East Heights Family Care ready to serve East Lawrence
by Jessica Brewer, LMH Health
LMH Health and the LMH Health Foundation are excited about the new East Heights Family Care Clinic opening this fall.
Rebecca Smith, executive director of the LMH Health Foundation, said that the new clinic, which was largely funded by philanthropic gifts, will serve an area of the community that had been previously underserved.
“Access to healthcare services can have a significant influence on health outcomes,” said Smith. “We knew the East Heights clinic was vital to the health of our community, and we were thrilled to see our donors come together and move this project forward.”
Smith said that more than $291,000 of donor support will fund clinic renovations and operations, ensuring LMH Health can provide an increased level of care in East Lawrence and the surrounding areas.
The East Heights Family Clinic is located at 2001 Haskell Avenue, Suite A, Lawrence, KS 66046. The clinic hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 785-505-5420.
“Philanthropy is at the heart of our community hospital, starting with the generosity of Elizabeth Watkins nearly 100 years ago,” Smith said. “Elizabeth’s gift stipulated that the hospital would be for the benefit of all and that ‘no person shall be excluded on account of race, of physical, social or financial condition.’”
Smith said that Watkins’s commitment prevails to this day.
“The gifts for East Heights are a good example of the important role philanthropy plays in supporting our community, not-for-profit hospital,” said Smith. “LMH Health serves the health care needs of the entire community, regardless of ability to pay. In fact, the hospital provides more than $25 million in charitable care every year. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation, we are grateful for these gifts that speak so clearly to our mission.”
Amy Northrop, LMH Health’s director of strategic development and implementation, has seen this project grow since its inception.
“We knew we wanted to do something on the east side of Lawrence, and when looking for places to locate the clinic, we thought of Independence Inc.,” Northrop said. “We met with the executive director, Jill Enyart, to ask if we could rent some space from her. She could not have been more excited. They were able to make this happen for LMH Health.”
Independence Inc. has served as a resource to maximize independence for people with disabilities in the community through advocacy, peer support, transportation and community education since 1978.
“It is a beautiful building and the current tenants all work with people who have disabilities to prepare them for independence,” Northrop said. “Jill has been so flexible with anything we have wanted to do and has taken such good care of us through this process.”
Enyart was very excited when LMH Health asked to build a clinic in their building.
“LMH Health is a perfect fit,” Enyart said. “This is a great partnership. On this side of town, there isn’t easy access to healthcare like this. The underserved population on the east side of Lawrence will definitely be helped by this clinic.”
Enyart said that working with LMH Health isn’t something new. Since Independence Inc. offers services to aid with independence, they offer transportation services to anyone with disabilities who is in need.
“We will have social workers at LMH Health contact us because there are people who need to leave and go home or be taken to dialysis,” Enyart said. “We have transported people who live in Baldwin who need to get to the hospital and have served LMH Health patients in this regard before.”
She mentioned the convenience of the bus stop directly across the street from East Heights and the excitement the nearby area will have with healthcare this close.
“Just like our name states, we are all about independence,” Enyart said. “LMH Health is the perfect fit because we want to provide what is best for our patients. Good, convenient healthcare is key to maintaining independence in the community.”
Dr. Ashley Bloom, a family practice physician with LMH Health, is excited to start seeing patients at the East Heights location. Her patients are her top priority and opening this east Lawrence clinic will help her to serve her patients even more.
“My team is excited to provide the same comprehensive primary care services at East Heights as our patients are used to,” Dr. Bloom said. “We continue to welcome my established patients and new folks who might be looking for a primary care team to help with their health needs.”
Jessica Brewer is the social media and digital communications specialist at LMH Health.