Our History

The founding Heartland Health Network partners: Calvary Community Outreach Network, Kansas City Free Health Clinic and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Psychology have collaborated extensively since the late 1990’s to conduct health science research and dissemination, focused primarily health disparities among African Americans. The partners have expertise in HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and smoking cessation, two of the major health problems disproportionately affecting African Americans. This collective history of creating an equal partnership between researchers and faith and community organizations is based on the use of strategies that build on the experiential knowledge and strengths of each partner.


KC Free is one of the oldest and largest free clinics in the country. KC Free’s mission is to promote health and wellness by providing quality services, at no charge, for people without access to basic care. With the support of 1,000 volunteers and staff of 90, KC Free provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care, as well as comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, counseling, testing and referral, primary care, adherence support, and case management for anyone who lacks the ability to pay.

Calvary Community Outreach Network (CCON) is a not-for profit organization based in the African American community whose mission is to improve quality of life by attending to the spiritual, physical, economic, and social needs of individuals and families through innovative programming. Established in 1994, CCON began as an outreach ministry of Calvary Temple Baptist Church.  CCON has evolved into a multifaceted organization that provides services in three areas HIV Faith-Based Education, Youth Development and Health and Wellness.   



UMKC is an urban, public university comprised of 13 academic divisions including the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Biological Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Its mission includes leading in health and life sciences, and collaborating on urban issues.

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