KC CARE Health Center continues to serve the community after nearly 50 years

Triage Nurses check anyone entering the KC CARE Health Center on Broadway Boulevard in Midtown Kansas City. “Before the patient can enter the facility, we ask a series of questions as to whether they’ve displayed symptoms of the Coronavirus or come in contact with anyone who has,” Monika Koirala said. If patients don’t exhibit symptoms, they are given a colored sticker to put on their shirt. If patients do have symptoms, they are whisked downstairs to one of three secure examining areas where they are tested further for the virus. “That’s our first line of defense,” Koirala noted. / photo by MICHAEL BUSHNELL

Elizabeth Orosco
Managing Editor


As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, affecting millions of people, nurses and doctors stand on the front lines ready to serve.


Facing multiple challenges of manpower, proper and adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and keeping themselves and their families safe as they continue to work to heal the community, healthcare workers have been heroes.


In the Northeast, KC CARE Health Center at 4601 Independence Avenue has been serving our community since 2017.


KC CARE Health Center originally started in Kansas City as the Westport Free Health Clinic that opened in the lobby of the Alcazar Hotel in 1971, run by volunteers and providing free medical services to those in need.


In the late ‘80s, the clinic moved to the east side of Kansas City and changed its name to the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.


In the mid to late ‘90s, the clinic launched behavioral health services, expanded to 39th and Main, and became the lead agency in Kansas City responsible for building a system of HIV services in the region.


The clinic continued to add more services, expand, and today, the Kansas City Free Health Clinic is the KC CARE Health Center, which stands for Care, Access, Research, and Education for all.


“We have an emphasis of providing quality care for anyone who walks through our doors, regardless of ability to pay,” said Dr. Kelsey Ryan, a women’s health physician at KC CARE Health Center. “If a patient walks through our door and they are uninsured, we have dedicated workers at our clinic who can sign them up for Medicaid if they are eligible.”


Their list of services include primary care, women’s health, testing and screening, sexual health, dental care, behavioral health, HIV services, pharmacy, and community services.


During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, KC CARE Health Center has included offering Telehealth, patient care services that are offered via phone, tablet, or computer that virtually connects patients to healthcare providers.


Telehealth is available to new and existing patients and serves individuals who are insured, underinsured, or uninsured.


Telehealth offers a way for patients to still be able to see and talk with a doctor while complying with social distancing and not compromising their health.


“In two weeks, we have moved almost 40 percent of our business to Telehealth visits,” said KC CARE Health Center CEO Wil Franklin. “People are scared, too. They are worried. We have a lot of elderly patients who have high blood pressure or cardiac disease and they’re nervous about coming into the health center. We have scaled up Telehealth to be able to meet some of that need.”


Telehealth uses HIPAA-compliant technology (to protect patient privacy) on smartphones, tablets, or computers and visits can also adapt to landline telephones if needed.


Franklin said KC CARE Health Center is working on providing the best service possible with Telehealth as the number of new patients increase.


“We’ve got huge spikes in unemployment right now, so the number of patients we serve who are going to be uninsured are going to increase dramatically,” he said. “We are going to have to scale up services in the coming months because those individuals who are newly unemployed are probably not going to be able to go where they have gone in the past to get care, with no insurance.”


While Telehealth is helping many people who do not want to leave their homes during the COVID19 pandemic, Franklin said it is also increasing access that many individuals would otherwise not have.


“Being a community health center, a lot of our patients have challenges with transportation, and sometimes, coming for four visits even in a 12-month time span is really difficult,” he said. “Sometimes people are choosing to go to the doctors office over other important needs. Having this Telehealth option would be a long-term gain in terms of access.”


Overall, Blair Thedinger, KC CARE Health Center associate medical director, said KC CARE Health Center is working to provide quality service in the best way possible in the midst of stay-at-home orders.


“If we can try to assist in the general social distancing orders, to slow the spread of the virus by reducing—because we can’t eliminate in person visits, but we can reduce them—then I think that’s very much worthwhile,” he said. “KC CARE is open for business and we want to serve our patient base. We want to make sure they get what they need in terms of their medical care and one new option for doing that is Telehealth and we are going to use it as much as we can, wherever it’s appropriate.”


To schedule a Telehealth visit, call 816-753-5144. To learn more about Telehealth, visit kccare.org/telehealth.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City Man Charged with Robbery as part of Operation LeGend

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Operation LeGend continues to net positive results in Kansas City, this time snaring a 19 year-old Kansas City man for […]


    Finance provides insight into budget shortfalls and potential fixes

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Representatives from the City’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updated the City Council and Mayor Quinton Lucas on the […]


    Missouri’s tax-free weekend returns tomorrow

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Kansas City shoppers will see the return of Missouri’s annual tax-free weekend starting Aug. 7, 2020 in Jackson, Clay, Platte […]


    Throwback Thursday

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Today we visit the August 5, 1965 edition of The Northeast News that had these great community news stories. Pack […]


    Police search for PH Coffee robber

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington, was robbed on Aug. 1, 2020, and police are asking for the public’s help identifying a […]


    Victim dies from Saturday 12th and Lawndale shooting

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    The victim of an Aug. 1 shooting at 12th and Lawndale has died from his injuries, according to police. The […]


    Información sobre pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant La ciudad de Kansas City, Missouri, está ofreciendo pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19 en diferentes sitios […]


    Local priest involved in Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Lawsuit

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant A priest who served at Holy Cross Catholic Church on St. John Avenue is involved […]


  • RideKC opens new East Village Transit Center

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The new Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) East Village Transit Center at 12th and Charlotte […]


    Passantino Bros. Funeral Home continues serving Northeast families 90 years later

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Passantino Bros. Funeral Home, 2117 Independence Blvd., has served the Historic Northeast since it was established […]


    Unofficial Results: Aug. 4 Primary Election

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    At 10:08 p.m., Jackson County had 136 of its 136 precincts fully reporting, and at 11:42 p.m., Kansas City had […]


    Man gets 40 years for killing teen outside mosque in 2014

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    Today a Jackson County judge sentenced Ahmed Aden, 40, to 40 years in prison for killing a 15-year-old Somali boy […]


    Mattie Rhodes Center Summer Youth Programming Underway

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    Mattie Rhodes Center’s (MRC) youth programming has officially started for this summer. New health guidelines released by the local government […]


    City plans Landlord and Tenant University as eviction moratorium expires

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    The Neighborhood and Housing Services Department of Kansas City, along with facilitators from Legal Aid of Western Missouri will hold […]


    COVID-19 impacts parks staff and operations

    July 31st, 2020
    by

    The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department is feeling the impact of COVID-19. With parks being utilized at an unprecedented […]


    August 4 Election Cheat Sheet

    July 30th, 2020
    by

    Jackson County Prosecutor & Jackson County Sheriff Missouri Senate District 9, 11, Missouri House District 23 Missouri House District 19, […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.