Formed on April 5, 2006, the 35th anniversary of the official opening of the Kansas City CARE Clinic, a Founder’s Council of people who were instrumental in opening, and keeping the Clinic open, is being assembled.
People played different roles in starting the Clinic, some seemingly small or seemingly short, while others more noticeable and/or for longer periods of time. However, all roles were important to opening a free health clinic in Kansas City.
It is the goal of this Council to keep “founders” close to the Clinic and informed about the Clinic that they started! In the history of the Clinic, its location, its staff, and its services have changed or been adjusted, but its mission has not. Just as it was formed to do in 1971, the Clinic exists to promote health and wellness by providing quality serves, at no charge, to people without access to basic care.
As of May 1, 2012, these are the “founders” who have reunited with the Clinic:
- Nancy Todd Clark
- Randy Goodman
- Dr. Richard Hellman
- Ginny Johnson
- Nate Klarfeld, DDS
- Andrew Sparber
- Kathy Pickering
- Dr. Lee Pickering*
- Elaine Polsky
- Bobbie Roth
- Lynn Schuchman
- Mac ‘Phil’ Schuchman
- John Vogt
- Sandy Wigmore
- Dr. Jim Wilkins
*Founder: Dr. Lee Pickering
Dr. Richard Hellman paid tribute to Lee, who passed away on April 27, 2009, with these words: "Lee was a fine physician and a great human being who touched many lives and his crucial participation at the founding of the Clinic was something for which our entire community will always be grateful."
Lee was the Chief Resident of Medicine at Menorah Medical Center in 1970 when he was asked to attend a meeting in the basement of St. Paul’s. Lee always said, “an extraordinary collision of cultures occurred that night that changed everything.” The people at the meeting wanted to open a free health clinic; they thought that healthcare was a right not a privilege. Taking a courageous position and “bucking” many others in his profession, Lee agreed with the group and agreed to work with them!
John Vogt, one of the founders of the Clinic, says that the Clinic was able to open because of Lee’s involvement and that it is because of the protocols that Lee established from day one that the Clinic has always offered quality medical services.
Since Lee and the others opened the Clinic in 1971, the Clinic has provided healthcare for thousands and thousands of people … and never charged a fee for any care. Lee has a significant role in a 2008 documentary about the founding of the Clinic. If you would like to have a copy of the documentary, please call 816-777-2762.