Ribbon-cutting & Open House at Swope Health West!

Mark your calendars to help us celebrate our newest clinic location – Swope Health West, at 4835 State Ave., in Kansas City, Kansas.

Join us starting at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14 for tours of the new facility.

Swope Health West Open House on 2/14/20We’ll have a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by light refreshments. You’ll be able to meet our CEO Jeron Ravin, our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Thomas, as well as the entire clinic team.

This new facility replaces the former Swope Health West location at 6013 Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kansas.

The larger space allows for additional services, noted Debbie Meads, Swope Health program manager. The new Swope Health West has five exam rooms, plus a procedure room, all newly renovated and installed with new fixtures and equipment. The clinic is designed for improved workflow and efficiency for patients, she added.

“This beautiful new facility is another example of our commitment to and investment in high-quality care,” said Dr. Kenneth Thomas, Chief Medical Officer at Swope Health. “We want our patients to have an experience that demonstrates our promise to quality care, starting at the moment you enter the new Swope Health West. We want you to find a safe, clean and welcoming environment, with associates who are skilled and compassionate in caring for every person.”

Plan on joining us for the open house on Friday, Feb. 14. To schedule an appointment at Swope Health West, call 816-923-5800. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Swope Health is celebrated at 50th Anniversary Gala

Half century of battling healthcare disparities in KC community highlighted at Swope Health 50th Anniversary Gala.

Community leaders, elected officials, public health and education CEOs gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, November 16, to celebrate Swope Health’s remarkable achievements over the last 50 years.

Swope Health Founder – E. Frank Ellis

Swope Health founder, E. Frank Ellis, was honored for his role in providing quality healthcare to Kansas City’s neediest citizens and his efforts to revitalize communities on the east side. He shared the inspiring story of a small group of passionate, dedicated individuals who opened a clinic in the basement of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in 1969. This effort birthed Swope Health, Swope Community Builders and the Applied Urban Research Institute – organizations that forged a greater movement to address the larger issues of poverty, urban decay, and a lack of education and career opportunities in neglected Kansas City communities.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Peter Salgo

The evening’s keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Salgo, medical correspondent, professor, practicing physician, and one of the nation’s most respected healthcare futurists. In his remarks, he cautioned that every effort must be made to ensure that healthcare in the future – all the remarkable technologies and cures yet to come – are made accessible to everyone and not just the few who can afford them. This message resonated deeply with the more than 300 guests at the event, many of whom are dedicated to providing accessible, comprehensive healthcare to all citizens, regardless of socio-economic status.

Other speakers at the event included Dr. Harry E. Wilkins III, Chairman of the Swope Health Board of Directors, and Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health.

Cynthia Newsome, KSHB Anchor and Reporter, served as master of ceremonies and Rev. Ruthe Workcuff, Elder of Victory Temple Christian Life Center and a Swope Health employee for 30 years, delivered the invocation.

Swope Health 50th Anniversary Gala

Dr. Harry E. Wilkins III (left) and Jeron Ravin, J.D., (right) presented E. Frank Ellis
with a plaque that features a photo of the Swope Health building on Blue Parkway.


Swope Health 50th Anniversary Gala

Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and CEO of Swope Health


Swope Health 50th Anniversary Gala

Dr. Peter Salgo cautioned the audience of more than 300 that the battle against
healthcare disparities in America will continue into the future.

Join us for the Swope Health 50th Anniversary Gala!

Swope 50 Year AnniversarySwope Health is celebrating its 50th anniversary, marking the occasion with a gala dinner featuring a presentation by Dr. Peter Salgo, a practicing anesthesiologist, professor and healthcare futurist.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel, 401 Ward Parkway on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Tickets are available at https://swopehealth.org/gala/.

“Founded in 1969, we are among the earliest health centers formed through President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty,’” said Michelle Keller, Vice President, Community Engagement, Development and Outreach. “There are only a handful of health centers that can claim 50 years of continuous healthcare to the underserved. The gala gives us an opportunity to celebrate our rich history of service.”

