President's Perspective – KHA Board Voices Position to Limit Community Spread of COVID-19
(Nov. 20, 2020) – Earlier this week, the Kansas Hospital Association Board of Directors met virtually for the last time in 2020 and considered several pertinent items revolving around the strategic direction of the association and actions aimed at addressing COVID-19. The board adopted a modified one-year strategic plan and budget that balances the customary strategic initiatives with the pressing COVID-19 priorities. These priorities will be intertwined into the strategic plan pillars of leadership, education, advocacy and data/information.
A significant portion of the meeting was focused on the latest COVID-19 happenings and community actions being taken to limit the spread of COVID-19. After thoughtful discussion, the board adopted a formal statement stating that "KHA strongly believes it is essential for Kansans to use face coverings, maintain social distancing and handwashing to limit the community spread of COVID-19." This statement aligns with the public awareness campaign that is being led by KHA in partnership with the Kansas Medical Society, Kansas Chamber and the Kansas Farm Bureau. The campaign is scheduled to begin next week and will run through the holiday season. More details regarding the campaign will be made available in the coming days.
Additional highlights of the November board meeting are bulleted below:
- Expressed appreciation for Melissa Atkins, Graham County Hospital, Hill City, who has served as the 2020 KHA Board chair.
- Recognized Dennis Franks, Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center, Chanute, and Kim Moore, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hutchison, for their service on the board. Dennis and Kim have served on the KHA Board since 2011 and 2017, respectively. On behalf of the entire KHA membership and staff, we would like to thank Dennis and Kim for their leadership and service.
- Selection of Carrie Saia, Holton Community Hospital, Holton, to serve as the at-large member on the KHA executive committee in 2021. The board also appointed Bill Voloch, Wesley Healthcare, Wichita, to fill the unexpired board position that was vacated earlier this fall.
- Kristina Weger, with the American Hospital Association, recapped the outcome of the November 2020 general elections and discussed its implication on potential policy issues for the upcoming congressional session.
- Advocacy efforts continue on both the federal and state level. KHA staff has been working on policy initiatives related to the COVID-19 Provider Relief Funds, 340B Drug Discount Program, Medicare sequestration, Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment program and the hospital provider assessment program.
- KHA education opportunities offered to the membership in 2020 has already surpassed the totals in 2019, 2018 and 2017. The record amount is largely driven by the amount of COVID-19 education being offered by KHA.
- KHA continues to focus on several quality and patient safety opportunities, including the Age-Friendly Health System initiative, Opioid safety and maternal health safety initiative.
- The 2020 elections have left the KHA Political Action Committee coffers much lighter. If you haven't yet taken advantage to help the KHA-PAC reach its 2020 fundraising goal of $75,000, there is still time to do so!
As always, please don't hesitate to let us know if you should have any questions or need assistance on any matters that are affecting your hospital. Your team at KHA is readily available to assist you on any needs!