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Kansas City CARE Clinic Receives Federal Designation


A nonprofit health care clinic originally known for helping hippies in the 1970s has received federal recognition.

The Kansas City CARE Clinic was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center, or FQHC, on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The clinic will receive federal funding of $650,000 annually, and KC CARE vice president of marketing and development Kirk Isenhour says that will help the organization expand its capacity to include pediatric care and more services for seniors.

Last week, the nonprofit National Committee for Quality Assurance recognized KC CARE as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.

“The safety net for Kansas City is now stronger with the Clinic becoming both an FQHC and a Patient-Centered Medical Home,” said Sheri Wood, CEO of KC CARE, in a statement.

Federally Qualified Health Centers must operate in medically underserved areas, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services and maintain a quality assurance program.

KC CARE's new status will go into effect in October.

In addition to KC CARE, 18 health organization in the Kansas City metro area are designated as FQHCs.

Originally called the Westport Free Health Clinic, KC CARE opened in 1971. In FY 2014, the clinic’s staff of 105 served about 8,000 patients.  

Alex Smith is a reporter for KCUR, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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