Shop Local! Swope Health Holiday Mart Dec. 8

Swope Health invites you to visit our 2023 Holiday Mart from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in the activity rooms at Building C, Swope Health Central, 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Blvd.

The event is free and open to all. The holiday mart features local retailers, designers, chefs selling their items, including handbags, jewelry, clothing, lotions, candles, scented products, crafts, blankets, and holiday décor.

You can also have lunch while you shop, with a menu offering nachos, hot dogs, chips and more.

Proceeds from the event are used for the Adult Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program. This program helps individuals develop life skills, access resources, and learn to manage mental illness. The program guides participants toward success in the living, working, learning, and social environments of their choice, while encouraging recovery and resilience.

We look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Mart!

November Diabetes Awareness Month: It’s all about ACTION

Swope Health is a leader in diabetes prevention, care, and treatment, with programs designed to support and educate patients on this common chronic illness. Swope Health keeps a focus on diabetes in November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, and all year long.

“At Swope Health, we take action to prevent diabetes where possible, and we work closely with patients with diabetes to manage their condition and keep diabetes under control,” said Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Chief Health Officer at Swope Health. “We want to lessen the impact of diabetes on your life.”

Dr. Jamal, as a public health expert, designed groundbreaking programs to create an environment that better identifies pre-diabetes conditions and helps patients keep existing diabetes conditions under control. In 2018, she launched a pilot program to employ a diabetes checklist used with every patient at the Swope Health – Independence clinic.

This checklist looks for the three dominant diabetes-related issues: kidney disease, limb amputation, and blindness. For the eye test, there are retinal cameras at every clinic, meaning patients do not need to travel for or schedule a separate examination.

A second element of the pilot offered personal counseling with a diabetes counselor and small group visits with a certified diabetes educator. The practice of proactive monitoring and social engagement proved a winning combination that improved outcomes and led to the program’s expansion across all Swope Health clinics.

The program also now includes a Nurse Care Manager assigned to high-risk patients with uncontrolled diabetes. The nurse care manager develops specific care plans with the patient, and provides support with meeting goals involving medication, health foods, exercise and more.  Part of that healthy foods initiative includes consultations with a registered dietitian, who can assist with nutrition, cooking tips, recipes and more, personalized for each patient’s needs.

Additionally, Swope Health participates in a Health Equity Learning Action Network project to improve diabetic health outcomes. The project focuses on the social drivers of health – those non-medical factors that influence health outcomes, including factors like economic stability, education, and healthcare access.

Health disparities still exist in diabetic outcomes and Swope Health’s programs are geared toward decreasing them, said Dr. Jamal.

And, beginning in December, Swope Health will offer a new specialty service in podiatry, which will also assist patients with diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage, and nerves in the feet and legs are most often affected.

This can lead to numbness, tingling or pain, as well as no feeling at all – which can lead to other issues if you can’t feel a cut, blister, or infection that may fester. The Swope Health foot care specialist focus on prevention and education, to avoid foot issues becoming more severe. Patients will be scheduled by referral from their primary care team.

Diabetes: the basics

Here’s a brief refresher on diabetes, with information from the CDC:

  • Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin or use it effectively to turn blood glucose or sugar into energy. If untreated, it can cause serious problems, including heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
  • There is no cure, but diabetes can be controlled with medications, diet, and exercise. There are devices to help you track your blood glucose level throughout the day.
  • In the U.S., 38 million adults have diabetes. It’s estimated that 20 percent of them do not know they have it.
  • Diabetes is a growing issue – about 98 million adults have a condition called prediabetes, with higher-than-normal blood sugars. Prediabetes can put you at risk of developing diabetes, but it can be prevented or delayed with medication and lifestyle changes.

During this National Diabetes Awareness Month, Swope Health encourages you to take action with an annual medical exam. At Swope Health, that exam will include tests to measure blood sugar and other clinical metrics and the diabetes checklist to help identity diabetes or prediabetes conditions.  Call us at 816-923-5800 to schedule an exam or meet with your healthcare team.

