Virtual Job Fair Dec. 9

Swope Health is hosting a virtual job fair on Thursday, December 9, 2021 for applicants interested in clinical and behavioral health roles with Swope Health.  The event runs from 11 am to 1 pm.

We offer competitive salaries, sign-on and retention bonuses for many roles within our organization.

Register for the virtual job fair:  https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/swope-health/e/nOyJrfy

Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a chance to upload a photo and add your resume and Linked In page, if you want.  Answer a couple of questions about your education, what position you are interested in, and how we can contact you.

At the virtual fair, you’ll be able to browse the available positions and learn more by chatting with our representatives.

Register NOW:  https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/swope-health/e/nOyJrfy

Check our nursing openings and loan repayment program

Through the growing demands of an aging population, a shrinking workforce, and the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the United States is facing a shortage of nurses. Many health organizations, including Swope Health, have multiple job opportunities in the nursing field.

Nurses who are employed by community health centers like Swope Health, however, may receive funding toward payment of their qualifying education loans through the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. To be eligible, you must be in a patient-facing nursing role with an organization that works with the medically underserved.

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program helps address the needs of patient populations facing health inequities, while supporting the development of the nursing workforce. It is not available to nurses who are employed in the private industry. The program can be a tremendous benefit for people with large qualifying education loans.

In exchange for the payment of these loans, the program works this way:

  • Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses serve a two-year service commitment at a health care facility facing a critical shortage of nurses, like Swope Health.
  • Nurse faculty serve a two-year service commitment at an eligible school of nursing.
  • Additional loan repayment is available for both groups with a third year of service commitment.

Get more details about the program at https://bhw.hrsa.gov/funding/apply-loan-repayment/nurse-corps. The 2022 application deadline is January 13.

This opportunity is another reason why Swope Health is a great place for nurses – so check out our careers page and apply soon to receive all the benefits you can! 

You’ll find openings for many fulfilling, people-focused healthcare jobs, both full time and part time. We offer generous paid days off, health benefits, 401K and sign-on bonuses.

Join the Swope Health team!

 

 

 

Swope Health CEO Joins NACHC Board of Directors

Jeron RavinJeron Ravin, JD, President and CEO of Swope Health, begins a two-year term today on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) representing Region VII. 

Serving as the national voice for community-based health centers like Swope Health, the association promotes their mission and accomplishments. It works to secure ongoing support to protect and strengthen community health center services and expand access for people and communities in need.

“It’s a tremendous honor to join the NACHC Board of Directors and advance our shared goals of advocacy and resources for community health centers,” Ravin said. “I look forward to working to promote the mission of health centers across the country to build stronger, healthier communities through high-quality, patient-centered care that is accessible to all.”

Ravin replaces Dennis Kruse of Family Care Health Centers in St. Louis, who served on the NACHC board for 16 years. Ravin joins fellow Region VII representative Denise Cyzman of the Community Care Network of Kansas, whose term expires next year.

As President and CEO since 2019, Ravin leads strategic direction for Swope Health. With a master’s degree in Healthcare Leadership from Brown University’s School of Professional Studies, Ravin also holds a Juris Doctor from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and a BA in Journalism from Howard University.

 

Swope Health appoints Sheilahn Davis-Wyatt as Chief Operations Officer

Swope Health, Kansas City’s leading provider of healthcare services for the medically underserved, today announced appointment of Sheilahn Davis-Wyatt as Chief Operations Officer.

Ms. Davis-Wyatt previously was COO at Unity Health Care, the largest network of community health centers in the Washington, D.C., area. In this role, she managed the operations of more than 20 traditional and non-traditional health sites, which serve more than 104,000 patients through 500,000 visits annually.

Prior to joining Unity, Ms. Davis-Wyatt was the COO for KC Care Health Center, where she had a long history of supporting the Health Center, serving as a member of the board for more than a decade, also as treasurer and chair of the board.

“We are delighted to bring Sheilahn’s expertise back to the Kansas City area,” said Jeron Ravin, J.D., President and Chief Executive of Swope Health. “Sheilahn understands the complexity of the healthcare environment and needs of our community. She has the tools and the passion to help Swope Health achieve our goals – improving access to healthcare, expanding our presence and services, and driving change in our community.”

