Posts tagged with Heartland Community Health Center

Back-to-school event provides school supplies and health services to community

Lawrence, KS - As families get ready to head back to school for the fall, the crunch is on to get all the right supplies purchased, paperwork filled out, and immunizations and physicals scheduled. It can be a hectic time of year and many struggle to find the time and money to make it happen smoothly. That’s where local organizations, such as Heartland Community Health Center, can help.

In order to get kids off to a healthy start to the school year, Heartland, with support from Connect Church, will be focusing on the back-to-school needs of families during the week of Aug. 7-11, and beyond. During the event week, Heartland will offer reduced-cost school physicals and immunizations by appointment only. Free backpacks filled with assorted school supplies and free fluoride varnish to protect teeth, along with other helpful information, will be available on a walk-in basis during event hours.

The 2017 Back To School with Heartland event will be held Monday – Thursday 2:00-5:00 p.m. and Friday 1:00-3:00 p.m., August 7-11. However, reduced costs for physicals and immunizations will be honored through Sept. 30 this year, for those who are unable to schedule an appointment during the event week.

“Families will have affordable access to needed immunizations that will protect their own children and others,” said Jon Stewart, Heartland CEO. “But additionally, they will enjoy a central location for getting many essential back-to-school items checked off their list. We want the community to know that Heartland is a great resource for families, both right now and throughout the year.”

Schools are a top location for the spread of germs and infectious disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “making sure that children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children’s long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community.”

With the recent upticks in measles and whooping cough cases, as well as the more modern ability to vaccinate teens against HPV, it is important for families to get information on how infectious diseases spread and the proper steps for prevention. Heartland encourages families to schedule a visit with their primary care provider, local clinic or health department to receive information and care.

Additionally, not all back-to-school activities are required by schools, but can go a long way to help kids with their school experience. Heartland’s partnership with Douglas County Dental Clinic and their implementation of a dental department in early 2017, will allow them to start kids off with a free fluoride varnish during the back-to-school event, but also serve children throughout the year with preventative treatments and restorative procedures, such as fillings.

“In the race to get ready for school, oral health care can often be overlooked,” said Heartland Dental Director Dr. Mollie Day. “The health of a child’s teeth and how they feel about their smile really does make a difference. We want them to be pain free and feeling confident, so they can focus on their work and have positive and productive school days.”

Heartland’s regular clinic hours are as follows: Monday & Wednesday – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday – 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Heartland is a Level 3 Patient-centered Medical Home and a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Douglas County and surrounding areas with primary care, behavioral health, psychiatry, dental care, physical therapy and assistance programs. Services are available to all, regardless of income or insurance status. Heartland is located at 346 Maine St., Ste. 150 in Lawrence, KS, and also offers an office inside the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 200 Maine St. The office within the Health Department is subject to Health Department hours of operation.

www.HeartlandHealth.org

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Area organizations explore merge to improve community health care

Lawrence, Ks - Heartland Community Health Center and Health Care Access would like to announce that the two organizations have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent to merge. While a final decision has not been made, the two organizations have been in board conversations to explore better serving the community through a merged organization. As plans progress, the two entities are targeting January 2018 as a potential merge date.

Heartland and Health Care Access have been in ongoing discussions, regarding possible ways to join, for several years. However, the benefits of such a merger became even more evident recently, as local health care needs have evolved and changes at the state and federal levels have created increased barriers.

“This is just the beginning of something new, exciting and hopeful in health care for Lawrence and Douglas County,” said Heartland CEO Jon Stewart. “The shortcomings of our health care system have yet to be adequately addressed in Topeka, KS and Washington DC. A major part of the answer is to have a robust multi-disciplinary system of primary medical, behavioral and oral health care. Local collaboration is one attainable step in that direction.”

In the hopes of reaching more people in need of affordable, assessible health care, Heartland has tapped into the long-standing Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) model, becoming a recognized FQHC practice in 2012. Health Care Access, in recognizing the power of a shared vision, has declared their interest in joining forces to further expand this capability for the community. A merger between the two agencies would leverage the resources and assets of Heartland’s FQHC status, the 30 year service history and community relations of Health Care Access, and the supportive role of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The anticipated result is a well-supported, unified, community health access point that will provide comprehensive services to all in need.

“The potential for our organizations to leverage the talents and assets entrusted to us together is exciting,” said Health Care Access CEO Beth Llewellyn. “Along with LMH, and other health care organizations in this community, we are collaborating in ways that will overcome barriers to care and create healthier people and communities.”

