Clinics provide needed safety net

Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed Aug. 7 through 13 as Primary Care Safety Net Clinic Week. This recognizes the clinics in our state that literally provide a "safety net" for the most vulnerable Kansans those who are uninsured and underinsured.

In 2010, these clinics provided comprehensive primary care to more than 216,000 people, regardless of their ability to pay. The clinics play a vital role in our communities by helping their patients stay healthy and out of emergency rooms. In Garden City, United Methodist Mexican American Ministries performs this critical service.

Today many of our friends and neighbors are unemployed and uninsured, yet still need critical health care services they can afford. This week, which is recognized annually, serves to emphasize the valuable services provided by the state's safety net clinics. Besides providing needed services, these clinics help boost local economies by providing jobs during the current difficult job market.

On behalf of its 40 safety net clinic members, KAMU wishes to thank the state and local legislators, private foundations and many individuals who recognize the important role safety net clinics play in the overall health care system in Kansas. As more people look to these clinics for their health care, we are grateful for the commitment of these leaders to the medically underserved.

CATHY HARDING,

Topeka

Join in battle of blood donors

It is time for Red Cross' Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. This means local law enforcement will "battle" with local firefighters and EMS to see who can give the most blood. This will be the First Annual Battle of the Badges for Garden City.

Join the Battle of the Badges from Aug. 22 to 23. You may donate at the Community Blood Drive on Monday or Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 1106 N. Main. Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS to make an appointment today.

EMS personnel, firefighters and law enforcement officers give time to the community; they give a sense of security to residents; and they often give blood, too. As local heroes to many, their courage in the face of adversity bolsters people in need.

But the Battle isn't just for police officers and firefighters; anyone can get involved in the fun by donating blood and voting for a favorite team. When this contest is over, the Battle of the Badges winner gets bragging rights and a big plaque. But most importantly, hospital patients throughout Kansas are also winners because they get the life-saving blood they need to survive.

Anyone can become a hero during Battle of the Badges. This is your chance. Give blood.

KRYSTLE JACOBS,

Wichita

Jacobs is the coordinator of the blood drive.