President's Perspective – KHA Partners with Agriculture, Business and Medical Organizations to Curb COVID-19 Spread
(Dec. 4, 2020) – Last month, Kansas Hospital Association announced its partnership with the Kansas Medical Society, Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Chamber of Commerce to join forces on a statewide public awareness campaign to curb the community spread of COVID-19. The primary purpose of the partnership is to encourage Kansans to take measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 by following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. While it is unsurprising that health care organizations are urging the public heed these guidelines, the involvement of the business and agriculture industries illustrate the widespread magnitude of the pandemic.
The partnership's public awareness campaign was presented to the State Finance Council, which consists of a bi-partisan committee made of legislative leadership and the governor. The SFC unanimously approved funding in the amount of $1.5M for this public awareness campaign.
The campaign goals are to:
- Ignite a sense of unity, community and responsibility in doing everything we can to curb the spread of COVID-19.
- Reduce COVID-19-related pressures on Kansas hospitals during the 2020-2021 winter season in order to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed and threatening normal standards of care for Kansas citizens.
- Encourage Kansans to wash their hands, wear face coverings, avoid large social gatherings and keep their distance during the holiday season.
- Provide an environment where Kansas businesses, schools and other services can safely remain operational.
A URL was secured by the partnership, www.StoptheSpreadKansas.org, to include campaign resources that are being developed. The initial public awareness materials include two 30 second TV spots, two 30 second radio spots in both English and Spanish, along with multiple digital media and social media components and messaging. In addition, a statewide media release promoting the campaign was distributed across the state. Tools for the partnership's members to help communities communicate the messages are being made available, such as social media messages, images, sample opinion editorials and presentation materials.
As Rich Felts, president of Kansas Farm Bureau highlighted, "We must act quickly to alleviate strain on our hospital systems so our schools, businesses and communities can continue safely operating." I couldn't agree more with Rich's comments and look forward to this combined effort to curb the spread. Working together, we can make this happen.