Organizations, such as Lawrence Memorial Hospital, have shown support for the potential collaboration. Recent strategic planning at the hospital involved re-commitment to delivering health services when and where they are needed, forming community partnerships and working together for a seamless experience, both inside and outside the hospital facilities.

“Lawrence Memorial Hospital has an opportunity here to establish ourselves as a lifelong partner in the health of our community by supporting this collaboration and the patients these organizations exist to serve,” said Lawrence Memorial Hospital CEO Russ Johnson. “We look forward to further supporting this type of community investment.”

It will take a number of months to work through the due diligence that is required to ascertain how the two organizations might best achieve a merge.

Heartland Community Health Center serves Douglas County and surrounding areas with primary care, mental health care, psychiatry, dental care, physical therapy and a variety of assistance programs and wrap-around services. They offer care to all community members in their catchment area, regardless of income or insurance status. As well as being an FQHC, Heartland is also a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), which is a model that emphasizes patient accessibility, as well as coordinated, compassionate and integrated care to ensure that all needs are met.

Health Care Access has been a health care provider to persons with limited financial means in Douglas County for 29 years. Health Care Access’ approach emphasizes access to a continuum of community-based services in order to promote health and well-being, employing collaboration and advocacy to support their efforts. The clinic provides a comprehensive care approach with three medical provider teams, counseling, referral and wellness services. Health Care Access is also a Level 3 PCMH.

Heartland Community Health Center
346 Maine Street, Ste. 150
Lawrence, KS 66044

Health Care Access
330 Maine Street
Lawrence, KS 66044

For more information, please contact: Melanie Coen/ Communications Coordinator/ Heartland Community Health Center/ 785.841.7297 x209/ mcoen@heartlandhealth.org

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Living Well class provides supportive community and place to “open up”

Angela Cowan, right, leads her Living Well class in discussion.

Angela Cowan, right, leads her Living Well class in discussion. by Rachel Hartford

The last four Thursday mornings Angela Cowan, AmeriCorps member and case manager at Heartland Community Health Center, comes to work a little early to prepare some healthy snacks and get ready to meet with participants of the Living Well with a Disability course she leads.

Living Well is a program developed by The University of Montana Rural Institute on Disabilities and the University of Kansas Research and Training Center on Independent Living. Its purpose is to help reduce the severity of secondary conditions that can stem from existing disabilities. According to the Living Well website, secondary conditions occur when a person with a disability develops psychological or physical complications as a result of his or her impairment.

At HCHC, Living Well is a five-week course led by Cowan, along with two other social work interns. Goal setting, learning how and where to seek help, managing frustration, receiving healthy living tips and learning how to advocate for change for oneself and others are a few of the topics discussed in each session.

The Living Well program is backed by 20 years of research, and Cowan is a big fan of how the program can help people living with any type of disability. “It’s something that [will] benefit them so much,” she said. “It’s something to help [them] live a more satisfactory life.”

The first lesson dives into redefining what a goal is. Cowan said it’s important to realize that a “goal” doesn’t have to be one life-changing accomplishment, but instead a stepping stone to long-term results. But Cowan said the information provided in the course isn’t the only useful thing participants gain. Cowan believes meeting peers who may be going through similar struggles is a huge benefit.

“The most important thing [they] can get from each session is interaction,” Cowan said. “They open up about so much.”

As for herself, Cowan thinks she gains even more from leading the class.

“We have absolutely no idea what they’re going through,” she said. “I’m learning from them more than what I talk about in class.”

The Living Well with a Disability class is taught at Heartland Community Health Center, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30. For more information about upcoming Living Well sessions, please contact HCHC at info@heartlandhealth.org.

Link to Living Well with a Disability’s website: http://livingandworkingwell.org/default.cfm

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HCHC participating in $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger

Throughout the months of March and April, Heartland Community Health Center will participate in the Feinstein Foundation’s 15th Annual $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger. Organizations participating in this challenge will have all food and monetary donations proportionally matched by the foundation’s beneficiary, Alan Feinstein.

The number of patrons who visit HCHC’s food pantry has more than doubled over the last year. In January 2011, HCHC reported 87 families served. In January 2012, 196 families were reported.

The Feinstein Foundation provides an opportunity to help meet the growing demand and increase giving impact because the more donations HCHC receives during the hunger challenge, the more money the Feinstein Foundation will contribute to it’s food pantry!

