People talk about food deserts, areas of a city that don’t have easy access to grocery stores.
Dave Sanford, CEO of GraceMed Health, thinks the south part of Wichita is a health care desert as well.
Now, GraceMed is hoping to fill that gap as it opens a new hub clinic on the Richard A. DeVore South YMCA campus, offering medical, dental and vision services.
“We knew demographically that would be the right location, that they already had a great outreach to that community,” Sanford said. “What better place to put a clinic than close to a health and fitness center that had a similar mission to what we had?”
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GraceMed is a nonprofit health care clinic affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It offers a sliding-fee scale for patients and primarily serves low-income, uninsured and underinsured populations.
The new 15,000-square-foot building cost about $6.5 million for construction, equipment and IT. The money came from local fundraising.
The clinic is finally opening after four years of planning, funding setbacks and a one-year delay in the groundbreaking.
The land is being leased from the Y for $10 a year.
The clinic will open April 12 with a physician, a nurse practitioner, a dentist, a dental hygienist and an optometrist.
“As demand increases, we’ll slowly but surely add another dentist, and we have room to add up to six more medical providers until we get to capacity,” Sanford said.
Eventually, Sanford hopes the clinic will be able to add an in-house pharmacy and integrate behavioral health with its primary care services.
The clinic is the “crown jewel” to GraceMed’s Project Oasis, a plan to build four clinics in low-income areas without easy access to care. Project Oasis included three school-based clinics, all of which are open and offer preventive dental services as well as family and pediatric care.
To make an appointment
Call 316-866-2000 to make an appointment in Wichita. GraceMed will gather your information and set up your appointment at the GraceMed clinic most convenient for you.
To support GraceMed
To donate, visit www.gracemed.org/donate or call 316-252-8720.