To the editor:
Most of us take for granted that when we get sick, we go to the doctor. We don’t give it a second thought.
There are many people in Leavenworth, however, who don’t take this for granted. In fact, they worry about getting sick and not being able to afford the cost of a doctor’s visit, and the cost of missing work to seek the care they need.
Or, they’ve been laid off from their jobs so don’t have health insurance or the income to pay for health care services and medicine they need.
Fortunately for the people of Leavenworth, there is an affordable option. Saint Vincent Clinic has provided health care services for low-income uninsured residents for more than 25 years. As a doctor’s office for the uninsured poor, Saint Vincent Clinic enables very sick uninsured patients to control their chronic conditions and return to work, and contributes to the economic, physical and social health of the community.
They not only provide primary medical care, but they help their patients access specialty care, well-woman care, labs, X-rays, and medications. In 2013 alone, the value of medications their patients received topped $750,000.
Clearly, providing these services takes resources.
Leavenworth is also fortunate to have a state representative who understands this, and the
importance of the services provided by Saint Vincent Clinic. Rep. John Bradford has stepped up for two consecutive years at the statehouse in Topeka to ensure that Saint Vincent Clinic – and the 42 other "safety net clinics" in the state received the funding needed so they can continue to help people lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.
Saint Vincent Clinic and Rep. Bradford should be thanked for their hard work and service to their community.

Cathy Harding
Executive director, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved