Archive for July 2015

Rear admiral to speak at scholarship award meeting of KCK Women’s Chamber

Rear Admiral Rebecca McCormick-Boyle will be the guest speaker at the Wednesday, Aug. 19, meeting of the Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

McCormick-Boyle is the commander of Navy Medicine Education and Training. She also serves as the Navy Nurse Corps director.

The program will include scholarship awards. The KCK Women’s Chamber will award four scholarships this year. Recipients are Kendra Lawrence, Cecilia Ndungu, Lacy Davidson and Melissa Cooper.

A fundraiser will be held, with donations going to the scholarship fund.

The meeting will begin with networking at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 19 at Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, 6565 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

Lunch and the program will be from noon to 1 p.m.

The cost for lunch is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers and $15 for students.

Guests are welcome, and reservations are required by emailing Ardith Deason at deason_a@wmhci.org, telephone 913-233-3305.

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Three KCK students awarded study-abroad scholarships

Three Kansas City, Kan., students at Kansas State University have been awarded study-abroad scholarships.

The students plan to go abroad this summer or fall.

Receiving scholarships to study abroad through the K-State Office of International Programs were Ethan Bach, $5,000 University of Canberra Exchange Scholarship for Australia; Casey Gum, $700 Rodolfo J. Montes de Oca Costa Rica Small Town Scholarship and $250 Global Education Initiative Scholarship for Costa Rica; and Anna Kucera, $750 Faculty-led Study Abroad Scholarship and $250 Global Education Initiative Scholarship for Ecuador.

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Brownback administration unveils $63 million in budget adjustments

Change in federal match rate allows state to shift $17 million in CHIP funding

by Stephen Koranda, Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor and KHI News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration on Thursday announced $63 million in changes to the state budget.

Much of that comes from increases in federal aid, cost-cutting measures and some services costing less than initially projected. Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, outlined the plan in a Statehouse news conference.

The biggest single change — $17.6 million — comes from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which provides health coverage to children in low-income families.

The federal government is increasing its CHIP match rate from 70 percent to 92 percent for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. Although the state could use the $17.6 million to expand CHIP, the administration chose to move that amount into the state general fund, Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he doesn’t expect any of the budget changes to lead to employee layoffs or cuts in social services.

“What we tried to do was minimize the impact on services,” he said. “When we’re doing that, we’re going to look for things, as a first order of business, where there’s money that wasn’t spent or where there’s excess balances.”

The plan transfers $8 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation, funds that are available because of efficiencies and some lower-than-expected costs. Sullivan said the transfer won’t affect the state’s 10-year transportation project, T-WORKS.

The state also captured savings from smaller-than-expected retirement costs for teachers in Kansas.

Here’s a look at other reductions and transfers affecting health and social services:

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

• $4 million reduction due to lower-than-expected expenditures from a hospital-funded account that’s used to leverage federal Medicaid funds.

Kansas Department for Children and Families

• $500,000 reduction due to lower-than-projected costs associated with launching KEES, a long-delayed software program that will facilitate online application for public assistance programs.

• $2.8 million reduction due to dropping access to the Lexia Reading Core5 instructional software from the list of programs supported with funds from the state’s tobacco master settlement agreement.

• $2.7 million due to lower-than-projected spending on tobacco settlement-funded children’s services.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

• $500,000 saved by delaying for six months the reopening of the Meyer Building on the Larned State Hospital campus. The building, which will house patients in hospital’s Sexual Predator Treatment Program, had been scheduled to open January 2016.

• $1 million reduction due to last year’s payments to “payroll agents” who help people with disabilities find, train and pay attendant care workers coming in below estimates.

• $1 million reduction due to elimination of the state’s waiting list for Medicaid-funded in-home services for people with physical disabilities (PD) not costing as much as initially projected.

Angela de Rocha, a KDADS spokesperson, said the department was “very pleased” it was able to find ways to reduce spending “without having any impact on services we provide our consumers.”

Earlier Thursday, KDADS announced that it expects to eliminate the so-called PD waiting list by the end of November.

“This is a very big deal,” de Rocha said.

The budget changes are part of the Legislature’s final budget bill, which ordered the governor to find $50 million in cuts. The additional reductions will boost the state’s savings account to help avert a deficit if tax collections come in lower projected.

The nonprofit KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor reporting collaboration. All stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to KHI.org when a story is reposted online.

– See more at http://www.khi.org/news/article/brownback-administration-unveils-63-million-in-budget-adjustments#sthash.TaakN7ve.dpuf

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