Monday, October 1, 2012

Moore receives award for support of mental health system in Kansas

News Release:
Kansas State Representative Kathy Wolfe Moore was presented with the “2012 Outstanding Public Official of the Year” award for her support of the public mental health system in Kansas.  The award was presented to Representative Wolfe Moore by the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc., at the 35th annual conference of the Association.   

“Representative Wolfe Moore was instrumental in helping to ensure treatment and care to Kansans with mental illness while containing costs to the State Medicaid budget this year,” remarked Ric Dalke, Executive Director of the Area Mental Health Center in Garden City, Kansas, and President of the Association. Dalke presented the award to Representative Wolfe Moore at the annual Conference of the Association at Overland Park, Kansas on September 20, 2012. “I am proud to present this award to Representative Wolfe Moore, she certainly deserves to be recognized for her leadership in developing sound public policy.”

The Association of Community Mental Health Centers is an affiliate member of the Kansas Association of Counties.  The Association represents the 27 licensed Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) in Kansas who provide home and community-based, as well as outpatient mental health services in all 105 counties in Kansas, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.  In Kansas, CMHCs are the local Mental Health Authorities coordinating the delivery of publicly funded community-based mental health services.  The CMHC system is state and county funded and locally administered.  Consequently, service delivery decisions are made at the community level, closest to the residents that require mental health treatment.   Each CMHC has a defined and discrete geographical service area.  With a collective staff of over 4,500 professionals, the CMHCs provide services to Kansans of all ages with a diverse range of presenting problems.  Together, this system of 27 licensed CMHCs form an integral part of the total mental health system in Kansas, serving more than 120,000 Kansans each year.

“Representative Wolfe Moore has earned this award from the Association, as a strong supporter of mental health treatment and care over the past two years in the statehouse,” said Mike Hammond, Executive Director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc. “She was instrumental in obtaining funding for screens for state psychiatric hospital admissions for those who are in crisis and need hospitalization.  More than half of the individuals who are in crisis and must be screened for hospitalization are uninsured. This funding will help our most vulnerable citizens,” said Hammond. 

Representative Wolfe Moore said, “As a member of the Legislature and the Aging and Long Term Care committee, it is one of my duties to ensure that the State of Kansas provides the health care services needed to our most vulnerable citizens-including those with mental illness-in a cost effective manner.  It is a difficult balance to strike, given the state of our economy and the ever increasing needs of Kansans who have disabilities or mental illness.  I understand that without adequate funding, Kansans who need mental health treatment may end up in state psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, county jails or state prisons. ”  

Representative Wolfe Moore is also a member of the board of directors of Wyandot Center for Behavioral Health in Kansas City, Kansas.  She is an advocate at the local level in her district for community mental health services, and has served the board with distinction.

Community Mental Health Centers provide services to all Kansans needing it, regardless of economic level, age or type of illness.  For more information about the Community Mental Health Centers in Kansas, visit our web site at or call (785) 234-4773.