Swope Health Receives Four National Quality Awards

Swope Health is proud to announce that it has received four Community Health Quality Recognition awards from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

The awards are based on improvements in data as logged in the latest Uniform Data System reporting period, focusing on areas of access, quality, equity, health IT and COVID-19 emergency response.

The awards are:


  • 2023 Access Enhancer. To receive this award, the federal agency requires at least a 15 percent improvement in one or more clinical quality measure in back-to-back reporting years, and increase by at least 5 percent in total patient count and patients receiving mental health, substance use disorder, vision, dental or enabling services.





  • 2023 Health Disparities Reducer. To receive this award, the health center must also receive the Access Enhancer award and meet one of two additional criteria:
    • Improve by at least 10 percent in low birth weight, hypertension control, or uncontrolled diabetes clinical quality measure, and must show improvement for at least one racial or ethnic group in the two most recent reporting years, and must maintain or improve its previous clinical quality measures over the prior year.
    • Meet targets for all racial or ethnic groups served in the latest reporting year.



  • 2023 Advancing Health Information Technology. For this award, a health center must use an electronic health record system, offer telehealth services, exchange clinical information online with key providers, engage patients through health information systems, and collect data on patient social risk factors.






  • 2023 Addressing Social Risk Factors. For this award, a health center must collect data on patient social risk factors, and increase the percentage of patients who received enabling services between the last two reporting periods.





Swope Health also received recognition for maintaining its status as a certified Primary Care Medical Home, and from the Missouri Primary Care Association, a Silver clinical quality award.

“These awards demonstrate Swope Health’s commitment to quality care, while at the same time, delivering more services to more patients to reduce health disparities,” said Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Swope Health’s Chief Health Officer. “We aspire to lead the region and the nation, and each day we work to build upon our tradition of quality care.”

Open enrollment questions? Swope Health can help!

You are probably seeing messages these days about Open Enrollment, and sometimes it can all be confusing.

“Open Enrollment” is a window of time that happens once a year when individuals sign up for health insurance and other benefits, as well as adjust or cancel current plans. It is usually limited to a few weeks, and individuals often have to wait until the next open enrollment period to make changes.

Here are the important Open Enrollment dates:

  • Individual & Family Affordable Care Act Marketplace plans: Open enrollment is November 1 through January 15. (Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is often referenced as “Obamacare”.)
    • If you enroll by December 15, your coverage begins on January 1.
    • If you enroll between December 16 and January 15, your coverage begins on February 1.
  • Medicare: Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is October 15 to December 7. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare is around age 65.
  • Medicaid: People can enroll anytime.

At Swope Health, we have a team of insurance navigators who help guide people through the process of enrolling in Marketplace insurance, Medicaid, and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).


This service is free and open to everyone. Your information is confidential.


If you’d like help with enrolling in any of these programs, you have options:

  • You can walk in and request assistance from our navigators at Swope Health Central.
  • You can call and schedule an appointment for a time that’s convenient – call (816) 599-5590.


When you come in, please be sure to bring your ID. This can be a Driver’s License, Passport or Permanent Resident’s card. If you have an income, bring one month’s worth of proof of income, such as pay stubs. If you or family members you are enrolling were not born in Missouri or Kansas, please bring a birth certificate as well.


What can I expect in a plan?

According to the website, all Marketplace plans cover:

  • 10 essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, emergency services, hospitalization, laboratory services, pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and substance use disorder services.
  • Preventive healthcare services for adults, women, and children. These services are provided free if they are delivered by a provider or doctor in your insurance plan’s network.
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions: once you are enrolled, no insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started.


What will a plan cost?

Your costs will depend on your expected household income for the year. There are options for low-cost, Medicaid and CHIP programs, as well as tax credit options. A Navigator can help you estimate your income, compare plans, and get exact prices when you fill out an application.


Learn more about the federal Health Insurance Marketplace:

If you know of anyone in the community – yes, anyone – who needs assistance with enrollment in these coverages, please encourage them to call our insurance navigator team at (816) 599-5590.

Join us! First Saturday — Family Essentials Giveaway

Swope Health invites you to join us for a First Saturday Family Essentials and Foods giveaway, 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Swope Health Central.

