Vibrant Health Celebrates 30 Years in the Community

This month, Vibrant Health is excited to celebrate 30 years of continued service in Wyandotte County. For us, this marks a significant milestone in our history, and we are honored to continue serving this wonderful community for years to come. In 2019, we served more than 10,000 patients across our three locations. This year, as we face the new challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our outlook and commitment to serving this community remain strong. While we look ahead to the coming years with a great sense of optimism about the impact that we hope to make in our community, it is important to reflect on how far we have come, and those that made this all possible.

Our story began in 1990, when a small group of volunteer providers founded Turner House Clinic located in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas, with the mission of providing quality care to uninsured children. From the very beginning, our work has been guided by the simple, yet powerful belief that everyone has the right to quality, culturally sensitive health care regardless of their situation.

Turner House Clinic Flyer
Original Turner House Clinic Flyer

As a pediatrician, it is exciting to see how my patients have grown and matured and to appreciate the bonds we have established over time–like an extended family.
– William Pankey, MD, Medical Director

Over the years, Vibrant Health has been fortunate to receive generous support from members of the community. This support has allowed us to extend our medical services to both children and adults. We are also proud to offer an expanded range of services including dental, behavioral health, and women’s health care.

Turner House Clinic Provider

The impact that this clinic has had on the lives of the children and families it serves is evidenced by the growth in the number of visits each year, as well as the increased number of staff to support the growing need.”
– Skip Gast, Former Turner House Board Member  

In January of 2018, Turner House, Silver City Health Center, and KU Pediatrics Clinic at Children’s Campus Kansas City merged operations to form Vibrant Health. This newly created network of clinics represented a significant step for our mission of increasing local access to care. This unified network would allow residents to receive quality health without leaving their neighborhood.

When the three clinics merged, we were able to join forces to improve access to high-quality care. All three sites are patient certified medical homes, which indicates the highest quality, patient-focused care. It truly takes a team to keep a community healthy.
– Kelly Kreisler, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer

September of 2019 marked another tremendous milestone for our clinics. That month, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designated Vibrant Health as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). This designation dramatically expanded our eligibility for federal funding—resulting in increased capacity and long-term sustainability for our mission in Wyandotte County.

Today, our operation has grown to more than 60 employees across our three clinics. We now offer a full range of services including primary medical care, dental, behavioral health and women’s health.

Patients from Turner House Clinic
Patients from Turner House Clinic

From the very first patient that came through our doors, we have been seeing the most vulnerable individuals in our community. Over time we have grown, expanded our services, and changed our name – but we have remained committed to making decisions based on what is best for the patients and families we see every day.
– Patrick Sallee, CEO

As part of this continued commitment to providing access to quality health care, we are constantly seeking out new ways to better serve our community. Some examples of this commitment include our emphasis on cultural competency and linguistic accessibility, as well as our active role in community-based programs that seek to reduce health disparities by addressing the underlying issues of poverty, discrimination, and adverse childhood experiences. Most recently, we have joined forces with community partners to increase access to COVID-19 testing services and critical community resources including transportation, healthcare, housing, and food assistance.

These are a few examples of how we seek to live out our mission as an organization—guided by that simple belief that everyone is deserving of quality health care, regardless of where they come from, the language they speak, or their ability to pay. We believe that by living by these principles, we can help build a healthier and more vibrant community for future generations.

Vibrant Health has helped elevate awareness of the important community needs through coordination with other community leaders, philanthropic organizations, and a commitment to understanding their community. I have been so proud to be part of an organization that has made a visible impact on patient and family lives.
– Michael Heckman, Board Chair

Looking back over the last three decades and how far we have come, we can say with great certainty, that none of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of our community. Notably, our generous funders, close partners, and all those that have served on our board over the years. Additionally, none of this work would be possible if it weren’t for our staff and countless volunteers who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service. Most importantly, however, is the trust and support of our neighbors in the community. We are incredibly honored to continue serving such a welcoming and diverse community for years to come.

We recognize that the next 30 years will undoubtedly bring new challenges; however, we are confident that with the continued support of those around us, we will rise to the occasion, and we will continue to serve this wonderful community that we are so fortunate to call home.