$18M federal stimulus being decided by Sedgwick County

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County is working to get up to $18 million out the door in the latest round of stimulus.

Kiel Mangus is the Derby deputy city manager, and he sits on the review committee for the county to approve stimulus applications.

“We have $18 million for the public health, non-profit portion out of that $99 million. And we have more requests than we have dollars,” said Mangus. “And how we review the applications themselves, that’s the thing that’s really taking a long time. Now, that we’ve gotten down to that it will really be going through. I think there really is going to be a large focus on let’s get the money out for PPE and disinfecting right away.”

Mangus is one of several on the review committee doing its work this week. There are members from other cities in Sedgwick County and members of the community to name a few. The PPE items will be the first to be allocated.

“I think those will be things that will be easy to approve,” said Mangus. “And then, it will be more about programs and how those are related to COVID-19 and those will take a little bit more review.”

Some of the applications the Sedgwick County stimulus review team looked at on Monday included money for things like PPE. But the committee also started looking at some of those other programs that could be implemented with the money.

GraceMed is one Wichita non-profit that has already been using other stimulus money for COVID-19 testing.

“So far, it has been huge for us throughout the pandemic,” said Julie Elder, chief medical officer at Gracemed.

Gracemed has already tested around 4,000 people for COVID-19 using some federal money.

“It’s also helped us develop telemedicine. So, taking care of patients who are scared to come into the clinic or prefer to stay home,” said Elder.

Elder says their finance team has been working hard at identifying dollars like those Sedgwick County is reviewing now in the application process.

She says money is out there to help, but it takes effort and study to identify areas, and then apply.
Still, Elder says every bit helps in an unprecedented time in medicine for this generation.

“Crazy to say the least. I’ve never seen anything like it in medicine in my career,” said Elder. “We have had to just hit the ground running and stay up on every little article from CDC to KDHE. Paperwork has been a big part of staying on top of funding.”

The county stimulus review team will continue its work this week, and will soon be notifying those that are getting the money.

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