Swope Health recently was honored to receive the International Relations Council’s (IRC) 2019 Award for Contributions to the Community.
This award is given to an individual, organization or company who has contributed to economic growth in the area and has shown exemplary service to their community. The IRC, through a release announcing the award stated:
“For 50 years, Swope Health, seeing global health as a field with broad reach and important local implications, has worked to serve the underserved and address health disparities in and around the Kansas City community.”
The IRC is located in Kansas City and its mission is to bring a global perspective to our community through strategic partnerships with businesses, universities, community organizations, and K-12 schools. The Council brings world leaders and dignitaries to the metro region, hosts forums for high-school students to interact with and learn from foreign-policy experts, and creates opportunities for area business leaders to strengthen relationships abroad.
The Council’s event this year focused on the theme of Global Health, which it describes as a field with broad reach and important local implications. The council noted: “Significant work remains in our own communities and around the world to combat health disparities and challenges around infant and maternal mortality, chronic and infectious diseases, and the health of immigrant and refugee populations. New, innovative approaches and collaborative efforts in research, health system delivery strategies, and community-based health are essential to equalize access to health for everyone everywhere.”
Past recipients have included the Consular Corps of Greater Kansas City (2017); Julián Zugazagoitia (2014), director of the Nelson-Atkins Musuem of Art; R. Crosby Kemper III (2013), executive director of the Kansas City Public Library; Sporting Kansas City (2012), Seaboard Corp. (2010), and John P. McMeel (1998), chairman of Andrews McMeel Universal.
In addition to Swope Health’s award, the Council presented the Academic Leadership award to Dr. Sarah Finocchario Kessler, an associate professor with the University of Kansas Medical Center, and the Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship to Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., who is the coordinator of U.S. Government activities to combat HIV/AIDS and a U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy.