Cultivating Community Health
Flint Hills Wellness Coalition
Flint Hills Wellness Coalition
Cultivating Community Health

Advancing Health Equity in Riley County

This is Pablo...

Pablo lives in Manhattan, KS. He lives on one side of town and works on the other. He used to ride his motorbike to and from work for 4 years. Then he was told that he needed a license to operate his motorbike (while motorized skateboards continue to buzz around town). He now rides a regular bike to work.

Pablo also has emphysema. His long ride to work and up the long, steep hill on Manhattan Ave is the worst part of his day. And has been for several years. Not only has this caused him physical health problems, but mental health. He feels stuck.

He tried to get a license to operate his motorbike, but could not figure out how to take the exam in Spanish. He said there was nobody to help him through the process. Thus, he still does not have a license.

Not being able to ride his motorbike to work has been the single most important and devastating quality of life issue in Pablo's life in Manhattan. He is lonely. Sick. And he has thought about taking his own life many times.

One interpretation of Pablo's story is that our community is not designed for people like Pablo. We are not meeting him where he is at (see apple tree figure below). He does not have the same opportunity to live a healthy life as everyone else.


A healthy, equitable, resilient community


To bring together residents of Riley County to take collective action to address a health equity issue through system and policy change.

What is health?

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

What is equity?

Equity = Equal opportunity

What is health equity?

The state of everyone having equal opportunity to achieve optimal health.

What is a health inequity?

When a group of people experiences worse health outcomes or fewer opportunities to achieve optimal health than other groups and when these differences are unjust (e.g., genetics vs. policy)


Black community members experience higher rates of heart-related diseases/hospital admissions than any other racial or ethnic group.
Black community members lose more years of their life due to cancer than white community members.
Working, low-income families and individuals are disproportionately cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing while people making over $50k are relatively unaffected. This reduces disposable income and can limit access to other basic needs such as healthy, nutritious foods, healthcare, and child care. 35% of students in the USD-383 school system receive free or reduced lunch and another 300 children are classified as homeless. \

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Contact Brandon Irwin:
(475) 227-7770 (Call or text)

This project is funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and the Healthy Communities Initiative.
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Copyright © 2019 Flint Hills Wellness Coalition.