Find Swope Health at Juneteenth KC Health Expo

Swope Health will participate in the Juneteenth KC Health Expo, 12 pm -5 pm, Saturday, June 18 at Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 E 17th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64108.


The Health Expo features dozens of organizations providing health information and services, free, to the community.


Swope Health will offer free at-home COVID-19 test kids, masks and general information. Swope Health navigators will also be on hand to assist with Medicaid expansion enrollment.


The Health Expo, part of a day of Juneteenth Celebration, includes free ice cream, dental and vision checkups, youth immunizations and more.


The day’s celebration also offers a “Brunch and Learn” panel discussion on “The Past, Current, and Future Housing and Racial Equity in Kansas City and Nationwide.” Registration is required for the panel and brunch, which features three food options.


Join us for the Juneteenth KC Health Expo!

Announcing: The PACE KC Groundbreaking

Swope Health Begins Construction of PACE KC Adult Wellness Center

Swope Health’s largest capital investment in two decades marks commitment to growth and expanding services for older adults

Swope Health today held a ceremonial groundbreaking, inaugurating construction of 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.


PACE KC’s Adult Wellness Center, located adjacent to 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.


From left, County Executive Frank White, Swope Health President & CEO Jeron Ravin JD, KC Councilwoman Ryanna Parks-Shaw, and Heath Rath, KC PACE

“This is a historic moment for Swope Health and a first for the region,” said Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health. “We are expanding our mission to provide services designed for the needs of older adults with this, our largest capital investment since the development of the Swope Health Central campus in 1995. This development signals our commitment to growing our presence to serve the community in new ways.”


The PACE KC Adult Wellness Center will be the first, and only, PACE program in Jackson County.


The $14 million facility is scheduled to open in 2023 with 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.


“Access to quality health care is a vital component in any strong community, and the new PACE KC Adult Wellness Center is going to be a tremendous community asset,” said Stephen Westbrooks, executive director of the southern region of IFF, the independent not-for-profit managing the construction project. “Not only will it ensure that seniors are able to receive holistic care that supports all aspects of health and wellbeing, but the center is also going to contribute to the overall development of the neighborhood.”


IFF, which supports non-profits and community-based organizations with development initiatives, works closely with McCownGordon Construction, a Kansas City-based construction firm and the general contractor for the project. McCownGordon has completed more than 1,100 projects in its 20-plus years in business, including a wide range of healthcare projects – hospitals, medical office buildings, imaging centers, pharmacies and more.


The PACE KC development is funded in part via a capital campaign, led by Wesley Fields, partner in charge of the Kansas City office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. The development recently received a $1.4 million challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation.


The Mabee Foundation, headquartered in Midland, Texas, has assisted non-profit organizations with funding of new construction, building renovations, and the purchase of major medical equipment since 1948. The challenge grant means Swope Health must raise an additional $1,066,649 by Jan. 11, 2023, to receive the Mabee Foundation funds.


“Today we’re one step closer to offering the PACE model of an entire continuum of care to older adults,” said Heath Rath, Executive Director of PACE KC. “PACE KC will offer a proactive, hands-on approach to addressing whole-person care – physical, emotional and psychological needs. This model helps older adults live their best life, safely and with dignity, at home.”


For more information about PACE KC, contact Rath at To make a gift or pledge in support of the capital campaign, contact Angela Smart, Executive Director of the Swope Health Foundation, at


A crowd of elected officials, civic leaders and community stakeholder joined at the event. Center, Wesley Fields, chairman of the PACE KC capital campaign and partner in charge of the Kansas City office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, addresses the crowd. Right, an array of PACE KC and Swope Health cookies for the celebration. 


Swope Health Provides Hep C Leadership: Show Me the Cure

Rachel Melson

Swope Health played a role in this month’s launch of “Show Me the Cure,” a statewide plan to eliminate hepatitis C. The plan was unveiled at a May 19 event in Jefferson City by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The plan calls for universal testing, treatment, improving outcomes for people living with Hepatitis C, and preventing new infections.

