MetroCARE does the impossible every single day.
With the help of funders, volunteer physicians, and a dedicated staff, MetroCARE provides the uninsured with access to charitable health care services.
MetroCARE CEO Christine Rackers Gierer says, “MetroCARE helps adults who are in desperate need of healthcare services but have no way to pay for the medical care they need. These are low-income, uninsured individuals who may be working or are self-employed but have no health care insurance. They are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare and cannot afford insurance available in the market place.”
Diane Seif, MetroCARE Program Coordinator, explains how MetroCARE works. “We help each individual truly understand what the specific health issues are. Then, we match the patient to a medical team that has pledged to volunteer their time and donate their services to help our client. The goal is to make medical care accessible to people who have fallen through the cracks somehow and have no other way to get the care they desperately need.”
Eligibility requirements include three main factors: you must be a resident of Jackson, Clay, or Platte County or for at least 3 months; your income cannot exceed 400% of current federal poverty level; and you must have no healthcare insurance of any kind.
Gierer adds: “MetroCARE improves access to medical care for uninsured patients by coordinating volunteer efforts of doctors who donate precious time and critical services to help the residents of our community. The doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals who participate in MetroCARE’ network are true heroes of the community.
The medical providers volunteering their time are passionate about helping people who need help. They make a difference both in the lives of the patients they directly help and also in the lives of all of us who live here. Addressing the primary and specialty care medical needs of low-income patients in an organized and coordinated approach often saves the patient from unnecessarily going to a hospital emergency room. Every potential crisis that can be prevented means more space for other patients at the emergency room who need urgent care for situations that are unforeseen. This is good for patients and good for our community.”
The need is critical. An estimated 229,900 people in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area are uninsured. The uninsured population is less likely to receive regular care and preventative services, they are more likely to suffer from complications of preventable illnesses and are more likely to die prematurely.
Kathleen Eubanks-Meng, DO has provided care for MetroCARE clients. Dr. Eubanks-Meng, says, “The need for our medical services is at times overwhelming . We want to help all patients . MetroCARE does an amazing job of working with both patients and medical teams. MetroCARE carefully matches patients who have no other resources to pay for the care they need to the doctors who want to help them. The valuable work that MetroCARE does allows us to focus on providing quality patient centered health care to people who need our help. This is an amazing way for us to give back to the community where we live and work."
MetroCARE is a 2015 recipient of a grant from the Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation. GLSHF awarded MetroCARE $15,000 for a one-year period of care provider recruitment in Lee’s Summit.