The H.O.P.E. Project

The H.O.P.E. project - Health Opportunities through People Empowerment - aims to advance health equity in Riley County through policy, systems, and environmental change. We do this by providing data, tools, and support to convene and empower residents to organize and make meaningful change.

Several groups in our community experience health disparities based on:

  • Geographic location (eg neighborhood)
  • Race (eg black vs white residents)
  • Income
  • Gender

Our focus: We currently work directly with residents in the Northview neighborhood on the northeast side of the community to address disparities in life expectancy and underlying causes.

HOPE Project Team Members:

  • Frank Bailey - Intern, American Ethnic Studies, Kansas State University
  • Chad Bunger - Assistant Director, Community Development, City of Manhattan
  • Jacob Galyon - Senior GIS Analyst, Riley County
  • Julie Gibbs - Director, Riley County Health Department
  • Brandon Irwin - Community Liaison, Flint Hills Wellness Coalition
  • Jonalu Johnstone - Chair, Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice
  • Saya Kakim - PhD Student, Leadership Communication, Kansas State University
  • Ed Kalas - Health Educator, Riley County Health Department
  • Jessica Kerr - Community Organizing and Education Chair, Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice
  • Laura Wallace - GIS specialist, Endeavor Mapping Company LLC
  • Kerry Priest - Associate Professor,, Staley School of Leadership Studies, Kansas State University
  • Melanie McCarty - Intern, Masters of Public Health, Kansas State University
  • Ellyn Mulcahy - Associate Professor, Director of Masters of Public Health program, Kansas State University
  • Susan Rensing - Visiting Assistant Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department, Kansas State University

To learn more, contact Brandon Irwin -

This project is funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation