Carrie Rengers

HealthCore Clinic begins first of two expansions

This illustration shows the first phase of HealthCore Clinic’s expansion on East 21st Street.
This illustration shows the first phase of HealthCore Clinic’s expansion on East 21st Street. Courtesy illustration

HealthCore Clinic, which formerly was known as the Center for Health and Wellness, is preparing to grow by about 50 percent and has an even bigger expansion planned for next year.

“We are here for the community,” says Teresa Lovelady, the nonprofit’s president and CEO.

The community health center provides services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

“It’s very important to us to help reduce or eliminate certain health disparities,” Lovelady says.

The clinic currently is in about 9,000 square feet at 2707 E. 21st St. North.

“I love to say three blocks west of where the Shockers play,” Lovelady says.

It has six physicians and four mental health care providers. It also has a substance abuse program and prenatal care services among other things.

In 2009, the clinic purchased 11 lots to the west of where it currently is with the idea it would one day expand.

An initial expansion of about 5,000 square feet will provide extra space for eight more exam rooms, a mental health office and a place for providers to meet and plan integrated care.

Lovelady says there will be a special place for children, too.

“The expansion is going to allow us to create a play therapy room.”

Architectural Innovations has designed the new space, which will be built where a parking lot has been.

The first expansion phase will cost about $700,000.

Lovelady says the clinic has saved for about $300,000 of that.

“We’ve been saving over the past few years,” she says. “We’re very efficient.”

Lovelady says the clinic also is a federally qualified health center and is using a $250,000 federal grant for the work. The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved is giving $50,000 for the expansion.

Members of the Grumpy Old Men, a group of businessmen who support nonprofits, also made donations.

“We’re piecing this baby together,” Lovelady says.

She hopes the new space will be ready in November.

Phase two of the clinic’s expansion is a $2.5 million project that will include dental, pharmacy and legal services and a specialty geriatric clinic. There also will be a physical education center to teach people about exercise.

HealthCore Clinic’s name changed with the new year.

Lovelady says Bill Gardner of Gardner Design helped create the new name and logo.

“He wanted to make sure we had the word ‘clinic’ in there … so there was no mistake.”

Lovelady says people used to be confused at what the Center for Health and Wellness did.

“Most people thought we were … the biodome place,” she says of Riordan Clinic.

Others thought it was a daycare, she says, because of its large playground.

Also, Lovelady says, the name “did not take into account the full scope of services we provide here.”

She says the goal is to expand the scope of what the clinic provides as the space expands and is able to serve more people.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” Lovelady says. “It’s actually our pleasure to serve our patients.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.