Swope Health presents a Health Equity Town Hall, June 15

Swope Health invites you to join us for the second event in our Social Drivers Series, a Health Equity Town Hall, Thursday, June 15, at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City.

The event begins with a reception at 5 pm, followed by the discussion starting at 6 pm in the Truman Forum Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines social drivers of health as the nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.

These factors are broadly categorized as:

  • Economic policies and systems, impacting economic inclusion and stability
  • Education and access to education
  • Access to healthcare and quality of healthcare
  • Housing and the built environment, including access to clean water, green space, healthy food
  • Social justice policies, political systems, racism

This discussion brings together an expert panel to address Kansas City’s record in healthcare access and examine current data on disparities in healthcare among people of color vs white individuals, and to examine policies and initiatives to drive change. The discussion will be moderated by Ruth Ramsey, publisher and editor in chief of Our Health Matters, a Kansas City-based magazine offering health and wellness guidance for more than 18 years.

Panelists are:

Jeron Ravin, J.D., president and CEO of Swope Health, the voice of community health in Kansas City. Swope Health annually serves more than 44,000 patients at 16 centers throughout the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Ravin is an advocate for health equity and works with federal, state and local leaders to advance policies for a more just and equitable society. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Community Health Centers, Missouri Primary Care Association, Research Medical Center, KC Civic Council and many other professional associations and charitable organizations.

Sharla A. Smith, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor of population health in the School of Medicine. Dr. Smith is a health services and systems researcher whose primary research is maternal and infant health disparities, women cancer disparities, and community engagement. She is the co-founder of Kansas Sisters and Brothers for Healthy Infants and the founder of the Kansas Birth Equity Network. Dr. Smith is passionate about developing a culture of birth equity through community engagement, empowerment, and education.

Carla Gibson, vice president of programs for REACH Healthcare Foundation, is responsible for developing strategic community investments designed to implement REACH’s mission of advancing health equity in its six-county service area. Gibson joined REACH in 2006 and has led the foundation’s health equity investments. Gibson also is an appointed member of the National Rural Health Association’s Health Equity Council, the Women’s Executive Leadership Council of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and a steering committee member of the Missouri Council on Aging.

Michael Wells is senior special collections librarian for the Kansas City Public Library’s Missouri Valley Collection. As a local history and genealogy research specialist, Wells has written extensively about Kansas City’s segregated past, including topics of redlining, jazz in Kansas City, civil rights, urban renewal,  healthcare access and more.

Please plan on joining us for this candid Town Hall discussion reviewing Kansas City’s access to healthcare, with a focus on history, current state, and work to bring about healthcare equity to all in Kansas City.


Treat Town Returns! Join us on Oct. 29

The Swope Health annual trick-or-treat event will once again move outdoors with a drive-through version of Treat Town.

This is our 27th year of Treat Town, a special Halloween trick-or-treat event for kids. Like we have done the last two years, this event is modified to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.

Participants will drive through a large and spooky tent in the parking lot at Swope Health Central from 6 to 8 pm Saturday, Oct. 29.


All cars will enter the Swope Health Central main entrance, 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, to participate. Cars should approach Swope Health Central from Cleveland Avenue and turn east onto Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

From the safety of your vehicle, you will be guided to tent where we (along with assorted ghouls, superheroes and other creatures) will provide treat bags for children under age 12.

We encourage all participants to wear a face mask to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Everyone stays in the car with just a quick stop to gather your treats! (No walk ups, please.)

Costumes welcome!


Round Up of February Testing & Vaccination Events

Swope Health will be in the community providing free COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and free food giveaways. Please plan on joining us:


Feb. 15: 4-7 pm at The MERC Co+op, 501 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, Kansas. Swope Health provides free COVID-19 vaccinations. With El Centro Inc.

Feb. 19: 10 am – 2 pm at DeLaSalle Education Center, 3737 Troost Ave., Kansas City. Swope Health provides free COVID-19 vaccinations.

Feb. 26: 10 am – 2 pm, Blue Parkway SunFresh grocery, 4209 E. 50th Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri. Swope Health provides free COVID-19 vaccinations.

The food giveaway event previously announced for Feb 26 at Swope Health West is cancelled. 


Swope Health Celebrates Black History

In honor of Black History Month, Swope Health will host a series of community discussions, featuring Black leaders in Kansas City.

All events are free, online and open to all. Please plan on joining us. 

Noon, Feb. 24 https://swopehealth.zoom.us/j/91975085077

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, Congressman from Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District.

Rep. Cleaver is now serving his ninth term in congress, where he is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services; Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; member of Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets; member of Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; member of the House Committee on Homeland Security; member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security; and member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

Cleaver was Kansas City’s first African American Mayor, elected in 1991 after serving 12 years on City Council.

