For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Katrina McGivern Katrina.McGivern@bcbsks.com
NetWork Kansas Awards $250,000 in Grants from
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas for COVID-19 Relief Measures
Nine Kansas companies receive funding
TOPEKA, Kan. (June 6, 2020) — NetWork Kansas announces it has awarded $250,000 in grants from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS). The grants have been given to nine colleges and small businesses in Kansas that are making personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers with low supply during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The funding is part of the BCBSKS Blue Health Initiatives Trailblazers grant that was given through NetWork Kansas. Trailblazers builds partnerships to blaze a trail to a healthier future by finding innovative solutions that improve social determinants of health, increase access to care, and streamline the coordination of services.
These grants will allow businesses to develop PPE, such as 3D printed face shields and disposable stethoscopes, cloth masks, healthcare worker and patient gowns, and hand sanitizer. The businesses are all Kansas based contributing back to local economies, as well as helping the healthcare system.
The awardees* are as follows:
Alderman Acres Manufacturing, Inc., Coffeyville, $32,000
Emporia State University, Emporia, $32,000
Wichita State University, Wichita, $37,000
Fab Lab, Independence, $25,000
Fuller Industries, Great Bend, $31,000
Hodgeman Economic Development, Jetmore, $21,000
U.S. Awards, Inc., Pittsburg, $25,000
New Age Industrial Corporation, Inc., Norton, $15,000
*One grantee asked that their name be withheld.
“We are proud to provide relief where we can to organizations across our state that are working hard to meet the needs of all Kansans,” said Matt All, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. “We care deeply about our communities and are committed to providing assistance where we can. NetWork Kansas is doing an incredible job of keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive and strong during this time while also helping those on the frontlines, and we are grateful for that work.”
"NetWork Kansas is thrilled to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas on this grant project to ensure Kansas health providers are getting the PPE equipment they need,” said Steve Radley, president & CEO, NetWork Kansas. “These BCBSKS grant investments will accelerate delivery of PPE equipment and build capacity in businesses and other entrepreneurial organizations for the future. "
Network Kansas is a nonprofit that works to grow small businesses in Kansas and foster an entrepreneurial spirit among Kansans. This is one of several initiatives that Network Kansas is involved with to help small businesses and communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more about these relief efforts and additional measures, please visit the Network Kansas website and BCBSKS website.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.
About Blue Health Initiatives
Launched by BCBSKS in 2016, Blue Health Initiatives is supporting solutions that make Kansas a healthier place to live, work and play. We are taking a holistic approach that focuses on policies, systems and environments that shape our lives. The Blue Health Initiatives Trailblazers grant build partnerships to blaze a trail to a healthier future by finding innovative solutions that improve social determinants of health, increase access to care, and streamline the coordination of services.
About NetWork of Kansas
NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed. For more information about NetWork Kansas, call 877.521.8600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.