February is American Heart Month

By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach

Raise awareness about heart health and urge those around you to prevent heart disease!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Health Partnership Clinic is proudly participating in American Heart Month. Every year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease.

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

The clinic is bringing awareness by wearing red on Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 7. Heart healthy information will also be available.

2020 Wear Red Day is February 7th

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Health Partnership’s Chief Health Officer, offers the following ways to lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Manage stress.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

2020 Wear Red Day is February 7thAm I at risk for heart disease?

 Everyone is at risk for heart disease. But you are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
  • Are overweight or obese.
  • Don’t get enough physical activity.
  • Don’t eat a healthy diet.

Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease.

Your risk is higher if:

  • You are a woman over age 55.
  • You are a man over age 45.
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55.
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth.

Health Partnership remembers Veterans Day, November 11th.

Health Partnership Clinic: Remembering Veterans DayIn tribute to the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our nations’ armed forces, HPC will host an informational table at the Olathe clinic with resources, refreshments and giveaways on Monday, Nov. 11, during regular clinic hours. Information and cookies will be available at our other sites for patients and staff.

Veteran Patients

“Based on our records, nearly 50 patients have identified as veterans,” says Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach. “Each veteran will receive a card thanking them for their service with an invitation to stop by the Olathe clinic on Nov. 11 for treats and information.”

In addition, we honor Lee Champion, RN, Clinical Director, who is our only veteran staff member. “Lee served in the U.S. Navy from 1981-88, and we thank her for defending our country so that we may enjoy the many freedoms we have today.”

Olathe Clinic Returns to Extended Hours

Improving Access to CareHealth Partnership Clinic’s Olathe site now offers extended hours, including the first and third Saturdays of the month. The Olathe site is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The first and third Saturday of each month, the clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hours will remain the same at the Shawnee Mission, Ottawa and Paola locations, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Olathe clinic also offers same day appointments during the work week and on Saturdays for patients of all ages. Same day scheduling means that new or established adult and pediatric patients can access acute or chronic care through walk in or same day appointment. Once the slots are filed for the day, the clinic will be considered full.

Dr. Wael MouradAccording to Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer, over the last several months much work has been focused on strengthening our internal processes, standardizing patient care and tweaking staffing models.

“Providing access to quality and affordable health care is a cornerstone of our mission,” Dr. Mourad adds. “We work in a Community Health Center, and we take care of the most vulnerable people in society. In everything we do, we continue to strive to be patient centered.”

Health Partnership welcomes board member

Mina Elizabeth FosterMina Elizabeth Foster, director/case manager of Housing Services with The Salvation Army, recently joined Health Partnership Clinic’s Board of Directors. Mina brings more than 20 years of experience in serving underserved and vulnerable populations that are at low and extremely low income.

Personal Experience

In addition, she and her children–28 years ago–experienced homelessness before entering a shelter. This experience left an indelible mark on her life. “That experience reminds me of how lives can be changed when people treat each other with dignity and respect regardless of life circumstances.”

For the past 14 years, Mina has worked with individuals and families experiencing homelessness. She serves as Co-Chair of the KS505 Continuum of Care, Executive Board Member of The Johnson County Housing Coalition, Executive Board Member of the CoC-KS505, on the Advisory Board of the Parsons State Hospital and as the Corps Council Board Member at The Salvation Army.


Mina received a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Kansas State University in 1996, is a certified Love & Logic facilitator and Life Coach with Advanced Certification from American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) as well as a speaker and author.

“We are pleased to welcome Mina to the board,” says Amy Falk, CEO of Health Partnership. “She is familiar with the good work we do here at HPC and values the important mission of the clinic. As a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves the homeless population, we look forward to her  perspective and understanding of this population and how we can improve and grow services.”

Mina and her family reside in Olathe, Kan.

Health Partnership Clinic Welcomes Wyandotte Pediatrics Patients Following Practice Closure in June

Serving the community for more than 30 years – the Wyandotte Pediatrics practice will be closing on Friday, June 14. Debra Tickles, MD, is retiring, and Tracey Miller, MD, has opted to work as a Children’s Mercy Urgent Care pediatrician. That leaves more than 5,000 families needing to find care elsewhere.

