Swope Health Services, a safety-net clinic for low-income and uninsured Kansas Citians, opened a new specialty clinic for heart and digestive health conditions Wednesday at its central facility, 3801 Blue Parkway.
Nurse practitioners in those specialties from Truman Medical Center will staff the clinic every Wednesday, alternating between cardiology one week and gastrointestinal the next, as part of Truman’s ongoing partnership with Swope.
Patients will be able to access screenings, assessments and postsurgical follow-up care in the clinic that they previously could only access at Truman, which is about 4 miles away. Mark Steele, Truman’s chief medical officer, said that should improve outcomes for patients who lack transportation.
“Clearly, it’s beneficial from a patient perspective,” Steele said.
Steele said cardiology and gastrointestinal care were chosen because they tend to be specialties that the primary care providers at Swope refer their patients to the most.
Last year, Swope treated more than 600 patients with heart disease and referred more than 1,400 patients to a gastrointestinal specialist.
Steele said the staffing and hours of the new clinic may increase depending on demand.
“This is just for starters,” Steele said. “We’ll see how that goes.”
The new clinic is located in a renovated wing of the facility’s first floor, just off the main lobby. It includes three exam rooms, a reception area and a provider office.
Jackson County Executive Frank White was on hand for its opening Wednesday.
White said the clinic is part of Truman’s larger effort to expand its outpatient offerings in underserved areas of the county. He linked it with last month’s groundbreaking on another clinic attached to the YMCA on Linwood Boulevard.
“I don’t know if all of you noticed, but there’s something going on with Truman and their push to move out into the community and create greater access for patients,” White told a crowd of about 100 patients and providers. “It’s only part of what I see as a wave of positive change.”