Rep. Jenkins visit

US Congressional Representative Lynn Jenkins, left, takes a tour of the Verdigris Valley Charitable Clinic in Altoona with founder Shawn Raymond, in hat, along with Greenwood County Hospital CEO Nancy McKenzie, center. Wilson County Medical Center CEO Dennis Shelby also attended the tour and a presentation on medical costs by Raymond, a nurse practitioner. 

REG LOWER

Tribune reporter

ALTOONA – The area House Representative to the US Congress visited Altoona on Monday morning for a presentation on health care policy.

Second District Representative Lynn Jenkins visited the Verdigris Valley Charitable Health Clinic at the Verdigris Valley Christian Fellowship in Altoona for a tour and slide presentation by the clinic’s organizer.

Clinic founder Shawn Raymond, a nurse practitioner, urged legislative changes to allow the clinic to dispense medications purchased wholesale.

Dennis Shelby, chief executive officer of Wilson Medical Center in Neodesha, and Greenwood County Hospital CEO Nancy McKenzie from Eureka also attended for Raymond’s discussion about medication costs.

Under Kansas law, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants who do not perform surgery are considered mid-level practitioners rather than full practitioners. They can dispense medications, but not those offered at wholesale prices.

Raymond said patients who cannot afford higher medication prices are skipping doses or using other means to save money.

“This is another priority of ours,” Jenkins said. “What we’re worried about is access to health care in rural communities.”

She said she wants to get feedback on legislation she has filed so she can see what needs to change later. Jenkins also discussed who to contact at the state level.

“We’re on your team,” Jenkins told Raymond. “Saddle me up.”

The charitable clinic opened two years ago, and Raymond said it serves 557 people in a 60-mile radius.

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