During his eight-year stint in the Office of the Mayor, Cleaver distinguished himself as an economic development activist and an unapologetic redevelopment craftsman. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the city, including TransAmerica, Harley Davidson, and Citi Corp. Cleaver also led the effort, after a forty-year delay, to build the South Midtown Roadway. Upon completion of this major thoroughfare, he proposed a new name: The Bruce R. Watkins Roadway. Additionally, his municipal stewardship includes the 18th and Vine Redevelopment, a new American Royal, the establishment of a Family Division of the Municipal Court, and the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek.

Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a master’s from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City.

In 2009, Cleaver, with a multitude of accomplishments both locally and Congressionally, introduced the most ambitious project of his political career—the creation of a Green Impact Zone. This zone, consisting of 150 blocks of declining urban core, has received approximately $125 million dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds. The Green Impact Zone is aimed at making this high crime area the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world. This project includes rebuilding Troost Avenue, rehabbing bridges, curbs and sidewalks, home weatherization, smart grid technology in hundreds of homes, and most importantly, hundreds of badly needed jobs for Green Zone residents.

Cleaver, a native of Texas, is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children, and grandchildren.

Noon, Feb. 16:

Frank Ellis, founder of Swope Health. Frank Ellis served as founder, chairman and CEO of Swope Health Services. Originally named Model Cities Health Corporation, Swope Health Services opened in 1969 in the basement of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Kansas City. He and his dedicated board saw the need to provide primary health services to those who fell through the cracks of the health care system – the working poor.

That first year, with a budget of $100,000 and 20 employees, 2000 patients were served. As a true nonprofit entrepreneur, Mr. Ellis grew the organization and founded FirstGuard Health Plan in 1996. He grew the company after an initial $5 million in raised equity to more than $250 million in revenue and later sold it to Centene Corporation for $123 million in 2004.

During his 42 years as head of Swope Community Enterprises, Ellis has received local and national recognition for his impact as a nonprofit entrepreneur—effectively applying business principles and practices to address the total health and economic well-being of the indigent and working poor. He served as the Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, where he was leading the efforts on the Chamber’s Big 5 Ideas to create a better business climate, create jobs, and to make Kansas City the most entrepreneurial city in the world.

He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Science degree in Public Health. He has postgraduate work at Harvard University School of Business and UMKC’s Henry Block School of Business and Public Administration. He is happily married to Dr. Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., and they have three children and four grand kids.

Today Ellis is the Managing Principal of PL Strategies, LLC, an executive coaching, management, consulting and investment services company. He also serves as senior search advisor to The Moran Company, an executive search firm.

Replay: https://youtu.be/nKCNjpp09hU


Noon, Feb. 10:

Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Bob Kendrick was named President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in March 2011. Founded in 1990, the NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America.

Kendrick is responsible for the museum’s day-to-day operations and the development and implementation of strategies to advance the mission of the 501 c3, not-for-profit organization. Since 2011, he has helped orchestrate a nearly $20 million turnaround that has helped the NLBM regain its vitality and financial stability.

Kendrick was responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the Hall of Game, which annually honors former Major League Baseball greats who played the game in the spirit and signature style of the Negro Leagues.

And while he doesn’t fashion himself to be a historian, Kendrick has become one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues Baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race and diversity. He has been a contributing writer for “Ebony Magazine” and the national Urban League’s “Opportunity Magazine.”

Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DHdtoQkir0


Noon, Feb. 3:

Dr. Kimberly Beatty, chancellor of Metropolitan Community College. Kimberly Beatty, Ed.D., began her tenure as Metropolitan Community College’s eighth chancellor on July 1, 2017. She was formally installed as chancellor at an inauguration ceremony on Aug. 24, 2018.

Dr. Beatty came to MCC from Houston Community College, the nation’s fourth-largest community college system, where she served as vice chancellor for instructional services and chief academic officer.

As the first African-American leader in the 105-year history of Metropolitan Community College, and the only African-American CEO in the Missouri community college system, “I live and walk in the truth of who I am each day,” Dr. Beatty says.

A champion of access and equity, she is devoted to the community college mission of providing access to higher education for all. “I am passionate about the community I serve and excited about the ability to provide higher education access to the underprivileged and underrepresented,” Dr. Beatty says.

Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3biukxOLt_U






Vaccination event Jan. 24 in KCK

Please join us!

COVID-19 vaccinations available Monday, Jan. 24, 4-7 pm at The Merc Co+op, 510 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

Vaccinations available, no appointment necessary, for age 5 and up (individuals under 18 must have guardian or parent present).

Event sponsored by El Centro and Swope Health.

Vaccination event POSTPONED

Swope Health and El Centro are postponing the vaccination event scheduled for 3-7 pm Monday, Jan. 10.

We will announce the rescheduled date as soon as it is available. 


Join us 9 am – noon Saturday, Jan. 22, for free food giveaway at Swope Health West, 4835 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan., with partners Harvesters, El Centro and Livable Neighborhoods.

