Artist Crystal Cook


Family Health Care provides Hepatitis C treatment:

“I came to you as an immigrant, with no money and could not speak English then. I did not even know the nature of my ailment. I just knew sometimes I did not feel good. You accepted me and treated me better than I have been treated at places in my home when I could afford to pay. Your staff has always treated me respectfully. I am not sure why or how I got the treatment and care I needed, except by knowing you. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity you gave me to rid myself of this ailment and the grace with which you did it.”


The letter came in October, 2015 from a young woman who came to us from a mostly Muslim country on the other side of the world. She had been through a lot, including a blood transfusion that had not only saved her life at the time, but had transmitted Hepatitis C. She did not choose Kansas City and she happened to come to Family Health Care. She did not choose much about her life. Refugees have few choices. They become the flotsam and jetsam of wrecked states that wash onto the beaches of far away places.


Loren Eisley was a twentieth century academic and writer. The following is a paraphrase of a well-known story that he wrote as the “Star Thrower” and then revised a few times:


A writer, while walking along the shore early one morning, spotted a stranger repeatedly pick starfish from the sand and throw them one-by-one into the sea. “Why are you throwing starfish into the water?” the writer asked. The stranger answered, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. They will dry and die here.” The writer pointed out there were thousands of starfish on the beach, one person could never make a difference."I made a difference for that one”, the stranger answered, tossing another starfish into the welcoming sea.


Making a difference can happen in many ways. Each of you can help “throw starfish back into the sea” by supporting Family Health Care’s work with the vulnerable who happen to be part of our community.



Family Health Care helps those with mental illness:

The intersection of charity and mental illness has long been a difficult place to stand.  It is no wonder we as a society have a “schizophrenic” attitude toward mental illness.  Sometimes those who suffer move silently with barely a ripple in our social pond, but too often we see the results of untreated mental illness at the other extreme when people who are mentally ill make waves and become destructive, abusive or even deadly. 

The concept of releasing mentally ill patients to provide out-patient community mental health treatment, made popular in the 1980’s, works for some.  But many, who are left on their own, inevitably make bad decisions.  They stop treatment, they alienate family and often wind up without good options. 

Family Health Care has always tried to provide a safe place for people with mental illnesses to come for medical treatment and sometimes just to get in from the cold for a bit.  It is not uncommon to have a patient with minor complaints stay through the day- sleeping on an exam bed and with a sandwich and juice before they go out to stay  beside Turkey Creek.  Sometimes we give them a blanket, or some foam rubber padding to sleep on.  

Sometimes we are able to get them to a shelter.  But almost never are we able to get them into an effective treatment center.  They don’t exist anymore.



Click here to learn about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on FHC