April 22, 2022
Dr. Craig Dietz, KC CARE Chief Medical Officer – A Journey to Public Health
Dr. Craig Dietz was working at Saint Francis Hospital in Topeka when Sister Mary Rosaline, RN, changed the course of his career.
“She came into the breakroom and said, ‘I see that you don’t work on Thursdays. I’m going to need you to come across the street and work in my free clinic,’” Dr. Dietz recalls. “I thought, ‘Do I have any choice about this?’ I mean, I’m not Catholic, but I wasn’t going to turn down a nun just like that!” Soon the free clinic was the only place he wanted to be.
Dr. Dietz became a KC CARE volunteer in 2003 and our first full-time doctor in 2004. It wasn’t a seamless interview process. One employee asked how he, a Pratt, Kansas, native, was going to become culturally competent enough to work at KC CARE.
“And my answer was ‘I think it’s important—and this is something I intend to do—I will not just work here. I intend to be part of the community that the clinic serves,” he says.
True to his word, Dr. Dietz has lived less than a mile from KC CARE for 17 years. “I drive more often than I should!” he laughs.
“The people and patients that come here are my friends, my neighbors, my family,” Dr. Dietz says. “I feel like I’ve gotten to have this experience of being a small-town doctor in the middle of the city. And as the clinic grows and we get more and more sites and people, I hope to retain that spirit.”
Dr. Craig Dietz oversees clinical outcomes and provides direct patient care with an emphasis in Primary Care, HIV Medicine, LGBT Health Care, Hepatitis C, and HIV Prevention (PrEP). He is also the principal investigator for all the Clinical Trials conducted at KC CARE.