Healthcare & History in the Heartland

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Recently, Heart to Heart traveled to the edge of the Great Plains with the University of Kansas Medical Center to operate a health fair during the annual Emancipation Celebration in the historic town of Nicodemus, Kansas.

The whole town of Nicodemus is one of those quintessential American tales of hardship and hard work, westward expansion, newly-found freedom and finding a place to call one’s own and holding onto it.

Nicodemus was settled as a planned town in 1877, 12 years after the US Civil War during the Reconstruction era, by mostly former slaves from Kentucky and Tennessee.  At its peak the town boasted around 800 townsfolk.  Residents had petitioned for the Union Pacific Railroad to lay tracks trough the town, but the railroad dashed those hopes, bypassed the settlement and its long slow decline began.  However, Nicodemus is a National Historic Site, and is the oldest and only remaining all Black Town west of the Mississippi. A couple of dozen people still reside there.

Every year since it’s founding, the town holds an Emancipation Celebration during the last weekend of July to commemorate the end to slavery, the freedmen and women who founded the town and the town’s heritage.  This is a “coming home” celebration, as many descendents from across the nation come home to visit with friends and relatives while commemorating the rich history of Nicodemus.

It’s a purely small town Americana affair with a parade and talent show, even a pancake breakfast made from wheat grown in nearby fields.


But the celebration isn’t just about history, but the future too. A healthy future. And that’s what brought Heart to Heart International out here to work in partnership with KU-MED.

ayesOWtwSxi7JuMpfrIE4A_thumb_172acDuring last years Celebration’s health fair, 19 medical students and 4 HHI volunteers worked out of our Mobile Medical Unit to conduct laboratory tests, health screenings and physicals for 50 people.

 

Every year Heart to Heart is honored to have been a part of both the past and the present of this rich historic community and to have broadened access to healthcare out on the wide open Plains.


 

Pictures


HHI Uses “Ripple Effect” to Provide Supplies to High School Clinic

Bulldoc_Clinic_13This week, program staff with Heart to Heart International (HHI) delivered medical equipment worth more than $30,000 to a free clinic established inside a Kansas City area high school.

Bulldoc_Clinic_6The BullDoc Health Center occupies a handful of old classrooms in a corner of the historic Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. The name is a clever play on words as Wyandotte High is the Home of the Bulldogs. The clinic operates one morning a week on Wednesdays and according to Robbie Howard, a Wyandotte High health sciences teacher, when it is open, 25 to 35 students will be seen by the volunteer medical staff.
University of Kansas medical students staff the clinic along with a rotation of KU Hospital doctors who specialize in family medicine.  Several of Howard’s students work in the clinic as well, gaining exposure to a ‘real world’ health clinic environment.

Bulldoc_Clinic_4The BullDoc Health Center is just one of a several free and safety-net clinics that Heart to Heart supports around the greater Kansas City region.  The recent delivery for BullDoc consisted of stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and other basic items to outfit and properly run a clinic.  The equipment comes from medical equipment manufacturer Welch Allyn through its Ripple Effect program.
Ripple Effect works like this:  Medical students around the country purchase specific discounted Welch Allyn products; Welch Allyn then gives credits to HHI based on the sale;  HHI then uses those credits to acquire Welch Allyn products and deliver needed items to clinics.

 
ripple effect MED STUDENTS! Click the photo above to learn about Ripple Effect and enter to win a humanitarian trip with Welch Allyn & Heart to Heart International!

Click the photos below to see a slideshow of the delivery to the BullDoc Health Center at Wyandotte High School (email subscribers please visit the blog to view slideshow).

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