Mission Possible: The Best Champs Holiday Party Ever!

ScriptPro, a Kansas City-area company that provides pharmacy software, robotics and management programs, has taken on a new task this quarter.

scriptpro

The company’s employees, part of a program called Community Connection, are putting on a holiday party for the SHS Champs program.

“We love giving back,” said Erin Pagel, Manager of Strategic Pharmacy Services at ScriptPro, “and it’s important to our employees to give back locally.”

The Community Connection team surveyed the approximately 800 ScriptPro employees and found a passion for children’s needs, fighting hunger, supporting cancer research and caring for animals.

The team partnered with Harvesters, Kansas City’s community food network, in the first quarter of 2018; with PurpleStride, a non-profit that raises funds and awareness of pancreatic cancer, in the second quarter; and with KC Pet Project in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter and the holiday season, the company looked for a way to support children in need. Since the company already had a connection with SHS – the  Swope Health Services Pharmacy uses ScriptPro products – it was an easy decision to host the party for the kids in the Champs program.

Scriptpro planning team

The ScriptPro-SHS planning team at an October meeting, from left: Joi Franklin, Electrical Quality Assurance Technician II at ScriptPro; Amy Kuhnlein, SHS Manager of Development and Community Affairs; Kristen Meschede, Customer Communications Manager at ScriptPro; Elgie Hurd, SHS Supervisor, CPRP; Tiffany Clinton, SHS Supervisor, CPRP; and Erin Pagel, Manager, Strategic Pharmacy Services at ScriptPro.

Champs is a monthly youth group for children aged 5 to 17 who are enrolled in the Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (CPRP), said Tiffany Clinton, Community Support Supervisor.

The program serves an average of 50 children each month with different life-skills topics and age-appropriate activities.

The children in the Champs program face numerous challenges, including physical and verbal aggression, impulsivity, maintaining focus in the classroom, suspensions, struggles with depression, and homicidal or suicidal thoughts, Tiffany said.

Some children are in the family court system and others have received inconsistent care with medication and treatment plans. Some have been hospitalized for mental illness and related issues.

“These kids face issues no child should have to face,” Tiffany said.

ScriptPro’s Community Connection team agrees, and intends to create a memorable and fun celebration for the Champs kids.

For the party, the team will convert the activity rooms in Building C into a “Winter Wonderland,” with a Christmas tree and activity stations featuring cookie and cupcake decorating, ornament making, making and decorating goodie bags and other crafts.

The team’s plans include a Karaoke station, a snowman bowling game (think of a snowball knocking down snowman pins), and a station for temporary tattoos. A costumed Olaf, the snowman from “Frozen” movie fame, also will be at the party on Dec. 19, 2018.

There will be a photo booth, and kids can use the photos to create personalized ornaments to take home. The celebration will include a meal, as well as personalized holiday gifts for each.

Donation-pic

Kaitlin Xouris, ScriptPro Digital Brand Strategist, is participating in ScriptPro’s Toy Drive for SHS Champs participants and Toys for Tots. There’s a competition at ScriptPro to see which member of the leadership team can bring in the most toys. In early December, Bill Thomas, ScriptPro’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, was in the lead over Lindsey McDonald, Director of Product Configuration Management, Field Operations, and Tony Goble, Vice President, Customer Service. The winner of the competition gets the honor of dressing as Olaf, the snowman from Frozen, for one day.

The ScriptPro team held a friendly competition among departments to see which could bring in the most toys for the Champs program, Erin said.

“We want to make sure every kid gets at least one gift, if not more,” Erin said.

Putting on such a celebration takes a lot of volunteers. Erin noted that the team is working in three shifts: the first has employees who are doing the advance work of creating craft kits, baking the cookies and cupcakes for decorating, and designing the decorations for the activity room.

A second shift will handle the transformation of the room and set up all the activities. And the third shift will host the party and then clean up after the event.

More than 30 employees signed up to participate in the first week alone.

“We are so excited to partner with ScriptPro for this event,” Tiffany said. “The amazing generosity and spirit of the ScriptPro team will help create a special holiday event for our kids.”