There will be drive-through stations set up for delivery of household goods, toiletries, warm clothing and blankets, and a holiday food box. The holiday food box includes a turkey, ham, or chicken for the first 500 families.

The warm clothing station offers a hat and gloves set and a blanket — one for each family.

As you drive through the parking lot at 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, volunteers will load the packages into your car’s trunk. No walk-ups, please.

All items are free.

This event is hosted by Swope Health with sponsorship from Harvesters, Cargill, Sen. Barbara Anne Washington, Total Man, Community Builders Kansas City, Bridging the Gap, Eastside Forward, Brass Pinnacle Group, Home State Health, Greater Kansas City Black Nurses Association, Kanbe Markets, and the Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City.

One on One with Swope Health: Darrell Curls

Swope Health announces a new edition of its podcast, One on One with Swope Health, featuring Darrell Curls, Kansas City City Council member.

Eric Wesson, founder and publisher of The Next Page KC, a newspaper focused on the Black community, hosts the show’s conversations with Kansas Citians about issues of importance to the community’s health and wellbeing.

Curls was elected in June 2023 to represent Kansas City’s 5th Council District-at-large. He previously served on the Hickman Mills School Board for nine years and on several city commissions and boards. He is a native of south Kansas City, the Hickman Mills area, and a graduate of Longview Community College, Park College, and Central Michigan University.

In this discussion, the councilman reflects on his first nine weeks in the new role. “They throw a lot at you all at once,” he said. “It’s everything I thought it would be and more.”

He identified his top priorities as economic growth for the urban core, specifically the third and fifth districts, and addressing crime. He said he believes spurring economic growth and development can help deter crime.

Curls notes the number of homicides is alarming, as is the fact that it is young black men age 18-30 who are the most susceptible to homicide.

Tied to economic development is health, including access to fresh fruits and vegetables in local groceries. Noting that fresh groceries are lacking in the third and fifth districts, he advocates for healthy foods and educating youth about healthy foods and nutrition.

He said he believes the KC economy is on an upward trajectory. From his vantage point on the finance, governance, and public safety committees, he sees an opportunity to help drive positive investment in the city to target trash clean-up, infrastructure in the urban core, and affordable housing. He said he and his counterparts in the third district have shared goals.

He also sees positive collaboration among the new city council members and the mayor, all operating with a holistic view of the city. “We realize we can get more done by working together,” he said.

Listen to the full conversation here:

You Tube:


Swope Health Celebrates Completion of PACE KC Adult Wellness Center

On Tuesday, Oct. 17beginning at 10 a.m., Swope Health will host a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of the construction of the PACE KC Adult Wellness Center, a state-of-the-art health and wellness facility at 4141 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., 64130.PACEKC Swope Health Systems


The PACE KC Adult Wellness Center, located adjacent to the Swope Health Central campus, is the first and only PACE program in Jackson County, serving as the central hub for PACE services.


PACE, an acronym for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a national program implemented by 154 organizations across the United States, offering a full range of health and wellness services for people age 55 and older to help them age gracefully in their home communities.


Construction on the $15 million, 34,000-square-foot facility began in May 2022.

The Center has multiple clinical spaces to provide primary care, medical services, and other therapies, as well as a day center, rehabilitation gym, computer lab, library, arts and crafts room, bathing suite, low-stimulation memory care area, outdoor recreation space and meeting rooms. PACE KC anticipates enrolling participants beginning in January of 2024.


“Expanding our mission to provide services that meet the needs of older adults demonstrates our enduring commitment to the community that we have proudly served for more than 50 years,” said Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health.


“As our largest capital investment since the development of the Swope Health Central campus in 1995, the completion of the PACE KC Adult Wellness Center is a historic moment for Swope Health. In addition, we take great pride in saying that, as the first and only PACE program in Jackson County and the second in the state of Missouri, this is a historic moment for our region.”


Long-awaited celebration
“The unveiling of the PACE KC Adult Wellness Center marks the culmination of five years of dedicated advocacy, fundraising, and community education,” said Heath Rath, Executive Director for PACE KC. “This milestone brings the gold standard of home and community-based care for older adults, PACE, to Kansas City, Missouri for the first time. The services provided by PACE KC are poised to be a lifeline for individuals aspiring to age gracefully in the homes and communities they love.”


