KCUMB and Samuel Rodgers partner to increase healthcare access in Northeast

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
September 25, 2013

Healthcare access in Historic Northeast will be increasing, thanks to a new partnership between the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) and Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.

Leadership teams at both institutions began discussing partnership possibilities in November of 2012, and they cemented the partnership this year.

Beginning in October, seven board-certified primary care physicians who teach at KCUMB will provide medical services at Samuel U. Rodgers, giving the healthcare center the equivalent of two full-time physicians. This will allow Samuel U. Rodgers to see an additional 200 patients per week, said Dr. Marc Hahn, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of KCUMB. In addition, KCUMB students will participate in clinical training at Samuel U. Rodgers’ Northeast location, 825 Euclid Ave.

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for both of our organizations,” Samuel U. Rodgers CEO Hilda Fuentes said in a statement. “It advances both organizations’ missions to ensure healthier people in a healthy community, which was the vision of our founder Samuel U. Rodgers, M.D., 45 years ago.”

“It’s a great opportunity for our students to be engaged with clinical services in our own neighborhood,” Hahn said. “This is a very diverse neighborhood with diverse healthcare issues and medical concerns; I think it will better prepare the next generation of physicians to be ready to serve all patient populations.”

KCUMB is one of the largest medical schools in the region and the second largest provider of physicians in Missouri, he said. Of KCUMB’s graduates who practice in Kansas and Missouri, more than 70 percent of them are primary care specialists.

“Primary care specialities are probably the specialties in the greatest demand these days, especially with the Affordable Health Care Act,” Hahn said. “As more uninsured and underinsured Americans start to receive some level of insurance coverage, many of them are going to be seeking primary doctors to care for them.”

Last year, Samuel U. Rodgers served 21,000 patients, providing medical, dental and behavioral health services. Hahn called Fuentes a “visionary leader” who’s committed to serving the underserved of Historic Northeast and Kansas City.

“It really is a world-class clinical facility that offers all kinds of state-of-the-art services to this community,” Hahn said. “It’s quite impressive.”

Hahn called both KCUMB and Samuel U. Rodgers anchor institutions in the Historic Northeast that not only impact the economy but patient care. Forging the partnership will only improve access to healthcare, he said.

“When the university closed the (university) hospital back in the ’90s, it really marked a period where our physicians were not necessarily practicing in the (Northeast) community; they were practicing at some of our affiliated hospital sites,” Hahn said. “This partnership allows us an opportunity to once again provide those services to the community and it also affords our students an opportunity to train in a world-class facility right in their backyard.”

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