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Wichita, Kan. – The “Kansas Beats the Virus” effort, a statewide, bi-partisan public health intervention to combat the pandemic is fully operational. The initiative is a partnership between the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Between now and December 31, 2020, KLC’s alumni, community leadership programs and grant partners around the state are convening and facilitating virtual meetings with neighbors and community members. Those gathered are identifying, discussing and creating action plans to combat COVID-19 in their local community.

“We’re charging our statewide network of partners and 12,000 leadership program graduates to lead virtual, non-partisan meetings that generate local support and stimulate concrete action to slow the spread of the virus. We have set the audacious goal of convening 1,000 meetings and are well on our way to making the goal and exceeding it,” said Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.

As of 8 a.m today, members of the Kansas Beats the Virus network have:

  • Scheduled 596 meetings
  • Completed 285 meetings
  • Launched 233 action plans

A few examples of action plans that emerged from local meetings last week:

  • Downtown shop owners in Hutchinson are creating “Santa-tizing” stations in the downtown shopping district, complete with hand sanitizer and free masks, thus making holiday shopping in Hutch a bit more safe.
  • In Kansas City, Kansas, a church group is purchasing air purifiers, gloves, hand sanitizer and masks to make their in-person services safer.
  • A Wichita church is creating quarantine kits for 17 families who immigrated to Kansas from the Congo and who attend their church. The goal is to make staying in quarantine a little more doable when necessary. The kits will have basic necessities, fun activities for kids and important information about COVID-related resources. All materials will be translated into the native languages of the Congolese.
  • A group in Abilene launched “Project Ike,” an effort to provide vitamins free of charge to all who need them, with the goal of boosting the immune system of residents.

“As we work on this campaign over the next few weeks, our hope is to not only energize and support the KLC network who are committed to our purpose, but to inspire all Kansans to come up with their own version of what they can do to be architects for the common good,” said O’Malley.

Follow the progress of the Beat the Virus campaign here.


About the Kansas Leadership Center

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a singular educational organization founded to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities. Its programs and teachings present leadership as an activity available to anyone at any time. KLC offers training for organizations, teams and individuals as well as advanced programs for leadership development practitioners. It provides development grants for civically oriented organizations in Kansas, partners with community leadership programs and offers customized trainings for businesses and non-profits alike. KLC hosts civic leadership forums and encourages Kansans to take active part in public life for the common good. KLC Press publishes books on leadership and The Journal, a nationally recognized, award-winning civic issues magazine. Based in Wichita, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation. Learn more.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Carrie Lindeman
316-393-1076
[email protected]

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