Konza Prairie Community Health: Economic Driver and Quality of Life Asset

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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Health care is so vital to personal well-being and quality of life that it is easy to overlook the importance of comprehensive medical services for a community’s economic well-being. Having Konza Prairie Community Health in Junction City, Kansas, gives the region a competitive edge for business retention and expansion. It serves as an economic driver, fortifying the economy with jobs and revenue. Nationwide, community health centers generated $64 billion in economic activity in 2021.

Konza Prairie Community Health, one of 1,403 Federally Qualified Health Centers in the U.S., was founded in 1994 to provide comprehensive and cost-effective primary health care options for Junction City, Geary County, and the surrounding communities. Opened initially with a handful of employees in a small clinic co-located with the Junction City-Geary County Health Department, today, Konza has grown to more than 115 employees with two locations in Junction City and Manhattan. Each year, Konza health centers serve 13,000 patients from a 10-county area.

Konza clinics in Junction City and Manhattan have leveraged $35 million in federal investments since 2005 to serve all patients, regardless of insurance status or income. Over the years, the federal investment Konza brings to the community has reduced the financial burden of unnecessary emergency room visits, created jobs, and expanded services.

Excellent health outcomes earned Konza recognition in 2021 from the U.S. Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) as a Health Center Quality Leader, ranking them among the top 10 percent of community health centers in the nation for best overall clinic performance. Konza also received HRSA’s Quality Badge for Advancing Health Information Technology, awarded to community clinics that optimize and advance telehealth to increase patient engagement, access to care, and advance quality of care.

HRSA Quality Badge

HRSA Quality Badge Purple

In 2021, Konza Prairie Community Health Center significantly impacted the local healthcare system by:

  • Integrating critical medical and social services such as oral health, mental health, substance abuse, case management, and language translation under one roof.
  • Reducing health care costs and producing $4.67 million in health care savings1 — on average, health centers save 24 percent per Medicaid patient compared to other providers.
  • Providing $2 million in charitable care to underserved communities, including farmworkers, homeless patients, and veterans.
  • Employing 100+ healthcare professionals and support staff and generating $9.13 million in total economic activity2 in the communities they serve.

Konza — a not-for-profit, patient-owned and operated health center — offers convenient, affordable, one-stop access to a wide range of care providing efficiency for those taking time off from work for appointments. Their 35,000-square-foot clinic in Junction City offers comprehensive primary and preventive medical and dental care, full-spectrum behavioral healthcare, in-house laboratory services, and an on-site pharmacy. Konza also uses the latest technology to offer telehealth services for medical and behavioral care.

“The healthcare system can be difficult to navigate,” says Lee Wolf, Konza CEO. “At Konza, we are people taking care of people — and we want to make it as easy as possible for our patients. Konza providers are smart, compassionate, experienced professionals who can provide everything from preventive care to management of chronic conditions. We treat everyone throughout the life span, from infant wellness check-ups to end-of-life care.”

Konza also partners with local businesses to provide flu shots on-site to their employees and will attend employee benefit fairs to help educate staff on being and staying healthy.

Healthy People Make Healthy Communities, and Healthy Communities Thrive

Konza’s health center’s work in the region stands as evidence that communities can improve health, reduce health disparities, generate taxpayer savings, and address costly and significant public health and social concerns — including substance use disorder, mental illness, and homelessness.

Konza’s health outcomes illustrate the positive impact of the community health model of care, which focuses on whole-person wellness — care that is proactive, preventive, and inclusive. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, each year, Konza monitors and reports data on several key metrics which measure how their patients are doing — particularly those with chronic conditions. In 2021, despite Delta and Omicron COVID-19 surges, all of their patient health outcomes improved — some by double digits. Konza achieved exceptional rates of hypertension and diabetes control, despite serving a large population of at-risk patients.

The Konza dental practice makes up their largest areas of service, but some of the most impactful care happens outside their clinic. The Community Dental Outreach team travels to dozens of schools in 12 school districts throughout the region, where they provide childhood oral health screenings for thousands of children each year. 

In late 2020, in response to an urgent community need, Konza started an outpatient treatment program for substance use disorder. Konza uses Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to formulate personalized treatment plans for their patients’ recovery and long-term sobriety. 

“In community health, we have the opportunity to change people’s lives,” said Wolf. “Building a great relationship between patients and providers truly is the foundation of community health. People get healthier, the community benefits and grows together – and it just works.”

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Learn more about Konza Prairie Community Health at their website and follow them on Facebook. Interested in partnering with them for a healthier workplace? Email them at konzaprairie@kpchc.org. Konza also has a clinic in Manhattan, KS.

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Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission is ready to assist. Now is the right time to relocate your business, corporation, or family to Junction City-Geary County. The area is growing, the economy is booming, and there is room for additional businesses to expand here. Our strategic location, paired with skilled labor and an actively pro-business climate, are assets for any company, but especially for our target industries. Explore our full array of tools for site selectors here and contact us at 785-762-1976 or edc@jcacc.org.

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Sources:
1 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Survey Summary Tables, 2012. http://meps.ahrq.gov And
Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS, 2012 Uniform Data System. Retrieved from http://www.nachc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Cost-Effectiveness_FS_2015.pdf
2Leavitt Partners in collaboration with NACHC. Based on Bureau of Economic Analysis RIMS II Industry-Specific
Multipliers for Ambulatory Health Care Services. Retrieved from https://www.nachc.org/wp-
content/uploads/2020/12/Economic-Impact-Infographic-2.pdf

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