The Guadalupe Clinic has joined The Lord’s Diner in the food ministry’s efforts to keep body and soul together.
Jan Haberly, the Diner’s executive director, said she was recently approached by a non-Catholic healthcare provider about the possibility of screening patrons of The Lord’s Diner.
She liked the idea but thought it would be more appropriate to partner with the diocesan healthcare ministry, so she and David Gear, the clinic’s executive director, have combined resources to provide blood pressure screenings twice a month at the Broadway and Central Diner location in Wichita.
At a screening last month two patrons were found to have critically high blood pressure and were referred to a healthcare provider at Guadalupe Clinic.
Gear said both ministries serve – as Pope Francis says – as we are called to assist those on the fringes of society, the poorest of the poor.
“Our mission includes being very engaged with the uninsured, the homeless, the individuals of our community who have the least, but also people who, in the clinic’s case, are medically underserved,” he said. “They may have been laid off, or as I say, ‘hit a speed bump in life’ and find themselves without health care or they may be people that have been uninsured for many years.”
Gear said he’s happy the clinic can work with the Diner more closely, as it did when the clinic was working from the Rycon Building, which was demolished in October of 2015 to make room for a Diner expansion.
The clinic is also collaborating with JayDocs, students from the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, to assist those identified at the Diner as in need of medical attention.
Students and an attending physician took care of one of the persons identified last month as suffering from high blood pressure the day after he was screened, at the clinic location on North Market.
“He was able to have his high blood pressure treated because of the staff that we had doing healthcare screenings right there inside The Lord’s Diner,” Gear said. “So we’re really blessed to be a part of The Lord’s Diner ministry, and a neighbor again, if you will, like we were before the enlargement of the Diner.”
The clinic has several other outreaches in the poorest areas of the city, Gear said. “We feel like the more health screening locations we have, the more chances we have to serve. And also, I think being there (at the Diner) consistently, people will get used to us being there and hopefully will welcome us to assist them.”
He said the collaboration between the ministries is the result of the desire by those who work in both ministries to serve anyone who walks through their doors. “Their criteria is ‘please, come,’ and Guadalupe’s criteria is that you are 18 or older and uninsured.”