Katrina E. Williams
KC CARE Clinic’s mission is to promote health and wellness by providing quality health care, access, research, and education to the most underserved people in the community.
KC CARE Clinic is part of a growing network that currently has three locations serving patients of all age ranges. In addition to their location at 4601 Independence Avenue, they have locations at Research Medical Center and on Broadway in Midtown.
The organization’s Independence Avenue clinic opened in the spring of 2017, at the location of Dr. Elaine Joslyn’s former private practice. Dr. Joslyn, who retired in April of 2017 after 22 years, sold her business to KC CARE Clinic. The two providers shared the same healthcare vision and standards that she had always provided.
KC CARE Clinic has been around since 1971, and had a prior location here in the Northeast in 1986 as the Kansas City Free Health Clinic. When Dr. Joslyn retired, it was the perfect opportunity for KC CARE Clinic to return to the Northeast.
“Dr Joslyn’s practice was already a well oiled machine,” said Doug Day, Vice President of Marketing and Development. “We were genuinely pleased with the core of the operation.”
The Northeast location offers the community primary care services such as wellness checks, general exams and testing for typical aches, pains, and illnesses. They can also provide screenings for oral or behavioral health needs. If patients are in need of specialty services, referrals can be made to one of the other KC CARE Clinic locations with relative ease.
Patients who have remained at the Northeast location during the transition can still see some of the familiar faces they are used to, such as Karen Leuenberger, who specializes in Family Medicine, and Physician’s Assistant Sarah Potter. The pair works alongside a rotating team of highly qualified providers. KC Care Clinic understands the importance of maintaining the neighborhood feel of Dr. Joslyn’s practice; the location’s phone number even remains the same.
“We did a little freshening up of the place with some paint, but kept the staff and maintained the patient roster. It was a smooth transition,” Day said. “We are very much a neighborhood center, and we consider that a success and an honor.”
Statistics provided by the clinic show that nearly 250,000 people in the Kansas City metropolitan area are in need of primary care services. The KC CARE Clinic is helping to bridge that gap. KCCC doesn’t turn anyone away, regardless of ability to pay. They serve an almost equal mix of patients, with about 30% being privately insured, nearly 30% being Medicaid/Medicare recipients, and the rest being uninsured or underinsured patients. The amount that uninsured patients are required to pay is determined by an income-based sliding scale.
The clinic also offers free testing for HIV and Hepatitis C. If a patient tests positive, further treatment options are available.
“We are a federally qualified health care facility, which means we provide a nationally accredited standard level of care to all of our patients,” Day said. “We strive to be an affordable, quality neighborhood healthcare system.”
The Independence Avenue location is open Monday-Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays they open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m., and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
To find out more about the various services KC CARE Clinic offers, visit www.kccareclinic.org.