Current Report Articles
President's Perspective – KHA Board Sets Strategic Direction for the Association

KHANewLogoSquare (Nov. 19, 2021) – This week, the Kansas Hospital Association Board of Directors met in person for the last time in 2021. The board deliberated on many pertinent items revolving around the strategic direction of the association and actions aimed at assisting hospitals in the current COVID-19 environment. The KHA Board adopted, after much input from the membership, a three-year strategic plan focusing on several priorities including policy influence, financial stability, workforce, member and partner engagement, health care visioning, and advancing health. These strategic priorities will be intertwined into the pillars of leadership, education, advocacy and data/information.

Additionally, the board unified around a newly developed strategic aim: to improve Kansas' statewide health ranking with a focus on preventative health services. The strategic aim will provide an opportunity for Kansas hospitals to coalesce around this goal with the support of KHA resources and assistance.

A substantial portion of the meeting was dedicated to the latest COVID-19 happenings surrounding the recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. While the KHA Board strongly supports the COVID-19 vaccine, the board also discussed the challenges some hospitals may encounter as a result of the impending mandate deadline. Toward that end, KHA will continue to identify and develop additional resources as part of our COVID-19 vaccine toolkit. These resources will continue to be located on the KHA website

Additional highlights of the November board meeting are bulleted below:

  • Recognized Melissa Atkins, Graham County Hospital, Hill City, for her service on the board. Melissa has served on the KHA Board since 2015. On behalf of the entire KHA membership and staff, thank you Melissa for your leadership and service.
  • Expressed appreciation to Larry Van Der Wege, Lindsborg Community Hospital, Lindsborg, for his leadership as KHA Board chair during 2021.
  • Selected George Stover, Hospital District #1 of Rice County, Lyons, to serve as the at-large member on the KHA Executive Committee in 2022.
  • Dedicated financial resources toward a focused plan in the area of workforce initiatives, hospital and physician leadership, and the KHA strategic aim.
  • Advocacy efforts continued on both the federal and state level. KHA staff members have been working on policy initiatives related to the upcoming 2022 Kansas legislative session including telehealth, behavioral health and reducing administrative barriers. On the federal level, much attention has been dedicated to Congress' consideration of the Build Back Better Act, 340B Drug Discount Program, Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments and the Hospital Provider Assessment Program.
  • The number of KHA education opportunities offered to the membership in 2021 has been significant. The increase in programs is largely due to COVID-19 education.
  • KHA continued to focus on several hospital and physician partnership opportunities, including an upcoming joint program with the Kansas Medical Society.
  • Highlighted the upcoming KHA-PAC fundraising opportunity on Tuesday, Nov. 23, with former White House Chef Marti Mongiello. 

Lastly, I hope everyone had an opportunity to participate yesterday in recognizing national rural health day. We appreciate those attendees who shared their day with us at the KHA Rural Health Symposium. As always, please don't hesitate to let us know if you should have any questions, or need assistance on matters affecting your hospital. Your team at KHA is readily available to assist you with any needs!
--Chad Austin