Troost health clinic serves students, community

When Rockhurst University broke ground on its new garage last year, it promised to do more than provide parking spaces. It also said it hoped to contribute to the revitalization of Troost Avenue and to provide services within the building that could be used by the surrounding neighborhoods.

Development of the parking garage and a master plan for the university got off to a rocky start when the school and neighbors clashed over their shared boundaries.

“When we first started work on the master plan and the garage design, we had some pretty uncomfortable discussions with our neighbors,” Matt Heinrich, associate vice president of facilities and technology, said in a press release last year. “But by listening to each others’ needs and concerns we were able to overcome that and we emerged with a much stronger plan.”

The university and neighbors ultimately settled on a mixed-use garage with a “green wall” that is meant to enhance the environment and soften the appearance of the facility at 52nd and Troost. The two groups also worked together to develop a plan for attracting services to the building that would benefit both the campus and the community.

Those amenities began with a Troost rapid transit line MAX station located within the garage.

Today, another of those services opens its doors. The new University District Medical Care clinic, a partnership between Rockhurst and HCA Midwest Health Clinic. It is intended as a walk-in facility treating general illnesses and injuries, accepts insurance plans from most major carriers, and is open to students and community members.

“Close proximity to trusted health care professionals is something parents of our students have indicated is important to them – especially given the distance some students are from their parents and family physicians,” Matthew Quick, Ph.D., dean of students and vice president for student development and athletics, said. “We’re pleased that the University and our neighbors can all benefit from this important resource that is a lot less expensive than an emergency room visit or hospital stay.”

Holly Black-Irvine, who lives in the Troostwood neighborhood and is a member of a joint university/neighborhood committee, said neighbors are now supportive of both the master plan and the new garage, and appreciate having the new health clinic in their neighborhood. She said the neighbors are interested in additional retail and services that might locate in the building.

“It would be great to have a coffee shop or a market,” she said.

Rockhurst has also announced plans for a financial counseling center to be located in the garage building. The center will be a partnership with Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Full Employment Council. The center is scheduled to open this spring.


What: Grand opening of University District Medical Care: tours refreshments and giveaways

When: Today, January 23, 3 to 6 p.m. with remarks at 3:30

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