March 4, 2019 to March 10, 2019
Below is a quick recap as your 4th District County Commissioner:

  1. International Women's Day
  2. GraceMed Clinic
  3. Suicide Prevention and Awareness
  4. Staying Focused
  5. St. Patty's Day

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Top Story - International Women's Day
Many of you may look at this photo and think of a certain phrase. Any clue what phrase? You know the one.... something about a knight ... shining and what not. Got it in your mind?

When I came across this knight about 2 years ago at a random estate sale, I didn't care one bit the arm was broken. I wanted it and gladly paid the $20.

I named her after the Countess of Tuscany. Matilda of Canossa represents something much more than protection. And this knight is way more than just shining in armor. She represents a major force that stood for over 30 years because of her energy and fortitude to stand by her convictions. She represents strength, nerve and above all COURAGE.

Life takes courage. Can I get an AMEN?

Sometimes it's just a matter of saying NO to fear and YES to fortitude.

One of the writers from Matilda's time said this about her, "Brave and ever watchful, she often tormented the perverse. Mightily she undertook terribly violent battles with the king. Fighting day and night to quell the tempests of the kingdom."
Can you imagine taking on a Kingdom?

On this International Women's Day, I want to make sure to celebrate all those women who have come before us and who will live on after we are gone. This life is about learning from the past and preparing the future.

So on this day... the challenge is this:

1. Who are you learning from? 
2. Who are you teaching?

You can not have SUCCESS without SUCCESSION.

#internationalwomensday #mentorship #inspireothers
County Highlight - GraceMed Clinic
Imagine being an expectant mother about to give birth. That, in itself, is terrifying. Or at least I was… twice. Now imagine being an expectant mother and because of language and economic barriers you received no pre-natal care and now it’s time to deliver a baby … out of your body.
In 1977 that was precisely the situation. This public health crisis loomed as growing numbers of Hispanic women began showing up in area emergency rooms to deliver their babies.
As described on the GraceMed website, “Two women in the community, Tomasa Gonzalez and Rachel Rubalcava, identified the need for medical services to these women and approached the Reverend Chuck Chipman of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Reverend Chipman made space available in his church to open what was originally known as the “Mi Casa Su Casa Clinica” in the summer of that year.”
What eventually turned into GraceMed, this growing ministry reached almost 50,000 unduplicated patients in 2018 alone. This clinic is open to any an all people regardless of income level and provide a variety of services from primary and preventative medical, pediatric, geriatric, optometry, dental and so much more. One of the best parts about this clinic, in my opinion, was the fact that they have a pharmacy on site.
The idea that a family could get most if not all medical care in one place is pretty great! To learn more about GraceMed go here - https://gracemed.org/.
Community Spotlight - The World is a Better Place with You in it
Together we can change the conversation about mental health, addiction and suicide. As commissioner, I meet with a lot of people on a weekly basis. But two meetings last week really touched my heart. 
As many of you may or may not know, my Grandfather died by suicide in the cemetery where he is buried today. Ten years after my Grandfather, my Uncle committed suicide at the age of 17. Needless to say, this has had a profound effect on my family. My father, just about 7 years or so ago, was finally able to open up and talk about this to me. When your dad and your brother both leave way before their time, in such an unexpected way, it's a tough thing to open up about. The scars are deep. But talking about this has helped me understand my Father a little bit better.
I talk about my story because I know I am not alone. I know there are others who have similar stories and, for some, talking about it is what they want to do but just don’t know how to start the conversation. Since telling my story, I’ve had a handful of people who have opened up to me about their struggles and their personal experience with suicide.

It's so important to do that. Open up. In one way shape or form. 
The truth is there are 123 suicides per day in the United States. More than three times as many people die by suicide in Kansas annually than by homicide. On average, one person dies by suicide every 17 hours in Kansas and for every one suicide, there are an average of 25 suicide attempts.
Each year suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, and yet suicide prevention doesn’t get anywhere near the funding giving to other leading causes of death. That’s why I wanted to write about the “Out of the Darkness” community walk that will be happening September 21. Yes, it’s a wee bit out from today but it’s never too early to start this conversation. Over the course of the next few months I'll be volunteering to organize this effort with the folks here locally.     
There is so much help out there for those who need it. There is a chat feature for those who may want to connect with someone via chat and also a 24 hour line for voice to voice calls: 1-800-273-8255. The text and voice Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
Locally, COMCARE has a Community Crisis Center that is a 24 hour resource for people in a mental health crisis or for suicide prevention. They can be reached at (316) 660-7500 or at 635 N. Main.

For those who want more information on how to help or participate in the Walk to Fight Suicide register at AFSP.org/Wichita.          
Mom Moment - Staying Focused
My daughters could not be any more opposite from each other. One is quiet and reserved. The other is a 'front-and-center-attention-grabber'. But one thing they both have in common is how kind and loving they are to each other. Which I love.

The one thing they both could work on, though, is their lack of focus. I’m not sure where they get it... Well, ok, maybe they get it from me. You know the old saying, "the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree". 

Or perhaps they are just kids. 

Whatever the case, we are all working on staying focused. 

A discussion we had this week was about how easy it is to get distracted. Ever been distracted? Never? Right? 

Distractions come in two forms: things you can control and things you can't control. 

When it comes to things you can't control (interruptions, loud classmates, drama) the secret sauce is how you respond to them. You can either allow them to consume your time or you can ignore them and move on. 

When it comes to things you can control (social media, watching cartoons, messages, emails) the key is to deal with things ahead of time. 

Last week at my gig at the Artichoke, Tania Cole requested Rod Stewart. "Young Turks" was the first song that came to mind. A thought-provoking lyric from this song goes like this: 

"Life is so brief and time is a thief when you're undecided. 
Like a fist full of sand it will slip right through your hands."

Time is the only thing we can't buy and we can't get back. Staying focused on goals, tasks and responsibilities helps us manage our time. So the time we do have is spent wisely. 

I encourage you to do a self-check of how you're spending your time this week. Are you using it as wisely as you should? Could you improve? I know I can!
The Week Ahead - St. Patty's Day
This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you'll join us to celebrate. Commissioners, Sedgwick County EMS, and Sedgwick County Fire District 1 will participate in the Annual Delano St. Patrick’s Day Parade at noon on Saturday.  
"Inspire others to Inspire others!"
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203