Earlier, Ms. Davis-Wyatt was a senior administrative/operations executive with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, where she oversaw the ambulatory clinics and services. She also served as the COO and Ethics & Compliance Officer with HCA Menorah Medical Center after leading in other capacities with Health Midwest at Menorah, Overland Park Regional, Research and Baptist Medical Centers on the senior executive teams and across the system.

Ms. Davis-Wyatt is active in the Kansas City community and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Kansas City University and is a member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Links, Inc. Her community involvement has included work with the Council for Court Excellence in Washington, D.C., Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care/North Care Hospice, Black Community Fund, Rose Brooks Shelter and Jack and Jill.

She is a former board member of the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City (now Health Forward Foundation) where she served as Chair of the Finance and Investments and Administration Committees. She has also held board positions with Cancer Action, Kansas City Clinical Oncology and Newhouse Shelter for Battered Women.

Ms. Davis-Wyatt has a Master’s degree in Health/Healthcare Administration and Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts from William Jewell College. She also is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Why does Black maternal health matter?

Ebony Peterson, Community Health Worker at Swope Health, was only 22 weeks pregnant when she went into pre-term labor. After the initial shock, she was expecting a long hospital stay on bed rest. Instead, her baby was born just two days later. Baby Aubrey was tiny at 1 pound, 2 ounces, but mighty in overcoming the odds.

Ebony is sharing her traumatic birth story in honor of Black Maternal Health Week, which is April 11 to 17. This week of activism and education was started by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance four years ago.

“There’s power in sharing our birth experiences,” Ebony says. “It helps to learn we are not alone. We can support and learn from one another. We can spur change and, in turn, improve the health of pregnant and new moms in our minority communities.”

Why focus on Black maternal health?  

Missouri has the 7th highest maternal mortality rate in the nation with 35 deaths per 100,000 births, according to World Population Review. Missouri’s mortality rates for Black moms skyrockets to 65 deaths per 100,000 births.

Nurture KC works to close this gap and fights for health equity through education, advocacy and one-on-one support for moms – most of whom are minorities – through its Healthy Start program. Ebony provides such support for fellow moms, as she is one of the program’s Community Health Workers.

Baby Aubrey’s journey

Ebony watched her own preemie daughter spend four months in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Aubrey was down to weighing just 15 ounces early on. The infant was on a ventilator to help her breathe and had a feeding tube to receive nourishment. She also was diagnosed with Sickle Cell disease, a blood disorder, and Craniosynostosis – a rare birth defect where the bones in a baby’s skull join together too early. Aubrey had surgery to fix her skull when she was 2 years old.

“My daughter is a trooper and overcame so much, but we knew it could have been way worse based on how early she was born. To put it in perspective, her birthdate is June 3, but my due date was Oct. 1,” Ebony says. “We feel fortunate for her overall good health and for the medical team who took care of her during her early days. The hospital was our first home as a family of three and we knew she was receiving the best care possible there. We were lucky. Now Aubrey is 4 years old and the sweetest, talkative, independent little lady!

“I know we all have different experiences, but my background can help me empathize and advocate for fellow moms. Together, we can push for systematic change that works to level the playing field for Black moms, as I know many are not as fortunate as I was. Everyone deserves the same chance to be healthy.”

This article is from Nurture KC . Nurture KC is a community collaboration dedicated to reducing infant mortality and improving family health. Nurture KC works to change policy for broad impact, transform systems to improve health outcomes at a local level, and provides one-on-one support to connect families.

 

Swope Health appoints Dr. Thurston Smith as Chief Information Officer

Swope Health, Kansas City’s leading provider of healthcare services for the medically underserved, today announced Dr. Thurston Smith as Chief Information Officer.

Dr. Smith is an IT professional with experience in health information systems management, project management of complex systems, and operational leadership. He comes to Swope Health from Cerner Corp., one of the nation’s leading health information systems firm, where he served as senior engineer manager, leading an engineering team in code design and development.

Dr. Smith also has experience working in a federally qualified health center, having previously served as CIO at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City. Here he led all aspects of IT systems including development and implementation of new electronic medical records, pharmacy, imaging and laboratory services.