Enter HPC

Amy Falk

Amy Falk, CEO

According to Amy Falk, CEO, Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) stands ready to care for these patients and their parents. “We serve all ages, and we’re conveniently located in Shawnee Mission, Kan. on the campus of Shawnee Mission Medical Center (now AdventHealth), as well as in Olathe. To accommodate the additional patient appointments, we have ramped up staffing at our Shawnee Mission location. Families are invited to tour any of our clinic sites. HPC also has clinics in Paola, Ottawa and a School-Based Clinic for Shawnee Mission School District students.

“Our overall goal is to fill the gap when Drs. Tickles and Miller close their doors and make the transition as smooth as possible for their patients,” Falk says. “Health Partnership will become the custodian of medical records, and all records will be transferred on June 18. We are honored that both doctors have put their patients’ health in our competent hands.”

As patients of HPC, families will enjoy additional services including pediatric dentistry and behavioral health as well as a sliding fee discount for those who qualify.

“Drs Tickles and Miller have served this community with distinction and compassion, and they will be missed,” Falk adds.

Wyandotte Peds, Welcome to HPC


HPC Celebrates Nurses and Patient Services Representatives

Dr. Wael MouradPost written by Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Family Physician and Chief Health Officer

During the month of May, HPC recognized the contributions of both Nurses and Patient Services Representatives (PSR)/Receptionists for the important roles they provide in patient care. May 6-12 marked Nurses Week and May 8 was Receptionist Day.

Nurses Week

In 1993, the American Nurses Association declared May 6-12 as the national week to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. This year, the theme was “Four Million Reasons to Celebrate.” Every year the celebration ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing.

HPC celebrates the contribution and positive impact on health care that America’s four million nurses make every day!

Special thanks to Susan Bennett, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, who serves as the Director of Nursing at HPC.  We appreciate all that Susan does to keep operations running smoothly and ensure that we are providing top notch patient centered care.

Nurses Week and Receptionist DayPatient Services Representative/Receptionist Day

Since 1991, National Receptionist Day is celebrated on the second Wednesday of May, this year falling on May 8. HPC took advantage of the holiday by recognizing our team of PSRs who fill the role of receptionist and so much more!

The PSR is the first smiling face you see when you arrive at the clinic. The PSR gets you checked in and schedules your follow up appointments. They answer the phone and deal with the concerns of patients all while keeping the front office organized and running efficiently.

Thank you to our team of PSRs:  Karina Diaz, Christina Dolores, Stephanie Estrada, Veronica Flores, Fatima Galindo, Jessica Najera and Maria Pena.

And best wishes to PSR Maribel Santa Anna as she transitions to her new role in pediatrics.  We appreciate her years of service at HPC.

Patients Matter at Health Partnership Clinic

Amy Falk

Amy Falk, CEO

By Amy Falk, CEO 

Every year, nearly 14,000 patients walk through Health Partnership Clinic’s (HPC) doors seeking health services—medical, behavioral health and dental.

Many battle chronic diseases; others struggle with mental issues and yet others face challenges of homelessness, abuse, loss of a job or a myriad of other stressors.

It is our mission to provide quality care. That means we must always look at ways to improve care and do what’s right for our patients.

At HPC, we know that patients have the right to choose where to go for their health care, and we want to be their provider of choice—their medical home. That’s why patient satisfaction is a top priority at HPC.

How do we know if we are meeting our patients’ expectations? And doing it consistently?

The best way is to ask our patients. Last year, we revamped our survey tool as well as incorporated questions that are required from grant funders and our Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition program.

Our questions ranged from the registration process, phones and front desk check in to provider/support staff and billing/payment process.

This fall, 4,834 patients, who received services between August-December 2018, received a survey (either in English or Spanish) request via email.

  • More than 400 responded, resulting in an eight percent response rate, with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of only five percent.
  • Besides the great response rate, overall, our satisfaction results were positive.

One of the key questions I pay special attention to is “How likely is it that you would recommend HPC to your friends and family?” Responders indicated 81.4 percent would recommend HPC to friends and family! That says a lot!

In addition, our team pays close attention to our patients’ overall experience related to our facility, billing/payment process and the care we provide.

Here are some of the results:


HPC Survey Results - VISITS




HPC Survey Results - CHECK IN


HPC Survey Results - PROVIDER


HPC Survey Results - SUPPORT STAFF


HPC Survey Results - OVERALL CARE




HPC Survey Results - BILLING

Student led care package project to benefit HPC homeless patients, community

Guest post by:
Tara Sabih, Senior at Blue Valley North High School
Maria Masroua, Senior at Blue Valley West High School
Claire Dugan, Senior at Blue Valley North High School

BV CAPS LOGOEditor’s Note: Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) is a program where students can explore the profession that they want to go into, whether that be medicine, engineering, business, etc. Three students from various Blue Valley high schools selected Health Partnership Clinic (HPC) and will be providing care packages to their homeless patients.

