Archive for Thursday, May 26, 2005

Clinic offers low-cost health care

May 26, 2005

Starting Wednesday, Eudora residents with low income and no health insurance will have access to low-cost medical services provided by the Lawrence-based Health Care Access Clinic.

The clinic will be open Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. in the office of Eudora Family Care, 101 W. 10th St., and will be staffed by volunteer nurse practitioners.

The organization began operation in Lawrence in 1988.

"We work with over 70 physicians in the area who volunteer for us to treat anything from dermatology to surgery," said Health Care Access Executive Director Nikki King.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital partners with the organization to provide the laboratories and X-ray equipment needed for diagnostics, King said.

"And we also work with over 30 pharmaceutical companies to acquire medication for patients for free," she said.

In 2004 Health Care Access used grant money to open a clinic in Baldwin City, and King said expanding to Eudora seemed like a natural next step.

"Health Care Access has a mission to serve all of Douglas County," she said. "We knew we needed to have a concerted effort to reach out to our smaller towns in the county."

King said a study performed by the Kansas City chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation showed that Eudora was in need of the kind of services offered by Health Care Access.

"Eudora appeared on the study specifically as being a highly-concentrated area of low-income individuals," she said.

To qualify for service, an individual must be a Douglas County resident with no health insurance and must meet minimum income requirements. An adult must have a gross monthly income of no more than 150 percent of the poverty level, and a child must come from a family making less than 185 percent of the poverty level.

"With the growing health care costs out there I know a lot of people struggle to continue to carry insurance and pay for medication." King said. "We don't want people to have to choose between paying the rent and paying for health care."

King said people who met the requirements were encouraged to use the clinic's services, even if was just for a check-up.

"You don't have to wait until something is terribly wrong to seek our help," she said. "We want people to be healthy and stay in their jobs."

A $10 clinic fee is requested at the time of service, but King said no one would be turned away for an inability to pay.

For more information or to make an appointment call 841-5760.

Information is also available on the Health Care Access Web site, www.healthcareaccess.org.

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