Swope Health’s First Clinic

Swope Health’s first clinic was in the basement of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church. In its first year, with a $100,000 budget, Swope Health served 2,000 patients. Today, Swope Health operates nine clinics and supports 45,000 patients in more than 245,000 encounters each year. Swope Health’s services include comprehensive primary and preventive care for children and adults, as well as dental, behavioral health, optical, pharmacy and related services.

Like all 1,700 federally qualified health centers in the United States, Swope Health provides healthcare regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Patients include low-income working families, the medically underserved and uninsured, high-risk and vulnerable populations like the homeless and public housing residents.

Meet the CEO: Jeron Ravin

Jeron Ravin

Meet the CEO, Jeron Ravin

The gala also will introduce Jeron Ravin, who was named Swope Health’s new president and CEO, following the retirement of former president and CEO Dave Barber in August. Ravin will discuss the opportunities for the next 50 years of service at Swope Health and introduce Dr. Salgo, who will comment on the future of healthcare and medicine.

“The essence of medicine has not changed, although we now have a much larger array of tools and medicines to make people’s lives better,” said Dr. Salgo. “The essence of medicine is human to human care, providing caring, mercy and warmth to people in need.


Dr. Peter Salgo

Dr. Salgo

Presentation by Dr. Peter Salgo

“Our challenge,” says Dr. Salgo, “is to help people benefit substantively with healthcare.”

In his remarks at the Swope Health 50th anniversary, Dr. Salgo is expected to provide insights on medical trends, healthcare delivery and medicines and devices in development. He is a passionate advocate for providing patients with up-to-date and accurate medical information to understand and affect complex health issues.


Early-bird Shopping Alert: Come to Swope Health Holiday Mart

The annual Swope Health Holiday Mart is happening a little earlier this year to help you prepare for the holiday season!

Join us from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at Swope Health’s Building C Activity Room, 3801 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO.

The event is free and open to all.

The mart is filled with local vendors who offer a wide variety of gifts. You’ll find jewelry, clothing, household décor and supplies, baked goods, cosmetics, skin and beauty products, and handbags and more. You can even buy art products produced in the arts program of the Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program’s adult day program.

This year, the arts program will offer an array of framed abstract oil paintings on canvas, one-of-a-kind handmade coasters, baskets, pictures and posters, inspirational items and much more, said Sonya Bolden-Oakley, Supervisor in the day program.

And if you’d like to wrap your shopping around lunch, that’s available too. The $5 menu includes hot dogs and nachos, with or without chili, plus snacks and soft drinks.

Proceeds from the Holiday Mart go to support day program activities, including field trips and supplies for cooking, gardening and art programs. Last year’s event raised about $1,000 and helped provide a holiday luncheon and $5 gift cards for day program participants.

Would you like to join in the event?

Vendors pay $35 for their spot at the Mart. For more information, contact Sonya at 816-599-5263 or sbolden-oakley@swopehealth.org.

We look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Mart!

Swope Health Holiday Mart

The 2018 Holiday Mart hosted a record 28 local vendors.


Swope Health Holiday Mart

Products available include festive holiday décor items and gifts.


Swope Health Holiday Mart

Hand-painted furniture, including these chairs decorated in the arts day program, were popular at the 2018 Holiday Mart.


Swope Health Holiday Mart 

For the 2019 Holiday Mart, the arts day program is preparing folk art, baskets, pictures, posters, canvases and coasters – and that’s just a sample!

Hoppy Brews and Happy Feet – Time for Socks and Hops 2019!

Socks and HopsYou’re invited to the Fifth Annual Socks and Hops 7-9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at the Historic City Market.

The event is designed to promote local chefs and brewers while raising funds and collecting socks for the homeless population in Kansas City.

Michael Crane, President and Co-Founder of Crane Brewing, who has sponsored the event since its launch, has seen the event grow over its five-year history. He appreciates the opportunity to help address the needs of the homeless.

“I honestly had no idea that the homeless – one of their greatest needs was socks,” he said. “Socks and Hops raised awareness with a lot of people about the needs of the homeless in Kansas City.”

Crane also applauds the format of the event, especially the coordinated offering of culinary treats with craft beer.

