KidsCARE Health Fair Saturday, Oct. 7

On Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Swope Health will host a KidsCARE Fall Health Fair at Swope Health Central, 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.

You are invited to stop by and learn more about our services, get registered, connect with additional resources, and pick up backpacks, school supplies, Harvesters food boxes, and more!

This event is free and open to the public.

Open House at our new KidsCARE clinic in Excelsior Springs

You are invited to join us for an Open House at our newest Swope Health KidsCARE clinic at the Excelsior Springs Early Childhood Center — 5:30 to 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 18 at 500 N. Jesse James Road. 

You’ll have the opportunity to tour the clinic, meet our associates and clinicians, and learn more about the services we offer. Plus, meet with our partners from the Excelsior Springs School District and Head Start.

Swope Health appreciates the support provided by our partners NASB, T-Mobile, Come On Now!, Delta Dental, Association of  Clinicians for the Underserved, and the Missouri Telehealth Network.

Connecting Families to Care

Swope Health and the Kansas City Monarchs invite you to a special back-to-school event from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, Aug. 12 at Legends Field, 1800 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.

The event is free and open to the public.

As Children’s Health Day, part of the National Community Health Center Week celebration, Swope Health will provide on-site health screenings for kids to help with back-to-school requirements. Available screenings:

  • Hearing, Vision and Body-Mass Index or growth assessment screenings
  • Lead poisoning screening and information
  • Dental screening and fluoride treatment
  • HIV screening
  • Preventive screening information


Additional Swope Health associates will be on hand to provide COVID-19 vaccination information, assistance with Medicaid signup and navigation, and dietary consulting.


Participants will receive free backpacks with school supplies, including Bombas socks. Each backpack includes a voucher for Monarchs game tickets and ballpark food – hotdogs, popcorn, and chips – at Legends Stadium. Participants also have the option of entering an hourly drawing for gas cards, grocery cards, and gift cards.


Throughout the event, a DJ will be playing music and Monty, the Monarchs mascot, will be livening up the event and available for photos with families. There’s face painting, games, a Kona Ice Truck and much more.

Swope Health and the Kansas City Monarchs appreciate the support of cosponsors United Healthcare, Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Sunflower Health Plan, and the Kansas Civic Engagement Table.

Are you ready for the new school year?

Kansas City, Kansas:

Child care and pre-school required immunizations in the state of Kansas are provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Empowerment, Division of Public Health:


The new school year in KCK Public Schools begins:

  • Aug. 16 for students in kindergarten through 6th grade, and 9th grade students
  • Aug. 17 for students in 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades.


The school district offers a Guide for the 2023-24 School Year,  including information on family advocacy days, transportation, nutritional services, and more.


Kansas City, Missouri:

Child care and pre-school required immunizations in the state of Missouri, including reporting information, state regulations, and tools and resources are available from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services: Also see specific Pre-school Immunization requirements in Missouri


The new school year in Kansas City Public Schools begins on Aug. 21.


The school district offers a checklist with information about required supplies, uniforms, and school schedules. The district also hosts open houses at most schools to orient kids and their families to the school location, classrooms, and teachers. You can also find information about transportation, including bus routes, schedules, and resources.


Swope Health Expands Operations with Leavenworth Pediatric Clinic

Swope Health, a leading voice in community health and premier provider of quality accessible healthcare in Kansas City, announces its acquisition of the assets of Lori Ann Golon, M.D., P.A., a Leavenworth, Kansas-based pediatric practice, effective Monday, July 10.

This marks Swope Health’s first expansion in Kansas since the 1980s, when its first clinic opened in Wyandotte County.

Dr. Lori Ann Golon, the primary physician at the practice, and the full clinic staff will join Swope Health and continue serving their roster of patients. Operating hours will remain unchanged: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“For 23 years, Dr. Golon’s practice has provided quality, cost effective medical care to pediatric patients in the Leavenworth and Lansing communities. Relatedly, Swope Health seeks to eliminate barriers to care while helping kids and families develop healthy habits for a lifetime,” said Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health. “We are thrilled to welcome the entire staff to Swope Health and feel honored to strengthen our service to Kansas families.”

