WICHITA, Kansas — New help has been provided for a community struggling to find affordable medical care.
GraceMed saw the need and responded by putting a clinic in the Derby area school, Oaklawn Elementary.
Derby voters passed a school bond last year and GraceMed found a good opportunity to use the new space for their newest facility.
“We looked at the demographics of the population in that area and obviously Oaklawn is a low income area with a lot of people that don’t have insurance,” said Dave Sanford, the CEO of GraceMed.
“A lot of children that qualify for the KanCare state medicaid program and a lot of senior adults that are on medicare but are a long ways away from any primary care clinic.”
GraceMed was able to get a $500,000 construction grant for the clinic that will be housed inside Oaklawn Elementary but the new facility isn’t just for the students.
“All of our school based clinics kind of have the same philosophy, the same focus, that we’re there primarily to serve the kids in that neighborhood but anyone, adults and senior adults are welcome to come in for care as well,” said Sanford.
Also, even though it will be housed in a school, the clinic won’t keep academic hours of business.
“When the school’s not is session, the door to the school will be locked but people will still be able to access the clinic,” said Sanford.
Currently, the closest clinic is a mobile one that stops at Lighthouse Community Church every Thursday evening for just a couple of hours.
The new clinic should be open by late summer, just in time for those back to school physicals.
GraceMed is also planning a school based clinic at Jardine Middle School. That one is slated to open in 2015. South and West High Schools will also get clinics in the next few years.