Gove County Healthcare Endowment Foundation (GCHEF) is a separate 501c3 non-profit entity organized in 1989 to be the fundraising organization bringing in new healthcare related services and projects relevant to improving healthcare services for Gove County residents as well as the surrounding county residents.
GCHEF has 10-13 appointed Trustees and an Executive Director. Through their direction, projects for improving healthcare services are addressed and prioritized.
GCHEF has been very instrumental in bringing in approximately $1.9 million in new healthcare related services to Gove County Medical Center and the LTC through the Kansas Community Service 70% Tax Credit Grant Program.
The Foundation does not receive any funding from taxes, and solicits donations, contributions, and grants through its fund-raising program.
The Foundation has a Financial Aid Program which assists medical students with part of their education. In exchange, if they are hired in their medical professional of services returning to the community practicing in that needed field, loan forgiveness is allowed with certain criteria required. The Financial Aid Program is subject to funding available.
The most recent project for GCHEF is pursuing development of a new airport addressing air ambulance for Quinter, KS. Gove County is 1 out of 5 KS counties without an airport runway to serve air-ambulance medical healthcare needs.
An airport runway for air-ambulance services was extensively discussed and recognized as a needed project in 1995 - estimating 1998 could be a completion date (research of the 1995 GCHEF minutes). 20-years later (2015), the runway still remained a need.
Going back a few years, Quinter was very unfortunate to experience 3 tornados within 1 week. Storm trackers were in Quinter filming the tornados which were later televised on TV's National Weather Channel "Storm Stories." Damage was considerable to rural property, and fortunately no lives were lost.
In May 2011, Joplin, MO was not as fortunate and encountered a devastating tornado that took many lives as well as damaged their medical facilities extensively.
For the injured, in either the Quinter, KS storms or the Joplin, MO storm, the availability & impact of an air-ambulance runway for the community would be unsurpassable in its importance when having to be used in a catastrophic disaster, such as a tornado.
Gove County Healthcare Endowment Foundation determined there was definitely a need for air ambulance and developed the interest to pursue the airport project.
Benefits of a new Public Use Airport for Medical Services:
Establishing an airport in Gove County will fill a gap in the Kansas system of airports by providing access to air ambulance services to an area not currently served.
Hold costs down for insurance companies caused by excessive handling of critical care patients to the nearest airport runway.
Provide Visiting Physician's Support Program - doctors flying in to offer specialized services.
Strengthen the economic infrastructure and employment of medical services provided.
Capable of having volunteer pilots transporting non-critical patients for specialized healthcare needs.
Increase economic development & growth in a rural community.
Saving lives with air ambulance's quicker means of transportation for emergency medical patients
Land has been purchased for the airport and the feasibility studies as well as the development plan have been completed. The next stage of this project, which will include the grading and construction of the concrete runway, is pending awaiting KDOT Aviation's notification on the recent Grant application for $2.2 Million.
GCHEF contact person:
If anyone has any interest or questions about GCHEF, please feel free to contact: Carol Kinderknecht, Executive Director 785-754-3740