Wichita’s Mayflower Clinic has moved to a new downtown location.
The two-story building at First and Topeka has significantly more clinic space: about 3,000 square feet, with room to grow. Mayflower Clinic executive director Chelsea French says that after seven years, "the walls were closing in" at the nonprofit’s old location on East William.
“We have been seeing an influx of patients for the past year, so we needed a new space to fill the need of the community and the patients that we see," she says.
The clinic started in 2010 to provide free health care for uninsured and underinsured patients. So far this year it has served about 1,000 people.
"With all the health care changes that we see going on right now, this type of a model, these safety-net clinics, if you will, they're needed in the community," French says. "We see patients that ... cannot qualify for Medicaid, or they're in between jobs, or they have elected not to pay COBRA insurance after maybe they got let go."
The move will also allow Mayflower to become self-sustaining: Along with its owner, Wichita lawyer and developer Abdul Arif, the clinic is part-owner of its new building. Office spaces will be rented out, and the second floor will be turned into apartments to generate revenue for the clinic, taking the burden off of fundraising efforts.
“I think it’s a worry for all of us that work in this industry, that maybe you haven’t hit your goal of how much you need to raise for funding," she says.
French says the plan is to hire one or two full-time nurses, as well as an office assistant. All of Mayflower's doctors and most of its nurses are volunteers.
Mayflower has an open house this Friday. The clinic will see its first patients at the new location this weekend.
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