To participate, donations can be sent to HCHC at 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 100 during business hours: Monday, Wednesday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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Tickets for HCHC’s spring fundraiser on sale now!

Fill Up Pour Out will take place Saturday, April 28, at 6:00 p.m. The evening will feature a full course, gourmet meal by Chef Robert Krause. Enjoy your dinner while listening to live music and watching the sun set over Himmel’s Rand Farm, a beautiful country estate located in Eudora.

Ticket sales will benefit Heartland Community Health Center and can be purchased at www.heartlandhealth.org/help/

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Heartland Community Health Center expands hours, hopes to better meet needs of community

Heartland Community Health Center is excited to announce increased clinic hours this week, staying open an additional six hours per week total.

In addition to being open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the clinic will also be open until 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Previously the clinic closed at 2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. HCHC is also open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The staff at Heartland Community Health Center hopes these extended hours will make it more convenient for patients to make appointments and get the medical attention they need.

“The clinic is growing rapidly, “ said Allison Veeder, ARNP at HCHC. “It’s time to be open regular business hours to better meet the needs of the community.”

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Heartland Community Health Center to benefit from Tour of Lawrence

The Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce Heartland Community Health Center as the beneficiary of the third annual Tour of Lawrence, a ProAm USA Cycling event presented by US Bank. Over the Fourth of July weekend, thousands of community members and hundreds of cyclists and will line the streets of downtown Lawrence to witness and participate in the event.

“I’m excited that the Tour of Lawrence has evolved into not only a premier regional cycling event, but also a strong community celebration. On top of this success, the event now has an opportunity to benefit a valuable service agency like HCHC,” Bob Sanner, Tour of Lawrence Event Director, said.

In 2010, the Tour of Lawrence attracted 445 riders from 16 different states. In addition to competitive cycling, the Tour of Lawrence offers live music on Friday night; a free Kids’ Zone; a free kids’ bike race, which attracted more than 250 children in 2010; and the Mass. Street Mile Rule, which attracted 300 runners in 2010. New this year will be a Citizens’ Criterium and Campus race category.

“Our goal is to help make this event appealing and accessible to the average Lawrence resident. Cycling is a great way of life as transportation, as a form of exercise and with friends as a social support system. It's great to be associated with such a great and recognizable event in Lawrence," said Jon Stewart, CEO of Heartland Community Health Center.

All proceeds from the Tour of Lawrence will benefit Heartland Community Health Center. For more information or to donate to the Tour of Lawrence, go to www.heartlandhealth.org/help.

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HCHC thanks Dr. Kenny at Lawrence Family Vision Clinic

Dr. Kenny from Lawrence Family Vision Clinic offers Heartland Community Health Center patients who are enrolled in the Diabetes Care & Prevention program FREE eye exams. Eye exams are very important for diabetic patients because high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease in diabetes and is a leading cause of adult blindness (ACT-ED Diabetes Treatment Workbook by Gregg et al).

Since late January 2011, Dr. Kenny has performed eye exams on 23 HCHC patients for free.

This is an amazing service to patients who otherwise would not be able to afford eye exams. Thank you, Dr. Kenny, for your commitment to serving the underserved in Lawrence, Kansas

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She CAN do more push-ups than me!

Check out this video that was shot at HCHC the other morning. See how it was started here in this article written by HCHC CEO Jon Stewart.

See how the Challenge is being spread throughout the community and how YOU can join the challenge in this article written by Jane Stevens.

Marc Havener from Resonate Pictures is a rock star! Thanks for putting this together for us, Marc!

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She Can Do More Pushups Than Me!?!

Can I just point out that this was not my idea? I suppose it should have been. I'm one of the few males in a predominantly female workplace, and a push-up contest seems to me like a 'guy thing.' But it was a group of young women in our clinic who have latched onto the idea and now doing push-ups seems to have a life of its own.

It all started when Jenny Davidson, an HCHC AmeriCorps member and Diabetes Care & Prevention program coordinator stumbled across a website, hundredpushups.com. The website promises that no matter how many push-ups you can do today, you'll be able to do 100 if you follow the program for six weeks. Each person's training, which includes 5 sets of pushups three days per week, is based upon which of three categories a person falls into at the start. Jenny felt duly challenged and inspired so she talked about it among coworkers and it caught hold.

