Limited Testing for COVID-19

Swope Health has started limited testing for COVID-19 at its Central facility, and soon, at its Wyandotte clinic. Here is information about the testing process at Swope Health:

Who can be tested?

At this point we are testing only those individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 and meet screening criteria, and who have a testing order from a Swope Health provider. We are following the CDC guidance on testing.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, an appointment is required. But this does not have to be in person. A provider can evaluate you over the phone and determine if you meet criteria.

What do I need to bring with me?

Please bring a photo ID with you, along with proof of address.

Where do I go?

Our testing will be performed outside the C Building at Swope Health Central. We have signs indicating where to park or meet with our clinical testing team.

What happens in the test?

The first step in the test is collecting a sample. This involves placing a sterile swab, like a long Q-tip, at the back of your nasal passage for several seconds. It’s a little bit uncomfortable but you can still breathe and talk. After a sample is collected, the swab goes into a liquid-filled tube for transport to the testing lab.

How long does it take?

The collection itself takes several seconds. The entire encounter, including check in and completing paperwork, may take as long as 30 minutes.

When will I know the results?

We expect to learn results in three to eight days. It all depends on the volume and capacity of the testing labs.

How will I learn the results?

Swope Health will contact you as soon as we receive your results. It’s important that we have your phone number to reach you.

What happens if I am positive?

Swope Health will contact you and talk with you about your specific situation. Most people who catch the virus can stay home and recover on their own with plenty of liquids and rest. See If You Are Sick from the CDC. We will also notify the Health Department.

If I am positive, what happens to my family and household?

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to isolate as much as possible from other people. If you have a positive result, you will have to continue the isolation. We will recommend that your family members monitor themselves for symptoms.

What happens if I am negative?

If you are negative, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. But, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.

What happens if I am negative but still feel bad – can I be retested?

It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection. If your symptoms worsen, you should contact your provider, who will determine if you meet criteria for another test.

What if I don’t have insurance?

We provide testing regardless of if you have insurance or not.

What if I am not a Swope Health patient?

We are not able to provide testing to new patients at this time.

Will Swope Health offer testing into Wyandotte?

Yes. Wyandotte has established a separate clinic on the first floor of its building. Patients who meet criteria will be tested.

What if I live outside the area?

Swope Health can test established patients if they have an order from one of our providers.

Where do we send our patients who test positive?

Most patients with COVID-19 can be cared for at home. We provide education to help patients manage their symptoms and reduce the spread to others. All patients are educated about warning signs that indicate they should go to the Emergency Room.

Is Swope Health required to report all results to the city?

Yes.

Is Swope Health testing members of the homeless community?

Yes, if they meet our criteria.

Stay Healthy! Here’s How You Can Stay In Touch with Swope Health

Swope Health : COVID-19 Lobby Screening

Swope Health associates greet and screen all patients arriving at the facility. Hand sanitizer and wipes are offered to everyone.

As you know, all of Kansas City is expected to keep a six-foot distance from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Swope Health, you’ll find we are using new ways to stay in touch with you, taking the place of in-person healthcare visits.

If you have a regularly scheduled appointment, like a well-exam or routine check-in, you will likely receive a phone call offering to reschedule or make an appointment for a phone or video visit. If you are healthy, there’s no reason for you to visit Swope Health.

Swope Health can offer telephone visits where the patient can have a brief conversation with a provider to determine if the patient needs to be seen in the clinic or if the provider can treat them over the phone. This can be done for many health issues, but not all.  Patients can call 816-923-5800 and ask to schedule a phone visit with a provider.

Dr. Jennifer Frost

Dr. Jennifer Frost

“We’re doing this for the safety of our patients and the community,” said Dr. Jennifer Frost, Swope Health interim Chief Medical Officer. “We’re doing this to save lives.”

Scheduling a Phone or Video Visit

If you are interested in scheduling a phone or video visit, call us at 816-932-5800. Your case managers, medical providers, therapists and psychiatric staff are all offering phone visits, and in some cases, with appropriate technology, video visits. If you are interested in video visits, you’ll need to use the Swope Health Patient Portal. If you need help getting set up or forgot your password, call 816-932-5800.

