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SCKMC Plans Outreach Day for Sales Tax

April 20, 2016

Staff and volunteers from South Central Kansas Medical Center will be going door-to-door this Saturday delivering information about the hospital’s one percent sales tax initiative. Registered voters who live within the Arkansas City city limits will receive a mail-in ballot for the tax around May 4th.

Staff and volunteers from South Central Kansas Medical Center will be going door-to-door this Saturday delivering information about the hospital’s one percent sales tax initiative. Registered voters who live within the Arkansas City city limits will receive a mail-in ballot for the tax around May 4th.

     “Our community outreach day really has two objectives,” said Clayton Pappan, SCKMC’s Chief Operations Officer. “Obviously we want to provide some basic information to the voters so they can make an informed decision about the sales tax, but we also want to use this as a positive, team-building experience for our staff.”

     Hospital employees and volunteer supporters plan to distribute yard signs along with flyers that provide answers to what Pappan says are the most common questions concerning the hospital’s current financial situation and the proposed sales tax.

     “Everyone wants to know what is the hospital going to do to fix the finances and how is it going to impact them. The flyer we have put together lays it all out. It addresses everything starting with the broad picture of hospital closures on a National level, going down to SCKMC’s previous losses and improvement plans, and finally how much the sales tax will cost the average family and what will happen should the sales tax fail,” Pappan said.

     One of the main points of the flyer is a calculation breaking down a one percent increase in taxable purchase for the average family to twenty-three cents per day.

     “I don’t think a lot of people within our community understand what is really being asked of them in order to support our local hospital. To me twenty-three cents is cheap insurance to keep healthcare services in town. You just never know, I may get into a car accident on my way home tonight, one of my kids could fall out of tree and break their arm, or my grandpa could have a heart attack. Whatever it is, I want my family taken care of quickly and by people I know and trust,” Pappan said.

     John Jones, SCKMC’s Senior Administrator for Patient Services, is helping to coordinate volunteers for Saturday’s event. He sees the day as an opportunity to strengthen a hospital team which has been shaken by fear of possible staff lay-offs should the sales tax fail.

     “The real purpose is that hands that are participating in the work, the problem solving, the getting us through to the positive, quell fear. It gives you some sense of control. We can participate in getting out of this. It’s empowering,” Jones said.

     Jones hopes that the community not only supports the hospital sales tax, but actively participates in sharing their positive personal experiences with others.

     “To lead by example is a very powerful way to go through life. I see the (yard) signs as you are not just going to go vote yes, but you are willing to let others know where you stand on this issue. I don’t know how much more satisfying things can get than being identified as a participating member for something magnificent for our community. We are doing amazing things here. The level of care has risen, and we are providing very solid care at what we do,” Jones said.

     Volunteers for the hospital’s community outreach day will meet at SCKMC’s Outpatient Services Building, located adjacent to the hospital, at 9:00 a.m. on the 23rd. There they will have a brief meeting to coordinate volunteers before sending teams to the assigned neighborhoods. Anyone interested in volunteering for the hospital’s community outreach day should contact Clayton Pappan at 441-5920.