“We welcome Dr. Smith’s passion for coaching, mentoring and continuous learning, as well as the deep technical expertise he brings,” said Jeron Ravin, JD., President and Chief Executive of Swope Health. “Dr. Smith understands our commitment to serve our whole community and will help us improve access to healthcare, build new efficiencies and enhance our services through technology.”

Dr. Smith brings expertise from roles at Truman Medical Centers; Datafile Technologies; and DST Systems Inc., all in Kansas City; and at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, in Iowa City, Iowa. A veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, Smith has also held positions as an adjunct professor with Johnson County Community College and DeVry University, where he received the highest student evaluation rate of his peers for two years.

He holds a Doctorate of Health Administration, emphasis in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, from Capella University in Minneapolis; and a Master of Business Administration from DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management, in Naperville, Ill. He received a Master of Arts in Educational Technology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Associate degree in Applied Science in Information Technology from Hamilton Business College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Computer Science from Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss. He also holds several professional certifications.

Dr. Smith has received accolades in his field of study, including the Black Family Technology Awareness Association of Kansas City Award in February 2011, which recognizes an exceptional technology professional with the African American Community.

In the Kansas City community, Dr. Smith is active in his church and fraternity. He also serves on the boards of Jackson County CASA, a court advocacy group for children, and his non-profit organization, Iron Men Ministry, which mentors young men in positive development and empowerment.

Dr. Smith lives in Kansas City. He and his wife have four children and three grandchildren.

Swope Health CEO Appointed to National Task Force Addressing Racism

Jeron Ravin, JD, President and CEO of Swope Health, was recently appointed to the newly formed National Association of Community Health Center’s (NACHC) Task Force on Addressing Racism.

Task force members are charged with transforming NACHC into an anti-racist, multicultural organization and developing actionable strategies to lead the health center movement and the country in addressing social and health injustices. In the midst of a national movement concerning racial justice, this Task Force, representing one of our nation’s largest health care delivery systems, will focus on developing tangible steps to undo the affects that systemic racism has on healthcare and health outcomes.

“Rooting out systemic racism in healthcare is a monumental undertaking,” said Ravin, “but it must be done and I am honored to help forge a path to health equity.”

The association represents more than 1,400 federally supported health centers, providing healthcare to more than 29 million people.

NACHC recognizes that the profound racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States are embedded in long-standing institutional and systemic racism. Furthermore, NACHC recognizes that racism is a public health issue and public health crisis.

The Task Force will consist of no more than 11 people who will reflect diversity in terms of race/ethnicity, geography, age, sexual orientation, and gender. Lathran Woodard, NACHC Board President and a representative from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will serve as members of the task force.

Tradition in a Spooky Season

Traditions are important. Merriam-Webster defines traditions as “the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.” In other words, traditions are what we gift the generations to come.

In the middle of this pandemic it may be difficult to find a safe way to partake in the customary traditions. We all have to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and this gives us an opportunity to start new traditions. Those new traditions can keep you and your family safe this Halloween season.

You can start a new tradition with these yummy treats, the Crunchy Mummy – a combination of a Crunchy Pumpkin and Mummy cheese snack. This snack was prepared by Priscilla Perez Schmid, Clinical Registered Dietitian with Swope Health, based on recipes from the US Department of Agriculture. (Download the Halloween Recipes.)

“Traditions are a celebration of belonging,” Priscilla said. “It is a moment to enjoy that place and time that can describe some of our best memories.”

Additional resources:

And, if you are looking for options for a safe trick or treating event, remember TreatTown! Join us at Swope Health Central, 6:30 to 8:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 31, for our drive-through Halloween experience!

What new traditions will you build this spooky season?

Help yourself: Pantries offer healthy foods

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained many aspects of our life, including adding difficulty to keeping safe and healthy foods available at home.

If you are skipping meals to make do or if your family is hungry, one of the nearly 1,000 food pantries in the state of Missouri may be able to help.

Swope Health’s registered dietitian Priscilla Perez Schmid, MPH, RDN, LDN, recently had a conversation with Rebecca Collier of Harvesters, a community food network, about how food pantries in our community.  Their conversation answers questions about how food pantries work and how you can find a food pantry near you.

Harvesters has a service locator to help find resources near you and a calendar of public food distribution sites, many operated as drive-thru events.