Rachel Melson, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Outreach Clinic Director, began a similar program at Swope Health in 2019, which produced remarkable results: more than 210 patients cured of the disease in just three years.

She was named to the state task force on Hepatitis C and she participates in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Viral Hepatitis Stakeholders Group. As part of this group, she developed a Hepatitis C Provider “Pocket Guide” as a resource to other healthcare providers to increase the availability of treatment across the state for Hepatitis C.

The pocket guide has been endorsed by the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, MOHealthnet’s Project HepCURE, and the Mid-America Addiction Technology Center.

The pocket guide includes clinical guidelines for Hepatitis C testing and treatment, medication coverage assistance, provider clinical support, and education and resources on overdose prevention and harm reduction.

As part of the Missouri stakeholders group, Dr. Melson provides guidance to other clinicians in the state who are starting to treat Hepatitis C as a clinical expert through the Show-Me ECHO platform. Nationally, she has been recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in Hepatitis C for the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council.

“I’m proud of the role Swope Health has played in the statewide effort,” she said. “Our goal is to ensure everyone has access to testing and treatment for Hepatitis C, and ultimately, to end Hepatitis C.”


What is Hepatitis C?

The hepatitis C virus is one of the most significant health problems affecting the liver. More than half of the individuals diagnosed with Hep C will develop chronic infection, while the other half may experience acute infection that may spontaneously clear.

The CDC offers explanations for all the primary types of viral hepatitis: A, B and C.

Hepatitis A and B are viral infections in the liver. Because of vaccine availability, numbers of cases of Hepatitis A and B have declined dramatically. Because Hepatitis B can become a lifelong infection causing serious liver damage or cancer, vaccination is recommended for all infants at birth. Hepatitis A infections are usually self-limiting without long-term complications and vaccination is recommended based on risk.  If you are unsure of your risk or if you are unaware of your vaccination status, discuss vaccination for Hepatitis A and B with your healthcare provider.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Most people who are infected will have lifelong infection, which can cause serious problems including liver disease or liver failure, or cancer. There are an estimated 2.4 million people living with the disease, and many may not know they are infected as they may not have symptoms.

This disease spreads through contact with blood from an infected person. Most people become infected by sharing needles or syringes in injected drug use. However, it is possible to get Hepatitis C in other ways such as: unprotected sex, sharing personal items like toothbrushes or razors, and unregulated tattoos or body piercings.

Currently, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. But there is a CURE.

Hepatitis C and YOU

Anyone who has tested positive for Hepatitis C can call Swope Health to participate in the program – regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. For more information, call the Hep C Nurse at 816-321-3604.

If you are unsure of your Hep C status, you can ask to be screened at Swope Health. All adults age 18 and older should be tested at least once and continue to get routine testing if they have risk factors or conditions including HIV infection, injection drug use, recent incarceration or are receiving dialysis.


“Show Me the Cure”

“Missouri’s hepatitis C plan provides a roadmap for the state to use to eliminate hepatitis C. This plan was developed in collaboration with diverse partners from across the state, which was essential for ensuring that the needs of Missourians were addressed in the plan,” according to a statement from Alicia Jenkins, Chief of the Missouri Department of Health and Social Services’ Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis.

The “Show Me the Cure” plan focuses on access to services, provider development, education, collaboration and awareness, surveillance, and policy and advocacy.

Access to Services

  • Increase the proportion of people who are tested and aware of their hepatitis C status.
  • Develop linkage to care for confirmatory testing and treatment.

Provider Development

  • Increase the number of health care providers who are trained to identify, diagnose and treat people with hepatitis C.

Education, Collaboration and Awareness

  • Increase awareness of testing and treatment for people living with hepatitis C.
  • Educate Missourians on health equity, stigma, and cultural humility regarding hepatitis C.