Dr. Golon said: “Combining resources and services will allow us to provide our patients and families with the best in care and support. We are excited to join the Swope Health system of care clinics.”

Swope Health will host an open house at the clinic, located at 1001 6th Ave., #210, Leavenworth, Kan., 66048, for patients and members of the community on Friday, July 14, 3-5 p.m.

The public is invited to meet the clinicians, associates, and Swope Health leadership team.


Time to think about your child’s vision

Checking the calendar, you’ll find that June, May and August all have sponsors calling for Child Vision Awareness, or Children’s Eye Health and Safety, or Healthy Vision month. This looks like a good time to focus in on children’s vision care.

After all, summer months bring a change of perspective as kids spend time in places other than the classroom – whether that’s outdoors in bright sunshine or indoors in front of a screen. Kids probably aren’t thinking about their vision, but you should.

“Kids can have vision problems and not realize it,” says Dr. Vincent Parsons, Swope Health’s chair of optometry. “And even minor vision problems can lead to impacts in learning, reading, developing social skills and reaching their full potential.”

That’s why Swope Health, the American Optometric Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other professional and public health agencies recommend annual eye exams.

Another reason is the stress we inflict on our eyes – at all ages – by staring at screens aglow with videos, games, social media posts and so much more. Optometrists know this can produce what’s called “digital eye strain” or computer vision syndrome. This is a series of vision-related problems like eyestrain and blurred vision resulting from too much time in front of a computer, tablet, reader or mobile phone.

Digital eye strain can cause itchy eyes, Dr. Parsons noted, because staring at the screen makes the eyes work harder and can suppress the normal blink reflex, which acts to spread tears across the surface of the eye. Without keeping the eyes moist, they can dry out and feel scratchy.

“I get more complaints about dry eyes in children now than ever in my 30-plus years of practice,” Dr. Parsons said.

How can you tell if your kids are getting too much screen time?

Start with the guidelines: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one hour of screen time a day as enough for children 2 to 12, and two hours a day is acceptable for teens and adults. Children under two shouldn’t have any screen time.

If your kids are using the screen more than those guidelines, watch for these signs:

  • Headache
  • Blurry eyes
  • Foggy brain or trouble focusing
  • Eye strain
  • Sleep issues


Granted, it might be hard to spot some of these. You can also look for related signs:

  • Poor posture
  • Behavior issues
  • Poor core strength
  • Decreased attention span
  • Difficulty in transitioning from one activity to another
  • Less self-control

You can also watch for changes in behavior, like these:

  • Less family interaction
  • Less creative or imagination play
  • Lack of energy
  • Easily distracted
  • Wanting more screen time
  • Moodiness or Increased frustration

What you can do

All of these factors demonstrate the many ways our society’s preoccupation with digital screens affect us, in ways beyond the stress to our vision, Dr. Parsons noted.

For example, the American Optometric Association notes that too much screen time can affect a child’s vocabulary and communication skills, leading to lower developmental readiness.

It’s worth taking to heart the guidance from pediatricians and optometrists to build a plan for your family’s use. For example, set up screen-free areas (like at the dinner table) and specific screen-free family times (walks, outdoor games, reading, etc.) Be sure to incorporate physical activity to make up for the lack of movement while using most digital media. Taking breaks from the screens is the No. 1 step.

And don’t forget to schedule an eye examination for the kids. Be sure to let the eye doctor know if your child exhibits any of the symptoms of too much screen time or any other vision problems.

Swope Health can coordinate your healthcare needs and make scheduling easy. Plan a back-to-school vision check-up at the same time you schedule a physical, immunization check-up, or dental exam for your kids. Call 816-923-5800 for your appointments.

