Swope Health

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.





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