Growing up in the Johnson County area and in the “Blue Valley bubble” it’s easy to be oblivious to the fact that there are many members in our community who are homeless. During this past school year, we have been studying medicine at Blue Valley CAPS, and have noticed that the health of the homeless in our community is a pressing matter, even if it’s not as clear of an issue as in other cities.

That is why our capstone project for our class focuses on the health of the homeless community.

BV CAPS SeniorsThe three of us working on this project are certified nursing assistants, and we hope to work in the health care field in the future. We all possess similar qualities such as wanting to be of service to others and having empathy toward those who are currently struggling. Because of these shared values, we decided to collaborate and work on this project that would benefit those in need in our community.

In February, we visited HPC and realized that HPC has great opportunities for people struggling financially to receive medical attention. We wanted to contribute to the work that HPC does for the community, so we decided to collect donations to create care packages. In the packages are items (such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks and soap) that could help patients continue personal care outside of the clinic. In addition, each package includes a card containing information about HPC’s clinic. We hope to deliver these packages by the end of April.

For our capstone project last year, we organized a drive at our schools to collect personal hygiene products that would be given to Giving the Basics, a local organization that collects and then distributes hygiene products to those in need in our community. We were able to talk with some of the people that these products went to; seeing how our project helped them inspired us to bring that same care and support to the homeless that visit the HPC clinic.

Our ultimate goal is that these packages will be delivered to someone in need, and that they make an impact, no matter how small, on their lives and overall health, as well as spreading the word about the services that HPC has to offer.

March Marks Social Work Month

Cecilia Ponce

Health Partnership Clinic

Post written by Cecilia Ponce, LSCW
Behavioral Health Clinician
Health Partnership Clinic

Social workers provide invaluable contributions to the most vulnerable in our society

According to the National Association of Social Workers (2019), there are approximately 680,000 social workers in the United States who are actively employed. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in this nation, and this is due in large part to the versatility of the general practitioner.

Social workers can be found working in non-profits, for profit companies, self-employed, federal, state and local government and even charitable organizations (NASW, 2019). The social work profession has been in existence for more than 100 years. Social workers are encouraged to advocate for the most vulnerable and oppressed members of society and must adhere to the most stringent professional code of ethics.

Social Work Month

Social Work Month was officially recognized in 1984 under President Ronald Regan and his administration. The purpose was to highlight the contributions made by social workers to society every day. March is National Professional  Social Work Month, and this year’s theme is Elevate Social Work.

Unbeknownst to most, social workers account for the largest group of mental health providers in the United States. The largest employer of masters-level social workers is the Veteran Administration (NASW, 2019).

Mental Health Professionals in Public Schools

Social Work ElevateIn recent years, legislators have taken notice of a lack of qualified mental health professionals in several areas here in Kansas. One area has been in public schools.

According to a published study (Headquarters Inc., 2018), about 17.9 percent of children/minors contemplated suicide and about five percent attempted suicide. Historically, Kansas has one of the lowest student-counselor ratios in the country. According to an article published by Tim Carter in the Pratt Tribune, Kansas Legislators have initiated a pilot program (2018) to hire over 40 social workers to address the mental health needs of children across the state bringing the state total to more than 580.

Innovation and Intervention Before Graduation

One way that social workers contribute to the field is by providing innovation and interventions before graduation. According to the Council on Social Work Education (2019), the expectation is over 900 hours of field practicum hours prior to graduation at the MSW level. Locally, we have several accredited schools that provide education and practicum placement including the University of Kansas, Newman University, Washburn University and Wichita State University.

The Path to my Social Work Career

The path to a social work career is not always direct, and I’m an example of that.  I wore several hats before completing my social work degree. I was exposed to social work and social welfare very early on in my life, but it was not until after college that I considered it as a profession. Both my aunt and mother chose careers in social welfare.

I had an interest in social welfare from an early age and was the Social Justice Coordinator at my high school. Before applying to graduate school, I volunteered with Dominican Volunteers International in Santiago, Chile and was inspired by a Dominican Sister and social worker named Neli Armas. As a volunteer, I was able to help and shadow Neli as she engaged clients through interventions in medical social work and school and community-based services as well. It was not until living abroad that I realized the seemingly limitless career possibilities associated with a social work degree.