Swope Health hosts regular food distribution drive-thru events on the first Saturday of each month with support from Sysco Foods, Total Man Community Development Corp. and Rep. Barbara Anne Washington and others. The next event is 9-11 am Saturday, Nov. 7 at Swope Health Central, 3801 Blue Parkway, Kansas City.

In addition, you can locate a nearby Food Pantry at feedingmissouri.org. Feeding Missouri is a coalition of six Missouri food banks working together to distribute foods.  The organization’s groups distribute more than 120 million pounds of food each year through a network of more than 1,500 community feeding programs.

Harvesters is a member of Feeding Missouri and a member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks.

You do not need to receive Food Stamp benefits to get help from a food pantry. You’ll be asked for basic information and a few questions about where you live. The pantries exist to provide relief from hunger. In the United States, the government estimates that one of every nine persons struggles with hunger.

information on finding a food pantry

Quality in Asthma Care: Swope Health Pediatrician is Part of Award Team

Dr. Ning Haluck, a pediatrician at Swope Health Central, leads a program to train clinical associates in best practices in caring for asthma in kids, which resulted in a national recognition for the program.

Dr. Haluck is part of the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Asthma program, which won the American Board of Medical Specialties “Outstanding Achievement in Quality Improvement Award.” The award recognizes a focused program that successfully decreased the rate of uncontrolled asthma in urban areas.

Asthma in Missouri “We are working to lower the rates of asthma and the number of kids with uncontrolled asthma,” she said. “The approach was first to teach primary care providers the asthma care guidelines and then make it a standard part of our practice at Swope Health.”

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that causes wheezing and difficulty breathing. It is a common long-term disease in children, affecting nearly 30,000 kids in the Kansas City area. Asthma can be controlled by limiting environmental triggers and with medications.

The guidelines Dr. Haluck teaches include simple steps to help kids better control their asthma. It starts with a questionnaire, based on standards from the National Institutes of Health, to identify problems. The clinical exam includes a check of lung function and gathering objective data on allergies or triggers for asthma. There’s also a step to verify the right kind of asthma medicine is provided – both long-term and quick-relief medications are available, and not all patients receive the same medications.

“Then, we spend time teaching parents and kids about asthma,” she said. “We coach kids on how to use their inhaler and make sure they understand how important it is to take their medication. We want them to get their asthma under control.”

Having asthma “under control” means no visits to an emergency room or urgent care center, and regular visits to a doctor twice a year. Students also get an “asthma plan” for school, assuring medication at hand at the school.

In the program at Swope Health, Dr. Haluck showed a 31 percent improvement in quality of care of asthma control from 2018 to 2019. More than 75 percent of the 200-plus kids were able to control their asthma.

Dr. Haluck’s efforts are part of the Asthma Care Accelerator in the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (or ECHO) program. Dr. Haluck has presented her program research and outcomes at a national ECHO conference in 2019, and since then has been named co-lead of the 2020 Asthma Care Accelerator ECHO program. Her current efforts, in light of COVID-19, are in asthma telehealth best practices.

Now, Dr. Haluck is engaged in training an even broader community of healthcare providers through the University of Missouri Telehealth Network. In April, Dr. Haluck participated in a national ECHO conference on “Asthma Telehealth and Asthma Day.” The program teaches the same proven guidelines for asthma care, through use of telemedicine.

She noted that some of the steps – like checking lung function – may still require an in-person visit, but much of the standard can still be accomplished in a video visit. “I will ask the child to show me how they use the inhaler,” she said, “and I can coach them if I see them using it improperly.”

Dr. Haluck also keeps an emphasis on the Kansas City community, serving on the executive committee of BreatheUP, a consortium of local stakeholders dedicated to improving asthma control. The consortium’s  goal is to reduce the rate of uncontrolled asthma by 25 percent in the next five years.

In all her efforts, Dr. Haluck’s real focus is on taking care of children with asthma.

“All children coming to Swope Health are getting the same care as if going to a specialty asthma clinic,” she said. “We are helping kids stay out of the emergency room. We are providing preventive care and helping our patients get the prescriptions and care they need. That’s what we stand for.”

facts about asthma

asthma infographic NIH