Thirty years ago, Johnson County adults—who were uninsured and needed acute and chronic disease care—typically accessed care through emergency rooms. This type of episodic care created a financial drain on both patients and hospitals and more importantly, did not provide continuous and comprehensive care. Hospital and community leaders banded together and opened Health Partnership of Johnson County in 1992 to fill that gap. This “free” primary care clinic provided limited adult acute and chronic disease care with volunteer providers and staff.
Over the last 30 years, the clinic, which is now known as Health Partnership Clinic (HPC), has continued to grow to meet the changing needs of Johnson County and the surrounding area. The clinic has provided an estimated 390,000 patient visits since opening its doors.
- In 2012, the clinic received Federally Qualified Health Center designation opening the door to offer pediatric and adult medicine and dental services on a sliding fee discount in Olathe, Kan.
- In addition, the Paola clinic opened—serving Miami County, and the clinic’s dental outreach program began.
- In 2013, the clinic launched its behavioral health services, in 2015, this model of care was expanded to Franklin County and in 2016, the Shawnee Mission Clinic on the campus of AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, opened.
- Since then, the clinic launched a school-based clinic at Merriam Park Elementary School in Merriam, Kan. and in 2021 relocated services to Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kan. It also provides Substance Abuse and Medication-Assisted Treatment Services.
- During the intervening years, the clinic has added staff and services to continue to meet the needs of the communities it serves. HPC is ranked among the top 20 percent of health centers nationally for best overall clinical performance (2021).
“As the only federally qualified health center in Johnson, Miami and Franklin Counties, we are proud to provide quality, affordable and accessible health care to the uninsured, those underinsured and individuals with insurance,” says Amy Falk, CEO. “Many residents have received care at one of our clinic sites over the years, and they have seen many changes in staff, structure and services. We thank all those for trusting HPC to provide care for the last 30 years, and we look forward to serving and expanding services well into the future.”
Falk reflects, “This milestone is one that has not been easily reached over the years. The dedicated efforts of staff, volunteers, providers and by the Board of Directors laying plans to keep HPC a viable, growing entity in the future will ensure our success. We hope our patients, staff and community take the opportunity to remember the past struggles and successes, celebrate where we are now, but look forward to the future with bright optimism on what we are about to achieve.”
The clinic will be celebrating throughout the year. Plans include its annual Opening Doors fundraising luncheon event in April, staff activities, a time capsule, coloring and video essay contests for school partners and a community open house in August. Please check back periodically to see how you can be part of our celebration!
Clinic Celebrates with Contests
In celebration of providing 30 years of quality, affordable and accessible health care, Health Partnership Clinic partnered with area businesses to sponsor two contests, a coloring contest opened to children in third grade attending nine Title 1 elementary schools in the Olathe School District, and a video essay contest for students attending Shawnee Mission West High School in Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, Kan.
Coloring for Health
Health Partnership teamed up with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan for the coloring contest. More than 280 submissions were received. Eight of the nine Title 1 schools participated in the contest. And of 21 classrooms, eight had 100 percent participation. A drawing of the eight teachers with 100 percent participation was held for a pizza party and Target gift card. Ms. Hadley’s third grade class at Indian Creek were the lucky winners. The other seven classrooms received donuts for the class compliments of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. Dr. Health E. Hound also made a special appearance, which brought smiles to the students and school staff.
The winners of the coloring contest are:
- 1st Place: Bella Chavez, Central Elementary
- 2nd Place: David Gutierrez, Westview Elementary
- 3rd Place: Jairon Coto Cartagena, Westview Elementary
- Honorable Mention: Charlynn, Northview Elementary
First, second and third place winners received their artwork framed and a toy gift bag. The prize for first place winner was valued at $100, second place, $50 and third place, $25. Honorable mentioned received a small gift and her art framed.
Judges included the UnitedHealthcare team: Elizabeth Billings, Laura Canelos and Chrissy Krause, and from Health Partnership: Stephanie Rojas, Dental Department and Catherine Rice, Marketing and Outreach.
Creating Health Awareness Videos
Health Partnership also partnered with Sunflower Health Plan and Davidson Promotional to host a video essay contest with the theme: “The biggest health challenges facing youth.” Shawnee Mission West is the site of the clinic’s school-based health clinic, which opened last fall.
The winners are:
- 1st Place, Ezekiel (Zeke) Greenwald, a 12th grader, Mental Health in High School
- 2nd Place, Zachary Fornelli, a 11th grader, Anti Vape PSA
- 3rd Place, Samantha Wallenburg, a 10th grader, Not Just a Statistic
The first place winner won $250 cash, second place $150 and third place $100. Students attended the Opening Doors luncheon where their videos were premiered.
According to Catherine Rice, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach for the clinic, the winning video was captivating in so many ways. “Zeke did a brilliant job in balancing between audio, video and silence. One judge wrote, “I felt as though I was brought in and talked to in a way that I could simply understand what students suffering may be experiencing.” Another judge wrote, “The home video at the end made me tear up.” And another comment, “I really love this video and appreciate your depiction of depression and suicidal thoughts.””
The video submissions were judged for content, creativity and overall production. Judges included Michelle Gines and Gabrielle Owens from Sunflower; Maureen Caro, a family nurse practitioner from Health Partnership; and Stan Anderson with Shawnee Mission West.