Kansas City, Mo., AIDS clinic may close
July 31 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Midtown ID Clinic in Kansas City, Mo., could be shuttered August 31 if it cannot attain nonprofit status or oversight by a nonprofit agency. The clinic, which opened in 1986 at the former Trinity Lutheran Hospital, was sold last year to HCA Inc. The nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA runs 190 hospitals and 91 ambulatory surgery centers in 23 states, London, and Geneva. The clinic is running a monthly deficit of about $60,000, said Ken Washington, vice president of operations for HCA Physician Services in Kansas City. "We can't go on and on and on indefinitely," he said.
HCA say it will give the clinic $100,000, equipment, and some assets if it separates from HCA and becomes a nonprofit. Clinic officials say they need $800,000.
Closing the clinic would be a "great devastation to the whole HIV community here in Kansas City," said Rhaejean Davis, who has been coming to the clinic for 15 years. "I think it would be a loss for the patients to have that much less choice," said David Bamberger, an infectious disease specialist at Truman Medical Center. Mary O'Connor, a part-time physician at the clinic, said it has about 575 active patients. But Washington says there are fewer than 250 patients, not enough to support its staff of four part-time doctors, two full-time nurses, two part-time nurse practitioners, a full-time receptionist, a part-time manager, and a full-time case manager.
The mayor's director of urban affairs, Donovan Mouton, said he is concerned about the possible closure and hopes to meet with the parties involved next week. (AP)