Health Care

Need for more mental health, dental services drives KCK clinic expansion plans

Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care is hoping to fill a need with a new mental health center and more dental services included in the clinic's expansion plans, CEO and clinic founder Sharon Lee said Thursday.

"There is a significant need in Wyandotte County — the need especially for dental services and mental health has continued to expand," Lee said at a news conference.

Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care launched its "Upward and Onward" campaign, seeking $4.2 million to fund the project, which also includes a three-level parking garage to accommodate more patients.

The clinic currently sees six to 10 new patients each week and expects to expand from serving 4,000 to 5,000 patients a year to 8,000 by 2020. The clinic, however, does not have room for bigger parking lots because it has expanded outward as far as its land will allow.

"Up is the only way we can go from here," Erica Findley, Family Health Care dental director, said.

That increase in patients will come partly as a result of the new projects, Lee said.

Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care, founded nearly 30 years ago, is a non-profit clinic that offers health care and supportive services to low-income medically underserved patients in northeast Wyandotte County.

The mental health center, which will be in the main building, will be separate from the medical portion of the clinic, allowing patients to see mental health professionals without checking in at the medical clinic.

"By having this clinic, this dedicated space, we will be able to collaborate with other organizations, bring in therapists and address a very important health need in our community," Findley, who is leading the fundraiser, said.

The clinic just hired a third dentist and plans to expand the dental clinic in the main building and open a clinic in the Quindaro office in order to provide services to children, a population it has not been able to serve in the past. Eric Seaberg, a dentist at the clinic, said lack of access is a common reason individuals don't see a dentist.

Lee said she expects to fully fund the project in about a year and the health clinic, dental facilities and parking garage will be built by the end of 2019. The clinic is applying for tax incentives to alleviate some of the costs of the projects.

Although the project has not raised any money yet, there will be a kick off "Tacos and Beer" fundraiser at Boulevard Brewery Thursday night.