After traveling more than 5,644 miles, Alex, a 19-year-old Ukrainian refugee, is now calling Overland Park, Kan. home.
By Diana Zamora, Enrollment Specialist and Certified Application Counselor at Health Partnership Clinic
The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the “Marketplace” or “exchange”) opens Tuesday, Nov. 1 and will close Sunday, Jan. 15. The Marketplace provides health plan shopping and enrollment services through websites, call centers and in-person help.
At Health Partnership Clinic, we offer free, in-person help with the health insurance application. Open enrollment is from Tuesday, Nov. 1-Sunday, Jan. 15.
We are now scheduling appointments by calling 913-730-3653. A certified application counselor is available to help you in English or Spanish.
When you apply for individual and family coverage through the Marketplace, you’ll provide income and household information. You’ll find out if you qualify for:
- Premium tax credits and other savings that make insurance more affordable
- Coverage through the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state
We’re here to help you renew your health insurance or explore your options! Call us today at 913-730-3653.
By Lee Champion, RN, MSN, Nurse Clinic Director and Risk Manager
Medical assisting is an allied health profession whose practitioners’ function as members of the healthcare delivery team and perform administrative and clinical procedures. With their unique versatility, medical assistants (MA) are proving to be the allied health professional of choice for this decade and beyond. Medical assisting is one of the nation’s careers growing much faster than average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Medical Assistants at Health Partnership Clinic
Our MAs at HPC are multiskilled allied health professionals who perform a wide range of administrative and clinical roles with skill, dedication and loyalty. All of the MAs at HPC are cross trained and are an asset to our patients and providers with their vast knowledge in working in primary care.
They make a substantial contribution to the quality of health by promoting and maintaining cooperative and successful relationships between patients and providers and are vital members of the team. MAs are the first point of contact for patients, relatives and healthcare staff. A significant part of the MA’s daily routine revolves around supporting the healthcare team and facilitating the process smoothly.
We have MAs who are our subject matter experts in Pediatrics that work with pediatricians providing care to infants, children and teens under the age of 18. We also have MAs who specialize in Women’s Health. They participate in quality measures that are applicable to this specialty.
We are very grateful for our MAs at HPC:
Carolina Barraza, Mayra Lemus, NRCMA, Sandra Marquez, Traci McIntire and Cinthia Salazar
By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach
School is in and so is our School-Based Health Clinic at Shawnee Mission West High School, which resumed operations on Aug. 18. Health Partnership Clinic’s (HPC) health clinic is open on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We offer in-person or virtual appointments. Walk-ins are accommodated if the schedule permits. To schedule an appointment, call 913-648-2266.
Our school-based health clinic is an excellent example of how our mission extends beyond our clinic doors. Within the walls of Shawnee Mission West, we provide quality, accessible and affordable health care services, including primary, dental and mental health care, to all Shawnee Mission School District students and their siblings, from three to 20 years old.
The clinic accepts KanCare/Medicaid, commercial insurance and uninsured patients. A sliding fee discount program is available to those who qualify. Students are expected to pay a copay, and fees are waived for students experiencing homelessness.
- Immunizations (appointment required)
- Yearly Physicals (school/sports)
- Well-child/teen check-ups
- Age-appropriate sexual health
- Lab tests
- COVID testing/vaccines
- Strep/flu tests
- Asthma care
- A Behavioral Health Clinician is on site to provide integrated visits for a wide variety of mental health and psychosocial needs. Services include brief assessments, consultations/therapy, interventions and referrals to a higher level of care as needed.
- A Dental Hygienist is on site to provide dental screenings and fluoride varnish treatments during medical visits. More dental services coming soon.
- Medicaid and Marketplace insurance enrollment.
- Anything you want to talk about.
Welcome back SMSD students! We are here and ready to serve your health needs!
By: Whitney Venegoni, APRN, FNP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner
May is Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month and the perfect time to learn about allergies and asthma and how they are related as well as how to differentiate between allergies and COVID-19.
Allergy and Asthma Month is observed in May because for many that is when their symptoms peak since so many people are affected by environmental triggers. Allergies are an immune response in our bodies to different triggers in the environment such as mold, food, pollen and animal dander.
Allergies and asthma are related because many people who have asthma also have allergies and they can have some of the same triggers. With allergies it is more environmental triggers but with asthma those triggers expand to things like tobacco smoke and perfumes. Common symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing and overall difficulty breathing.
Differentiating between allergies symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms is a little more straight forward than it seems. Allergy symptoms are started by irritants, so you are going to experience things like itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. COVID-19 is an infection from a virus so you will see more systemic things like a fever, body aches, cough, and even nausea and diarrhea. With COVID-19 other body systems may be affected where with allergies it will be more limited to your eyes, ears and nose.
To learn more, watch our newest video:
Allergy and Asthma Awareness
By Debbie Sparks, Development and Marketing Manager
National Nurses Week is May 6-12.
In 1993, the American Nurses Association declared May 6-12 as the national week to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. Each year the celebration ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer and statistician and the founder of modern nursing.
