Governor Kelly Announces Kansas to Receive $10M to Integrate Behavioral and Primary
Physical Health Care

~~Expands Kelly Administration’s Efforts to Provide Care to the Whole Person, Reduce Stigma~~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is receiving $10 million as part of a five-year federal grant to promote the integration of primary and behavioral health care. Integrated care recognizes the impact physical health can have on an individual’s behavioral health needs and is developed to manage whole-person care. 

This project will serve an estimated 8,850 Kansans over the five-year project span, with an estimated average of 1,770 Kansans annually. 

“Mental and physical health can’t be separated, and neither should mental and physical health care,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “With this grant, my administration will work closely with partners across the state to improve our health care systems so that they serve the whole person.” 

KDADS, in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Community Care, will partner with four Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-a-likes and one Rural Health Clinic (RHC) to integrate behavioral health care with primary care services.  

Partners include the Atchison Community Health Clinic, Konza Prairie Community Health Center, Mercy & Truth Medical Missions Inc., Hunter Health, and Greeley County Health Services, Inc. The main behavioral health conditions to be served include adults with serious mental illness (SMI), children with serious emotional disturbance (SED), persons with substance use disorders (SUD), and persons with co-occurring SMI and SUD.  

“Expanding programs and introducing new programs to fund and support the mental health needs of people across the state has been a top priority of the Kelly administration since day one,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “Investments like these from federal grant opportunities help us meet the needs of both adults and children where they are, and oftentimes that is the first person we turn to and trust – a primary care physician. This project will allow us to marry mental health and primary care health and open more doors to services.”  

This project will address the key needs for integrated care and implement goals to achieve the following:  

  • Reduce barriers to accessing integrated physical and behavioral health care.  
  • Increase the capacity for integrated care by implementing evidence-based practices to reduce the proportion of adults and youth with nicotine use disorder and other SUDs.  
  • Decrease the frequency of suicidal ideation through collaborative supports and services that address physical, behavioral, and health-related social needs.  
  • Improve access to oral health care services through screening and referrals.  
  • Develop a robust state infrastructure to implement and establish an integrated care model across Kansas.  

Each provider organization’s service area reflects a high need, defined geographic region, and provides or coordinates services to individuals experiencing both physical health concerns and behavioral health concerns. These regions span urban, rural, and frontier areas across Kansas, representing a diverse set of opportunities to advance integrated care and reduce the stigma associated with behavioral health.  

What Participating Organizations Are Saying: 

“This grant will not only support the much-needed integration of behavioral health and primary care services within our clinic but also facilitate collaboration with community providers. Community health centers are positioned extremely well to identify patients in need of behavioral health services, and this grant offers us the ability to expand our ability to provide and coordinate care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. ACHC is excited to demonstrate the positive impact that integrating services has on our patient’s quality of life.”
– Steve Durkin, CEO, Atchison Community Health Clinic (Atchison, Kan.) 

“We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care grant as part of Community Care. We welcome the chance to improve services to the rural residents of far western Kansas and work with our fellow clinics across the state.”
– Chrysanne Grund, Project Director, Greeley County Health Services (Tribune, Kan.) 

“We are honored to be a recipient of the Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care grant. This is an incredible opportunity for Hunter Health to join with our partners across Kansas to support the improvement of integrated care models statewide. We look forward to working with SAMHSA, KDADS, Community Care, and other community health centers to promote integration and collaboration between primary care and behavioral health care in community health centers.”
– Amy Feimer, CEO, Hunter Health (Wichita, Kan.) 

“What great news! There is so much need in the communities we serve. No one organization can meet them all; it takes collaboration.  As a community health center, Konza aims to reduce barriers to health by providing as much care as possible for the patients we see. Meeting patients’ needs by integrating behavioral health services in the medical exam room, in the dental operatory, and throughout the various patient support services available at the health center not only reduces stigma but it improves access and embodies what we believe- health care is for all, and that includes behavioral health.”
– Dani Hallgren, CEO, Konza Prairie Community Health Center (Manhattan, Kan.)