By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach
2022 marked Health Partnership Clinic’s (HPC) 30 years of providing accessible, affordable and quality health care to those less fortunate in the communities we serve. To honor and celebrate our staff, patients, partners, community leaders and supporters, monthly activities were planned.
Activities ranged from distributing specially designed “heart” t-shirts to our staff, volunteers and board, Silly Hat Day, coloring and video contests at Olathe and Shawnee Mission School Districts, Staff Thank You Campaign, Opening Doors Fundraising Luncheon, National Health Center Week, a Time Capsule and a 30-Day Gratitude Campaign. To wrap up the year, staff and board received a 30th celebration ornament and branded apparel and enjoyed a fun holiday party.
My team and I coordinated all the events. To say the least, it was a huge undertaking but well worth the time and effort! Sharing our story and celebrating our past provides a way to connect with our communities and continue to build awareness of who we are and who we serve.
For me, this last year has been a time of reflection of where we have been and how much we have accomplished. As we welcome a new year, I look forward to the good that is yet to be and encourage readers to get to know HPC if you don’t already. We are an extraordinary organization providing extraordinary medical, dental and behavioral health care to those who are low income and seeking a medical home.
Here are my Top 30 Reasons I Love HPC:
- We are dedicated to improving the health of the communities we serve through the provision of high quality, affordable, accessible and culturally appropriate care to all individuals regardless of ability to pay. HPC is committed to serving as a vehicle for collaboration among community partners as a critical aspect of meeting our mission.
- We have nearly 60 employees who give their all for our patients. Working in a federally qualified health center is hard work with daily challenges, including staffing and limited supplies. However, our team is always present and willing to take on the challenge with grace and professionalism. Personally, I am fortunate to work with individuals in my department who are creative and have outstanding communication and follow-up skills.
- We have a small but mighty group of donors who understand the work we do. The area hospitals, businesses and individual donors support our annual appeal and annual luncheon fundraiser. These dollars help offset our growing uninsured population. In addition, we have individuals and groups who help support our patients through in-kind donations such as backpacks, socks, homeless hygiene kits and flu/cold kits. This giving spirit is inspiring!
- We serve more than 10,000 patients from across Johnson, Miami and Franklin Counties. It equates to about 24,000 visits each year. That is a lot of individuals coming through our doors to access medical, dental and behavioral health care. It also includes those we serve in our school-based clinic and outreach efforts.
- The foundations and federal and state agencies that support us with funding are key to our success. We provide more than $3 million in uncompensated care each year. The need is great!
- Community Organizations. Our success rides on our relationships with community organizations that help support our patients. From Catholic Charities to Mission Southside to Salvation Army and El Centro to United Way, together we work to improve the health of our communities.
- Refugee Program. In July, we saw our first refugee, a 19-year-old Ukrainian. We provide refugees with general medical exams and evaluate referral needs beyond our clinic walls.
- We have two outstanding volunteers working in the Marketing and Outreach Department as well as a few who work off-site. We are blessed to have these individuals who do everything from assembling packets and gift bags to attending events to labeling our dental bags and inputting data.
- Hypertension Initiative. We have a new program that educates and reduces the impact of hypertension among our patients. It is another way we are working to reverse adverse health risks.
- School-Based Health Clinic at Shawnee Mission West High School. Providing onsite care is filling a huge gap for those who cannot access health care and ensures students are school ready.
- Portable Dental Outreach. Our Dental Team visited nearly 20 elementary schools in Olathe and Shawnee Mission School Districts providing screenings and fluoride treatments.
- Responding to COVID. We are still responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic with test kits, vaccines and testing.
- Dedicated to Improvement. This year staff are working on a Dramatic Performance Improvement (DPI) initiative…all aimed to improve patient care.
- The clinic received HRSA’s Health Care Program’s Community Health Quality Recognition badges. One of the recognition awards was the Silver Award which recognizes the top 20 percent of community health centers in the nation.
- Mobile Mammography. The clinic partners with Diagnostic Imaging Center’s Mobile Mammography coach to visit our Olathe site to provide mammograms to low income and uninsured women nearly every month.
- Adult Vaccines. Thanks to a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the clinic now provides free adult vaccines to sliding fee discount qualified patients and homeless adults, 19 and older. These vaccines include hepatitis, pneumonic and tetanus as well as flu and COVID.
- All Are Welcomed. This year, almost 60 percent of our patients have no insurance. The need is great, and our doors are always open. Since opening in 1992, we have provided an estimated 390,000 patient visits.
- Peds Walk-In Clinic. We are always looking at ways to improve accessibility. The Peds Walk-In Clinic is open Monday-Friday in the mornings at the Olathe location.
- Senior Leadership Team. Our team of senior leaders, who are all dedicated to the mission, are always willing to step in and help. My colleagues are professional, flexible and adaptable. It’s a pleasure to be part of this team.
- HPC is always willing to partner with others to improve or expand the care we provide. From Johnson County Mental Health to Johnson County Corrections to Blue Valley School District and many others, we are all working together toward the same goals—to make our community healthier and more sustainable.
- QI/Finance Committees. We have dedicated board members and staff who serve on monthly committees…all focused on improving patient care, patient satisfaction and financial sustainability.
- Community Involvement. Senior leaders and staff members serve on numerous coalitions and committees and are members of the Lions and Optimist Clubs.
- Our patients, who have often experienced childhood trauma, really look to us for their health care needs and beyond. In addition, we help them whenever possible with wraparound services—serving as a crucial community resource.
- People Experiencing Homelessness. We are the designated medical home in Johnson
County for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This means our health services—medical, dental and behavioral health—are available free of charge to those who qualify. This service also extends to unsheltered people in Franklin and Miami counties.
- Free Insurance Enrollment. We have a great team who provides help in enrollment for Medicaid (KanCare) or Marketplace. And it’s free!
- Mobile Integrated Health. A clinic nurse practitioner and a firefighter/paramedic staff the Olathe Mobile Integrated Health Team. They help match people with the right resources at the right time, including making connections to government and other resources for food and transportation services. They also provide non-emergency health services to Olathe residents for free. This is a partnership between HPC, Olathe Health and Olathe Fire Department.
- SafeHome and Growing Futures. A team of staff provide direct patient care at Safehome monthly, and we also provide physicals, immunizations, lead screenings and dental screenings to preschoolers at Growing Futures Early Education Center.
- Dental Care in Ottawa. We provide dental services to our pediatric patients twice a month at our Ottawa location. Most of our dental services are provided at the Olathe location.
- Community Outreach. Each year, our Marketing team and other staff members attend nearly 50 community health fairs and events—with the goal of educating the community about our services and the impact we are making. Events include back to school nights, Paola’s SOS event and resource fairs.
- The future looks bright at HPC. I am looking forward to developing new relationships and partnerships and strengthening those we already have and most of all, continuing to live our mission. I love that we make a difference in people’s lives!