Childhood Immunizations Should Be a Top Priority

The annual observance of National Infant Immunization Week this year takes place April 24 to 30, as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Swope Health supports this effort and encourages all families with infants to learn of the importance of routine childhood immunizations to give your baby a strong and healthy start. Swope Health follows the guidance of the American Academy of Pediatrics in providing access for well-child appointments and routine vaccinations to prevent disease.

“Vaccinations play a critical role in protecting the health of babies and children,” said Dr. Kenneth Thomas, Executive Vice President of Children’s Services, Swope Health. “Childhood vaccinations prevent illness, disabilities and death from more than a dozen diseases.”

Swope Health makes it easy for parents to stay up to date on all recommended vaccines for their children, with immunizations offered at seven Swope Health family Medicine satellite clinics and three KidsCARE (Pediatric) clinics. Swope Health KidsCARE Pediatric School-Based Services program offers vaccination opportunities at partnering schools and centers throughout the metro area via our pediatric mobile unit. Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination is an important component of our vaccination efforts.

“We know COVID-19 made it challenging for families to keep up with health care visits,” Dr. Thomas said. “It’s never too late to begin or catch up on routine vaccinations. As a pediatrician, we do not want any child falling ill from a preventable illnesses like measles and polio – or worse, experience a long-term disability or even death.”

He added: “COVID also reminded us all of the importance of vaccinations as a public health issue. Vaccinations protect the entire community.”

Even if you missed routine check-up visits for your children, you can get back on track. Immunizations usually happen at routine Well Child visits. A call to Swope Health can get your children back on a routine or catch-up schedule to help keep them healthy.  Regular checkups are also important for other reasons – checking developmental milestones, conducting screenings for hearing and vision, checking vital signs and routine lab tests, for example.


What’s recommended?

The American Association of Pediatricians has a schedule of recommended vaccinations for children, from birth to two years; and for kids and teens, from age seven to 18. The CDC summarizes the recommendations in a chart:

Download chart for children

Download chart for kids and teens

Join us! Swope Health KidsCARE – Tenney Pediatrics open house

You are invited to visit Swope Health’s newest location for an open house from 2-4 pm on Friday, July 22, at Swope Health KidsCARE — Tenney Pediatrics, 6501 E. 87th St., Kansas City.

We’ll be celebrating the addition of the Tenney Pediatrics & Adolescents practice to the Swope Health network and family.

At the open house, you’ll be able to tour the clinic, meet the clinicians and associates, and celebrate along with the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Light refreshments will be available.

Swope Health expands with acquisition of Tenney Pediatric Clinic

Tenney Clinic leadership joins Swope Health system of Primary Care Clinics

Swope Health, the voice of community health and leading provider of quality accessible healthcare in Kansas City, today announced its acquisition of Tenney Pediatrics & Adolescents, located at 6501 E. 87th St., Kansas City.

Dr. Jackie Tenney, once a Swope Health provider who went on to establish Tenney Pediatrics and Adolescents, will rejoin the Swope Health team and continue providing healthcare services to his patients. The clinic will be renamed Swope Health KidsCARE – Tenney Pediatrics.

“Dr. Tenney’s practice aligns with Swope Health’s mission and vision,” said Jeron Ravin, JD., President and CEO of Swope Health. “We share a goal of developing the next great generation of Kansas Citians, and do so through removing barriers to care, helping kids and families develop healthy habits for a lifetime. We are honored to welcome Dr. Tenney and his staff to our team.”

The Swope Health KidsCARE – Tenney Pediatrics clinic will soon offer new services to patients: which will provide seamless access to the full suite of services and programs Swope Health is known to provide.  Families in South Kansas City will now have easier access to adult primary care, women’s healthcare, mental healthcare and a wide range of support programs, including telehealth, Medicaid enrollment, WIC, nutrition services and transportation.

