Baptist-Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation (BTLLF) recently received a grant for $10,000 from the Wyandotte Health Foundation to support Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet (KCMC).

Kansas City's Medicine Cabinet facilitates better access for low-income individuals to emergency health care assistance. KCMC utilizes a voucher system to provide access to short-term emergency medical assistance in five specific areas: dental emergencies, diabetic supplies, durable medical goods (including hearing aids), prescriptions and vision care.

Kansas City's Medicine Cabinet partners with existing emergency assistance social service agencies to provide intake and deliver services. Agencies such as El Centro and Cross-Lines Community Outreach provide client intake, screening clients for eligibility and previous service usage. The agencies then distribute vouchers, which clients can redeem for the needed medical services at participating vendors. With this approach, KCMC can facilitate access to healthcare services in a standardized and comprehensive manner and have an immediate impact on the healthcare of medically underserved individuals.

In the state of Kansas, healthcare reform is proceeding at a slower pace than in other states. Kansas declined to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in fewer low-income Kansans having access to the healthcare system. For those that do qualify for Medicaid in the state of Kansas, there are significant limitations in coverage. For example, Medicaid will cover the cost of one hearing aid every four years, and one pair of eyeglasses every four years. Medical crises don’t follow a schedule, and can leave an individual in a financially precarious situation, forcing them to make difficult financial choices. 

Baptist-Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation (BTLLF) was founded in May of 2003 as a result of the sale of the Health Midwest system to the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Prior to that, the Baptist Medical Center Foundation and the Trinity Lutheran Hospital Foundation had a long history of raising funds to support the needs of their respective hospitals and the patients they served in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri. The BTLLF Board felt a deep commitment to continue to help the medically underserved and to support health education in the greater Kansas City area. BTLLF focuses its support on health education and emergency medical assistance.