Pathways to a Healthy Kansas

Sunflower field

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the length of the grant period?
    Round 2: Three years running from Aug. 1, 2017 – July 31, 2020.

  2. What is the total amount available to communities over that three-year period?
    Up to $100,000 in Coordination Grants. Once funded, the eight communities become eligible for up to $400,000 in Achievement Grants and Implementation Grants. In total, there is up to $500,000 per community for up to eight communities.

  3. What is the difference between the Coordination Grants and the Implementation and Achievement Grants?
    The Coordination Grant is the main component that is available through a competitive application process for up to eight eligible communities. The Implementation and Achievement grants are then a secondary component of the Coordination Grant. Funds for the Implementation and Achievement grants are non-competitive and only available to the eight coordination-funded communities. Implementation and Achievement grants are dependent on meeting requirements from the Coordination Grant in each pathway for the focus areas of healthy eating, active living, and tobacco control.

    In some Coordination Grant pathway the community is asked to complete specific work, such as WorkWell Kansas training, and then apply strategies. Once action on the strategies is shown to be complete, the organization in the community that completed the work will be eligible for an Achievement Grant. The Achievement Grants do not specifically focus on continuation of the work required in that pathway, but are an incentive to complete the work.

    An Implementation Grant, however, is used to fully execute the proposed or planned work that is accomplished in a pathway. For instance, when a school enacts a "Modeling" wellness policy, they can then submit proof of the policy and an implementation plan to receive an Implementation Grant that provides funds to ensure the actions needed to meet the expectations of the policy are completed.

  4. How many communities will be funded?
    Up to eight (8) communities will be funded in the second funding cycle, beginning Aug. 1, 2017. Previously, eight communities were selected for funding which began Aug. 1, 2016. The total number of communities funded will be 16 through the two cycles.

  5. Are Letters of Intent (LOI) binding?
    No, your LOI is non-binding.

  6. What is the relationship between BCBSKS and Pathways to a Healthy Kansas?
    BCBSKS is conducting a number of activities under its Blue Health Initiatives umbrella in the 103 counties that make up the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas service area. Blue Health Initiatives are investments in the health of Kansas through prevention, care coordination and access to care. Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is one of the Blue Health Initiatives activities, focused on specific targeted communities through a competitive process.

  7. Are tribal entities eligible to apply?

  8. Can multiple entities apply from the same county?
    Yes, but you are encouraged to work together and consider applying together. You might consider applying as one county, but explain that implementation may occur at only one or more local cities/towns within the applicant county. If you choose not to apply together, please explain what reasons or considerations led to separate applications.

  9. Is a community required to have a community health assessment (CHA) or a community health improvement plan (CHIP) to apply?
    No. This work can be done by either a CHA/CHNA workgroup or a community coalition.

  10. Are for-profit entities eligible to apply?
    Yes, for-profit entities are eligible to apply as long as they are representing the community coalition or workgroup that will implement the work and they meet all other eligibility requirements.

  11. When is the implementation funding available?
    Funding will be distributed to the counties by Aug. 1, 2017. Funding for the Coordination Grant will be split so that half is received Aug. 1, 2017, and the second half Aug. 1, 2018.

  12. Can a community work on only one or a few of the seven Community Pathway focus areas?
    No, a community will need to address all pathways and required focus areas in each during the three-year funding period. However, the community is not required to address all seven focus areas at the same time. The activities and timeline for each focus area will be determined in the community's Action Plan.

  13. Can this funding be used to help the community get a fitness/community center?
    Funding for this may go to planning, technical assistance and assessment of community needs around a fitness/community center. Activities in the Community Policy and Resident/Community Well-Being focus areas can relate to coordination and communication of the work to create a fitness/community center. However, funding can not be used for the purpose of building or purchasing a building to be the center.

  14. What is involved in the pledges?
    The pledges are a way for residents and organizations to show public commitment to engage in the work. Additionally, the pledges provide the coalition a mechanism to measure progress, organize resources and improve community communication around the grant activities. The pledges are non-binding.

