KC CARE provides health services for all

Northeast News


KC CARE Health Center began serving the Kansas City community in 1971. They were known as the Westport Free Health Clinic, a group of volunteer medical and dental students providing no-cost care to community members in the lobby of the Alcazar Hotel.


In the late 1980s, the organization 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, KC CARE 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. They were the first healthcare provider in Western Missouri to offer confidential testing and counseling for people with HIV.


The clinic continued to add more services, expanding into what is known today as KC CARE Health Center. KC CARE’s presence in Kansas City now includes four locations: the primary location in Midtown 3501 Broadway, at Research Medical Campus, Homeroom Health at 30th and Troost, and in the Historic Northeast.


Operated by Dr. Elaine Joselyn for over 20 years, KC CARE’s Northeast location is located at 4601 Independence Avenue. Dr. Joselyn and her husband, David, lived in the Historic Northeast for many years. Upon Dr. Joselyn’s retirement, she and David relocated to the River Market neighborhood. They chose KC CARE to preserve their legacy, trusting KC CARE’s history of providing unconditional whole-person care to the underserved and everyone in their community.


Rocio Garcia, Patient Services Supervisor, and Karen Leuenberger, Physician Assistant, have both been serving patients at KC CARE’s location in the Historic Northeast since Dr. Joselyn’s practice operated there. Retaining much of the staff from Dr. Joselyn’s practice allowed the KC CARE location to maintain its reputation as a true neighborhood family clinic.
As KC CARE’s Associate Clinical Director of Advanced Practice Dr. Michelle Goss says, “Karen Leuenberger has quite the following.” Dr. Goss further sings the praises of Yesenia Beltran, a bilingual nurse practitioner at the Historic Northeast location who is bridging the care gap for many patients who are best served in Spanish.


Services available at KC CARE’s location in the Historic Northeast include primary care, pediatrics, testing and screening, sexual health, behavioral health, HIV services, and community services.


KC CARE also operates a pharmacy with 340B federal pricing at their Midtown location and offers dental services at their Research Medical Campus and Homeroom Health locations.


“We have an emphasis on quality care for anyone who walks through our doors, regardless of ability to pay,” said Dr. Kelsey Ryan, who specializes in sexual and reproductive health at KC CARE. “If a patient walks through the door and they are uninsured, we have dedicated workers at our clinic who can sign them up for Medicaid if they are eligible.”


During the COVID-19 pandemic, KC CARE began offering telehealth, patient care that is offered via phone, tablet, or computer that virtually connects patients to healthcare providers. Telehealth uses HIPAA-compliant technology (to protect patient privacy) and can be adapted for use with landlines if needed.


Although COVID-19 vaccines have made it safer for many patients to return to in-person medical visits, telehealth remains a popular option as it eliminates the need for transportation to and from appointments. Telehealth is available to new and existing patients and serves those who are insured, underinsured, and uninsured.


“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,” KC CARE’s President and CEO Wil Franklin said. “Sometimes people are choosing to go to the doctor’s office over other important needs. Having this telehealth option would be a long-term gain in terms of access.”


“KC CARE is open for business, and we want to serve our patient base,” KC CARE’s Associate Medical Director Dr. Blair Thedinger said. “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, whenever it’s appropriate.”


Whether you are seeking an annual physical, a sexual and reproductive health wellness exam, childhood immunizations, behavioral healthcare, or support navigating the healthcare and insurance systems, KC CARE wants residents of the Historic Northeast to know that they are here to meet those needs.


To schedule a visit and find out if the services you need are available via telehealth, call 816.753.5144. To learn more about all the services KC CARE has to offer, visit KCCARE.org.

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.

  • One dead in double shooting at Indep/Maple Blvds

    August 13th, 2022
    by

    Kansas City MO police are reporting a double shooting that left one person dead at the BP station at Independence […]


    KCPS Hosts Summerfest Event

    August 12th, 2022
    by

    For the second year, Kansas City Public Schools and the KCPS Education Foundation are partnering with area public health providers […]


    An Artistic Day at 12th & Benton

    August 11th, 2022
    by

    It was all hands on deck today at the 12th & Benton intersection traffic calming project. Artists, students and project […]


    KC “movie cars” on display in Branson

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Who ya gonna call, when you need to go back in time? Joe Pace, that’s who. Pace, […]


    Missouri Bicentennial Quilt takes its last stop at the SHSMO Kansas City Research Center

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt has been a part of Kansas City’s deep history and celebrates KC […]


    KC Chamber Of Commerce: KC Public Works Career Opportunities

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click on […]


    Some voters confused by changes to polling locations, district boundaries

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor Tuesday, August 2 was the Missouri Primary Election. Voters were asked to select a ballot for the […]


    New Ambassador Wellness Program aims to inform Kansas City about health

    August 10th, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant This past June, the Kansas City Health Department started the Ambassador Wellness Program to assist residents […]


  • Show Me KC Schools, Samuel U. Rodgers Host Second Bounce Back to School Event

    August 6th, 2022
    by

    Back for its second year, Show Me KC Schools and Samuel U. Rodgers will host the Bounce Back to School […]


    Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Kansas City’s Northeast News to help track local KC individuals on the Kansas […]


    LEC advocates for more Latinx educators

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed Edgar Palacios, President/CEO founded LEC (Latinx Education Collaborative) in 2018. His goal for his non-profit organization is […]


    Knowledge is Power Program moves forward

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed KIPP: Endeavor Academy, a tuition-free, open-enrollment public school, opened its doors in Kansas City in 2007 as […]


    Janet Raymer named 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale This 2021-2022 Frontier School District Teacher of the Year award was granted to Janet Raymer, a seventh-grade […]


    Frontier receives $250,000 Kauffman grant

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By Aniaya Reed The Frontier School of Innovation, through the New Frontier Educational Foundation, will benefit from the Kauffman Foundation’s […]


    Gordon Parks Elementary School strives to elevate student success

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Being one of the first charter schools in the Kansas City, Mo., area, Gordon Parks Elementary School […]


    Headstart Home-Based open opportunities for all parents

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale The Family Conservancy (TFC) has continually created sustainable education, and resource programs to provide equitable opportunities for […]


    Burned mobile home mess abated by county

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    A little over a day after the charred remains of an abandoned mobilehome moved from the old Heart Village Mobile […]


    Holy Cross Catholic School to break ground on new Community Center in 2022

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Holy Cross School on Quincy Avenue plans to break ground this summer on the construction of a […]


    2022 Back To School issue

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click on […]


    Election results of note from the August 2nd Primary Election

    August 3rd, 2022
    by

    The results are in from yesterday’s Primary election and the resultspromise some highly contested battles shaping up for the November […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?

    Remember This?

    August 10th, 2022
    by

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