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


A Community Health Improvement Plan. A CHIP is a long-term, systematic effort to address issues identified by the assessment and community health improvement process. It can be used by partners to prioritize activities and set priorities.

Riley County's Community Health Improvement Planning was an iterative process involving over 200 stakeholders in reviewing data, discussing needs, and identifying priorities. The process included meetings with key stakeholders and organizational partners, community listening sessions, and planning team work sessions.

Read the full CHIP here:
Based on the series of community and stakeholder meetings, thirteen priorities were Identified. Of those, three were selected as having the most potential for collective impact in improving the health of Riley County:
  1. Communication and Coordination of Systems and Services
  2. Transportation
  3. Mental Health
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Riley County Police Department, in conjunction with Pawnee Mental Health Services created two mental health co-responder positions. The co-responders works for Pawnee, but are assigned full-time with RCPD to provide help with crises services. For more information visit:
Mental Health First Aid is an eight hour certification course that trains participants to help people who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis. Pawnee Mental Health offers Mental Health First Aid training. To register or for more information about Mental Health First Aid contact their office at (785) 587-4300.
Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) are small inpatient facilities for people in a mental health crisis whose needs cannot be met safely in residential service settings. CSUs may be designed to admit on a voluntary or involuntary basis when the person needs a safe, secure environment that is less restrictive than a hospital. CSUs try to stabilize the person and get him or her back into the community quickly.
Simply put, multiple forms of transportation. This includes biking, walking, buses, and cars. Multimodal is important to create a transportation network that works for all users, providing economic viability and healthy life styles for all.
A Safe Streets plan is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient, and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities, regardless of their mode of transportation.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a set of programs and policies that aims to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The goal is to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools, increase kids' safety and reverse the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.

Locally, SRTS has seen recent support. In 2015 the City of Manhattan & USD 383 adopted the SRTS Ph 1 Report, that outlined the current assets and issues, and created a list of projects to fill gaps in the 5E's (Education, Evaluation, Enforcement, Engineering, & Encouragement). The City of Manhattan has since been awarded Transportation Alternative grants for Ph 2 construction projects in 2016 & 2017. In addition, 5% of a recent 0.25% Road Maintenance sales tax has been directed towards the SRTS program. To find out more about the SRTS program, please visit this link. (

While all of this work has been extremely valuable, the focus has been on Engineering & construction. Therefore, in 2017 USD 383 applied for and was awarded a KDOT Transportation Alternatives grant focused on Education, known as the Bicycle Safety & Awareness Program (BSAP).
The Bicycle and Safety Awareness Program (BSAP) will promote bike safety in USD 383 schools. Key points of the BSAP include:

All 5th & 6th graders in USD 383 (~1,000 annually) will complete the BSAP as part of the Physical Education curriculum, where they will learn the following:
  1. How to ride a bike/How to ride a bike competently & confidently
  2. Introduction to Traffic rules "Rules of the road" and intersection navigation
  3. Basic maintenance and repairs
Through this curriculum, the long-range goals are:
  • Transform students into active, knowledgeable members of the transportation system;
  • Increase parental confidence and support for walking and biking to school;
  • Decrease the number of bicycle and pedestrian collisions involving children; and
  • Create a successful program template that can be replicated throughout the region.
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