  15. Regarding the health care sector, what is involved in the health action plan?
    The health action plan, wellness contract or health coaching will likely vary depending on provider capacity. The intent is to work with providers to develop or enhance a protocol and mechanism to discuss risk factors with patients and to interactively help them to set simple action steps to reduce their risk for developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. This method also builds patient accountability for working on their health outside the provider's office.

  16. What is the purpose of the site visit?
    The site visit is part of the selection process. This provides the Pathways Team the opportunity to meet with finalists and give them the chance to elaborate on aspects of the application. The site visit will help in determining community commitment, readiness and capacity to complete the cross-sector work required for this opportunity.

  17. How will “readiness” be defined?
    Readiness will be determined by the scoring of the application submitted by communities, as well as the results of the site visit. Readiness will take into account the current coalition engagement, understanding of the work being asked of the community and the commitment of key stakeholders to participate if the community is funded.

  18. Do we need to do a work or action plan before the grant starts?
    No, you will complete an Action Plan for this grant once you are funded.

  19. Is this application also for the Achievement and Implementation grants?
    No, this application is for the Coordination Grant only. However, only the eight communities that are funded for the Coordination Grant will be eligible to apply for Achievement and Implementation grants.

  20. What opportunities come with the Achievement and Implementation grants?
    This is outlined in more detail in the application packet. Funds up to $400,000 per community are available to the organizations that complete required work in each focus area.

  21. Can grant funds be used for travel to the kickoff event on July 18-19, even though grant funding doesn’t begin until Aug. 1?
    Yes, travel to the July 18-19 kick-off event in Wichita may be charged to the travel budget even though the travel occurs before Aug. 1.

  22. Does the fiscal agent have to be the same as the coalition?
    The fiscal agent may be the coalition, if the coalition’s organizational status meets one of the criteria of the organizations eligible to apply, such as a 501(c)3. Or the fiscal agent may be a coalition member organization on behalf of the coalition.

  23. Our coalition has been fluid over the years. When it comes to meeting dates and coalition members for the Letter of Intent, there are gaps throughout the years depending on where we were in the work and overlap on membership. Do we still qualify as an active coalition? 
    If your coalition has been in existence for some time, but varied depending on grant funding and focus, please explain the gaps in the Coalition Description section of the Letter of Intent.

  24. How much can be written in for indirect costs?  
    No more than 10 percent of the budget can go to indirect costs. The budget template will be included in the application packet.

  25. Are the pledges available for review?
    The pledges will be made available to the communities that are funded.

  26. In regards to the Community Policy focus area, can the funds be utilized to improve an area park or improve walking access to a park? Can funds be utilized to purchase physical things in addition to education/implementation of policies?
    The short answer is yes. The Coordination Grant is designed for communities to use the funding to bring the community together to enact/update policies, educate and communicate progress to residents, and develop a policy implementation plan (if one does not already exist). Once the policy work is complete, the Community Policy focus area has an Implementation Grant associated with it to help communities to fund the actual work associated with the policy. This can include purchasing physical things, such as playground equipment or outdoor fitness equipment. The community also may use the implementation funding as match dollars to apply for additional funding. For example, if the decision is that the community would like to improve trails or walking access to the park, it may be beneficial to the community to apply for funding through the Sunflower Foundation's Sunflower Trails program to develop a trail and use the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas funds as match. We will provide technical assistance to help communities make these decisions throughout the funding period. The Implementation Grant also may be used to fund an assessment to prioritize implementation and to complete work needed to use as a lever to get policy passed.

  27. Our county has 1422 funding through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Are we eligible to apply?
    Yes, as long as you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

  28. Our county has Chronic Disease Risk Reduction funding from KDHE. Are we eligible to apply?
    Yes, as long as you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

  29. Our county has Healthy Communities Initiative funding through the Kansas Health Foundation. Are we eligible to apply?
    Yes, as long as you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

  30. Is there a way to find out what employers in our community are already involved in WorkWell Kansas?
    BCBSKS does not have this information; however we can assist in connecting you with the WorkWell Kansas Coordinator.

  31. Does the applicant organization have to be a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas member to be funded?
    No. Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is an initiative to help improve the health of all Kansans and funding is not limited to only those entities who carry Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas insurance. The coalition or organization applying as the fiduciary agent does need to meet the criteria outlined in the Request for Applications.