KC CARE Health Center
Kansas City, MO
KC Care is a health center in Kansas City, Missouri, that provides medical, dental, behavioral, and education services to underserved communities in Kansas City. The organization operates in four locations and, between 2020 and 2021, KC Care served 19,000 individuals. In terms of patient population, 38% of patients reported living at or below 200% federal poverty level, and 57% of patients identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
This grant, through the Executive Director’s Fund, supports the development of KC Care’s Cancer Prevention Initiative to include cancer screening outreach. This initiative will target Black and Latinx communities to improve early cancer detection and intervention, as these communities face disproportionately low survival rates of oral cancer compared to white communities. As part of the initiative, KC Care would integrate the use of TelScopes into two of their locations. These devices can be used by medical and dental providers, attach to a smartphone light, and are able to provide oral cancer and speech therapy screenings. KC Care plans to implement these devices at two locations with a broader strategy of building out the program to include their implementation at other locations and their mobile unit which will visit community centers and travel to patients. KC Care has an existing partnership with the local Veteran’s Affairs (VA) hospital, and they anticipate conducting oral cancer screenings with VA patients and increasing the amount of referrals to dental and oral health services for veterans. After the patient screenings, any positive cases would be connected with University Health, another partner, to promptly refer the patient for appropriate treatment and follow-ups. The initiative will also incorporate information and services related to HPV vaccinations regardless of screening results.
The budget of $5,390 would support purchasing 12 TelScopes and additional supplies and associated materials needed to implement the program.