Project Wichita Updates

New study sheds light on affects of mental health in Sedgwick County

August 31, 2019

A recent study conducted by the Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center explores high utilizers of behavioral health services in Sedgwick County. Funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, the study reviews data from three providers of mental health services including Ascension Via Christi, COMCARE of Sedgwick County, and the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas.

In the Project Wichita survey, increased access to quality and affordable mental health care was ranked sixth by the Wichita region. As a result, the Project Wichita Strong Communities and Neighborhoods Action Plan identifies health and safety as a top priority.


July 1, 2019

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition hosted a summit in late June to update providers, community members and elected leaders on the purpose of the Coalition and upcoming research, engagement and planning activities. The Coalition will focus on an integrated system of care for people with substance abuse or mental health disorders in crisis.

In the Project Wichita survey, increased access to quality and affordable mental health care was ranked sixth by the Wichita region. As a result, the Project Wichita Strong Communities and Neighborhoods Action Plan identifies health and safety as a top priority.

Bothner and Bradley, Inc. is leading the strategic plan development for the Coalition. The Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center will be conducting focus groups with providers, community organizations and law enforcement. The Center will also be conducting a gap analysis in services, funding and community models.

Project Wichita announces Anchor Institution Task Force

May 1, 2019

To strengthen our regional and urban communities and neighborhoods, the Vision Team found that developing anchor institutions to connect residents to resources, services, and opportunities was a critical strategy. 

The Community Report defines anchor institutions as "an existing location where neighbors may already interact that can grow to serve as a strong community nucleus that connects residents and resources to each other." This new task force, led by Ronn McMahon, will help the Project Wichita team define the essential elements of regional anchor institutions, as well as the opportunities and potential risks that lie ahead. 

  • Ronn McMahon - Greater Wichita YMCA

  • Chan Brown - Kansas Health Foundation

  • Pastor Todd Carter - Pathway Church

  • Commissioner Lacey Cruse - Sedgwick County

  • Pastor Roosevelt DeShazer - Progressive Missionary Baptist Church; Greater Wichita Ministerial League

  • Steve Dixon - PB Hoidale; United Way of the Plains Board Member

  • Mayor Vince Haines - City of El Dorado

  • Pat Hanrahan - United Way of the Plains

  • Councilmember Brandon Johnson - City of Wichita

  • Wendy Johnson - USD 259

  • Tim Kaufman - Sedgwick County

  • Bob Layton - City of Wichita

  • Deputy Chief Troy Livingston - Wichita Police Department

  • Gary Plummer - Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

  • Cecilia Thibault - INTRUST Bank; Young Latino Professionals of Wichita

  • Juston White - Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas

  • Amy Williams - Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Substance abuse, mental health, homelessness focus for new coalition

May 1, 2019

A new coalition tasked with seeking community-wide solutions for mental health, substance abuse and homelessness is up and running as an offshoot of the Wichita Crime Commission. The group is led by Wendy Hummell, Substance Abuse Coordinator for the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, and Jennifer Wilson, Behavioral Health Community Collaborator with the County.

The Coalition is undergoing a strategic planning process that will include researching best practices in other communities and engaging stakeholders from around the Wichita community over the next few months. Board members are:

  • Sheriff Jeff Easter

  • Chief Gordon Ramsay

  • Harold Casey - SACK

  • Robyn Chadwick - Ascension Via Christi 

  • Joan Tammany - COMCARE

  • Todd Johnson - Wichita Crime Commission

  • Teri Moses - USD 259

  • Deann Smith - United Methodist Open Door

  • Gary Schmitt - Intrust Bank

  • Marc Bennett - District Attorney

  • Rich Kerschen - The Law Company

BEA forms task force to align with Project Wichita Action Plans

May 1, 2019

In response to Project Wichita's Lifelong Learning initiatives, the Business Education Alliance (BEA) is forming a task force to further define a deliberate strategy to strengthen the nexus between the education and business sectors in order to meet workforce needs, strengthen our education communities, and maximize our regional economic capacity.

Led by BEA Co-chairs Stephanie Harder of Textron Aviation and Dr. Noreen Carrocci of Newman University, together with Misty Bruckner of WSU's Public Policy and Management Center, this task force will build an innovative model for increased regional partnership toward educating tomorrow's workforce and harnessing the talent capacity of our region.


