Letter to the editor: Care for all

To the editor:

On behalf of the Kansas Disability and Health Program, we write regarding the recent Journal-World section featuring the LMH Health West Campus. Because a DHP goal is to improve the health of Kansans with disabilities by increasing access to health-related programs and services, we are interested in how health care facilities serve the estimated 26% of the Kansas adult population who live with disabilities. Our concern centers on the lack of information about accessibility and accommodations for patients at the new facility in the above-mentioned 18-page section.

We hoped to learn how the new $101 million facility goes beyond Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, which are minimum standards, and addresses the needs of a substantial number of patients that is growing due to our aging population and the promotion of Lawrence as a retirement community. We wanted to learn about equipment, such as wheelchair-accessible exam tables, accessible weight scales, and information and wayfinding systems for people with visual or intellectual disabilities. We wanted to know how patients using public transportation can reach the facility. And we hoped to learn how staff at the facility were trained to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of patients with all types of disabilities.

We embrace the opportunity to partner with LMH and local advocates to create a welcoming environment that ensures our community health system serves patients with disabilities safely and with sensitivity and values equitable care for all.

Jean Hall and Dot Nary,

Kansas Disability and Health Program

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