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April 05, 2021

KC CARE Health Center Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

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Fifty years ago, a group of young students and volunteers saw an unmet need in their Midtown neighborhood. Veterans, elderly folks, and youth could not access preventive healthcare. Driven by their motto, “a healthy hippie is a happy hippie,” this passionate group of Kansas Citians set up a table in the lobby of the Alazar Hotel and began providing free medical care to anyone who needed it. On April 5, 1971, KC CARE Health Center was born.

Over the last five decades, KC CARE has changed as much as the diverse community we serve. We have grown from one historic location in The Old Stone House in Westport to four locations across urban Kansas City. This year, we are excited to celebrate 50 years of providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare to uninsured and underserved Kansas City residents. From the HIV epidemic to the COVID-19 pandemic, from the opioid crisis to chronic health management, KC CARE has been a trusted resource to people from all walks of life. Today, we are proud to be a true health home for the whole family, offering integrated primary care, behavioral health services, dental care, HIV primary care and case management, and a wide variety of support services.

Last year, we cared for more than 19,000 patients through 109,000 visits. As KC CARE has grown, we have kept our mission at the heart of everything we do—to promote health and wellness by providing quality access, care, research, and education to the underserved and all people in our community. We have adapted to meet patient needs with an ever-growing community footprint. But we could not do this important work without the support of thousands of local volunteers. As a grassroots organization founded by volunteers, they will always be critical to our mission. Looking ahead, KC CARE will steward our resources and community support to do even more for our patients – through expanded services, capacity, and accessibility and by serving new patients through Missouri Medicaid expansion. This care is delivered, as always, by a knowledgeable, dedicated staff and volunteers who treat all people with dignity and respect.

KC CARE is expanding our legacy of trusted, compassionate, and innovative care to serve our community for another half century. To learn more about our history and impact in the community, visit kccare.org/about/history.

You won’t want to miss our celebration! A traditional gala couldn’t contain the vibrancy of our patients, staff, and supporters, so we’ve got something a little out of the ordinary in mind. We’re going to great lengths to imagine an epic celebration worthy of the thousands of lives impacted by our mission. Join us on October 30, 2021 at the Loews Kansas City Hotel, an epic space truly fitting of KC CARE’s golden anniversary, for the same innovative experience KC CARE’s supporters have come to recognize. Visit kccare.org/events/fifty for more information.