Would you like to support the Champs program? Donations are always welcome, either in cash or assistance with programming items – like hygiene kits, daily planners, or craft supplies. Contact Shantelle Wells (816-599-5252, SWells@swopehealth.org) or Jaclyn Powell (816-599-5243, jrpowell@swopehealth.org) for more information. 

Support Holiday Book Drive for SHS Kids

B&NPlaza photoThe Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the Country Club Plaza has named Swope Health Services as the recipient of its annual Holiday Book Drive.

This is the third time in four years Barnes & Noble has selected SHS to receive books donated by its customers.

All customers who visit the Plaza Barnes & Noble store, 420 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO, through Dec. 9, 2018, are invited to purchase books for SHS children’s programs.

SHS will provide the books free to children of all ages who visit SHS clinics for healthcare and behavioral health services.

“In the past, we have worked with Swope Health and it’s been a great success,” said Joseph Harris, assistant store manager at the Plaza Barnes & Noble.

“We’ve had a lot of engagement from the community. We get really excited because it’s such a great cause. We’re happy to partner with Swope Health.’’

The book drive launched at the end of October and will wrap up at the end of the first week in December.  Joseph said the drive is on pace to produce more than 1,000 books.

“This is a wonderful program that provides books for our kids here at Swope Health throughout the year,” said Amy Kuhnlein, SHS Manager of Development and Community Affairs. “Books are used in treatments and as rewards for reaching milestones. Barnes & Noble helps us make KC a community of healthy readers.”

Free EventCustomers can choose their own childhood favorites or select from SHS- or Barnes & Noble-recommended titles.

Barnes & Noble keeps a supply of recommended books at every checkout counter, making it easy for customers to select a book for the drive at checkout.

The SHS list was developed by professional therapists and counselors in the Children’s Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, which works with children from ages 5-17 who experience trauma or behavioral health issues.

The reading list includes books featuring characters in similar situations and provides stimulus to work through challenges.

“Reading is magic,” said Tiffany Clinton, Supervisor, Children’s Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program at SHS.

“The kids can disappear into a story, into a new world, and sometimes it becomes a little easier to talk about the difficult stuff. These books offer hope and life lessons.”

Barnes & Noble, a national chain, encourages book drives at all of its local shops. In its 2017 book drive, Barnes & Noble helped deliver more than 1.6 million books to more than 650 local charitable organizations serving disadvantaged children across the country.

The Plaza Barnes & Noble has donated books from its Holiday Book Drive to SHS in previous years, providing SHS more than 1,500 books in 2015 and again in 2017. SHS volunteers will also help wrap presents at the store throughout December.

“We love our partnership with Barnes &Noble,” Amy said, adding SHS will distribute the books through its children’s programs and pediatric health care clinics.

SHS healthcare providers also use the books to help assess a child’s cognitive and physical development and talk with parents about the importance of reading to their children.

Research has shown that reading to young children produces benefits including increasing vocabulary, curiosity and memory and improving listening skills. The American Academy of Family Physicians describes a positive association with books and reading as a foundation for scholastic success.

You can support the book drive by visiting the Barnes & Noble on the Country Club Plaza, 420 W. 47th St. The store is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Dec. 24, the store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Dec. 25, Christmas Day. The store reopens from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 26.

Join Us This Saturday: Let’s Move!

5krun-partyLooking for a little family fun this weekend?

You’re invited to join the 2018 Family 101 5K Walk/Run/Bike Community Block Party and Health Fair.

The event is Saturday, May 19, at the New Bethel Church, 745 Walker Ave., Kansas City, KS, 66101.

Here is the line-up for the day’s activities:

  • 8 a.m.: Start of the Family 101 Walk/Run/Bike 5k, at the New Bethel Church.This is an event for everyone, whether you want to set a new personal record or simply take a stroll.The Walk/Run route follows the Jersey Creek Trail in Kansas City, KS. There is a separate pair of courses for cyclists, a short route for novice bicyclists and a longer route for experienced cyclists. The event also offers a one-mile walking route. Families and teams are welcome! There is no fee for entry for individuals age 18 and under.
  • 9 a.m.: Start of the Health Fair, with booths provided by sponsors including Swope Health Services, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, United Healthcare, the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the YMCA and Sunflower Health Plan.
  • 10 a.m.: Start of the kid’s dash and Community Block Party.

