Amy Warren is a regular provider on the Swope Health Services Mobile Medical Unit (MMU), which visits shelters and other locations to serve the homeless population of the Kansas City area.
Amy, a nurse practitioner, says it’s important to meet her patients wherever they are.
“There is no excuse to not receive medical care,” she said. “We will come pick you up. We will see you at a mission or shelter. We are here to care for you.”
Firmly, she adds, “I want you to realize that someone DOES care.”
Amy’s focus on providing for the indigent was nurtured during her tenure at Frontier Nursing University, located in rural Hyden, Kentucky.
The school is best known for its focus on midwifery and serving women and children’s healthcare needs in the rural Appalachian foothills.
In the early days of the school (1939), the area had the highest infant mortality rate in the nation.
With the school’s midwives, who traveled on horseback to remote hamlets and villages and provided basic primary care, the women and children began to thrive.
The model of taking care to the community has been a hallmark of the school’s programs ever since.
The Swope Health MMU is a little bit like today’s version of the horseback provider, venturing out to places where healthcare is needed but hard to get.
And Amy is convinced the MMU can produce the same kind of impact today in Kansas City as her alma mater did nearly 80 years ago in Kentucky.
“I focus on breaking down barriers to medical care,” she said. “My goal is for every patient to feel that someone cares about their health.”
Amy, with more than 20 years’ experience with Research Medical Center, works Tuesdays on the MMU and the remainder in the Outreach clinic.
This MMU, by the way, is a new addition to the SHS Outreach Services fleet.
Delivered in the summer of 2017, the MMU was funded with the generous support of Gould Charitable Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust and the Sunderland Foundation.