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Sedgwick Co. Program For Uninsured Residents Faces New Funding Cuts


A Sedgwick County program that coordinates medical and dental care for uninsured people is being forced to retool its budget for the year.

This came after the county commissioners voted on Wednesday to reduce funding. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Project Access receives funding from the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County, the United Way and private donors for its annual operating budget.

On Wednesday, the organization found out that commissioners voted to cut funding for Project Access this year by $34,000.

Program Director Anne Nelson says as a result the prescription medication and medical supply programs they offer to patients will likely be affected.

“We’re talking about people with thyroid conditions, or diabetes, brain tumors, breast cancer, and that’s very concerning to us," she says. "This is going to be cut. It has to because we’re such a small organization. Any cut comes out of direct services to the patient population.”

The county’s contribution will be $175,000, instead of the $209,000 approved in the budget last year.

Nelson says the city has also cut its funding by $75,000 over the past two years.

Here are some facts about the Project Access program in Wichita:

  • The Central Plains Health Care Partnership administers the Project Access program.
  • Project Access began in 1999 and has an $800,000 annual operating budget.
  • Project Access provided $170 million in donated medical care to more than 12,000 people during its 15 years in service.
  • Project Access provided about $9.5 million in donated medicine since 1999.
  • 630 physicians, 12 dentists, and eight hospital systems, including Via Christi Health and Wesley Medical Center, participate in Project Access.
  • About 65,000 people in Sedgwick County do not have insurance.
  • The Kansas Health Foundation has donated $50,000 to Project Access.

For more information, visit the Project Access website