June 25, 2008

Wichita Clinics Get More Funding: About $1.4 Million in State Money Will Go to Seven Safety Net Clinics.

By Karen Shideler, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.

Jun. 25--Almost $1.4 million in state funding will go to seven Wichita health clinics to provide medical care, prescription assistance and dental services to those who otherwise couldn't afford them.

The money is part of $6.2 million being allocated statewide to safety net clinics. It's an increase of about $2.5 million from this year's allocation and was part of a health reform package approved by the Legislature.

"This was extremely impressive given the budget situation," said Barbara Gibson of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Office of Local and Rural Health.

"We are blessed," said Dave Sanford, executive director of GraceMed Health Clinic. GraceMed will get $150,000 more in the fiscal year that begins Tuesday, for a total of $465,000. Part of the new money will be used to add two physicians and two physician assistants to the clinic's staff.

GraceMed and Hunter Health Clinic in Wichita are among six clinics statewide chosen for a program to expand access to dental services. Details of those programs will be announced next month.

Hunter Health is the other big recipient in Sedgwick County. It will get $435,000 for the fiscal year, up from $280,000, said chief executive Susette Schwartz. The money will ensure the continuation of Hunter Health's evening clinic, open until 10 p.m. weekdays.

GraceMed and Hunter Health will each use $40,000 for prescription drug assistance programs and $75,000 for the dental program. The remaining funding is for primary care services.

Other Wichita clinics receiving money:

Center for Health and Wellness, $105,000 for primary care and $15,000 for prescription assistance.

E.C. Tyree Health & Dental Clinic, $80,000 for primary care.

Good Samaritan Clinic, $110,500 for primary care and $15,000 for prescription assistance.

Guadalupe Clinic, $75,000 for primary care and $20,000 for prescription assistance.

Healthy Options for Kansas Communities, $60,000 for primary care and $15,000 for prescription assistance.

The Health Ministries Clinic based in Newton will get $190,000, and PrairieStar, based in Hutchinson, will get $250,000.

Reach Karen Shideler at 316-268-6674 or [email protected]


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