Wichita Journalism Collaborative

The Wichita Journalism Collaborative is an alliance of seven media organizations and three community groups, formed to support and enhance quality local journalism during the global pandemic and beyond.

In addition to KMUW, media partners include The Active Age, The Community Voice, The Journal (Kansas Leadership Center), KSN-TV, The Sunflower and The Wichita Eagle. Community partners committed to participating in the initiative include AB&C Bilingual Resources, The Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University and Wichita Public Library.

The initiative launches with support from the Wichita Community Foundation and the Solutions Journalism Network.

Ways to Connect

Madeline Deabler / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

After a year of navigating the disruptions fostered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring of 2021 promises to be the start of a cautious reopening.

But mental health experts say the wounds of the past year could remain with us for quite some time.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

With COVID-19 vaccines available to all Kansans age 16 or older, public health officials are battling a different pandemic problem: vaccine hesitancy.

Experts say the COVID-19 shots are as safe as any other routine vaccine, and they are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from the disease. They offer an end to the year-long pandemic, but only if enough people are inoculated to reach herd immunity.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW/File photo

For many middle- and high-school students in Wichita, Monday was the first day back on campus since the pandemic shutdown last year — and another step toward normal.

Some families that had opted for online learning last semester decided to send kids back into classrooms, now that COVID-19 numbers are down and vaccines more available. That meant more crowded hallways — and a distinct first-day-of-school feeling, especially at high schools.

COVID-19 Claims The Lives Of At Least Three Long-Term Caregivers In Kansas

Mar 24, 2021
The Active Age

Lisa Bramblett had underlying health issues and realized she could die if she caught the novel coronavirus.

The licensed practical nurse, who was the charge nurse overnight at Pittsburg Care and Rehabilitation Center continued to work as the pandemic rolled through 2020.

"The nursing home was testing everybody twice a week, and she tested positive on the 7th [of December]," her husband, Ron Bramblett, said.

By Dec. 11, she was in the emergency room. The following day, she was put on a ventilator at a Pittsburg hospital. Three days after Christmas, she died.

Area Senior Centers, Meal Sites Reopening

Mar 24, 2021
Susan NYC / flickr, Creative Commons

The Downtown Senior Center and three others in Wichita will reopen on a limited basis April 1, more than a year after closing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Numerous congregate meal sites that provide lunch to seniors have also reopened for in-person dining or announced plans to do so.

“Everybody is kind of ready to start dipping their toes in the water and getting back out there,” said Annette Graham, executive director of Central Plans Area Agency on Aging, which works with seniors in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

It’s not a good time to be 93 years old, says DeAnn Triboulet, director of the Augusta Senior Center.

Triboulet recently talked by phone with a friend that age who has family and lots of other friends but whose social interactions have been limited for health reasons during the pandemic. Many older adults enjoy even less social connections than her friend, Triboulet said, making it imperative that people reach out to them.

WSU Professor Champions Legislation Ensuring Kansas Hospitals Have Qualified Interpreters

Feb 22, 2021
Khanh Nguyen / The Sunflower

When Veronica Mireles’ son complained he was in severe abdominal pain, she rushed him to a Wichita emergency room. No interpreter was provided for the Spanish-speaking family, and the teenager was told he may have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. His doctor sent him home.

Latest Round Of PPP Could Better Benefit Black-Owned Businesses

Feb 19, 2021

The good news about the new $5 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds approved by Congress in December is that Congress made some favorable revisions just to help small businesses and businesses owned by people of color.

Condado De Sedgwick: Los Inmigrantes Indocumentados Deben Vacunarse

Feb 15, 2021
Hugo Phan / KMUW

Funcionarios del Condado de Sedgwick están aconsejando a los inmigrantes indocumentados que pueden recibir la vacuna COVID-19 sin exponerse a sí mismos o a sus familias a la vulnerabilidad legal de la aplicación de la ley de inmigración o de persecución civil o penal.

Sedgwick County: Undocumented Immigrants Should Get Vaccinated; Won't Face Legal Consequences

Feb 15, 2021
Matt Stamey/Wichita Journalism Collaborative

Sedgwick County officials are advising undocumented immigrants that they can receive the COVID-19 vaccine without exposing themselves or their families to legal vulnerability from immigration enforcement or from civil or criminal prosecution.