Baptist Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation Received $5,000 Grant from the Wyandotte Health Foundation

Baptist Trinity Lutheran Legacy Foundation recently received a grant for $5,000 from the Wyandotte Health Foundation to support the Kansas City Medicine Cabinet (KCMC), an emergency assistance center.

KCMC facilitates access for low-income individuals to crisis-related health care assistance. KCMC utilizes a voucher system to provide short-term emergency medical assistance in five specific areas: dental emergencies, diabetic supplies, durable medical goods (including hearing aids), prescriptions and vision care. The program partners with existing emergency assistance social service agencies to provide intake, screen for eligibility and previous usage, and distribute vouchers. Clients can redeem vouchers for 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 under-served individuals.

The American healthcare system has some of the finest standards of care in the world, for those able to afford access to the system. Health disparities continue to manifest themselves along socioeconomic lines, and a lack of affordable health insurance continues to plague people with lower incomes. While the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance more affordable for lower-income individuals through premium subsidies and other measures, gaps in coverage still persist.

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 patients. In 2005, the BTLLF Board identified a unique way to continue serving the communities that surrounded the two hospitals by establishing Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet (KCMC). While there were emergency assistance centers throughout the area, they had minimal funding to cover crisis-related medical needs such as dental emergencies, prescription assistance and vision care. KCMC serves low income individuals, a population susceptible to severe financial strain in the event of a medical crisis.

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