In addition to Dr. Tenney, Dr. Jessica Lee a pediatrician at Tenney Pediatrics and Adolescents for the last two years will also join the Swope Health team and continue providing care working from that clinic location. The clinic’s operating hours remain unchanged: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

“We are delighted to join the Swope Health family and network,” said Dr. Tenney. “We embrace the Swope Health Promise – we make care visible – and we look forward to offering our patients the additional resources and services Swope Health offers.

The Swope Health KidsCARE – Tenney Pediatrics clinic will host an open house for patients and members of the community from 2 pm to 4 pm on Friday, July 22, 2022.

All are invited to tour the clinic and meet the pediatricians, clinic staff and Swope Health leadership team. The new clinic will officially open for patient care on Monday, July 25th.  


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


The Children’s Bureau funds the National Child Abuse Prevention Month initiative each April with the Child Welfare Information Gateway. The purpose is to raise awareness of ways to prevent child abuse and neglect.


Swope Health will support the effort with a pinwheel display, surrounding the new heart installation at Swope Health Central this month.  Swope Health patients and associates will create the pinwheels, which are the national symbol for prevention of child abuse and neglect.

When you visit Children’s Services at any Swope Health location, you can pick up a pinwheel kit to create your own contribution to the display.


The pinwheel represents hope that every child will be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.


The pinwheel also represents a call to action, encouraging people everywhere to recognize that children are our future and that we all have a role to play in keeping them safe. ALL children deserve great childhoods.


Swope Health supports developing the “protective factors” that increase the well-being of children and families and reduce the likelihood of maltreatment. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are six protective factors:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete supports for parents
  • Social and emotional competence of children

Identifying protective factors helps parents find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively—even under stress.


On Tuesday, April 26, watch for the pinwheel garden near the heart at Swope Health.

Swope Health wins in national HRSA pediatric competition

According to the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, within months of the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed declining rates of vaccinations and well-child visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that declines in vaccination coverage might leave young children and communities vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.

To respond, the Maternal & Child Health bureau of HRSA launched a national competition — the Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4) Challenge.

Applicants were invited to demonstrate innovative approaches to increase well-child visits and immunizations. More than 240 entrants applied.

Swope Health and the Mid-America Regional Coalition (MARC) in collaboration were named one of the initial 50 winners in phase 1, the only applicant winning from the Midwest. The phase 1 prize was $10,000.

Then, in phase 2, Swope Health and MARC’s entry landed in the top 20, earning a $25,000 prize.

Plus, Swope Health and MARC’s Mid-America Head Start were named as one of three winners invited to deliver a national presentation on the winning program. Sandra Reece-Tinsley, Health Manager for MARC, delivered the presentation in the Winners Showcase on Jan. 31.

“We are so proud of this win,” said Kenneth Thomas, M.D., Executive Vice President of Children’s Services for Swope Health. “We demonstrated that the Swope Health’s KidsCARE solution with Head Start delivered an increase in well-child healthcare visits and immunizations over the prior year. These check-ups and immunizations help kids grow and stay healthy.”

The collaboration was among the most holistic programs presented in the challenge, offering well-child visits and  immunizations and integrated dental, optometry and behavioral health access and services as well. Many of the other challenge applicant programs had a limited area of focus.

KidsCARE is Swope Health’s program to deliver pediatric primary care, dental and behavioral health care together in the community. KidsCARE uses telehealth and  mobile medical clinics for Head Start community- and school-based locations. Swope Health recently opened a standalone KidsCARE clinic in the Emmanuel Family and Child Development Center.

The MARC-Swope Health entry showed delivery of 227 well-child examinations, 16 eye clinic examinations and 400 dental examinations. The KidsCARE pilot program covered rural and urban settings and produced improved results in both categories – higher than all other MARC Head Start sites.

Nationally, the Challenge projects generated more than 52,000 pediatric well-child visits and nearly 23,000 immunizations. Read more details from the Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Announces Winners of National Challenge to Increase Pediatric Vaccinations and Well-Child Visits.