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Osteopathic school, Rodgers clinic will be partners in Northeast area

Updated: 2013-09-21T04:09:58Z

By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS

The Kansas City Star

Sometimes it takes a while for neighbors to connect.

Consider the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, both in Kansas City’s Northeast area. The two longtime neighbors have announced their first clinic/medical school partnership.

Beginning Oct. 1, seven board-certified primary care physicians from the university’s clinical faculty will provide some medical services, and medical students will participate in clinical training activities at Samuel U. Rodgers’ new facility at 825 Euclid Ave.

The work of the faculty and students would be equivalent to two full-time doctors for the health center, officials said. For the medical school, its osteopathic medical students will see expanded educational opportunities at a primary care center with a diverse patient population.

“This partnership is an exceptional opportunity for both of our organizations,” Hilda Fuentes, chief executive officer of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, said in a statement. “It advances both organizations’ missions to ensure healthier people in a healthy community.”

Rodgers, which has nine physicians on staff, provides medical, dental and behavioral health services primarily to underserved and low-income residents. Last year the center cared for 21,000 individual patients, most of whom were Vietnamese, Sudanese, Somali, Burmese and Hispanic.

The 97-year-old college of osteopathic medicine on Independence Avenue is just blocks from the health center.

“We have profound commitment to primary care and providing access to the underserved community,” said Marc Hahn, president and chief executive office for the university. “It’s great experience for students to see a wonderful top-class clinic. … It is a shame that it has taken this long for it to happen. But we are very excited about it.”

To reach Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to mdwilliams@kcstar.com.

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