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Local Safety Net Health Services Receive $900,000 Boost


Kansas City, MO – Services for people who are uninsured or underinsured are receiving a much-needed boost from one of the area's main health care foundations.

The Reach Health Care Foundation recently announced it's more than doubled the amount of money it's directing towards core health services. Brenda Sharpe is the foundation's CEO, and says the decision this year to focus more on protecting ongoing programs - as opposed to funding new ones - was in large part due to the growing need for basic medical services.

SHARPE: "We knew that those safety net clinics in particular were already under tremendous strain, and they were going to be experiencing higher case loads as more and more people lost their employer based health coverage."

Sharpe says out of two million dollars in local grants, the foundation awarded a total of $900,000 to nine local health agencies in order to help them sustain ongoing services.

Sharpe also says those places aren't the only ones getting hit by the economy. She says the Reach Foundation's received a growing number of grant requests, but the agency's had to scale back the total amount of money it distributes. That's because the foundation's assets declined by more than thirty percent last year.

The region's other main health foundation - the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City - also says its resources have declined, but that it's paying more and more attention to maintaining ongoing health programs.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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