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‘Kansas Beats the Virus’ initiative mobilizing Kansans in 72 Counties with 695 Community Action Plans to Date

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Newsroom, Press Releases

Wichita, Kan. – The “Kansas Beats the Virus” effort, a statewide, bi-partisan public health intervention to combat the pandemic has less than two weeks before the campaign ends on December 31, 2020. The initiative is a partnership between the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Over the past three weeks, KLC’s alumni, community leadership programs and grant partners around the state have been 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 844 meetings
  • Completed 714 meetings
  • Launched 695 action plans

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

  • A group in Lakin is creating an outdoor health club, complete with a tent, weights, exercise equipment and, of course, plenty of masks and hand sanitizer. The goal is to help people stay fit and covid-free.
  • To reduce food insecurity and help with PPE, students in Wyandotte County are creating baskets, complete with foodstuffs and gift cards as well as branded masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  • A group in Lawrence is creating an outdoor socialization area for the winter, complete with a tent and heaters, hoping to make a safe and comfortable place for community members to socialize through winter.
  • The Ellsworth Junior High basketball team is working with the school administration and will provide each parent with a personalized mask instead of a paper ticket to gain access to games. They’ll also be making a hype video, with each student talking about how parents can support their favorite Bearcat by wearing their mask and social distancing.
  • A group of churches in Garden City is marshaling extra support for healthcare frontline workers, providing them with baskets with supplies and goodies as well as creating a text message system to enable frontline workers to ask for help and prayers from a network of church members across the community.

“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 training for businesses and non-profits alike. KLC hosts civic leadership forums and encourages Kansans to take an 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.

Carrie Lindeman
[email protected]


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