“One of the great things about pairing food with beer is that the food is better when it’s with the beer, and the beer is better with the food,” he said.

Last year, about 270 people gathered for the event, which raised $29,000 and collected 15,000 pairs of socks, said Amy Kuhnlein, Community Affairs Manager for Swope Health. The socks are distributed to people in need from Swope Health Outreach Services and the Mobile Medical Unit, and proceeds from the event help purchase Heater Meals for the homeless.

For participants, the event features specially prepared small plates and drinks prepared by 16 of the city’s most popular chefs and brewers.

Socks and Hops 2019Here is the lineup of craft brewers and chefs paired for this year’s event:

Socks and Hops Collage 2019

There are two options for attending.

  1. The VIP Package – for $75, you’ll get early admission (6 to 7 p.m.) to the event , designated parking, Socks and Hops sampling glass, and an exclusive VIP gift bag featuring Socks and Hops swag, and goodies from our VIP bag sponsors, including Sugar Cookie Bliss, Bootleg Bourbon Balls, Notes to Self, Thez Nuts, and more!
  2. General Admission – for $45, you’ll receive the Socks and Hops sampling glass and admission from 7 to 10 p.m. General admission parking is in the lot west of the City Market or just behind the Steamboat Arabia Museum.

There’s still time if you’d like to join us as a sponsor.

We welcome you to join our generous sponsors:

We hope to see you at this year’s event!

Calling all Trick-or-Treaters! Come to Treat Town on October 31st!

Swope Health: Treat Town 2019It’s time for Treat Town!

This year marks the 24th annual community public service sponsored by Swope Health and Hot 103 Jamz (radio station KPRS 103 FM). The event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 31, 2019. The free event is a safe trick-or-treat experience for children 12 years and younger and their parents.

For one night only, Swope Health Central Building C will be transformed into a paradise for the Halloween crowd looking for candy and treats. Last year, more than 1,400 kids and parents visited the event, where they connected with community service agencies, danced to the DJs, played games, and admired the creativity of the Halloween trick-or-treaters. Oh, and everyone got plenty of candy!

Treat Town is a Safe Option

“Every year, parents tell us that, were it not for Treat Town, they would not go out with the kids on Halloween because of safety concerns,” said Dan Barnett, Communications Specialist at Swope Health, who organizes the annual event. Swope Health associates volunteer their time to decorate and organize the party, as well as hand out candy.

More than a dozen community support agencies are also on hand, sharing information, candy and small gifts in the Halloween spirit.

“This is a neighborhood tradition that’s just such a good time,” Dan said. “Our associates love seeing the excitement of all the little kiddos in costumes. It’s a feel-good experience for everyone.”

Swope Health: Treat Town 2019

Swope Health Building C is transformed into a Halloween extravaganza for Treat Town.

Swope Health: 2019 Treat Town

More than 1,400 princesses and superheroes visited last year’s Treat Town.

Meet our CEO Jeron Ravin

Meet the CEO: Jeron RavinOn Aug. 26, 2019, Swope Health announced the appointment of our new President and Chief Executive Officer Jeron Ravin.

Here are some early questions we had for Jeron:

What attracted you to the position?

Without question, it was the chance to work at Swope Health. I have always found FQHCs at the intersection of mission-driven work and the fight for health equity. Swope Health embodies that.

What attracted you to Kansas City?

I’ve never lived in the Midwest. More importantly, it’s an exciting time to be in KC.  The city’s population has grown year over year. New development is sprouting up throughout the city, and KC has a rich history of music, great food, technology, and civil rights – things I have an ardent interest in.

Why do you think you are the right person for this job at this time?

I believe in leadership that is centered in integrity and collaboration. My career has demonstrated that this approach builds effective teams. Swope Health is at an interesting precipice. As the best, we now get to decide what our next level of care looks like. To me, this is continuously pushing the envelope to give our patients the very best–and changing lives in the process. Not only am I passionate about this approach but I have a history of achieving it.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role and as a new resident of Kansas City?

