Each of the four organizations cares for a different population, but their goal is the same: provide healthcare for those who need it most.

It takes a village of health care models to care for a community.

A variety of providers serve each specific population in McPherson, ranging from specialists to primary care physicians, so that every resident has access to the right care, regardless of insurance coverage.

Representatives from Great Plains Family Medicine, Hutchinson Clinic, GraceMed and Partners in Family Care gave presentations at the State of Health Care in McPherson event on Tuesday at the McPherson Museum, hosted by the McPherson Chamber of Commerce and Mutual Telephone Company. McPherson Hospital representatives were unable to attend, due to a building emergency.

Each of the four organizations cares for a different population, but their goal is the same: provide healthcare for those who need it most.

Each of the four representatives also provides services in a new way to care for underserved populations.

Dr. Andrea Herrera of Great Plains Family Medicine offers a health subscription without insurance, the Hutchinson Clinic brings specialists to town, Partners in Family Care makes scheduling simple, and GraceMed focuses on serving low-income families.

“Not only is there a need for care for underinsured, but those with insurance have trouble finding a primary care doctor without a waiting list,” said Dave Sanford, CEO of GraceMed.

GraceMed is a federally-qualified health center that seeks to reach the medically underserved, and will open at 322 N. Main St. in McPherson in 2017. The location is currently undergoing renovations, but will soon offer holistic health care.

“We’ll have two physicians, a dentist and a dental hygienist first, then we’ll expand services,” Sanford said. “Everything from geriatric, vision, and behavioral health care is integrated within primary care so individuals don’t need to go to another location, and we can get them access to services immediately.”

Clinic costs are determined on a sliding scale based on an individual’s income. Costs stay low with grants and Medicaid payments paid through presumptive eligibility, so the clinic need not wade through the Medicaid backlog.

GraceMed has several locations in Wichita and Topeka, and is coming to McPherson through guidance from Circles of McPherson County. Rebeca Lewis, Circles leader, explained that primary health care is the first step to greater changes in a person’s life.

“People in poverty tend to be the same population needing mental health care, so they either end up in hospital or in police encounters,” Lewis said. “Prairie View can only see so many patients, so we try to encourage our Circles families to seek hep from primary providers, but it’s still a challenge.”

For physicians like Herrera, the system itself won't always serve every lifestyle, so she adopted a business model to sidestep a number of healthcare issues.

"Our goal is to get healthcare to people who can’t afford primary care. Having insurance does not equal having healthcare. We don’t have to worry about the insurance hassles," Herrera said. "When I think of what a doctor is, I think of a person who can treat all conditions and isn’t confined to one space, so that’s something that goes with my job and I’m happy to do it."

Sometimes that means Herrera needs to go an extra mile for a patient — literally. When a patient returned home from a hospital visit and couldn't drive, Herrera and staff visited the patient instead. The business model also allows for after-hours contact and lower costs on lab procedures and medications.

"Each person pays a monthly fee that covers all those aspects without insurance. On the coasts, those fees are thousands of dollars, but here we charge $10 a month for children, $50 for adults, $75 for age 45 to 64, then $100 for those over 65," Herrera said. "We want to have a direct relationship between the patient and doctor. The model we use is gaining popularity nationwide."

Other healthcare models address the growing need for unconventional hours and appointment times. At Partners in Family Care, being walk-in friendly is key for serving the larger population.

"Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are more than welcome," said Lori Begnoche of Partners in Family Care. "It's a great business model to open up at a college campus, and we’ve been fortunate enough to grow to see the public as well as students."

The group also participates in the statewide Vaccines For Children program, which provides free vaccines to children.

At the Hutchinson Clinic, specialists are available to any physician and any patient.

“The idea is to make these specialists available to the whole community. Any physician in town will be able to refer patients to that specialist,” explained Dr. Brian Billings of the Hutchinson Clinic in McPherson. “Our next specialist will be a certified diabetic instructor. For a lot of people, especially the elderly, it’s nice to have that in town. In a number of areas, there are ways we can work together with the hospital to bring some services we otherwise wouldn’t have in the community.”