  • Evaluate the current hepatitis C surveillance system.
  • Improve the quality and completeness of hepatitis C data, including improved demographics and risk factor data reporting.
  • Routinely analyze, disseminate findings and utilize hepatitis C data to develop and improve testing and linkage to care programs.
  • Identify data resources and collaborate with other organizations to compile information regarding HCV populations.

Policy and Advocacy

  • Increase awareness of services for patients, and increase opportunities for advocacy.
  • Increase awareness regarding policies and laws that create barriers to hepatitis C testing and treatment.
  • Encourage and promote hepatitis C universal screening in primary care and other settings that provide services to those at highest risk.

The plan was developed in collaboration with MO HealthNet, Missouri Department of Corrections, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Hep C Alliance, Missouri Telehealth Network & Show-Me ECHO, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, City of St. Louis Department of Health, AIDS Project of the Ozarks, Missouri Primary Care Association, Swope Health, Washington University – Project ARK, KC Care Health Center, Clay County Public Health Center, CoxHealth, Missouri Rural Health Association and AbbVie.



Fast, easy scheduling: Call or Walk in

At Swope Health, part of our mission is the delivery of accessible, convenient, quality healthcare.

That means making sure we are conveniently located throughout the metro area. It also means making sure you can schedule an appointment easily. As a reminder, we encourage you to call for an appointment for medical or behavioral healthcare but we also welcome walk-ins.Josette Mitchell

“We want to see you at Swope Health,” said Josette Mitchell, Chief Operations Officer. “The fastest way to get care is with an appointment but if you come in without one, we will help you get an appointment as soon as possible.”

To make an appointment at any Swope Health location, call 816-923-5800.


What to expect if you walk-in

When there are open slots on the schedule, you may be able to be seen in a clinic without an appointment. You could be offered an open appointment, which could be on the same day.

If the day’s schedule is full, you may be asked to schedule for the next available opening. Or, if someone else reschedules an appointment, we may be able to call and get you in sooner.

And some healthcare needs can be addressed quickly in a walk-in visit.

“In any case, we are here for you,” Mitchell said. “We promise to help you get the care you need as quickly as possible.”

Summing up

The best option for seeing your healthcare team is through an appointment. Make your appointment by calling 816-923-5800.

You also are welcome to walk in and see if there are any open appointments. If there are not, we’ll help you get scheduled.

<Swope Health is also working on a new way to schedule through the Swope Health

Swope Health celebrates a Mental Health Champion

Each year, the state of Missouri’s Department of Mental Health selects three individuals to receive an award as a “Mental Health Champion.”

The award recognizes an individual living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or in recovery for substance use disorders.  This distinguished award is presented to individuals who make a positive contribution to their community, exemplify commitment and resiliency, and whose actions have increased the potential for independence in others with similar challenges.

Swope Health is proud to announce that William Chaney, a Peer Specialist at the Imani House, is one of the 2022 winners. He received his award at a celebration May 2 in Jefferson City, MO.

The award program shared his story:

William began using alcohol and drugs early on and continued to use for several years of his life despite the hardships he experienced. In July 2009, he made the courageous decision to enter treatment.

Mr. Chaney entered Swope Health’s Imani program to learn a new approach to life, because in his words, “he was tired of being ugly.” His graduation from treatment did not mark the end of his journey, but the beginning.

After graduating, Mr. Chaney showed up every day, volunteering countless hours to help his peers, clean the building, and provide support with no compensation. He would tell staff, “You are going to hire me one day,” even though there were no job openings.

After 5 years of volunteering, he was hired as Imani’s first Peer Support Staff where he has now worked a total of 12 years and is the head of the Imani Alumni Program.

Recovery is Mr. Chaney’s passion, and he lives it every day. He displays a positive attitude, going above and beyond, and using his story and the “Truth about Drugs” curriculum to show clients and youth in the community that they can overcome any addiction and become productive members of society.

