecurity should be the last thing our Kansas children should have to face right now,” Cheryl Johnson KSDE director of child nutrition and wellness said. “P-EBT provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic. I am thankful that through this partnership, Kansas is able to put healthy food on the table for Kansas children.”

P-EBT provides a one-time benefit of up to $291 on a Kansas Benefits Card to Kansas families whose children between the age of 5 to 18 would receive free or reduced-price meals at participating schools. There is no application process to receive the P-EBT benefit.

DCF will issue the benefit in phases. Those Kansas families who currently receive free or reduced-price meals and are enrolled in the food assistance or TANF programs should begin to receive their benefit later this week.

The second phase also will include an automatic match with those families on free or reduced-price meals and who also are receiving Medicaid or child care assistance.

The final phase will include families that need to provide additional information to receive the benefit. Those families will receive access to a parent portal to register for the program beginning June 5. Parents should receive information from their school district on how to access the parent portal.

“Most families should expect to see their benefit in the next two weeks,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said. “If families have not yet received information about P-EBT, I encourage them to reach out to their local school district.”

In order to provide additional information about P-EBT and to answer questions, DCF is hosting a virtual town hall meeting tomorrow from 11 a.m. to noon.

Virtual P-EBT Town Hall

Thursday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Use this link to join: