Governor Brownback has proclaimed August 10-16, 2014 as Safety Net Clinic Week., which is being celebrated in concurrence with the National recognition of Community Health Centers. For over 50 years the Community Health Center program has helped provide high quality, cost effective healthcare. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of Kansas clinics that provide a “safety net” for the most vulnerable Kansans – those who are uninsured and underinsured. In our community Health Ministries Clinic serves in this capacity.

There are approximately 359,000 Kansans who are uninsured along with many more that fall in the category of “underinsured”. In 2013, Kansas “safety net” clinics provided comprehensive primary care to more than 227,000 people, regardless of their ability to pay. Locally, during this same time period, Health Ministries Clinic provided over 10,000 visits to more than 3,000 patients. While a majority of these patients did not have health insurance, we also serve a number of patients who have insurance but choose to come here due to the relationships they have built and the care they receive.

Health Ministries Clinic is proud to be an active member of our local healthcare community. By working to ensure that everyone has access to primary medical and dental care we are able to decrease unnecessary and inappropriate use of the emergency room. Getting individuals connected with a primary medical and dental provider also allows for the opportunity to begin proactively working with them on issues of wellness instead of simply responding to illness.

At Health Ministries Clinic our goal is to not only ensure that everyone in our community has access to healthcare, but that that everyone has access to quality healthcare. We have made a commitment to hire and maintain top tier medical, dental and behavioral health professionals. As an example all of our medical providers are board certified. We are also proud of our efforts to provide truly integrated care. We are in a unique position of being able to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services in one location. By treating the whole person we believe we can more effectively and efficiently help individuals meet their larger healthcare goals.

I am grateful for the dedicated staff who work here, the many individuals and organizations that donate money to help support our efforts, and the collaborative spirit that exists with many of our local healthcare partners. We look forward to continuing to be part of the solution for the healthcare needs of our community!

—  Matthew Schmidt, LSCSW, Executive Director, Health Ministries Clinic