On Thursday and Friday, about 12 staff members and volunteers found open floor space and turned on some upbeat mustic to do push-ups together to start the workday. Needless to say it has created a real buzz along with a lot of laughter. Maybe it reveals my gender bias but it's surreal to see and hear our entire staff, mostly women talking about how many push-ups they can do. I can't help but think of my football-playing days when the measure of one's manhood was how much the player could bench press. But what is most interesting to me is how this differs from that. The push-up challenge is a collegial, encouraging atmosphere. I keep trying to make it a competition in which we have a clear winner (preferably me) but they won't let me. It's not about winning, they say. It's about the process of getting fit.

Did I say it has a life of its own? Friday afternoon some of our staff assembled for a meeting with invited guest Amy Biel, who is on the board of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and works for Heart to Heart International in Olathe. Amy is a disease epidemiologist and was joining us to review some health outcomes data. Of course, the pushup challenge came up during introductions. Before I knew it, Amy and I were on the floor literally head to head doing push-ups together to the cheers of everyone assembled. Filmmaker Marc Havener just happened to be in the office for work on a video for our website and was attracted by the ruckus. After capturing a little on film, he too dropped and did 20 (or 40, actually). What a hoot!

I understand that exercise leads to improved brain function so maybe it's no surprise that we hatched a plan to engage Amy's co-workers at Heart to Heart in the challenge. We'd call it Heart to Heartland, print T-shirts and we'd gather in their warehouse in six weeks to culminate the challenge by doing our push-ups together. It all fell into place as if it had been there all along!

Of course my idea to make our T-shirts a different color (easier to identify the winners and losers) was shouted down. We're not competing, remember. We're getting fit together. Secretly, surprisingly, it's still a lot of fun.

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Four HCHC AmeriCorps members to run marathon/half marathon

Running long distances doesn’t excite me. It doesn’t give me a rush of adrenaline or relieve any stress. In fact, when I see a jogger out on the streets of Lawrence, I get a sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach, and a wave of pity washes over me. Running, jogging, walking quickly, skipping hurriedly—call it what you will, I don’t like it.

I stay healthy by walking to the grocery store and riding my bike to work, not by circling the city of Lawrence on foot a couple times each Saturday morning. However, there are some people who get a thrill out of running. In fact, four of my coworkers are a small portion of those “some people.” They’ve been training together for four months, and their goal has almost been reached. They’re running in the St. Louis Marathon and Half Marathon on April 10.

Jenny Davidson, Lindsay Elliott, Megan Foster and Brittany Love put miles on their sneakers (almost) every day. A weekend doesn’t pass that I hear about how far each of them ran, and we all had a high-five celebration when Megan, our marathoner, came back from a run saying she had gone 21 miles. There have been injured ankles and nagging knees, but these girls are relentless in their pursuit to conquer their goal of running 13.2 miles (or 26.2 miles, for Megan) in St. Louis.

“It’s really teaching me perseverance and what it looks like to persevere and be committed to something. There are a lot of days when I do not want to run at all, but I know if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t reach my goal. Whatever it’s building in me physically, it’s building in my character too,” Lindsay Elliott said.

Anyone who has ever trained for any type of race knows it isn’t easy. Whether it’s the St. Louis Marathon or the Olympic games, engaging in the lifestyle is difficult. No matter how motivated the trainee is, let’s face it; sometimes sitting on the couch sounds a whole lot more appealing. I’ve heard more than once, “If you guys weren’t doing this marathon, there’d be no way I would stay motivated to do it either.”

It’s the social support that makes the training possible. It’s the sense of community in training for the marathon that keeps the girl motivated. Heartland Community Health Center believes in having a culture of social support, and these girls are living it.

“I never in my life would have imagined trying to run thirteen miles at one time. We motivate and push each other, and we celebrate each other’s successes,” Brittany Love said.

These girls are like family, and I’ve seen first-hand how they’ve been brought closer together. They’ve experienced anxiety about getting into medical school (the three who applied all got in!), exhaustion from training together, and mourning for and with Brittany when her father passed away, not to mention the every day stresses and celebrations of working together at HCHC. Whether it’s one surprising another with a new pair of sneakers, eating lunch together in a cramped office or working side-by-side to ensure a patient’s health, these girls have shown HCHC what a team is. They’ve paved the way for our clinic to live its philosophy of being a safe, welcoming place where a person’s whole health—physical, emotional, social spiritual—is taken into consideration. They’ve offered each other social support and received it in return. As far as I’m concerned, even if they don’t finish the race, the goal has been met.

The four AmeriCorps girls will leave for St. Louis on April 8th to participate in the April 10th race and will be racing for Brittany’s father who passed away in November 2010.

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