What’s the story? The New Springs Community Church in Lee’s Summit has a clinic that operates every third Sunday of the month and offers free doctor visits to anyone and some treatments at no cost.

Why is this important to me? Going to this clinic can help anyone save money on a co-pay or an out-of-pocket cost for a doctor visit.

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Veteran physician Lori Voss wanted to find a way to help those in need.

With some people having their insurance premiums raised and some medication expenses increasing, going to the doctor can be expensive.

Voss found a way to eliminate that expenses for some people.

She came up with the idea to start a free health clinic at New Springs Community Church in Lee’s Summit, which has been open for the past two months. It’s open every third Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and anyone can walk in on a first-come, first-served basis and be seen by a doctor or nurse.

“We saw a need in our community for something like this, that’s why we opened it up,” New Springs Community Church pastor Corey McDonald said. “You don’t have to have insurance. You don’t have to have income. Whoever comes in and has a medical need, will get care. If anyone gets there before the clinic closes, they will be seen by professionals.”

Added Voss: “One of the things that inspired me to do this was the UMKC clinic for the homeless. They do it every Sunday in Kansas City and it’s run by the medical students. It’s for the homeless of Kansas City and they have been doing that since 2014.

“There is a need all over Kansas City and in the suburbs for free medical care or reduced cost care. There are people with insurance with a high deductible plans and they often have to pay out of pocket for everything. As you know, a couple of hundred dollars for a doctor visit and 50 or 60 dollar medicine every month is just too much to afford. At least the cost of seeing a doctor, we can help take that away.”

The clinic has had more and more patients since it first opened. In the first month, there were a “few that came,” and in the second month “there were a lot more,” McDonald said.

New Springs has a handful of volunteer doctors, including Voss, who had been a doctor at Summit Family and Sports Medicine before she started working at Advanced Correctional Healthcare. The clinic also has more than 30 registered nurses on staff.

St. Luke’s East Hospital helped the church open the clinic by donating money and curtains, and Lee’s Summit Hospital also donated money and some medical supplies.

It also offers child care for incoming parents, and the staff keeps medical records, so it’s the equivalent of seeing one’s primary care physician. Some of the things the clinic can do include a basic checkup, and basic laboratory services, such as checking cholesterol and blood sugar free of charge.

“We don’t do vaccinations yet, but we hope to offer that in the future,” said Voss, who’s been a doctor for 17 years. “We have all the basic medical care supplies in our office, so we can do basic wound care and treat common things you would see in any medical office.”

And people in the community are starting to take notice as more and more people are visiting New Springs Community Clinic.”

“We offered free mammograms last month,” McDonald said. “Now people are calling like crazy. We’re probably going to be pretty busy this month.

“People I have spoken to love (the clinic) and have said we give adequate care. They said they are sharing their experiences with others. This is not a bait and switch. We don’t want you to come to the clinic thinking that we’re going to get you to be a part of the church. This literally is to help the community.”

As more and more patrons visit the clinic, the church plans on expanding the hours in the near future and add more services. There are also possible plans for the clinic to provide some over-the-counter medications as the church applied for a grant with Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation.

“Those hours will change,” McDonald said. “We will probably start extending those hours in the spring. We will probably add more days, perhaps a couple of days a week depending on what our doctors’ availability is like.

“We are also looking for a couple of dentists to volunteer and donate some time and a substance abuse counselor. Our medical professionals want to do this and share their gifts. We’re offering them the opportunity to do that. We just want them to focus on the patients and the church takes care of the rest.”

Voss has some other ideas for new things to offer as well.

“We’re hoping to be able to offer classes for people with asthma and lung disease, diabetic education classes and cooking classes.”

New Springs Community Church is at 1800 N.E. Independence Ave. in Lee's Summit. For more information about the clinic, visit https://www.newspringsclinic.org or call 816-246-7474.