Working with the team here at Swope Health. I’ve been in community health for some time and instantly realized that Swope Health is special. This was clear to me after meeting the Board of Directors and numerous Swope Health associates. As far as KC is concerned, I’m looking forward to sampling the BBQ, art, music, festivals, snow, college basketball and Arrowhead Stadium.

What is your management style or philosophy?

Lead honestly, collaboratively, and unselfishly, with purpose and vision. Surround yourself with smart people and work with them to make a difference.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time?

Traveling. It’s a big world. I like to experience as much as possible. Live music and concerts are also something I really enjoy. I also read often and workout.

Swope Health is celebrating 50 years and many have said it is the perfect time for this change. What do you see for Swope Health in the next 50 years?

I see growth, and an opportunity to forge genuine connections with the communities we serve. I truly want Swope Health to become the healthcare provider of choice for all of the Midwest. Keep watching –I have a few things up my sleeve. J

A New Home in the Northland

New NorthlandSwope Health-Northland, our newest location, held an open house and ribbon cutting on July 19, 2019.

Dozens of associates, supporters and community members participated and toured the newly remodeled 6,200 square-foot facility at 2906 N.W. Vivion Road in Riverside.

“This is a newly renovated building with all new equipment,” said Dr. Kenneth Thomas, Chief Medical Officer for Swope Health. “Not only does this give our patients a nice facility but it expands our capacity to care for more patients.”

The new facility will support two providers and has more exam rooms, as well as a larger dental office.

New Northland“This demonstrates how we invest in our patients, even if patients don’t have the ability to pay for our services,” Dr. Thomas said. “We think it’s important to invest in our communities and give all of our patients a high quality environment for healthcare. We’re committed to the highest quality of care possible for all of our patients.”

Dr. Thomas led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with shout-outs to Swope Health associates and Purdum Construction staff who worked on the project – Don Payne, Senior Project Manager; Mitch Welty, Superintendent; and Nicole Anderson, Project Manager.

Clinic Tours

Clinic associates proudly led members of the Northland community on tours of the new space. The facility features five dental exam chairs, five medical exam rooms, one medical procedure room, a large break room, shared offices on medical and dental sides, as well as three private provider offices.  The clinic has modern accents like galaxy images on the ceiling above dental chairs, wood plank-style flooring in some parts, with muted colors on the walls throughout.

Come check out the new Northland location. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our phone number for making appointments is still the same: 816-923-5800.  

New Northland

Swope Health Associates prepare for the ribbon-cutting at the new Northland clinic, from left, Cynthia Whitson, Dental Clinic Manager/Hygenist; Dr. Jennifer Frost, Medical Director for Wyandotte, West and Northland clinics; Dr. Kenneth Thomas, Chief Medical Officer; Matthew Wells, Nurse Practitioner at Northland; Emily Glen, Clinic Manager; Mark Miller, Vice President, Behavioral Health; and Michelle Keller, Vice President, Community Engagement, Outreach and Development.


New Northland

The lobby at the new Northland clinic is full of associates and community members, in preparation for the ribbon-cutting and open house, held in July 2019.


New Northland

A view down the dental side hallway during the Northland open house.


New Northland

Nurse Practitioner Matthew Wells chats with a community member who visited the Northland open house and ribbon cutting.

Thank YOU for making the Community Birthday Bash a Success!

Wow! What a party!

Thanks to all who participated and supported the Swope Health 50th Birthday Bash on July 27.

“This celebration was an act of love for the community,” said Dave Barber, Swope Health President and CEO (after he dried off from his many submersions in the dunk tank). “I am so proud of, and grateful to, all of our associates for embracing this mission. Thank you for a job well done in serving our community for 50 years.”

It was an amazing event with an estimated 700 people participating, including State Rep. Kiki Curls and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. The Mayor accepted an impromptu invitation to participate in the dunk tank and, in a show of good sportsmanship, offered high fives of congratulations to the kids who threw accurate pitches to dunk him.

The day started with a prayer from the Rev. Wallace S. Hartsfield Sr., the retired pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, followed by a performance from the Anointed Praise Ministry of the Swope Parkway United Christian Church.