The theme for the all-day celebration is “Let’s Move, Wyco” as a reminder of the health benefits of walking. The event encourages community unity while promoting use of the renovated Jersey Creek Trail, one of the largest greenways in Wyandotte County.

babyto1logoThe Family 101 Health Fair puts a focus on infant health with an initiative called “Every Baby to 1.” The initiative promotes the “3S” approach of Safe Sleep, Safe Space and Social Support to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.

According to the initiative, there were nearly 4,000 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. in 2015, and 25 percent of these were due to unsafe sleep practices. One in three sudden infant deaths in Wyandotte County are the result of unsafe sleep.

This is the fifth year for the Block Party. In previous years, more than 60 vendors and sponsors have supported the event, which has drawn more than 500 participants.

The annual event is hosted by the NBC Community Development Corp., which is the outreach arm of the New Bethel Church. A not-for-profit organization, NBC Community Development works on a range of projects to provide services to Wyandotte County residents.

We look forward to seeing you at the event.

SHS Chosen as Recipient for Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive

Barnes and Noble Event (2)Tell me a story…

This holiday season, the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the Country Club Plaza has named Swope Health Services the recipient of its annual Holiday Book Drive.

All customers who visit the Plaza Barnes & Noble store, 420 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO, through Dec. 31, 2017, are invited to purchase books and donate them to SHS, which provides them for free to children of all ages.

Customers can choose their own childhood favorites or select from SHS recommended titles.

“Barnes & Noble understands the magic of reading and the power of books,” said Amy Kuhnlein, SHS Manager of Development and Community Affairs. “It’s a perfect partnership because we both want children to learn to love reading and use that love as a foundation for lifelong learning.”

The book drive is just one part of the SHS-Barnes & Noble partnership. In addition to the book drive, Barnes & Noble will host a free event for children at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1: The Polar Express Pajama Party.

Dan Barnett, SHS Communications Specialist, leads the read-along of The Polar Express as Conductor Dan. Children are invited to wear pajamas to the event and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and giveaways. Activities include writing letters to Santa and making Santa hats and snowflakes.

“One of my favorite things about the Holiday season at Barnes & Noble is our annual book drive,” said Amanda Radke, Assistant Store Manager at the Plaza Barnes & Noble.

“Not only are we able to give our customers an opportunity to help those in need, but it gives us booksellers a sense of accomplishment every time we add a book to our donation box.”

Barnes and Noble Event (1)

Last year, Barnes & Noble helped deliver more than 1.5 million books to more than 650 local charitable organizations across the country.

The Plaza Barnes & Noble has set a goal of 1,900 books for SHS, Radke said.

SHS will distribute the books through its children’s programs and pediatric health care clinics.

Providers also use the books to help assess a child’s cognitive and physical development, said Kristy Willoughby-Randolph, LPN, Clinic Manager, Pediatrics.

Providers also talk with parents about the importance of reading to their children.

“Reading to children helps teach concepts like colors, numbers and letters, as well building on skills like listening, memory and vocabulary,” Willoughby-Randolph said. “Your infant or child listens to you read, and picks up on emotions and expressive sounds. Reading to your child also gives you that closeness and bonding.”

She continued: “We love being able to offer a new book to children during their well-child visits. I feel like we are actively taking part in contributing to their growth and development. In some instances, this may be the only book that child has, and we are happy to be able to provide them with something that will enhance their chances of a brighter educational future.”

Radke said the Plaza Barnes & Noble is pleased and excited to partner with SHS and is working hard to make the drive a success.

“Knowing that we can be a part of giving the gift of literacy to hundreds of children, who may otherwise never see a book all year, is a humbling reward,” Radke said.

