Early in 1981 members of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and Brotherhood Presbyterian Church made up a task force to promote community improvement. After several meetings the group identified four areas to focus on. The areas of focus were voter registration and participation, Martin Luther King Jr. Day recognition, a youth employment program, and a health clinic.
The task force was divided into two groups. One was to focus on voter registration and the other a health clinic. Brotherhood already had a health program in existence. The question was raised if the two agencies could be combined. Seed money was applied for through the Harry R. Kendall Fund. The St. Mark UMC Clinic received $22,180. Brotherhood went through several organizational changes, hence leaving St. Mark to struggle alone.
An area was proposed for the clinic on the lower level of the church. A United Methodist Urban Ministry doctor and his nurse agreed to work at the clinic. In September of 1983 the clinic became known as “the NE Clinic.” Kansas Newman and St. Mary’s of the Plains nursing programs agreed to be sponsors of the clinic.
Due to delays in building inspection this arrangement failed to take place. The Kansas West Conference funded St. Mark UMC $6,300 for the year of 1986. The clinic was renamed the St. Mark Clinic. On May 19, 1986, Dr. Steve Short and Whitney Short, RN reported to Work.
In February 1988, the church established a Counseling and Outreach Services to provide greater access to community organizations and agencies. We responded to the growing disease of alcoholism and substance abuse by providing an on site treatment center to help heal the disease of alcoholism and drug abuse, by means of counseling, education and prevention.
In the fall of 2002 the clinic shifted its focus to address issues concerning the whole person. Under new leadership programs were created around the areas of fitness, nutrition, and spiritual health. The clinic continues to align itself with growing community needs. In the spring of 2008 a new oral health component. It also opened its doors full time to provide medical and dental care to the community.
In January 2013 the Clinic completed it’s second expansion. The new expansion included a new waiting room, children’s area, two additional medical exam rooms, two additional dental operatories, and a counseling center. The Clinic plans to add a new integrated model of care for its clients in the summer of 2014. This new model of care will integrate medical, dental, and mental health services all in one place to take care of the whole person. We are excited to soon be offering these new services. Please stay tuned for more to come!