McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Group readies to accept proposals for clinic

  • A community group trying to bring a satellite federally funded community health center to McPherson is making progress, but has hit a snag.
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  • A community group trying to bring a satellite federally funded community health center to McPherson is making progress, but has hit a snag.
    During the last year and a half, a group from Circles of McPherson County has worked to bring a health clinic that would serve low-income families to the county.
    The nearest such clinic is 30 miles away.
    The Circles group passed the idea to a larger group of community leaders in November. That group has created a request for proposals for a new clinic in McPherson. Several existing federally funded community health clinics already have expressed interest in establishing a satellite location in McPherson.
    However, the community group needs someone to be a solicitor for the request for proposals and sign a contract if needed.
    Mayor Tom Brown, who was the chairman of the proposal committee, said the solicitor could be the city or county, but he would have to check with city and county officials and their legal counsels to see if that is possible.
    The group also discussed on Wednesday the possibility of creating a separate nonprofit group that would serve as solicitor, could sign a contract with the new clinic management and act as a fundraising organization if needed.
    AN existing nonprofit also might be able to be the solicitor.
    Members of the group acknowledged at a meeting Wednesday they have set ambitious goals for the new clinic.
    The request for proposal includes questions about the ability of an outside organization to provide medical care, diagnostic services, behavioral health care, pharmacy services and dental services in McPherson County.
    Rob Monical, McPherson Hospital president, said it would be unlikely the county could secure all those services at the opening of the clinic.
    A more likely scenario would be a clinic opening with some services with services expanding over time.
    The group intends to advertise for proposals by the end of January with the deadline for proposals set for April 28.
    A selection committee has been named made up of Nick Gregory, McPherson city administrator; Monical; Rebecca Lewis, Circles coach; Rebecca Weller, emergency medical physician; Larry Hays, retired mental health professional; Dr. Ken Cotton DDS, and a representative of the county.
    The group has set Aug. 1 for a final selection of the organization to run the clinic with a goal of having the clinic operational by Sept. 30, 2015.
    Some of the members of the committee expressed concerns about the timeline.
    The community may have difficulties finding a building large enough to house the clinic. Some group members estimated the clinic could require anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet.
    If the community needs to fundraise for the project, additional time may be required.
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