Alive & Thrive Wyandotte County is a network of organizations and individuals that stimulates and supports grassroots-driven actions to help communities prevent and heal from trauma. This network reflects the racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and professional diversity of Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Launched in 2017 by the Unified Government Public Health Department, Alive & Thrive is now overseen by Wyandot Behavioral Health Network and a Steering Committee.

We are committed to building a Wyandotte County where every resident is safe, healthy, and resilient. Our work will not be complete until that vision is realized.


Alive & Thrive is guided by the principle, supported by a number of studies, that show trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are significant precursors to poor health. That same research shows that preventing trauma can improve health outcomes.

Trauma has an acute effect on Wyandotte County’s health. According to the 2014 Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 64% of Wyandotte County adults have experienced at least one ACE in their lifetimes, compared to 55% for Kansas adults.


Alive & Thrive exists as a vehicle for Wyandotte County residents and grassroots organizations to express their perspectives about how to respond to and heal from trauma in their communities. Its work focuses on three primary tasks:

• Raising Awareness about the impact trauma and ACEs have on individual and community health
• Engaging community members, neighborhoods, and organizations in a conversation about the role they can play in healing from and preventing trauma
• Aligning and Supporting actions that arise from these conversations to prevent trauma and promote resilience and community healing

The percentage of Wyandotte County adults who grew up with substance abuse in their households (30%), experienced violence between adults (21%), or were victims of physical abuse (15%), are all greater than the rest of Kansas. A disproportionate number of our residents are therefore at risk of depression, substance abuse, debilitating arthritis, and other chronic diseases. Alive & Thrive embraces the BRFSS study’s conclusion as a call to action: Preventing trauma and ACEs is a necessary feature of improving the long-term health of all Wyandotte County residents.


Alive & Thrive Wyandotte County was launched in 2017 as an initiative embedded in Healthy Communities Wyandotte (HCW), a program dedicated to improving the county’s poor health outcomes.

HCW recognized that trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences have contributed to these poor health outcomes and that a long-term strategy aimed at preventing and healing from trauma would create a healthier community. In December 2018, Wyandot Behavioral Health Network announced that it

had accepted HCW’s offer to oversee the Alive & Thrive program. In less than six months, Wyandot BHN established a Steering Committee to guide Alive & Thrive’s work and received a $250,000 grant from the Wyandotte Health Foundation, as well as a $30,000 grant from REACH Healthcare Foundation. Those funds allowed Wyandot to hire a full-time director of Alive & Thrive and to begin implementing a plan for building a safe, healthy, and resilient Wyandotte County.