“Mr. Chaney has a big heart, but his passion for recovery is bigger.”

After receiving his award, Swope Health hosted a reception for him, too, giving colleagues a chance to celebrate with him.

Congratulations, Mr. Chaney.

Mr. Chaney, center, with members of the Imani House team, and with his family.

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.

Women’s History – Conversation Replays Available

Swope Health is recognizing the struggle for women’s equity as well the contributions of women during March, Women’s History month as designated by presidential proclamation.

Join us for a free online series of conversations featuring women sharing their remarkable experiences. Replays of all conversations are now available:

 Rep. Sharice Davids:

Alise Martiny, President of the Greater Kansas City Building & Trades Council:

Dr. Marvia Jones, Director of the Kansas City Health Department:

Ella Jones, Mayor of Ferguson, Mo.: 


Rep. Davids was raised by a single mother who served in the Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School.

As a first generation college student who worked the entire time she was in college, Rep. Davids understands the importance of quality public schools and affordable higher education. It is that foundation that allowed her to go on to a successful career, focused on economic and community development, which included time as a White House Fellow under President Barack Obama.

When she was sworn into the 116th Congress, Rep. Davids became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. Rep. Davids has centered her work in office on putting Kansans first, fighting to limit the influence of special interests and make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone. She is a resident of Roeland Park.


The series began at noon Friday, March 11, with Ella Jones, Mayor of Ferguson, Mo.: 

Jones is the first Black woman Mayor of Ferguson. She was elected in 2020, in the first election following the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent unrest in Ferguson. She stepped into the leadership role in the midst of the pandemic, and at the time, she described her mission as one of bringing about change through inclusion and transparency.

Jones, a Ferguson resident for more than 40 years, previously worked as a high-pressure liquid chromatographer certified by the American Chemical Society. She worked at Washington University School of Medicine, Biochemistry Molecular Biophysics department, and at KV Pharmaceutical as an analytical chemist.

She previously served on the Ferguson City Council and is a Pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She serves the community on the boards of the Emerson YMCA and St. Louis MetroMarket. She also is the founder and chair of Community Forward Inc., a nonprofit community development organization.




Swope Health Highlights Medicaid Awareness in April Events

Swope Health is joining in Medicaid Awareness Month with a host of community events that will include access to Medicaid information and opportunities to enroll in Missouri’s expanded Medicaid program.

Healthcare advocates, like Swope Health, recognize Medicaid’s vital importance in the community in helping patients get healthcare services and reduce racial disparities in healthcare. Swope Health provides free assistance to anyone who is interested in applying for Missouri’s expanded Medicaid benefits. Call us at 816-599-5653 or 816-599-5654 to speak with trained Swope Insurance Navigators who can answer questions and assist with signing up.  

Swope Health’s Medicaid team will be in the community in April. Find information about Medicaid expansion at all of our community events, or visit with our navigators at community center enrollment events.

Mark your calendars to join us in April:

  • 9 am – noon, Saturday, April 2: The return of First Saturday Food Giveaway, at Swope Health Central, 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, with our partners Total Man and Sen. Barbara Washington and others.
  • 10 am – 2 pm, Saturday, April 2: COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and home kit giveways, at DeLaSalle Education Center, 3737 Troost Ave., Kansas City.
  • 2:30 -5 pm, Monday, April 4: Medicare expansion enrollment at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109.
  • 4-7 pm, Monday April 4: COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, with mask and home kit giveaways at The Merc Co-op, 501 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan. With El Centro.
  • Noon – 4 pm, Tuesday, April 5: Medicare expansion enrollment at the Kansas City Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64108
  • 2:30 -5 pm, Monday, April 11: Medicare expansion enrollment at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109.
  • 2:30 -5 pm, Monday, April 18: Medicare expansion enrollment at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109.
  • Noon – 4 pm, Tuesday, April 19: Medicare expansion enrollment at the Kansas City Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64108
  • 9 am, Saturday, April 23: Free food distribution at Swope Health West, 4835 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, with Harvesters, El Centro and Livable Neighborhoods.
  • 2:30 -5 pm, Monday, April 25: Medicare expansion enrollment at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64109.

