By Mike Courson - Great Bend Post.
At Wednesday's Barton County Commission meeting, the body approved a 12-month contract for use of a county building. Central Kansas Partnership, Inc.'s Rise Up HEART will pay the county $400 per month for rent of an office in the building at 1213 Baker in Great Bend.
HEART stands for Health Equity Action Recovery Team. Rise Up Coordinator Amy Ferguson told the commission the new program's goal is to continue connecting people to resources as a mobile meeting. One emphasis is COVID vaccination and vaccination information. The group will partner with the Barton County Health Department quarterly to offer COVID and flu vaccinations, as well as STD testing at some of its recovery sites around the county. The new program also promotes a healthier lifestyle by removing the barrier of transportation to things like appointments and meetings.
"It's also that next level of recovery," Ferguson said. "It's more than just providing information. We are able to remove the barrier of transportation. It's just hard to keep moving forward when you're always trying to find a way to get there."
This year, the program has given 38 rides to 12-step meetings, connected five people to intermediate treatment, and six for COVID vaccinations.
"It's more than just rides," said Ferguson. "In the vehicle, we are also having meetings. Maybe I can provide a supportive peer, we can be talking about mental health, we can be talking about our recovery, we're talking about health and wellness in general. The time is well-used while we are in the vehicle."
Anyone interested in getting involved with Rise Up HEART can email Ferguson at email@example.com.