This year’s theme for Nurses Week is Rooted in Strength. According to Beth Wathen, President, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the theme was inspired by the difficulties in a year beset by public health, social and economic crisis. “Nurses are rooted in strength, forged in fire and growing in power, says Ms. Wathen. “Rooted in Strength we create our new path forward as leaders in healthcare.”
At HPC we celebrate the important roles that nurses play on the frontlines of the health care system. Special thanks to Araceli Coria, RN, BSN, Clinic Nurse, and Rachel Acuna, RN, Vaccine Outreach Nurse, for the special roles that they play at HPC.
As Clinic Nurse, Araceli is primarily responsible for triaging walk in and telephoning patients, medical administration and oversight and serves as a clinical resource for the clinic. In addition, she assists providers with patient care and education, medication refills, case management and referrals. She also plays a key role in our Hypertension Program initiative. Araceli is bilingual and is a resource for our Spanish speaking patients
As Vaccine Outreach Nurse, Rachel is responsible for increasing the availability of all lifespan vaccinations to our local communities. Much of her work includes partnering with local businesses, schools, churches and community groups to provide education about vaccinations in an effort to decrease vaccine hesitancy.
Thank you to Araceli and Rachel for all of the good work they do to improve patient care at HPC!
Patient Services Representatives Day/Receptionist Day is May 12
Since 1991, National Receptionist Day has been celebrated on the second Wednesday of May, this year falling on Wednesday, May 12. HPC would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Patient Services Representatives (PSRs) who fill the role of receptionist and so much more!
According to Billie Reese-Turner, Director of Billing and Patient Services, working in customer service is one of the most difficult jobs there is.
“I am so grateful to our PSR team for their hard work and dedication throughout the last year,” Billie says. “Especially considering we continue to struggle with staffing shortages. I appreciate every team member’s flexibility when we are looking for coverage. I cannot thank the PSR team enough for attending to our patients and the community with a smile and a positive attitude which helps make the intake process run smoothly. I am very grateful and blessed to work with such an awesome team.”
Thank you to our wonderful team of PSRs: Odaliz Arana, Ally Blume, Perla Cardenas-Baltazar, Jean Cast-Martin, Jenny Chavez, Joseph (JoJo) Delgado-Ramirez, Alejandra Gutierrez-Ortega, Nidia Hickman, Karla Nunez, Michel Ramirez, Martha Tavison and Veronica Flores Manager of Patient Services.
The PSRs are part of the Revenue Cycle Management team and work closely with Mayra Bocanegra, Billing Coordinator; Billie Reese-Turner, Director of Billing and Patient Services, and Diana Zamora, Enrollment Specialist.
By Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer and Family Physician
As a community health center, Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) is a place where our patients find their medical home. We provide high quality preventive care for adults, help them with their chronic medical conditions and see to it that their kids are up to date on their immunizations and stay healthy. We help our patients get the imaging studies that they need whether it is an important CT scan or a critical MRI. Our patients get lab testing free of charge to them. We reach out through the patient portal to get them their results and to keep our patients engaged.
The reality is though, many of our patients do not have health insurance.
More than half to be more precise! What do we do when our patients need to see a specialist? That has been a barrier sometime too tough for our patients to overcome. It is a barrier which has indeed impacted the timeliness of care that our patients receive.
Now at Health Partnership, our patients have new hope to obtain access to the expertise of literally dozens and dozens of specialists and sub-specialists. This month, we partnered with RubiconMD, a national company that allows all of the providers at HPC to directly communicate with specialists. Through the platform provided by RubiconMD, we are able to send our questions to the specialty of our choice, asking questions and for guidance for the care of our patients.
Keeping our Patients Right Here
You see, the vast majority of our referrals are simply to ask for advice for the management of our patients. Instead of sending patients elsewhere, we keep our patients right here, and it is the expertise of the specialists that are brought in house. This is the kind of care that our patients expect. Patients love it when their provider says, “You know, let me talk to a colleague about your care and get some more ideas.” Patients feel special and that they are cared for.
Our providers have already started getting virtual consultations. The questions I have sent specialists, which may very well be in another part of the country, have been answered within a couple of hours. Just think of how difficult it would be otherwise to get that same clinical advice and guidance!
While the virtual consults bring to HPC a wealth of specialist expertise, let’s talk about what it does not do. First, it does not actually connect the patient with the specialist. Instead, it connects the provider with the specialist. This is actually a good thing! That way, our provider gets the information from the specialist first-hand and knows exactly how to carry out the plan of care. Second, the virtual consults are not a way for our patients to have procedures or surgeries performed by specialists. To get those done, they will definitely still need to be referred to the specialist to perform. But just think of how much the referral workload will go down, as referrals will be limited to those referrals that absolutely require the specialist’s attention.
We’re proud of our providers!
We are very proud of the “care” in “health care” that we provide. Our providers are indeed some of the most caring people I have ever seen. We are thrilled that the virtual consults have become a reality to better equip our team to provide more comprehensive care to our patients and the medical conditions that they carry. It is truly hero’s work.
National Dental Hygienist Week, April 10-16
Each year in April we recognize the contribution of dental hygienists and their focus on maintaining good oral health practices which impacts overall health. There are more than 200,000 dental hygienists in the United States. In Kansas, there are more than 2,000 dental hygienists.