Join Us: Hispanic Heritage Month Special Event

Swope Health will host a free public webinar on “Race and Ethnicity in the LatinX Community” at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 6. 

The event features Erica Andrade, Chief Program Officer at El Centro Inc.

To participate, join by Zoom: https://swopehealth.zoom.us/j/95970403008?pwd=dDZwL2orZS9iMkVaamVzVXFyTWRMdz09

Passcode: 653420

Erica Andrade is the proud daughter of an immigrant mother and has called Kansas City, Kansas, her home for more than 27 years.

Ms. Andrade joined El Centro, a nonprofit that serves the Latino community in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in 2001. El Centro’s mission is to improve the lives of Latinos and others through educational, social and economic opportunities.

As Chief Program Officer, she supports El Centro’s community programs and implements strategies related to community education, health, economic empowerment, advocacy & engagement.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas and an Executive Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

The event is part of Swope Health’s recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2021. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.


Noon, Wednesday Oct. 6

Erica Andrade on Race and Ethnicity in the LatinX community

Passcode: 653420



Join us for COVID-19 Town Hall — 6 pm Tuesday, Aug. 10

Dr. Naiomi Jamal, Swope Health’s Chief Quality Officer, will participate in a special online Town Hall on COVID-19 starting at 6 pm Tuesday Aug. 10.

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

The town hall, sponsored by 107.3 FM, will be broadcast live on Facebook. Watch on the 107-3 FACEBOOK PAGE

The Town Hall, “The Real Deal on the COVID-19 Vaccine,” features other Kansas City healthcare experts with Dr. Jamal in questions and discussion led by Darron Story of 107.3FM.

Topics will include guidance on the COVID-19 delta variant and information about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Jamal heads the Department of Quality and Population Health at Swope Health. She is responsible for organization wide clinical quality, performance and process improvement, along with Population Health initiatives geared toward meeting the quadruple aim of improving provider and patient experience, improving population health outcomes and resource stewardship.

She also practices as a primary care physician through the Independence clinic and sees a variety of complex medical diagnoses.

Dr. Jamal is on faculty at University of Missouri/Kansas City where she is responsible for developing and delivering a preventive medicine and public health curriculum for family medicine residents. She is also responsible for the didactic lecture series Social and Structural Determinants of Health at the UMKC School of Medicine for Medical Students.


Looking Forward to National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week, which takes place each year to spotlight the valuable work and accomplishments of America’s health centers, is set for Aug. 9-13. Swope Health will celebrate with its own events and special days of focus.

Swope Health will mark the week by honoring the people we serve and showing appreciation for the numerous individuals and groups who are so instrumental in helping us carry out our mission:

  • Monday, Aug. 9: Healthcare for the Homeless Day
  • Tuesday, Aug. 10: Community Partner Appreciation Day
  • Wednesday, Aug. 11: Patient Appreciation Day
  • Thursday, Aug. 12: Stakeholder Appreciation Day
  • Friday, Aug. 13: Staff Appreciation Day

National Health Center Week has been observed for more than 30 years in acknowledgement of health centers as a beacon of strength, service and care in their communities. Swope Health is proud to fill that role in Kansas City with the assistance of many supporters. The events of the week shine a light on our stake in community health, paving the way to meeting our patients’ needs and driving a more equitable healthcare system for all.

“This week is always a special one at Swope Health because it accentuates our critical role in caring for the people in our community who need it most,” said Jeron Ravin, JD, Swope Health President and CEO. “As part of our mission to provide accessible, quality healthcare in Greater Kansas City, we will build upon these opportunities to share our story so we can encourage greater collaboration and take meaningful steps toward lasting change.”

Ravin added: “National Health Center Week also prompts us to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributes to the work we do – our staff members who make Swope Health so indispensable; our donors, stakeholders and partners who have joined our commitment to making care visible; and all our patients, who are such a joy to serve. We look forward to a week of well-deserved celebration and recognition, while maintaining our focus on a brighter future for health in Kansas City.”










Swope Health offers COVID-19 Vaccinations at KCK Police Athletic League

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, Swope Health will offer free COVID-19 vaccinations at the Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas.

The event, sponsored by Swope Health with El Centro Inc. and KCK PAL, runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the PAL center, 800 N 5th St. No appointments are necessary, and the event is open to the community.

The Pfizer vaccine will be offered to individuals age 12 and up. Anyone under age 18 must have a parent or guardian present. Participants will be offered giveaways and the chance to enter a raffle for grocery gift cards.

The Police Athletic League of KCK offers youth the opportunity to interact with police officers in a positive setting while participating in academic, cultural, mentoring and sports programs. The program provides a safe, caring, and supportive environment, where members of the Kansas City Kansas Police Department and citizens work together to facilitate a community free from fear and violence.