The event featured a diverse entertainment lineup, with cultural performances from the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, the KC Marching Falcons, a line dancing led by De Barker and a fashion show featuring Swope Health associates in styles from the 1970s. Our emcee and DJ kept the audience moving, too.

There was a carnival (staffed by volunteers from the Urban Ranger Corps) with games of skill and chance, a hands-on craft area, face painting, a caricaturist, balloon artist and selfie-station photo booth. A stiltwalker and juggler on a unicycle roamed the event, delighting visitors with their skills.

Vendors offered a wide variety of crafts, artwork, jewelry and gift items. Food trucks supplied sandwiches and shaved ice to supplement the popcorn, cotton candy, cupcakes and cookies available throughout the day. For those seeking refuge from the heat, a Resiliency Room was home to chair massages, aromatherapy herbs and oils, and stations for mindfulness activities or simply taking a break.

Kids flocked to see and pet the horses from the Kansas City Police Department mounted patrol and peek inside the Kansas City Fire Department’s pumper truck.

Near the end of the event, after a rousing drum and drill team performance, the KC Marching Falcons led the party with a “Happy Birthday” chorus.

Whew! It was a full and a fun day, and a fitting way to cap off 50 years of service.

There is Still Time… Swope Health Golf Tournament

Next up in our series of 50th anniversary events is the Swope Health Golf Tournament on September 16 to raise funds for the Patients in Need fund. You still have time to get a team together or sign up as an individual for 18 holes at Hillcrest Golf Club.

Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

The celebration opened with a prayer offered by the Rev. Wallace Hartsfield Sr., who served as the spiritual leader at the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Rev. Harsfield Sr. is a prominent and tireless leader in advocating for justice and civil rights. His son, the Rev. Wallace Hartsfield III, behind him, is now pastor of Metropolitan Missionary.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

Kids clamored to greet and pet the horses of the Kansas City Police Department mounted patrol.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

Swope Health President and CEO Dave Barber is about to get submerged in the dunk tank, which raised money for the Patients in Need fund.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas met with participants before he decided to offer himself as a target for the dunk tank.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

Splash! Action video of the Mayor in the dunk tank at the Swope Health 50th Birthday Bash.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

The stilt-walker towered over the event.


Swope Birthday Party Wrap Up

The KC Marching Falcons performed high-energy routines with rousing drums.


Smokin’ hot BBQ raises funds for Heater Meals

Mmmm. What is that delicious aroma?

BBQ Luncheon - Heater MealsIt is the product of the secret recipes of a couple of part-time barbecue chefs – Don Rau, Swope Health facilities manager, and John Morris, Swope Health supervisor of materials management. The two colleagues are cooking up a BBQ lunch for their colleagues as a fundraiser for our Outreach Services program.

The event is the product of a shared passion for barbecue and for supporting Swope Health patients who are experiencing homelessness.

“We bonded over barbecue,” Don recalls. “We’d sometimes cook for department lunches and others.”

When the two learned about a need for Heater Meals in the outreach program, they decided there had to be a way they could help. They hit on the idea of hosting a barbecue lunch for Swope Health associates.

BBQ Luncheon

The luncheon will be part of Swope Health’s celebration of National Health Center Week, on Friday, Aug. 9. The meal consists of a choice of ribs, veggie/black bean burgers, pork or brisket sandwiches, plus beans, slaw, chips and water.

John said he has been smoking meat for more than 30 years, inspired by his dad who taught him the basics of grilling when much younger. Since then, he has expanded his menu to include turkey, ribs, pork and brisket. He has also developed his own special recipes of rubs and spices.

Don got his inspiration from his father. “I started grilling at my Daddy’s knee,” said Don, “I guess I was about 8 years old.”

About 20 years ago, Don started entering contests and “got serious” about smoking meats. He also started developing rubs and sauces of his own.

“I do it because I love it,” he said. “I enjoy cooking and feeding people.”

The two chefs, both military veterans, over the years found they had a lot in common as they shared tips and suggestions. While they swap cooking and grilling stories between themselves, don’t expect them to share their recipes.

“Oh, no,” John said, “it’s a secret.”