Swope Health

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Swope Health

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Swope Health announces a four-week lecture series featuring accomplished women who will share their stories. 

The series runs every Wednesday in March, beginning March 8. These are online seminars, free and open to everyone.

Here’s the lineup of recorded programs. 

Watch online: https://youtu.be/GgLap6X_tAE

Judge Lisa White Hardwick was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District in 2001. She served as chief judge of the court from 2010 to 2012. Prior to serving on the appellate court, Judge Hardick was a circuit judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County) from 2000 to 2010. Before that, she was in private practice from 1985 to 1999.

From 1993 to 2000, she served on the Jackson County Legislature.

Judge Hardwick is a member of The Missouri Bar, the Jackson County Bar Association, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the Association of Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, and serves as a member of the Civic Education Committee. She served as chairperson of the Missouri Appellate Practice Committee from 2002 to 2014.

She is a member of St. James United Methodist Church and serves on the board of directors for the Niles Home for Children and the Center School District Education Foundation. She also serves as chairman of the board for Swope Health Services. Judge Hardwick previously served on the board of directors of the Community Blood Bank and Rockhurst High School.


 U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois

Watch online: https://youtu.be/FPhUcj2-8TE

Congresswoman Robin Kelly has dedicated her career to public service as an advocate for Illinois families. Since being elected to serve the 2nd Congressional District in 2013, she has worked to expand economic opportunity, community wellness, and public safety across the state, championing numerous initiatives to generate job growth, reduce health disparities, and end gun violence.

Congresswoman Kelly is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (the main policy-writing body of the House) and serves on the Health, Communications and Technology, and Innovation, Data, and Commerce subcommittees. Her Energy and Commerce work is focused on expanding access

A staunch champion of common sense gun reforms and responsible community policing, Representative Kelly is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce and is the author of The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.

Prior to her election to Congress, Kelly was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, served as Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County (the second largest county in the United States) and was Chief of Staff to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias – becoming the first African American woman to serve as Chief of Staff to an elected constitutional statewide officeholder.

The daughter of a small business owner and postal worker, Congresswoman Kelly moved to Illinois to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she earned her B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Matteson, Ill., with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn, and has two adult children, Kelly and Ryan.

 Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith

Watch online: https://youtu.be/zjp0-O5g2QY

Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith is the 21st President of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. She is the first woman to serve the University in this role.

Collins Smith has more than 25 years of progressive leadership experience and an extensive administrative and program development background. She began her career in higher education at Harris-Stowe State University in 2010 and has served the University in several leadership roles.

Dr. Collins Smith was the co-principal investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen STEM in the state of Missouri, the largest grant in the history of Harris-Stowe. During her first year as President, the university made significant strides. Under her leadership, the university raised more than $3.9 million in scholarships and donations, including those designated for endowments and grants, which is a 462% increase from the previous fiscal year.

In addition, Harris-Stowe kicked off renovations for the former Vashon Community Center Building, which will become home to the Don and Heide Wolff Jazz Institute and National Black Radio Hall of Fame. The university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is in its early development phase. In 2021-2022, the university graduated its largest class in the University’s history (236) students, and 51% graduated with honors.

Dr. Collins Smith earned an educational doctorate in higher education leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis. She holds a master of social work degree and a master of public health degree from Saint Louis University. Her mission is to inspire change in others through the power of education, scholarship, and service.

 Niki Donawa

Watch online: https://youtu.be/G7NZrc3b3Vk

As chief community relations officer for University Health, Niki Lee Donawa is an expert in community building. She provides strategic direction in community health education, along with workforce and strategic partnership development, in order to position University Health—a two-campus safety-net healthcare system—as a leader in creating sustainable models to improve the health of the community.

Donawa also is responsible for the management of contracts for Walgreens and Morrison’s Food Service; both provide a unique opportunity to enrich the healthcare experience for patients, guests and staff.

Donawa was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Jan. 1, 2019, and is a member of the Women’s Executive Leadership Council of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. She has served in various roles on the Health Forward Community Advisory Council, most recently as the chair of the council, and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Other community service commitments include the DESE Legislative Committee for Trauma Informed Schools Initiative; University Health Linwood YMCA Advisory Committee; Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Workforce Planning Committee; vice chair of ArtsKC; the American Jazz Museum Board of Directors; and the Jackson County Chapter Links Incorporated Executive Committee.

Donawa is the recipient of the Black Healthcare Coalition’s Health Equity Award, celebrating individuals who are working to achieve healthcare equity in the Kansas City area.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri and her MBA from Baker University.






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