The Camp 10 - Kirk Isenhour
Am I really seeing robins hopping around? And trees in bloom? And leaves on trees? Oh, yes, spring is here! April is the time to get out and stretch those legs! Why not join AIDS Walk Kansas City to get in some cardio?
This month, I interviewed Kirk Isenhour, vice president of marketing and development at the Kansas City CARE Clinic, which provides basic health-care services to uninsured and underinsured residents. Isenhour, who has been involved in the community for years, is now an integral part of the clinic’s team in informing the Kansas City area about what the clinic offers.
1. In 2011, you left J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services to join the team at Kansas City CARE Clinic. Why the change?
Following the death of my dad in 2010, I realized I wanted to spend more time on the things that really mattered to me. I began doing some soul-searching about a career change. After a few interviews with head-hunters and different business organizations in town, I realized I didn’t just want to change uniforms; I wanted to play a different game! I had been involved with the clinic as a volunteer for 15-plus years and cared deeply about how the clinic serves our community – both the uninsured and as a huge HIV resource and provider. I knew that changes in health care would impact the clinic, and I wanted to help debunk the myth that “free clinics” would no longer be needed after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There was a great opportunity to redirect my marketing expertise to an organization that is at the heart of our community. Shifting from the for-profit world to not-for-profit was the smartest thing I’ve done. I often say, “I’ve never worked harder but had more fun at anything!”
2. And of course, what exactly do you do at the Kansas City CARE Clinic?
I am responsible for marketing and development. This means I’m responsible for telling the story about what we do and who we serve, and then raising the money so we can keep doing it. Our funding comes from a variety of sources, including government grants and contracts, corporate and private foundations, individual donors and special events, such as our fall women’s heart health event, And the Beat Goes On , and our signature annual event, the Bloom Party, which is held each spring.
3. Camp BLOOM is coming up on May 2! What can people expect this year from this great fundraising event?
The amazing thing about this event – now in its 13th year -- is that it is always different from one year to the next! This year is no exception. Camp BLOOM is an opportunity to have a glamorous, urban, outdoor camping experience underneath the 12th Street Bridge in the West Bottoms! We will blend the lumbersexual trend with the glamour-camping, or glamping, trend. It will be an amazing grown-up version of camp – complete with fun activities, campfire entertainment, cocktails, upscale camp food from Bread & Butter Concepts (BRGR, Urban Table, Gram & Dun, Taco Republic) and, later in the evening, food trucks for late-night snacks! Dust off those scout badge sashes, don your khakis, plaids, diamonds and furs … for Camp BLOOM.
4. How can people purchase tickets for Camp BLOOM?
The easiest way to get tickets is to go to our website at campbloom.com. We again predict another sellout!
5. The LGBT community has been talking about PrEP since we first learned of it. How is the Kansas City CARE Clinic working to promote this HIV/AIDS preventive medication?
Our medical team and staff are experts in HIV care and prevention, and we want the community to know we can be your resource for these tools – whether you have insurance or not!