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SPOTLIGHT
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Serving the underserved

Published on -8/8/2012, 9:36 AM

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Serving the underserved

Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed this week as Primary Care Safety Net Clinic Week. This recognizes the clinics in our state that literally provide a "safety net" for the most vulnerable Kansans -- those who are uninsured and underinsured.

In 2011, these clinics provided comprehensive primary care to more than 235,000 people, regardless of their ability to pay. The clinics play a vital role in our communities by helping their patients stay healthy and out of emergency rooms. In Hays, First Care Clinic of Hays performs this critical service.

Today, many of our friends and neighbors are unemployed and uninsured, yet still need critical health care services they can afford. This week, which is recognized annually, serves to emphasize the valuable services provided by the state's safety net clinics. Besides providing needed services, these clinics help boost local economies by providing jobs during the current difficult job market.

On behalf of its 41 safety net clinic members, the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved wishes to thank the state and local legislators, private foundations and many individuals who recognize the important role safety net clinics play in the overall healthcare system in Kansas. As more people look to these clinics for their health care, we are grateful for the commitment of these leaders to the medically underserved.

Cathy Harding, executive director, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, Topeka

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