Barnes & Noble on the Country Club Plaza, 420 W. 47th St., is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Dec. 24, the store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is closed on Dec. 25.

SHS Helps Three Moms With a Path to a Brighter Future

Danielle Coin and Michelle Keller

Danielle Coin, left, with Michelle Keller, SHS vice president of patient services, a mentor and advocate for the 100 Jobs for 100 Moms program.

“I’m no longer afraid of the future.”

That’s Danielle Coin talking about what the 100 Jobs for 100 Moms program has done for her. Danielle, who has three children and is in substance abuse recovery, began working at Swope Health Services in August 2015, through the 100 Jobs program.

Through Amethyst Place, which runs the program, she found herself embraced in a community that offered help for what felt like insurmountable challenges — addictive behaviors that led to an eviction, debts and losing her kids for several months.

The non-profit Amethyst Place provided her transitional housing and access to education, including training through the Women’s Employment Network, before helping her find the SHS opportunity. Operation Breakthrough, an early education child care center in the urban core, helps with services for her kids.

Now, Danielle is a Patient Services Representative in SHS’s OB/GYN department. In her eight months on the job, she’s taken on a variety of duties: reception, scheduling, assisting patients in the office, making kits for various clinical tests, making labels for lab samples, and data entry work on customer satisfaction surveys. She’s excited at the prospect of training others on the survey process.

“I absolutely love it here,” she said. “I plan to stay here a long time.”

Danielle is one of three women in the 100 Jobs program working at SHS. Leslie Marrant and Erin Anderson joined SHS about two months ago, and both are working as customer service representatives.  Leslie and Erin have similar experiences with the program and offer similar praise.

Leslie Marrant

Leslie Marrant

Erin works at SHS two days a week and also attends Penn Valley Community College where she’s pursuing an associate’s degree in science — a precursor to a planned transfer to study for a pharmacy degree.

“I love it. I love everything about it — I love the clinic, the girls I work with, the patients! I never thought I could do a job like this,” she said. “This program is definitely beneficial to me — it gives me esteem, and such a sense of self-worth. I needed that.”

Leslie is a licensed practical nurse with plans to go back to school for a Registered Nurse degree. She’s counting her days of sobriety — approaching 10 months — and focusing on her recovery.  She credits Amethyst House with helping her and her three boys, ages 10, 18 months and five months.

“I feel like I’ve got a winning lottery ticket,” she said. “It’s like a warm hug. That’s just what everyone needs sometimes.”

The Program

The 100 Jobs Program was the brainchild of Sister Berta Sailer, the co-founder and champion of Operation Breakthrough, said Julie Carmichael, Director of Programs of Amethyst Place.

Julie Carmichael and Erin Anderson

From left, Julie Carmichael and Erin Anderson

“It’s supported employment,” Julie said, explaining that moms receive education, mentoring, guidance, transportation, education, child care and incentives. “It’s all designed to break the chains of generational poverty and addiction.”

The jobs program started with one mom and gradually grew into the current program, which now has seven employers who provide jobs for 24 moms. All of the participants are residents of Amethyst Place or have children enrolled in Operation Breakthrough.

Amethyst Place provides housing and more — a fully furnished and stocked apartment, refurbished computers, wi-fi, washers and dryers, plus on-site therapists, family care coordination, and health care provided by SHS.

Women in the program commit to making some significant lifestyle changes. In the first month, for example, women are required to meet a 6 p.m. curfew and are not allowed any visitors at the home. In the next month, visitors are allowed after they complete a background check. Gradually the restrictions ease, but the support and mentoring do not, Julie said.

The women set goals every month. The program offers incentives tied to the goals — up to $275 a quarter, based on attendance at work, that goes to pay rent or other bills, plus $300 a year based on job performance.

Julie notes that many of the women have suffered abuse or other trauma, in addition to their substance addiction challenges. Most have been homeless.

“These women have had so many barriers in their path,” she said. “We just help remove the barriers.”

And the result?

“These are the hardest-working women you’ll ever meet,” Julie said.