While studying at Washington University in St. Louis, I was exposed to medical social work, case management, policy making, supervision, mental health assessment and clinical interventions. I am forever grateful for the support of my professors, practicum supervisors and colleagues.

As we celebrate Social Work Month in March, please join Health Partnership Clinic in honoring and thanking the professionals who work to promote service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, human relationships, integrity and competence (NASW, 2018).


National Association of Social Workers. (2018). Code of ethics. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from http://www.socialworkers.org

National Association of Social Workers. (2019). Social Work History. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from https://www.socialworkers.org/News/Facts/Social-Work-History

First School-Based Clinic in Johnson County Marks First Year with Birthday Celebration

Merriam Park Elementary Clinic Party

By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach for Health Partnership Clinic

Merriam Park Elementary Clinic PartyHealth Partnership Clinic and Shawnee Mission School District Partner for Student Health

Health Partnership Clinic and Shawnee Mission School District are celebrating a year of providing health services to students through a school-based clinic at Merriam Park Elementary School in Merriam, Kan. To celebrate, the partners have planned a variety of birthday-related activities to bring awareness about Johnson County’s’ first school-based clinic and to thank all those involved.

A birthday party will be hosted at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3rd at Merriam Park Elementary, 6100 Mastin St., Merriam, complete with songs, games and tours of the clinic. KC Wolf and school mascots will make an appearance and Superintendent Dr. Mike Fulton and Chief Health Officer Wael Mourad, MD, among others, will be playing Pin the Heart, Brain, and Teeth to a five foot “Operation” stand-up patient.

Merriam Park Elementary: One Year Birthday CelebrationThe community is invited to attend. To learn more, call 913-730-3661.

Other activities include distribution of healthy tips, a Health Dress Up Day at Merriam Park, and more.

Health Partnership CEO Amy Falk says, “To date, more than 250 students have received medical, behavioral health and/or dental services thanks to the many referrals from school district nurses, social workers and other staff. When we embarked on this journey, our main goal was to serve as a medical home for children and offer an additional access point to primary care. A year later we’ve accomplished that and more. We now offer dental services.”

Walk-In Clinic Hours

The walk-in clinic is open on Tuesday afternoons from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is available to all Shawnee Mission School District students and their siblings. Clinic services include sick visits, well-child, school and sports physicals, immunizations, strep/flu testing, lab/blood work, asthma care, behavioral health care, dental cleanings and checkups as well as nutritional guidance. On Wednesday mornings by appointment, a medical professional provides medical management for behavior health. This service is provided to established patients only and must be referred by a Health Partnership Behavioral Health provider.

Dr. Mourad adds, “The school district and Health Partnership share a common goal of keeping children healthy. Together our team of psychologists, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, school nurses, social workers and many other dedicated staff members work together to determine the best approach to help students and their families. Our clinic is a viable option for those who are uninsured, under-insured or like the convenience of easy accessibility to quality and affordable health care.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate the first year of offering the school-based clinic to Shawnee Mission School District students,” Superintendent Mike Fulton says.  “One of our most important jobs is preparing students for success in their futures. Helping students to be healthy so that they can learn is an essential part of accomplishing that mission. The clinic serves an important role in our work to ensure that we are serving the needs of all students in the Shawnee Mission School District. We thank the Health Partnership Clinic, Merriam Park, staff, students, and everyone who made the clinic so successful in its first year of operation.”

Merriam Park Elementary Clinic PartyShelby Rebeck, director of health services in the Shawnee Mission School District says, “This clinic is a powerful tool for achieving health equity among children by placing needed services right at Merriam Park Elementary School.  No matter the zip code, we are able to offer access to quality, affordable health care to all Shawnee Mission School District students.”

The Merriam Park Elementary School community looks forward to joining in the celebration, Rachel Fessenden, Merriam Park social worker says. “At Merriam Park, we want to be a school that serves the community and we take great pride in knowing that Merriam Park, the Shawnee Mission School District, and Health Partnership Clinic are able to provide this resource to families who otherwise may not have access to much-needed services,” Fessenden adds. “The clinic has been a welcome addition to our school. Happy Birthday to the School-Based Clinic at Merriam Park!”

Keep Healthy Tip Sheets

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Behavioral Health – Deep Breathing

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