The Health Care Access Clinic has recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary of providing health care to the Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas community. What started out with one volunteer, one room and a $500 start up fund has grown into a primary care facility that will serve some 1800 patients through 3500 on site appointments this year. HCAC will provide over $1 million in free medication, make 900 referrals to the 160 physicians and health professionals in the community who volunteer their time and services, and coordinate over $2 million in donated hospital services to improve the health and lives of our patients.
Since 2005 HCAC has increased the access to women’s health care five-fold and in just the past five months has reduced by half the waiting time for appointments for the low income, uninsured residents of the community that utilize these services.
All of these achievements are possible because of the generosity of friends and neighbors who have contributed a variety of gifts to the Health Care Access Clinic over the years. With Diabetes historically being the second most diagnosed illness among our patients, the assistance of Cosmopolitan International and the local River City Cosmopolitan Club becomes that much more important to our mission. The relationship with Cosmopolitan through the River City Club has blossomed over the years and we are very proud to partner with the club in an effort to provide for the needs of our diabetic patients.
The Cosmopolitan Diabetes Foundation and the River City Cosmopolitan Club have provided grants over the years to assist in our delivery of health care to diabetics. The River City Club has provided diabetes testing supplies each year that fulfill the needs of our patients. HCAC has now partnered with River City in sponsoring the Cosmopolitan Diabetes Golf Classic, a golf tournament held each Friday of Memorial Day weekend. The tournament, now in its 14th year, provides the funds to help offset the high cost of diabetes supplies and treatment. This year’s tournament raised in excess of $26,000 for this cause.
The River City Club also provides needed volunteer labor for any of a variety of other projects that range from blood sugar screenings during our health fairs to general yard work and cleanup of our building and grounds. The Lawrence Breakfast Cosmopolitan Club is also involved with volunteer labor and materials for the upkeep and maintenance of our current facility. A recent grant from the State of Kansas with matching funds coming in part from the River City Club will allow HCAC to move to a new facility that can serve even more patients.
Over 80% of HCAC patients are gainfully employed but lack access to health care coverage either because they cannot afford to purchase health insurance for themselves and their family members, are not offered health insurance coverage by their employers, or do not qualify for government subsidized or sponsored health insurance. The assistance of Cosmopolitan and the local River City Club is helping to bridge that gap. We are very proud and honored to be named a Major Cosmopolitan Supported Diabetes Program and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.