LiveWell Finney County Staff

Callie Dyer

calliedyer@centura.org 

Occupation: Executive Director Finney County Health Coalition

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  It is important to me that we work to improve the health of all the residents of Finney County whether they have lived here 80 years or have just moved to Finney County their health matters and they matter to us as a community.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Young people are our future and we need to address youth suicide and the issues that lead youth to think this is their only option.  Healthy and happy young people will help in making Finney County a community that continues to flourish.

Donna Gerstner

donnagerstner@centura.org 

Occupation:  CDRR Grant Coordinator

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell Finney County provides opportunities to work on health and safety needs in the community with all agencies serving as the catalyst.  I want to be a part of that!

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Getting JUUL under control in our community with teens not having access and working toward adding “no vaping” to our clean indoor air ordinance.

Beth Koksal

bethkoksal@centura.org 

Occupation:  Director of Community Health LiveWell Finney County  

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell Finney County serves as a community advocate for health and wellbeing in Finney County.  We are able to bring people and community partners together across different sectors to achieve positive change throughout Finney County.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Access to health care is critical for all demographics in Finney County.  We have so many opportunities for health care, education and services that people either don’t know they have the opportunity to access or don’t know how to access.  Easier access to services will make impacts on health issues across the board.

Heather Wright-Renick 

bethkoksal@centura.org 

Occupation:  Clinical Grant Coordinator 

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me: Access to high quality, affordable and timely health care in southwest Kansas continues to be a challenge that needs addressed in order to strengthen our communities.  This includes access to mental health and substance abuse care and resources.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Access to health care is critical for all demographics in Finney County.  We have so many opportunities for health care, education and services that people either don’t know they have the opportunity to access or don’t know how to access.  Easier access to services will make impacts on health issues across the board.

Bonnie Bribiesca

BonnieBribiesca@Centura.Org

Occupation:  Bookkeeper

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me: LiveWell Finney County is important because it provides information and is a great resource to our community regarding many different health issues.  With all the misinformation out there, it is nice to know there is a place to turn to get answers to questions that affect the health and well-being of the Finney County community.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed? I believe our communities’ next big health challenge is maintaining quality healthcare services and attracting quality providers to our rural community.  It is important to be able to offer the same services as found in larger communities.  Quality healthcare leads to a healthier and happier Finney County!

LiveWell Finney County Health Coalition Board of Directors

Cassy Horton

Occupation: Nurse Practioner at Plaza Medical, Centura Health

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me: As a resident and a medical provider of this community I am invested in having the best community possible. I also want to see Finney County as current and safe for my growing family. As a medical provider it is important for me to be involved and aware of what resources are available for not only my patients but the community as well.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed? Access to care. We live in a very diverse and growing community. With this growth comes many community members that do not have health care coverage or a medical provider from whom to seek care from. We are not getting the resources to those who need them most. Many community members are unsure of what, who or where to go to ask for health care assistance.

Larry Jenkins

Occupation:  Nursing Faculty at Garden City Community College & PRN RN CNL at St. Catherine Hospital

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell Finney County is an important asset to the citizens in Finney County.  Working towards improving the health of our community is important to me.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  We need to work on a paradigm shift in the community from a reliance on treating acute/chronic illness to an attitude of embracing wellness and prevention.

Pat Sanders

Occupation:  Community Liaison with Tyson Foods

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell Finney County allows me to have a more active role in meeting the needs of our community, especially those who are new.  Meeting the health needs of our community doesn’t just happen- we need to be active in making sure those need help are getting it.  How we meet the needs of our newest Finney County Community members will define how we are perceived by the rest of the state and country.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Getting information out to those who need it is a challenge, especially when dealing with a variety of languages and cultures.  We need to provide training in a variety of languages so people have access to information in their own native languages and cultures.

Courtney Prewitt

Occupation:  City of Garden City

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell is important because it is a representation of all the things that are good about a community that has made every effort to embrace its diversity and face the challenges presented by being in rural western Kansas.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Finney County is starting to see an uptick in opioid abuse.  While there is not a “wait and see” response going on, it is going to a coordinated effort that includes the criminal justice system, healthcare professionals and key stakeholders within the community to properly address the issue.

Bertha Mendoza

Occupation:  Kansas State University Research and Extension

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell supports the mission of extension and invites all the local non-profit organizations to work together to provide more effective services to the community.  Through partnerships and collaboration we maximize the resources and secure funding to improve the quality of life of ALL Finney County residents.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Access to healthcare and quality care is an ongoing challenge for a large percentage of the county’s population.  The cost of health insurance continues to be an issue for some residents, as well as the barriers for accessing health insurance for others.  We need to continue working toward access to preventative services for all community members to reduce the number of people acquiring chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, arthritis and other cholic conditions.

Lona DuVall

Occupation:  President/CEO Finney County Economic Development Corporation

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  Quality of life, wellness and health advocacy are extremely important to a growing community.  I am passionate about connecting our residents of today and tomorrow with the resources they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  I believe access to quality childcare that enhances early learning and exposes our children to healthy choices is a large concern in our community right now.

Deanna Berry

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  To make innovative and meaningful change in the community it is necessary to work collaboratively with trusted partners who share the same goals.  LiveWell facilitates these types of relationships among agencies, businesses and citizens.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  Timely and affordable access to qualified physical and mental health providers continues to be a challenge.  Effective, accessible and affordable substance abuse treatment is significantly lacking.

Scott Kedrowski

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  LiveWell Finney County is important to me because I believe that every community member in Southwest Kansas deserves equitable health services.  I am passionate about bringing trusted community partners to the table to work collaboratively for better health and wellness outcomes for our community.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  We are living through our next big health challenge right now.  The coronavirus pandemic has dominated our thoughts and actions.  As a result, other wellness priorities have fallen to the wayside.  We need to refocus prevention efforts on opioid and tobacco use and suicide prevention while fostering wellness as a lifestyle in our community. Now more than ever, LiveWell needs to work with community members and encourage active and healthy lifestyles.

Birgit Lemke- LiveWell Finney County Staff

Birgit Lemke

Occupation:  Employment Specialist, Catholic Charites of Southwest Kansas

Why Live Well Finney County is important to me:  Serving on the LiveWell Board has allowed me to improve the health, well-being, and safety of the members of our community as well as share my passion for serving the underserved.

Looking down the road, what is the communities’ next big health challenge that needs to be addressed?  It is hard to imagine what the aftermath of COVID-19 will look like while still very much in the middle of the pandemic, however; we have seen a glimpse in patients who continue to have symptoms months after the virus, broken families, who have lost loved ones, and the fear and mistrust that continues to exist.  The medical community and organizations like LiveWell will need to focus on increasing mental health resources and access.

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