Vaccines Vs. Pandemic: Don’t delay experts say.

Mayra Lemus

Mayra Lemus, NRCMA, Medical Assistant

By Mayra Lemus, NRCMA, Medical Assistant, Health Partnership Clinic

Back-to-school season is here. 2020 has impacted people’s lives in different aspects. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, stay-at-home orders and preventive measures were put in place, thus leading to a decrease in routine preventable medical services such as well child exams and routine vaccines for children.

Should my child still get routine vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes! It is essential that routine vaccines are kept current to reduce vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. This can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and medical visits creating a strain on the health care system. It is important that there is communication to parents and caregivers about the value of immunizations. Vaccinations save lives!

With the pandemic, routine services have been put on the back burner for many families. Therefore, it is important that procedures and safety guidelines within medical facilities are communicated to ease the concerns of the community. At Health Partnership Clinic, we have instituted several protocols to ensure our “well” patients are protected to the best of our abilities. One way is to require all individuals entering the clinic to wear masks. Another is to separate well and sick patients.

“Thanks to vaccines, most of these diseases have become rare in the United States,” says Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “But many still exist here, and they can make children very sick, leading to many days of missed school, missed work for parents and even hospitalization and death.”

Back to School

Back to School and ImmunizationRoutine physicals and vaccines play a huge part in the back-to-school process for school districts. It’s a good practice for parents and caregivers to know their school’s protocols and procedures. Most schools have requirements and guidelines for children and vaccines before enrolling in order to protect the health of their students and their community.

Examples include:

  • Children, four to six years of age, are due for boosters of vaccines:
    • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis)
    • polio
    • varicella
    • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).
  • Older children, like pre-teens and teens, need:
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
    • HPV (human papillomavirus)
    • MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate virus) vaccines.
  • Yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children six months and older. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, it is crucial for individuals (adults and children) to receive their flu vaccine this flu season.

ImmunizationHealth departments all over the United States monitor vaccination coverage to understand how well communities are being protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. The collaboration and integration of public health and primary care leverages and strengthens the capabilities of each to deliver critical services.

Parents and caregivers can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule for 2020 here.

Also check out for more important updates. Your local health department websites also contain great information on how to get vaccinated safely during this pandemic.

Always remember every vaccine administered is a step away from a disease outbreak!

We hope you enjoyed this post!

Health Partnership offers a Pediatric Walk-In clinic at its Olathe campus (407 S. Clairborne Rd., Ste. 104) Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to Noon. Stop by for trusted, convenient pediatric medical treatment for minor illnesses and injuries to children under 18 years old. Immunizations and school physicals are also given. The clinic is open to HPC patients and the community. Discounted medical care is available and commercial insurance and KanCare/Medicaid are accepted. To learn more, call 913-648-2266.

Nurse Practitioner discovers her calling… providing women’s health services.

Elizabeth Lewis

Elizabeth Lewis, WHNP-BC, MSN, BSN, RN
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

As a child, Elizabeth Lewis remembers her sister being born with a heart defect and herself faced with health challenges that required frequent visits to her pediatrician, Dr. Naime. These first-hand experiences propelled her toward a health care career to take care of people. She’s accomplished that goal and much more. Today, Elizabeth is the Women’s Health Nurse practitioner at Health Partnership Clinic, a federally qualified health center in Olathe, Kan. She joined the clinic in 2019 and has practiced nursing since 2006.

She recently earned a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management. But her medical educational journey began in high school when she started taking science and health classes. “I always enjoyed science and psychology classes,” she says. “I also started volunteering at hospitals and with children because I felt this was my calling—even as a teenager.” She later volunteered at the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA).


She followed that calling and attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies and eventually a Master of Science in Nursing-Women’s Health Track. Life-long learning has been a huge focus for her.

Her nursing experience spans from inpatient care, health departments, community health centers and as a sexual assault examiner for several hospitals. But it was working in Truman Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery unit that she knew she wanted to focus on women’s health, particularly serving women with limited resources.

“I really believe that women who have fewer resources deserve the most excellent care that can be provided,” she says. “Women who have economic and social disadvantages have special needs, and I wanted to be of service to them. What I’ve learned is that you must take the person who comes through your door and meet them where they are at. That’s what I try to do at each patient visit.”


Elizabeth Lewis with family at her graduationLewis says patients are her favorite part of the job. “As a medical provider, I have a huge responsibility to my patients. They trust me with their most protected self, and it’s important they feel open to communicate their needs and trust that I’ll take care of them no matter what.”

