Future Uncertain for Kansas City, Missouri, AIDS Clinic
July 29, 2004
The Midtown ID Clinic in Kansas City could be shuttered Aug. 31 if it cannot attain nonprofit status or oversight by a nonprofit agency.
The clinic, which opened in 1986 at the former Trinity Lutheran Hospital, was sold last year to HCA Inc. The nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA runs 190 hospitals and 91 ambulatory surgery centers in 23 states, London and Geneva. The clinic is running a monthly deficit of about $60,000, said Ken Washington, vice president of operations for HCA Physician Services in Kansas City. "We can't go on and on and on indefinitely," he said.
HCA say it will give the clinic $100,000, equipment and some assets if it separates from HCA and becomes a nonprofit. Clinic officials say they need $800,000.
Closing the clinic would be a "great devastation to the whole HIV community here in Kansas City," said Rhaejean Davis, who has been coming to the clinic for 15 years. "I think it would be a loss for the patients to have that much less choice," said David Bamberger, an infectious disease specialist at Truman Medical Center.
Mary O'Connor, a part-time physician at the clinic, said it has about 575 active patients. But Washington says there are fewer than 250 patients, not enough to support its staff of four part-time doctors, two full-time nurses, two part-time nurse practitioners, a full-time receptionist, a part-time manager and a full-time case manager.
The mayor's director of urban affairs, Donovan Mouton, said he is concerned about the possible closure and hopes to meet with the parties involved in the next week.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.