“At Swope Health, we want to encourage as many people to enroll as possible,” said Arsenial Runion, Director of Patient Experience. “We believe healthcare is a right, and this program should help more people receive needed care.” Swope Health estimates that nearly 10,000 current patients may be eligible for MO HealthNet (Medicaid) expanded coverage.

With expanded coverage, more people will have access to health care earlier. The MO HealthNet program should also make it easier for patients to get access to medications they need – whether it’s asthma inhalers or insulin or other prescriptions – as well as laboratory work and other tests for preventive care. The program should help patients avoid going to the emergency room by providing access to regular care.

Federal Agencies Recognize Swope Health for COVID-19 Efforts

On Monday, March 28, the regional leadership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized Swope Health for its efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Your health center built new, non-traditional partnerships and implemented innovative strategies to reach the most vulnerable populations and ensure their access to COVID-19 prevention, vaccination, and treatment services,” said Nancy Rios, Regional Administrator of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, for the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Kansas City regional office.

Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Chief Health Officer, and Robin Wheeler Sanders, Chief People Officer, were on hand at the recognition ceremony at the Mid-America Regional Council’s offices in Kansas City. They accepted a citation, signed by Rios, on behalf of Swope Health.

In addition to Swope Health, the federal agencies included other regional Federally Qualified Health Centers, Public Housing Authorities and community partners in the recognition: the Kansas City, Kansas Housing Authority; the Housing Authority of the City of Kansas City, Missouri; Health Partnership Health Center; KC CARE Health Center; Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center;  and Vibrant Health Center.

COVID-19 Event Attendees (From left: Patrick Salle, CEO Vibrant Health; Will Franklin, CEO, KC CARE; Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Chief Health Officer; Swope Health; Robin Wheeler-Sanders (rear), Chief People Officer, Swope Health; Adria Edwards, Director of Special Projects, KC CARE; Catherine Wiley, Director of Marketing and Communications, Samuel Rodgers; Bob Theis, CEO, Samuel Rodgers; Amy Falk, CEO, Health Partnership, Nancy Rios, Regional Administrator, HRSA Region 7; Catherine Satterwhite (rear), Regional Health Administrator, HHS Region 7; Andrea Perdomo-Morales, Chief Health Equity Officer, Vibrant Health; Ed Lowndes, Executive Director, Housing Authority Kansas City, Missouri; Steven Tucker, Assistant Director of Resident Services, Housing Authority Kansas City, Missouri; Capt. Scott Conner, Acting Regional Director, HHS Region 7; Jose Davis, Field Office Director (Kansas/Western Missouri), HUD Region 7; (Not Pictured – Elaine Stroud, Housing Authority Kansas City, KS)

The Kansas City cohort of health centers and housing authorities from both sides of the state line, led to an estimated 977 people receiving the COVID-19 vaccination between May and December 2021, according to a release from the Housing and Urban Development agency.

In May 2021, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced a joint-agency effort to increase access to COVID-19 prevention and treatment services, including testing and vaccines, to disproportionately affected communities.

This specifically focused on connecting HUD-assisted households and people experiencing homelessness with the care and resources of federally qualified health centers that are part of the HHS/HRSA network like those recognized at Monday’s event.

The federal partnership and local engagement focused on helping parts of the Kansas City area that traditionally have suffered from low economic opportunity and declining health outcomes to avoid letting their zip code determine their fate.