As a Women’s Health practitioner, Elizabeth deals with all aspects of whole women care—everything from menarche (from the first menstrual cycle) to menopause. In addition, she treats men for reproductive health issues and is experienced with transgender medicine.

“Women have many unique health concerns including menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth control and menopause,” she notes. “There are some health issues that affect only women, but many diseases which affect men and women, affect women differently which requires listening to what each patient needs. The key is listening.”

“I am very passionate about listening to patients’ health stories and meeting them where they are. I want to provide the best care possible for the whole person – physical, psychological and spiritual.”

Prenatal Services

Currently, she is lending her expertise to help develop prenatal services for HPC.

“Ms. Lewis has been an outstanding addition to the medical staff here at Health Partnership,” notes Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer and Family Physician. “She is mission driven, always seeks to continue improve and has high expectations of herself and others. The high level of quality that she brings to every patient visit is exactly what we want and need for our patients.”

Elizabeth resides in Overland Park, Kan. with her husband and two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, drinking coffee, traveling and reading.

Health Partnership grateful for support during COVID-19

Health Partnership Clinic: Thank you for your support during the pandemic!

By Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing/Outreach

On Fridays, our employees and volunteers are now sporting a new look. Staff are wearing their very cool T-shirts with a heart graphic depicting the words #HPCSTRONG. That has been our rallying call since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The t-shirts were underwritten by UnitedHealthcare Community Plan to thank our frontline staff for all their efforts. Board members also received the shirts.

Our friends at Aetna Better Health of Kansas is underwriting the cost of white jackets for all our providers, including medical, behavioral health and dental, as their way to recognize their ongoing efforts. The jackets will be branded with the clinic’s logo and personalized. Another example of appreciation was from our very own CEO Amy Falk who brought in deliciously designed iced sugar cookies with our #HPCSTRONG wording. Amy and the other members of the Senior Leadership Team recognize and appreciate the tremendous sacrifices the staff members are making to serve our patients and community.

Health Partnership Clinic: Thank you for your support during the pandemic!

Thank you for your support!

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been lucky to receive countless in-kind donations—from complimentary breakfast and lunches to masks, hand sanitizer and gift items, as well as monetary donations. To date, more than 50 individuals, businesses and organizations have donated to the health center. It has been overwhelming and humbling to see the outreach of support!

As we embrace a “new normal,” remain resilient and mission focused, we will fondly remember those generous donors throughout the days and weeks to come which will help keep us #HPCSTRONG!

Health Partnership Clinic: Thank you for your support during the pandemic!

The bold-faced names are new additions as first time or ongoing donors to our list.

Aetna (Provider Jackets)


Charlie Hustle LLC



Davidson Promotional Products

Direct Relief


Health Partnership Clinic: Thank you for your support during the pandemic!Amy Falk (Cookies/Paint)

Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG KC) – Rick Krapes, Country Financial, Mickey the Cotton Candy Man and Jason’s Deli


Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burgers

Betty Gearheart (Masks)

GE Johnson Construction Company

Global Birthing Home Foundation

Heart to Heart International

Hibba Haider, MD

Home Depot


Indigo Wild

Rieger & Co.

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Kansas City Chinese American Association

Kansas Gas Service (Toni’s Lunch)

Sylvia Kenner (Masks)

Krispy Kreme

LRO Studios- Michelle and Rachel Schneider (Masks)

Lucia Jones Herrera, MSN, RN/UnitedHealthcare (Masks)

Marco Pizza

Metro Lutheran Ministries

Mickey The Cotton Candy Man

Tracey Mikes (Masks)

Olathe Chamber of Commerce (Park Street Pastry, Strips, Olathe Downtown Diner, Tropical Smoothie Café, Chapala Mexican Restaurant, Doc Greens)

Olathe Rotary Club

Olathe School District

Pizza Village

Pulley Wholesale Florist


Restless Spirits Distilling

Catherine Rice (Paint/Snacks)

Celia Ruiz-UnitedHealthcare (Masks)

Sam’s Club

Shawnee Mission School District

Simple Simon’s Pizza

Smoothie King


The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC)

Union Horse Distilling Company

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (Staff, Volunteer, Board T-shirts/Masks)

(List updated June 22, 2020)

If you are interested in donating meals or other staff appreciation items to HPC, call me at 913-730-3680. For monetary donations, visit us at

Thanks to our Dental Hygienists and Administrative Professionals!

Recognizing our team during National Dental Hygienists Week starting April 10th, and Admin Day on April 22nd. We appreciate our team!

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

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.