Every day, Kansas workers put compassion into action by empowering people to live meaningful and productive lives, providing life-saving medical transport and coordinating disaster relief efforts.
Arrowhead West, LifeTeam and the Kansas Livestock Association are all Kansas-based businesses featured in our latest commercial that exemplify what it means to serve with compassion.
Empowering with skills and confidence
Since 1976, Arrowhead West Inc. (AWI) has been helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by empowering them to live meaningful and productive lives. AWI serves more than 1,000 people in Kansas each year across 45 residential sites, day programs, case management and home-based child services. They provide services in a 14-county coverage area that includes Dodge City, Wichita, Pratt and Medicine Lodge.
AWI employs approximately 220 individuals. The dedicated staff provides outstanding services that lead to making informed choices about independence, community participation, employment and healthy lifestyles.
To the staff of AWI, compassion means providing programs and experiences focusing on increasing independence of those they serve. This enables their clients to live the highest quality of life possible. With a focus on community inclusion, socialization and teaching functional life skills, AWI offers opportunities that build skills and confidence.
Volunteerism enables individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to develop a variety of skills and make meaningful contributions to the community. Numerous volunteering opportunities help AWI clients learn fundamental socialization and employment readiness skills. In 2016, AWI Adult Life Skills and Retirement Programs volunteered 25,019 hours in their community. At the end of the day, the staff and clients take pride in knowing that they have helped others and are compassionate about making their community a better place.
“Our employees carry out, with dedication and compassion, our mission of empowering the individuals we support to increase their independence, gain employment, live a healthy lifestyle, and actively participate in their communities. They work tirelessly to help each individual achieve their dreams and live the best life possible,” Andrea Polf, vice president of client services said.
Care in the air
LifeTeam was founded in 2001 by Dr. Martin Sellberg and Dr. Richard Watson. Both doctors are also pilots and saw the need for a high-quality transport service focused on augmenting health care for rural communities in Kansas. Starting with eight employees and two aircraft, LifeTeam has since grown systematically to more than 250 employees across 18 base locations throughout Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Nevada and Hawaii.
LifeTeam recognizes that their services can often come on the worst day of someone’s life, which is why behind every transport is a team of experts focused on caring for the patient.
“From first call to patient delivery and beyond, LifeTeam ensures the patient is cared for by their expert team of communicators, nurses, paramedics, pilots, physicians and maintenance technicians who all work together to provide safe transport to the care they need, ” Missi Knott, LifeTeam chief operating officer said.
That compassion also extends to their network of hospitals and providers.
“LifeTeam developed the LifeTeam Care Network, which is designed as a collaborative community patient care system that enhances clinical and safety education. Additionally, LifeTeam works directly with EMS agencies to better serve local communities in the best way possible,” Knott said.
Martin Sellberg M.D., FACEP, serves as medical director and CEO describes why he founded the company and what drives him.
“I’m a rural Kansan, blessed to have been raised as a fourth generation farmer, where my 91-year-old father still raises corn and soybeans. With the systems and services in place by LifeTeam, he and other Kansans like him have more rapid access to specialty care when needed. It is a privilege to be called to service when assistance is needed. It’s what every part of our company, and every member of the organization, have joined us to do – be ready to serve when that call comes,” he said.
Representation from the heartland
The Kansas Livestock Association was formed in 1894 when a group of more than 100 Flint Hills ranchers met in Emporia to discuss cattle theft problems and unreasonable railroad freight rates for shipping cattle.
KLA has evolved into a trade association representing 5,000 ranchers, cattle backgrounders, feeders, dairymen and landowners on issues affecting their businesses at the state and federal levels. The organization represents members’ business interests on legislative and regulatory matters at the state Capitol and in Washington, D.C.
When wildfires devastated parts of southwest Kansas, KLA helped coordinate relief efforts. By collecting and distributing donations of money, feed and fencing materials, KLA helped Kansas ranchers repair and restore their way of life. According to Todd Domer, KLA’s vice president of communications, helping out fellow Kansans is just a systematic function of KLA.
“This member-first mentality is what has kept KLA relevant for more than 120 years. Compassion is demonstrated every day in an industry focused on people caring for animals and the land that sustains them,” he said.