Health services for uninsured and underinsured people in Johnson and Miami counties just got a major boost.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Health Partnership of Johnson County, a twenty-year-old free clinic in Overland Park, a special designation and $596,250 in funds that will allow the place to double its capacity. Clinic director, Jason Wesco, has been hoping for such a designation for two years and says the region is in need of the support.
“We sometimes think stereotypically about Johnson County,” says Wesco. “I think it’s important to know there are 95,000 low income people in this county alone.”
The clinic now plans to hire more staff, increase its patient load from about 4,200 patients a year to 11,000, and offer services out of a mental health center in Miami County, according to Wesco.
Five other clinics in Kansas and Missouri, including Heartland Medical Clinic in Lawrence, also received federal funding today. The announcements were part of HHS’s most recent wave of community health center funding under the federal health law.
The entire health law (and its funding) could hinge on what the Supreme Court decides on the law in the next few days.
This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR, NPR and Kaiser Health News.
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