Dental hygienists provide oral care under a dentist’s supervision. They clean patients’ teeth and examine their mouths for signs of damage, gingivitis and other diseases. Hygienists teach patients how to maintain good oral health.
The education of dental hygienists typically includes prerequisite courses prior to obtaining either a dental hygiene certificate or associates degree, which is typically a three-year program. Dental hygienists may go on to obtain a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Dental Hygiene.
In Kansas, dental hygienists may obtain an Extended Care Permit (level one, two or three) which allows them to practice under indirect supervision in settings like schools or nursing homes.
Thank you to HPC’s dental hygienist Christina Cook for her hard work and dedication to our patients! Christina always goes above and beyond and is a true team player.
National Administrative Professionals’ Day
National Administrative Professionals’ Day, also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day, is observed on the Wednesday of the last full week of April each year. This year it is celebrated on Wednesday, April 27. It is a day to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support professionals.
Shout-out to Tom Wilhauk, our executive assistant at HPC. Tom supports all the Senior Leadership Team members in addition to coordinating meetings and schedules, supports the Policy Committee and HR functions, and takes notes for the Board of Directors and Quality Improvement Committee monthly meetings and so much more! We thank and salute Tom for all he does!
By John Smart, LSCSW, Behavioral Health Clinician
What is Autism?
Autism is formally defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental disability characterized by social communication challenges and restricted or repetitive behaviors. Though they may go unrecognized, the symptoms of ASD begin in early childhood and persist into adulthood.
Having symptoms of autism does not mean someone necessarily has the diagnosis of ASD. The diagnosis of ASD is only made when the symptoms of autism cause significant impairment of social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. ASD now includes conditions previously classified as separate diagnoses: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, and Asperger syndrome.
What is Autism Awareness Month about?
Autism Awareness Month, also identified by the Autism Society as Autism Acceptance Month, is a time to recognize that “The experience of Autism is not one thing. It is many things. It’s dreams, talents, relationships, victories, hurdles, and everything in between.”
Autism is not an identity; it is an experience that may or may not deeply impact a person’s life. When we look beyond the diagnosis, difficulties, and barriers that may be experienced by a person with autism, we can see strengths, talents, interests, challenges, and aspirations – unifying characteristics of our human experience.
If you need help for yourself or a loved one regarding identifying symptoms or diagnosis of autism, speak to your primary care provider. You may also contact Behavioral Health services at Health Partnership Clinic for assistance with accessing resources. The Behavioral Health Team can be reached at 913-730-3664. For more information you may want to explore the Autism Society and the National Institute of Mental Health.
By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach
Health Partnership Clinic is celebrating its 30th year of providing quality, accessible and affordable health care to the underserved individuals of our community. Among the many celebration activities in 2022 is the annual Opening Doors Luncheon, a benefit for uninsured children and adults.
The celebration luncheon will be held on Thursday, April 28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Olathe Conference Center beginning at 11:30 a.m. If you’d like to attend or sponsor the event, call Debbie Sparks, Development/Marketing Manager, at 913-433-7592, or email her at email@example.com.
“Our 30th anniversary year is an opportunity for us to honor those trailblazers who cared deeply about our community’s most vulnerable residents and started Health Partnership Clinic in 1992, celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to our future,” says Amy Falk, CEO. “Our story needs to reach the far corners of the counties we serve—Johnson, Franklin and Miami—so we can ensure quality health care is available for all—well into the future.”
At the fundraising luncheon we will be celebrating our past, present and future. The event will include a patient testimonial and the presentation of the Founders Award to AdventHealth MidAmerica Region, and the Leadership Impact Award to Shelby Rebeck, Director of Health Services for Shawnee Mission School District.
From Past to Present
From a small doctor’s office with volunteer physicians, nurses and staff, HPC has grown to five clinic sites, including a school-based clinic at Shawnee Mission West High School, in three counties with more than 65 employees. Providing nearly 26,000 patient visits annually, HPC is a lifeline for more than 10,000 adults and children.
Today, our work centers around providing an integrated model of medical, dental and behavioral health care and working together with community partners to help create healthier communities. The COVID-19 Pandemic has certainly exacerbated poverty and the need for quality, affordable and accessible health care. Falk says, “We’ve been at the forefront of the Pandemic and ever present to our patients and community partners.”
More than 60 percent of our patients are uninsured and nearly 30 percent are on Medicaid, the majority of whom are children. The need is great and is growing each year. The funds from the luncheon event will help offset the increasing cost of uninsured care, which amounts to more than $3 million.
To learn more about our celebration activities, visit hpcks.org/hpc30.
To make an online donation, click here.
A huge thank you to our 2022 sponsors:
AdventHealth Medical Staff
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City
BKD LLP Scott Gold/Dana Gold
Bridge Builder Tax and Legal Services PA
Aetna Better Health of Kansas
Kansas City University
Sunflower Health Plan
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
Health Partnership Clinic is a FTCA deemed facility, a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n). This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.
Our Olathe and Paola sites are recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as patient-centered medical homes.