I wanted to express specific appreciation to Senator Carolyn McGinn (31st District) who is back in Topeka. As Ways and Means Chair, Sen. McGinn will provide important leadership as the Senate attempts to affirm its financial obligations to Kansas citizens.

I previously wrote of Rep. Hodge’s and Rep. Schroeder’s interest in the general health of Kansas citizens as evidenced by their support of The Bridge to a Healthy Kansas. When that bill was debated in the Senate, Sen. McGinn also voted in favor. Her action was greatly appreciated even though the bill was eventually vetoed and could not be over-ridden in the House.

The Senator has also demonstrated long-time dedication to the following special populations: frail elderly; those suffering with mental health issues; and the working poor. For example, Sen. McGinn has assisted local healthcare agencies to receive expected payments for care they have already provided in good faith to frail elders. Soon she will be touring the Osawatomie State Hospital to hear about the hospital’s ability to provide mental health crisis stabilization. She has always been interested in how the issues of the State’s hospitals for the mentally ill affect our local communities.  Kansas and many other states are in critical condition with behavioral health that is defined as mental illness and drug/alcohol issues. Thank you, Sen. McGinn, for showing an interest in studying the behavioral healthcare spiral in Kansas.

Finally, thank you for supporting legislation and responsible funding so that community agencies can care for the most vulnerable of our local populations.  

— Vallerie L. Gleason, President and CEO of Newton Medical Center