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Kansas Beats the Virus campaign improved public health outcomes and civic capacity

April 20, 2022

 New research finds KLC’s Kansas Beats the Virus campaign improved
public health outcomes and civic capacity across Kansas communities


Wichita, Kan. – The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) unveiled today new research that shows the nonprofit organization’s Kansas Beats the Virus initiative improved public health outcomes and civic capacity across Kansas communities.

In 2021, the ongoing effects of COVID-19, combined with prevalent mistrust and misinformation regarding vaccine effectiveness and side effects, resulted in a devastating rippling effect in communities across Kansas.

That’s why, after successfully engaging communities across Kansas to help slow the spread of the virus the previous year, the KLC applied what it learned from Kansas Beats the Virus 2020 and designed KBTV 2021—a more robust mass action civic engagement effort focused on community-based action projects. The 2021 effort was a public health partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The research report released from KLC’s research team with Kansas State University evaluates how the second phase of the initiative helped communities create local strategies to increase testing and vaccination rates.

The research team was curious: Would KBTV 2021 strategies achieve the desired public health and civic engagement short-term and intermediate outcomes?

The result: Between May 1 and December 31, 2021, the second phase of the effort resulted in 1,162 Kansans serving as conveners and partners to implement 1,010 unique action projects that reached an estimated 1.35 million Kansans* across the state.

Tim Steffensmeier, director of research

“Our latest research finds that KLC’s mass-action campaign drove local change, contributing to positive public health outcomes and strengthening civic capacity during the pandemic,” said Tim Steffensmeier, teacher and director of research for the Kansas Leadership Center. “The research findings provide support for KLC’s logic model of civic engagement informing our concept of mass action projects: empower communities to embrace a common challenge in their own ways, support them through it with a clear, trustworthy process and financial support, and they will drive local change.”

To learn more about the statewide initiative and how it helped strengthen public health outcomes and civic capacity across Kansas, download the full report.

*Action projects focused on overlapping populations and the estimate could represent duplication and not unique impressions.


Learn more about our research or save a copy of this release.


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.

Over the past 15 years, KLC has built a strong and respected institution in Kansas designed to deliver leadership development and culture change at unparalleled scale. Now, organizations across the country and around the world look to us to provide resources and consultation to support their own aspirations for mission-driven leadership education. Learn more at



Carrie Lindeman
[email protected]


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