30th Celebration Profiles and Reflections – Martin Bennett
Editor’s Note: In celebration of 30 years of providing quality, affordable and accessible health care, we are profiling three individuals who have graciously shared their story about their connection with the clinic. Enjoy the third and final profile.
Martin Bennett, Former HPC Patient and Board Member
Martin Bennett’s journey alongside Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) began as a patient, proceeded as a board member and continues as a strong advocate.
Feeling symptoms of his own not long after moving from Sioux City, Iowa to Edgerton, Kan. to care for his aging parents in the early 2000s, Bennett was referred to HPC by his father’s doctor. He established care and was soon diagnosed with psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
So impressed by the care he received by HPC’s providers and support staff, he answered with a resounding “Yes” when asked to serve on the HPC Board of Directors. “What they did for me over six to eight years, at free or minimal charge, the least I could do was to help them,” Bennett says. “They did things for me that I never could have expected.”
As a board member, he engaged with other HPC patients and stakeholders to guide the HPC mission of providing high-quality, affordable, accessible and culturally appropriate care to all individuals regardless of ability to pay. As a Federally Qualified Health Center — typically a community-based provider of primary care to the underserved — HPC and similar organizations receive federal funding and are required to have 51 percent patient representation on their boards.
Having served as a board member for six prior years of strong HPC growth including expansion to Paola and Ottawa, Bennett has been quick to “pay it forward” when he speaks of how his HPC experience can benefit others. While working in the logistics industry, he was quick to refer uninsured associates to HPC. Many were either part or full-time who worked at warehouses fulfilling orders for name-brand or internet-based companies. They often struggled with English and didn’t have a regular primary care provider, just as Bennett didn’t years earlier.
“My primary care doctor at HPC was the best doctor I ever had,” Bennett reflects. “I have nothing but good things to say about HPC. My patient experience was excellent, from both a provider and staff perspective.”
On our 30th anniversary, HPC is both proud to have served Martin Bennett as a patient and appreciative of his service as an HPC board member.