It has been a busy start to the year at Vibrant Health. As we announced late last year, we merged the operations of three local clinics to create Vibrant Health – Wyandotte Neighborhood Clinics so that we can serve more families with high-quality, consistent care.
Yesterday, I ran into a young woman in the lobby of our building and she looked a little uncertain of where she was headed. Turns out, she needed to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, but wasn’t sure where to go and did not have an appointment. I introduced her to one of our Patient Services Representatives who was able to help her with an appointment that afternoon. Additionally, she was able to set a follow-up time to establish regular care.
This can seem like a simple thing, but it is one of the many reminders we see of why we are here. People often have limited options when it comes to their health care and the system can be challenging to navigate. We are here to help any and all people we can.
In Wyandotte County, more than 22% (36,000 people) are uninsured and many more have trouble accessing health care providers. Vibrant Health operates with a sliding fee, which means families without insurance coverage pay a nominal fee appropriate to their income level to access critical healthcare through our clinics.. And when they come to us, we provide respectful, empowering, culturally-sensitive high-quality health care for every member of our community.
Where we live impacts our health. Year after year Wyandotte County residents face overwhelming challenges that affect their overall health: lack of education and/or employment opportunities, low socioeconomic status, transportation issues, language and culture barriers, and lack of access to health care services. In fact, lack of access to quality, affordable health care continues to be a top concern for our community, as identified in the 2017 community health assessment published by the Unified Government and Kansas City, KS Health Department. For the more than 9,000 patients of Vibrant Health, lack of access to and affordability of health care is one less obstacle to face.
Our vision is to be a model for healthcare in the region, reducing the challenges our community faces, increasing access to health care among the neediest in our community, and creating an environment where all Wyandotte County residents can flourish. Over the next year, we will provide more than $1.3 million of charitable care through our work at three neighborhood clinic locations, a school-based dental outreach program, refugee health assessments and a teen maternity program. Philanthropic support from foundations, corporations and individuals makes our work possible.
As we continue to look for ways to expand the services we offer, supporting families beyond clinical care and striving to improve the health of our Wyandotte County community, we need your support more than ever before. Follow along here, and always feel free to come by one of our clinics to see the work we’re doing first-hand, I’d love to give you a tour. We look forward to working together as we increase the health and quality of life of Wyandotte residents.
Photo courtesy of Laura Gilchrist
Patrick Sallee is the CEO of Vibrant Health. Patrick has spent his career in the non-profit world because it allows him to pursue the issues he’s passionate about: providing opportunities for children, helping others, fighting for the underrepresented, and building communities. Patrick spends his spare time with his wife Chesney and twin daughters Avery and Makenna. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org