The partnership overcame these barriers and improved the COVID resilience of federally assisted households and those experiencing homelessness across the metro, through the use of several different collaborative engagement strategies such as:

  • Reviewing Geographic Information System mapping of HUD multifamily, public housing units and homelessness epicenters to create an overlay with HHS/HRSA-supported health centers that were in close proximity, to isolate where transportation barriers could impact vaccination efforts and provide transportation resources to vaccination or education events;
  • Leveraging Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccine equity survey data to identify zip-code level vaccine hesitancy rates in order to deploy education teams to enhance receptiveness to vaccination efforts;
  • Integrating multi-jurisdictional coordination calls to help determine if federally assisted households were better served by existing mass vaccination events or required on-site event development, including the use of FQHC mobile clinics at or near HUD-assisted units.

While HUD and HHS/HRSA have often worked together over the years on various events, this lasting engagement is a much more unified approach recognizing that quality and safe housing and health access is part of the same method of improving the lives of persons living at or near poverty and facing social and financial challenges.

Direct treatment of COVID was the specific focus of the May 5 pact between HUD and HHS but building equitable access to combat inequity in future health crises is the larger and more long-term play.

In addition to the work exemplified by the Kansas City-area health centers, HUD and HHS/HRSA’s joint venture to serve HUD-assisted populations continues across the Great Plains region covering Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska as well as the whole of the nation.

Additional resources and information about the scope and reach of the partnership can be found at HUD COVID-19 Resources and Fact Sheets.

The event included a short roundtable discussion exploring how partnerships with federal agencies can be improved and deployed in future national crises.

Two Swope Health Associates Honored

We are so proud of two members of our team who were featured prominently recently in the news in Kansas City. In case you missed it, here’s what has the Swope Health family beaming:

In the Kansas City Business JournalDr. Naiomi Jamal was listed as one of the “20 to Know: These healthcare professionals keep ​KC hale and hearty.” 

In the Ingram’s MagazineRachel Melson, DNP, was listed as one of the “2022 Heroes in Healthcare.” 

Here’s what they said:

Excerpted from the Business Journal:

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Chief quality officer, Swope Health

Practicing as a primary care physician these days is challenge enough. But that’s just the start of Jamal’s job. As chief quality officer, she leads Swope Health’s quality and improvement efforts, as well as the organization’s work in population health that looks

both at the patient and resource-allocation sides of the equation.


Jamal received a medical degree in Pakistan, then did residencies in family medicine and general preventive medicine and public health at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She also has a master’s in health from UTMB.


Excerpted from Ingram’s:

Rachel Melson, DNP

Rachel Melson, Swope Health 

Call it the Melson Mission Statement: “In nursing, you learn to treat others with compassion and as an equal. And you approach every interaction with a patient in your care with your whole heart, every time.” So says ​nurse practitioner Rachel Melson of Swope Health.


She’s a native of Raytown who flirted with the idea of a law degree—right up to her first day at Rockhurst University. “I started wondering about a career that would allow me to help others in a more hands-on way,” she says. “The day of registration, I surprised my parents with a change to nursing. It was the best decision I have ever made.”


She worked for years in the ICU ward at Research Medical Center, but when her final clinical rotation for nurse practitioner took her to Swope Health, “I finally saw where Iwas called to be,” she says. “My critical-thinking skills that I developed from years in the ICU armed me with the tools to help an underserved community in ways I didn’t know were possible.”


Medicine, Melson says, can be very algorithmic: You have X disease, you get X workup, and then you get X medicine /treatment/ education. “But there is not a perfect algorithm for a person who is living in a tent, has several significant medical conditions, no access to clean water, and no way to store their medicine,” she says. “You have to think outside the box, know your community and its resources, and want to go the extra mile for your patients.”


The real appeal of nursing, she says, wasn’t apparent until she was already in nursing school. “Being a nurse is about truly wanting to care for others without any bias for their circumstance and a desire to help from a position of a peer, rather than the perceived superordinate position of other professions,” she says.


A self-described lifelong learner, she pursued the highest degree possible to achieve the most significant impact: “Every day I am given the opportunity to make meaningful changes to the health of others in the exam room, in the community, and even in the classroom.​”






Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash