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About us

We are part of a National Effort

Buncombe County, a western North Carolina community formed an integrated network of local clinics, private primary and specialty physician volunteers, hospitals and pharmacies to provide universal, on-demand access to the full continuum of health care for the medically underserved citizens of their county.


BCMS Project Access was initiated in 1995 and the model spread across the United States. 



Our History

The process started in 2001 with the Indigent Care Committee organized under the auspices of the Shawnee County Medical Society. This committee comprised of provider and citizen representatives spent many hours studying the plight of the uninsured patients in Shawnee County and possible solutions to the problem. The committee identified the extent of the problem, identified current resources addressing the problem of the uninsured and researched various programs developed by other communities. During this process, the committee identified the Project Access program located in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Wichita, Kansas also replicated the Project Access model here in Kansas as did Wyandotte & Johnson Counties with the WyJoCares program. 

Our Staff

Karla Hedquist

SCMS HealthAccess Program Director


Laura Aguirre

Bilingual Program Consultant


Sandy Steinlage

Eligibility Specialist


HealthAccess receives funding from the Topeka Community Foundation, the United Way of Greater Topeka, the City of Topeka, Shawnee County, and from private donations.