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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

June 21, 2022

First Cohort of Grand Challenge for Health (GCfH) Initiative Launches

Submitted by Lisa Ross and Elaine Johannes

GCfH First Cohort

On June 17, the first cohort of the Grand Challenge for Health (GCfH) initiative launched from the campus of Emporia State University for twenty local extension professionals. Cohort members are engaged in a sixteen-week professional development and resource experience with the goal being to address pressing health issues through policy, systems, environmental strategies, education and partnerships. With support from Kansas SNAP-Ed and extension’s Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) endowment, the cohort experience features completion of the University of Minnesota’s System’s Approaches to Healthy Communities online course, coaching from KSRE specialists, "golden-circle" planning, and implementation of the national Cooperative Extension’s Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being recommendations. The cohort experience culminates with an opportunity for cohort members from local extension units to apply for a GCfH grant which puts the knowledge and skills gained into action for improved health for all Kansans. The first cohort members include:

Debra Wood, Central Kansas District; Dale Helwig, Cherokee County; Mirna Bonilla Salazar, Chisholm Trail District; Becky Reid, Cowley County; Holly Miner, Wildcat District; Pamela Paulsen, Reno County; Kaitlin Moore, River Valley District; Teresa Hatfield, Meadowlark District; Stephanie DeLong, Sedgwick County; Sara Sawer, Sedgwick County; Tara Solomon-Smith, Wildcat District; Joy Miller, Southwind District; Alyssa Rippe-May, Twin Creeks District; Aimee Baker, Wichita County; Frances Graves, Wildcat District; Katherine Pinto, Wildcat District; Denise Dias, Wyandotte County; Atalie Tompkins, Chisholm Train District; Shandi Andres, Flint Hills District; Monica Walker, Grant County.

The GCfH cohort is coached and supported by Chuckie Hessong, Tandy Rundus, Janelle VanKooten, Elizabeth Kiss, Stephanie Gutierrez, Lisa Ross and Elaine Johannes.

The second GCfH cohort is expected to take place February-May, 2023. Contact Stephanie Gutierrez, smgutier@k-state.edu, for more information or to be placed on the waiting list for 2023.