August 14, 2012 12:00AM
Executives from the Kansas Health Foundation visited the Pittsburg State University campus on Tuesday to announce a $25,000 grant to help improve health and wellness in southeast Kansas. The grant, given in honor of Dr. Andy Tompkins, a long-time member of the KHF board of directors and the current CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, will support a series of symposiums designed and conducted by the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation.
“Our mission is to improve the health of all Kansans,” said Steve Coen, president & CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “We give away about $21 million a year for various health-related causes across the state of Kansas.”
Coen said the KHF awarded the grant in Tompkins’ name as a way to thank him for his service on the board of directors from 2002 until 2012.
Tompkins said the work that goes on in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation was a good match with the KHF’s mission of improving the health of Kansans.
“They spend a lot of time preparing people for the same mission of helping improve the health of others,” Tompkins said. “The faculty and leadership of this department are known at the state and national levels for their work not only in preparing professionals to improve the health of those they serve through exercise, nutrition, and recreation, but also for their outreach activities in serving the people in this region.”
Dr. John Oppliger, chairman of the department, said the KHF grant will be used to fund symposiums and workshops that will address obesity, geriatric health and wellness, health and mobility issues of wounded warriors, park and community recreation and leisure activities, and Native American health issues.
“Many of our faculty have been involved in activities supported by the Kansas Health Foundation in the past and we are very pleased to have this opportunity to continue,” Opplinger said.
The Kansas Health Foundation was created in 1985 with proceeds of the sale of Wesley Hospital in Wichita. The foundation’s assets have grown from about $200 million initially to about $460 million today, according to Coen.