816 North

‘One and done’ lice clinic opens in Liberty

If lice come home, a new clinic in the Northland provides a “one and done” treatment to get the bugs gone for good.

Cherie Parker and Susan Truluck have opened Heartland Healthy Heads at 6 Victory Drive in Liberty. The sisters — one a nurse practitioner, the other an occupational therapist — opened a similar clinic in Olathe three years ago. After seeing how far people traveled for the service and education they offer, the two decided to open in Liberty.

“We just wanted to expand so we could better serve the Kansas City area,” Parker said.

Heartland Healthy Heads is one of 100 clinics in the United States that are part of the Lice Clinics of America network, and they are the only providers of the AirAllé device treatment in the metro. This treatment is a hot air system that dehydrates the lice and the eggs at the same time. It is FDA approved.

“The eggs are very hard. If you don’t get them all out, they continue to hatch and they start the life cycle all over again,” Parker said.

Parker and Truluck became interested in lice treatment after a cousin, who is a teacher, had a problem with the bugs. The two first went through a certification program in Florida to learn the Shepherd method of combing out lice.

“I realized the need in Kansas City to have a professional lice service. So, we opened up the clinic. I had no idea how successful it would be. I didn’t realize there would be such a need,” Parker said.

The sisters have also started a #BeLiceFreeinKC initiative to help educate the public about lice, how it is transmitted and how to get rid of lice for good. Parker explains there is a lot of misinformation about lice that can cause more pain for parents and children than necessary. Some of the “home remedy” treatments purported online can be as dangerous for children as they are ineffective.

“We go out and do free education for any organization that wants it, day cares, school nurses, foster care, to give out the facts about head lice. We want to get the facts out there so everyone gets a safe and effective treatment,” Parker said.

Most of the time insurance does not cover the treatment. However, Heartland Healthy Heads can sometimes accept payments from health savings accounts and flex spending accounts.

The clinic can also provide information and home-treatment products for those not interested or unable to afford the AirAlle system. They still also do professional combing-out of lice and nits because even if the lice are dead, the nits must be gone from the hair for people to be able to go to the hairdresser.

The clinic provides a 30-day guarantee.

“We want to have a treatment option for every budget. We understand it’s not pocket change and we want to help everyone,” Parker said.