News Media

9/18/19 - Next step in riverfront planning schedule: ‘Urban Explorations’ (KMUW)

8/27/19 - Riverfront coalition plans to add another public event, more opportunities for Q&A (Wichita Business Journal)

7/31/19 - Hundreds pack first public meeting for Riverfront Legacy Master Plan (KSN)

7/30/19 - Integrated Care Team launches with focus on mental healthcare (Wichita Eagle)

7/15/19 - Riverfront Legacy Master Plan leaders set open house date (Wichita Business Journal)

7/2/19 - Century II or something new? Group seeks answers to Wichita’s riverfront questions (Wichita Eagle)

6/20/19 - New coalition seeks streamlined approach to Wichita’s mental health, drug abuse issues (Wichita Eagle)

5/26/19 - Mental illness is having a devastating impact on our community (Wichita Eagle)

4/19/19 - Riverfront legacy master plan a ‘once in every 100-year opportunity’ (KSN)

3/27/19 - Project Wichita takes next steps with high-profile advancement team (Wichita Business Journal)

2/27/19 - Project Wichita hopes young leaders will help propel regional growth (Wichita Business Journal)

11/2/18 - Project Wichita hits home stretch (Wichita Business Journal)

10/25/18 - Cargill senior advisor finds opportunity in Wichita (Wichita Business Journal)

10/22/18 - Project Wichita identifies 5 focus areas (Wichita Business Journal)

9/20/18 - Career Women group likes the action talk from Project Wichita (Wichita Business Journal)

9/19/18 - Project Wichita findings: Change is needed (Wichita Business Journal)

8/29/18 - Project Wichita considers community survey’s 10 priorities for region’s future (Wichita Eagle)

8/9/18 - Project Wichita participants say they want change (Wichita Business Journal)

7/18/18 - Project Wichita survey-takers represent many different income brackets (Wichita Business Journal)

7/12/18 - Cover story: Project Wichita's wide net leads to mountain of ideas (Wichita Business Journal)

6/27/18 - Still time to chime in on vision for future (Derby Informer)

6/26/18 - Project Wichita: Wichita’s Future (KAKE News)

6/18/18 - Online survey seeks input for Wichita's future (KAKE News)

6/18/18 - Project Wichita survey includes questions about convention center, airfare affordability (Wichita Business Journal)

6/18/18 - Project Wichita looks for input on city's future (KSN News)

6/15/18 - Want a say in how Wichita looks in 10 years? Here's your change (Wichita Eagle)

6/6/18 - Opportunity to have a say about Wichita's future prompts 'overwhelming' response (Wichita Eagle)

6/6/18 - Project Wichita focus group numbers are in (Wichita Business Journal)

6/1/18 - A slice of the city has shared its dreams. Now it's time for the rest of the pie (Wichita Eagle)

5/24/18 - Newman University joins Project Wichita

5/4/18 - Newstalk: Project Wichita (KWCH News)

4/30/18 - Project Wichita (KSN News)

4/23/18 - Project Wichita (KAKE News)

4/6/18 - BizTalk with Bill Roy Podcast Episode 45: Project Wichita (Wichita Business Journal)

4/5/18 - Want a say on what the Wichita area will look like in 10 years? Here's your chance (Wichita Eagle)

4/5/18 - Project Wichita focus group questions released (Wichita Business Journal)

4/3/18 - Project Wichita a big job for WSU Public Policy Center (Wichita Business Journal)

3/28/18 - Project Wichita public engagement results expected late this year (Wichita Business Journal)

3/19/18 - Nearly 70 groups sign on to help fund Project Wichita (Wichita Business Journal)

3/6/18 - What do you want for Wichita? Project Wichita to establish 10-year action plan for region's future (Wichita Eagle)

2/22/18 - Rosell tapped to lead Project Wichita (Wichita Business Journal)

2/7/18 - What is your vision for Wichita? (KNSS Radio)

2/4/18 - Project Wichita right to look ahead at city's future (Wichita Eagle)

2/1/18 - Project Wichita tasked with defining city's 10-year vision (Wichita Business Journal)

2/1/18 - What's your vision for Wichita 10 years from now? Expect to be asked (Wichita Eagle)

2/1/18 - Project Wichita announced (KWCH News)