Atchison-native Stevie Durkin has been named the new executive director at the Atchison Community Health Clinic.
Durkin began in the role on July 5, replacing Kathy Butler, who retired as the executive director but will continue to be involved with the clinic as a consultant.
A Maur Hill Prep graduate in 2002, Durkin earned his bachelor’s in social work from Pittsburg State University in 2006 and his master’s in social work from the University of Kansas in 2009. He spent eight years at the Guidance Center in Atchison — three as a clinician and five years as the clinic administrator.
Making the transition from the Guidance Center to ACHC should be smooth for Durkin, as he began volunteering at the clinic when it was opened in 2009. He assessed treatment needs for patients, lining them up with community resources for a few years, then spent the past two years providing behavioral health services at the clinic.
“I’ve met with a lot of really strong and resilient people in this community,” Durkin said. “I know the struggles they’ve gone through. I’ve helped facilitate them through certain situations and aligned them with community resources, so I feel like my experiences have allowed me to know what a lot of agencies in this town do. I feel like I’m going to be in a good position to bring people together and be that central piece so we can treat that entire person; not just medical, not just dental, not just mental health. We can treat the entire person.”
Durkin said he’d like to see more patients visit the ACHC. He said he wants to engage with community members and agencies to take care of people who need health care, regardless of their ability to pay.
The clinic accepts patients who have insurance and they have a sliding scale fee for those patients without insurance, based on income. An expansion of services is also a future goal.
“What I really want to do is expand some dental services, get more medical providers, things like that down the road when we’re able to accommodate that,” Durkin said. “Right now, it’s getting more patients in our door.”
Entering a working relationship with the Guidance Center will help the ACHC bring in more patients. The clinic will provide some psychiatry services on site, expanding on behavioral health services.
Durkin said he takes an understanding, empathetic approach to his position and knows his coworkers do the same.
“I value the relationships I’ve built, not only with community members, but also with clients. This allowed me to have a reputation around town, I believe, that people know I genuinely care about them,” he said. “I had that at the Guidance Center, too – I worked with a group of fantastic people. They care about people, they care about Atchison, they want to see the best for everybody that encompasses the county and surrounding areas.
“Working at the clinic for two years, (I know) that team has the same approach. I know people genuinely care about our patients, we want to see people succeed, feel better about life and have a high-quality of life.”
The ACHC will host an after-hours event from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 and Durkin will be on hand to meet community members.