Looking toward the future

The three SHS participants all have big goals for the future. They’re committed to living up to Julie’s description, to achieving success in their jobs and raising healthy families. With the help of Amethyst Place, their SHS jobs and their newly developed self-esteem, their dreams are within reach.

Have a question or comment about 100 Jobs? Leave it in the comment box below. We welcome your feedback.

Join Us This Friday for The Polar Express Pajama Party — All Aboard!

PolarExpressPajamaPartyYou are invited to join us at the Plaza Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, for the 30th Annual Polar Express Pajama Party.

Swope Health Services providers and associates will take part in the out-loud reading of The Polar Express at this free event. Children are invited to wear their pajamas to the event and enjoy cookies, drinks and giveaways.

This is just one part of a season-long partnership between SHS and the Plaza Barnes & Noble Bookstore, noted bookstore manager Heidi Boehm.

SHS has been designated as the recipient for the annual Plaza Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive.

Through January 1, 2016, customers at the Plaza bookseller will be invited to purchase books and donate them to children served by SHS. Customers select their own childhood favorites or choose from SHS-recommended titles.

“We are showing our commitment to childhood literacy and enlisting SHS to help us get books in the hands of kids,” Boehm said. “In this season of giving, we invite the entire community to give children the gift of a book.”

The annual Holiday Book Drive typically produces a donation of about 2,000 books.

SHS associates will also donate their time to the Plaza Barnes & Noble Bookstore’s annual gift-wrapping station during the Polar Express Pajama Party.

“We thank the Plaza Barnes & Noble for this great partnership,” said Michelle Keller, Vice President of Patient Services. “We know that books have the power to change lives. This is a way the entire community can help us make a difference and support children in this holiday season.”

The Plaza Barnes & Noble Bookstore is located at 420 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO 64112, on the Country Club Plaza. Free parking is available in garages near the store. Questions? Leave a comment below.

The Polar Express

Holiday Gift Mart – Shop Here December 4th!

HolidayMart3To make your holiday shopping easier, and to make your visit to Swope Health Services a little more fun, join our Holiday Gift Mart from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4 in the Community Room, Building C.

Our Community Room will be transformed into a festive open mall, filled with local vendors and artisans offering their unique goods. You’ll find jewelry, crafts, toys, fresh baked foods, clothing, beauty products, decorative items and more!

Participating vendors pay a small fee, which is used to provide holiday programming for adults in our community day programs. The Holiday Gift Mart is a great way to support local vendors who support SHS and the community.

Lunch, featuring nachos with trimmings or beef hot dogs with chili, plus chips and drinks, will be available for $5.

Would you like to participate as a vendor? Contact Grace N. Okonta, Adult Community Support/Day Program Coordinator at  816-599-5284 or gokonta@swopehealth.org.

Plan on shopping with us! Help spread the word to your friends and neighbors. All are welcome!

Questions? Leave a comment below. 

HolidayMart2 HolidayMart1

SHS Supports La Raza at National Conference in KC – July 11-14

La RazaSwope Health Services is a proud sponsor and participant in the 2015 National Council of La Raza Annual Conference, held at the Kansas City Convention Center July 11-14.

SHS will use its booth at the conference to connect with participants and share information about SHS health services. The event typically attracts more than 2,000 participants from the Hispanic community.

“We will be there to reach out and strengthen our relationships with the Hispanic community,” said Michelle Keller, Vice President of Patient Services. “Part of our mission is to eliminate health disparities in our community, and that includes helping people overcome language barriers or lack of insurance to gain access to health care.”

The La Raza conference includes training, workshops, presentations and panel discussions on education, health care, the environment, workforce development, public policy and political action, family and housing issues, just to name a few topics.

The event also features a National Family Latino Expo, which is free and open to the public. The expo has family entertainment, activities and give-aways. It runs Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The conference features national and local leaders, including the Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and Mayors Sly James (KCMO) and Mark Holland (KCK). Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also speak at the conference.

For more information, visit the National Council of La Raza conference website. Be sure to visit SHS at La Raza!