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Bo Co Coalitions Minutes of Oct. 6

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Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Minutes

October 6, 2021

The meeting was called to order at noon by Nancy K. Van Etten, member of the Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition Board due to Billie Jo Drake’s absence.

Attendees by Zoom were Elizabeth Billings and Rhonda Hoener.

In person attendees: Megan Rogers, Elizabeth Schafer, David Gillen, Christine Abbott, Jody Hoener (presenter), Patty Simpson, Sandy Haggard, and Allen Schellack.

Announcements: Elizabeth Billings works out of Lawrence, KS, and she is the community outreach partner for United Health Care for eastern KS. Her email is; phone is 785-840-5996.

Rhonda Hoener is the Community in Schools representative for USD 235 in Uniontown.

Sandy Haggard is with RSVP and has volunteers at the Beacon and Fort Scott Housing Authority. Her email is; phone is 620-432-0422. Contact her if you have volunteer opportunities or interest in volunteering in the community.

Allen Schellack represents Salvation Army and recently received a grant to distribute heaters and blankets for those in need. Allen organizes the Bell Ringers for Christmas time at Wal-Mart. He can help with taxi vouchers, obtaining ID cards and birth certificates. His phone number is 620-223-2212.

Patty Simpson is with the Fort Scott Housing Authority, 620-223-4570, located at 315 Scott Avenue in Fort Scott. She states they have a total of 190 units and have open units now for anyone in need.

Megan Rogers, Safe House Crisis Center and Victim Advocate Outreach Services. Phone is 620-231-8692. October is the National Domestic Violence Awareness month. They have a “Deck Your Door” event going on now to raise money and awareness for the center. You can contact her at the above phone number and her email is

Elizabeth Schafer is a CASA volunteer and member of Pioneer Kiwanis. She also helps with Feeding Families at the Methodist Church. They served 280 persons last week. Her email is

David Gillen is the director of the Beacon in Fort Scott. His phone number is 620-223-6869. Email is The Beacon is open M-T-W-F from 9-1pm and closed on Thursdays. Beacon helps with food distribution two times/month and with utilities and rent as needed. Food Pantry sign up is October 1st though October 29th. Call in advance for appointments and bring your picture ID, full parental custody documents, and proof of income. It is best to call ahead and know what to bring to verify your need for help. Community Christian Church and Beacon are doing “Adopt a Child” this year and gifts will be given on December 17, 9-1pm. The Elks are doing food baskets this year for adults without children. Additional information is on the Beacon’s Facebook page.

Christine Abbott is the Youth Career Advisor for Southeast Kansas Works and is in Fort Scott once a week on Tuesdays. She has an office space at the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team office located at 104 N. National Street in Fort Scott. Her phone number is 620-223-2160. Email Christine told us there are currently 67,000 jobs available in Kansas. Young Adult Summit 2021 sponsored by Kansas Works is free to attend. It is Thursday, October 14, 9-3pm at PSU. Bill Cordes is the keynote speaker. Contact Jennifer Graber if you have an interested student or young person who would like to attend (ages 16-24). Her contact information is; phone number is 620-794-1271.

Nancy shared information from the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department (SEKMCHD). Holly Fritter’s Healthy Start Home Visitor program has a Mommy and Me presentation on October 20th @ 3:30 pm about Baby Basics. It will be at 524 S. Lowman, Fort Scott. SEKMCHD is providing flu vaccine onsite clinics for businesses and flu vaccines by appointment at the health department. They are keeping up to date on COVID-19 boosters and additional doses; go to or call 620-223-4464 for information and appointments. Free parenting classes, Parenting the Love and Logic Way will be taught by Jan and Dave Elliot. Call the health department to register. The classes start 10/14.

Program: Jody Hoener, President and CEO of Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) presented an interesting and thorough program about the HBCAT’s mission, history, past and current projects, grants awarded, future goals, and the health needs assessment survey. Jody’s email is and phone number is 620-215-5725. The web page for HBCAT is

HBCAT started in 2016 as a joint effort between Mercy Hospital and the City of Fort Scott with a Pathways to Healthy Kansas grant by BCBS of KS. It was a 4-year grant with a 1 year bonus extension. A BCBS KS Pathways Phase 2 grant for $400,000 was received this year. HCBAT mission is to increase access to physical activities, healthy food, promote commercial tobacco cessation and encourage economic growth in Bourbon County.

Currently, KU is helping HBCAT with their partners CHC/SEK and Ascension Via Christi, to assess and evaluate the health and wellness opportunities for Bourbon County through a survey with the deadline of survey being October 31, 2021. Use this web link to complete the survey: The survey is very important to meeting the needs of our county and will help HBCAT and other organizations to apply for grants.

Current projects include tobacco free program with USD 234 high school to address vaping and tobacco use and developing an evidenced based and/or promising practice strategy together, implementing smoke free housing policy in Uniontown multi-unit housing to accomplish a smoke free healthy environment, working with City of Fort Scott and Land Bank to address neighborhood disparities, and building relationships with communities throughout the county to address social determinants of health and economic growth.

HCBAT received a $560,140 Patterson Family Foundation Grant and money from this grant will be used to employ a program coordinator (Rachel Carpenter), help to build wealth and employment opportunities for all community members, develop creative placemaking projects on the eastside and downtown areas of Fort Scott and Uniontown, provide grants to low income/minority/or woman owned startup businesses, food based businesses, and grants for farmers and ranchers to increase food production throughout the year.

The focus of the BSBS KS Pathways Action Plan for 2022 are directed towards food related projects with school districts, K-State Extension, grocery stores, food pantries and community centers. In year three, the focus will be on storytelling and higher education projects with FSCC.

HBCAT publishes a newsletter every month. Send Jody a request If you would like to receive the newsletter. Her email is If you need help with grant writing, Jody and her team are wiling to help you. HBCAT program, “The Center for Economic Growth” is partially funded through USDA Rural Development The partners are PSU Small Business Development Center, KANSASWORKS, FSCC, and The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. They provide quarterly education workshops for women entrepreneurs. The yearlong series is called, “Dare to Dream.” Thirty five women attended the first meeting and the second she is expecting sixty-two women to attend.

Finally, Jody shared one of the best ways to keep up to date on the work of the HBCAT is by Facebook. This site is kept up to date and easy to access:

Open Forum: The group discussed the benefits and drawbacks of changing the general membership meeting time. The consensus is to change our meeting time to 1:00 pm beginning in January. Also, the group discussed finding a location to meet with reliable internet connection where we can continue to have face-to-face and Zoom meetings. Jody offered the use of HBCAT headquarters stating there is room for a group, access to good internet, and hardware available to handle Zoom meetings. Group consensus is to try the HCBAT location offered by Jody for next month’s meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm. The next General Membership meeting will be November 3, 2021, at 12 Noon, HBCAT headquarters located at 104 N. National. This is at the north end of Luther’s BBQ building. There is parking on the street and across the street near the Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Minutes submitted by

Nancy K. Van Etten, Board member

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