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'Our Healthy Eastside Kansas City' awarded $5 million from Jackson County

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 19:15:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Legislature approved another $5 million grant Monday for a group that's made an impact in improving the health of East Kansas City residents.

Our Healthy KC Eastside works to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, health screenings, information to expectant mothers to keep them and their babies healthy and diabetes prevention programs, according to a news release from the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Strategic Marketing and Communications Department.

The program received its first $5 million grant in 2021.

Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, UMKC School of Medicine professor and director of the UMKC Health Equity Project, is in charge of the effort.

“This is a significant advance in assuring accessible and preventative health services are available to Jackson County residents,” Berkley-Patton stated in the news release. “Our success with Our Healthy Eastside Kansas City is evidence that working collaboratively with community and health partners can greatly increase the reach of health care in the most underserved neighborhoods and have a positive impact on our entire community.”

Other UMKC schools, including Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing and Health Sciences provide care, in addition to Children's Mercy Hospital and University Health.

The initiative complied surveys from more than 3,000 KCMO residents to find out about what they thought about their health and health services.

One interesting finding from the surveys was a lack of transportation was a big reason for low vaccination rates.

The program works to provide services on evenings and weekends in community hubs to get more people a chance at high-quality care, according to the release.