The celebration will begin at 10 a.m., with remarks from Ravin, Rath, and National PACE Association CEO Shawn Bloom at 10:30 a.m. Facility tours will begin at 11 a.m. Parking is available for the event in Swope Health Lot C (3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64130).


Time for the annual flu shot!

Swope Health is ready to assist you with fighting the seasonal flu. The best way to reduce your risk from the flu and potential complications is to get the flu vaccination.

The vaccines are available at all Swope Health clinics in the Greater Kansas City metro area, including in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties.

To get your vaccination, call for an appointment: 816-523-5800.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe the annual flu season as running from October to March, although it has been known to last into May. This year, the CDC is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated before the end of October, for maximum effectiveness in taming the virus.

“We encourage everyone six months and older to get a vaccination,” said Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Chief Health Officer for Swope Health.  “It’s especially important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious complications – infants, children under five, adults over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.”

Did you know? Everyone in your family who is 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. #FightFlu

The flu vaccine works by taming the flu virus, notes Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, in an interview with the American Medical Association.

This year, the CDC is promoting the notion that the flu vaccine can contain the illness, taking it from “Wild to Mild” by lessening the symptoms and illness from flu.


The vaccine “can reduce flu illness, visits to doctor’s offices, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as importantly making people feel not as bad, so symptoms become less severe,” Dr. Daskalakis told the AMA. “It can also cut back on the visits that people have to emergency departments, hospitalizations and then also ultimately the most severe outcome of flu, which is death.”

Do I have the flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness that affects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. The virus spreads easily with coughing and a runny nose. Other symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue and vomiting or diarrhea.

The flu can lead to complications including sinus or ear infection, pneumonia, and worsening of chronic conditions like asthma or congestive heart failure.

How do I prevent the flu?

In addition to getting a vaccine – the No. 1 recommended step — you’ll want to focus on handwashing. That’s part of the reason Oct. 15 is declared the Global Handwashing Day by a coalition of stakeholders (including the CDC) who promote hygiene as a “pillar of international development and public health.”

Proper handwashing, with soap, is an effective and affordable way of preventing diseases and saving lives, says the Global Handwashing Partnership.  Handwashing prevents the spread of germs.

If you have questions about the flu, visit the CDC’s Influenza Resource Center or talk with your healthcare team at Swope Health. Make an appointment at 816-923-5800.

TreatTown is back! Join us Oct. 28

Swope Health invites you to join us 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 for TreatTown — a safe and fun drive-through trick-or-treating experience for kids age 12 and under.

The lot at Swope Health Central will be transformed into a tented drive-through filled with friendly costumed ghouls and tricksters eager to see kids in their Halloween costumes. Kids under age 12 receive a free treat bag, delivered to your vehicle.

The free event features music from Hot 103 Jamz.

We expect lots of visitors, as in years past, so please plan on joining a line on Cleveland Avenue heading north, then turning east (right) onto Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and into the main entrance at Swope Health Central.

From there, associates will guide your vehicle through the tented TreatTown to receive your bag of goodies. You won’t even have to get out of your car to join the fun.

Hope to see you there!


Grand Opening Oct.17: PACE KC Adult Wellness Center

Swope Health will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting for the new PACE KC Adult Wellness Center, a state-of-the-art health and wellness facility at 4141 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 64130.

The event will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the new facility. Parking will be available in Swope Health Central’s Lot C.

The event will feature remarks and the ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m., followed by refreshments and tours of the new center. The event is free and open to public; and RSVPs are requested:

PACE KC’s Adult Wellness Center, located just east of the Swope Health Central campus, will serve as the central hub for PACE services – Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is a national program offering a full range of health and wellness services for people age 55 and older to help them age gracefully in their home communities.

The $14 million facility offers clinical spaces to provide primary care, medical services and other therapies, as well as a day center, rehabilitation gym, computer lab, library, arts and crafts room, bathing suite, low-stimulation memory care area, outdoor recreation space, and meeting rooms.

Please join us to learn more about the future of elder care in Kansas City.