Swope Health Patient PortalDownload the Swope Health patient portal app

If you come to Swope Health, you will see some changes:

  • Everyone entering the building will be screened. Only patients are permitted to enter, and only if they have a scheduled appointment. Walk-ins are taken on a case-by-case basis.
  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be put in a separate area, to prevent infecting others.
  • The building is under continuous cleaning. You’ll find hand sanitizer available throughout the building.
  • We are still scheduling clinic visits when it is medically necessary and safe for both patients and clinic staff.

Have questions? Call us at 816-932-5800 rather than dropping by. We have nurses and providers available to help answer medical questions and offer guidance on the best way to get the care you need about staying healthy and preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Please follow these everyday preventive actions recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like Coronavirus.

Taking Precautions: COVID – 19 or Coronavirus

Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging everyone to prepare for the arrival of the virus that is responsible for a respiratory disease called Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

At Swope Health, you will see that we have initiated our public health emergency procedures. You will find signs at our facility entrances to alert you to the steps we are taking to identify potential infection and protect the community from the spread of the virus.

Those steps include screening all patients at point of entry. This entails asking travel screening questions and also a history of possible exposure.  If an individual answers positive to either question, they are isolated from others and a more thorough assessment will take place.

“This is our contribution to halting the spread of the disease,” said Julie Richards, Director of Infection Prevention and Control for Swope Health. “It’s our responsibility to be on the watch for COVID-19 and to help prevent additional infections.”

Where did COVID-19 come from?

CoronavirusThe COVID-19 virus originated in the city of Hubei in the Wuhan province of China. It is known to be part of the family of Coronaviruses that includes viruses responsible for the Middle Eastern Virus Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The CDC reports that the COVID-19 virus is believed to have originated in bats. The earliest patients in China have been linked a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread now is reported in China and other countries, including in the United States.

The COVID-19 virus, as of March 3, has been identified in 10 states but not in Missouri or Kansas.

As part of Swope Health’s public health emergency procedures, our providers work closely with the Kansas City Health Department and Missouri and Kansas health officials. The screenings help with early identification of any potential illness, and a positive screening triggers several additional steps to protect providers, associates and other patients.

Swope Health has readied personal protective equipment kits, containing face masks, gloves and gowns, as well as hand sanitizers and related tools, Julie noted. Swope Health associates have been trained on screening and procedures for potential next steps if a person may be at risk of the COVID-19 virus.

While there is no vaccine to prevent the virus, there are ways to prevent spreading this virus and other respiratory viruses, Julie said. The best prevention is frequent hand hygiene and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick. That also means that if you are sick, you should stay at home to prevent spreading your illness to anyone at work or in the community.

If you cough, use a tissue or cover your cough with your sleeve or into your elbow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

“The No. 1 step you can take is a simple one – wash your hands,” Julie said. “Make an extra effort to wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.”

The CDC has launched a handwashing campaign, including a video called “What You Need to Know About Handwashing.”

Do you have questions about COVID-19? Here are some references:

You can also leave us a comment below, or if you are visiting Swope Health, talk with your provider.

Valentine’s Day opening for Swope Health West

It was a chilly morning on Valentine’s Day, but warm inside our newest clinic location at Swope Health West, at 4835 State Ave., in Kansas City, Kansas.

The outpouring of warmth came from dozens of Wyandotte Community representatives who joined Swope Health staff in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to open the new clinic location. There were balloons and flowers, candy and treats, as well as tours throughout the expanded clinic.

Swope Health President and CEO Jeron Ravin welcomed the audience, which included representatives from the KCK-Wyandotte County Unified Government, El Centro, Wyandotte Health Foundation and other agencies and business partners. Ravin noted that the new clinic allows for an expansion of services for Wyandotte County patients.

Swope Health West Opening

The ribbon cutting, led by Jeron Ravin, with West Clinic associates and Dr. Kenneth Thomas, right.

Swope Health West

This new facility replaces the former Swope Health West location at 6013 Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kansas. The new Swope Health West has five exam rooms, plus a procedure room, all newly renovated and installed with new fixtures and equipment. The Community Care Network of Kansas provided more than $13,000 for some of the new medical equipment and supplies at Swope Health West.

Swope Health West Opening

The West Clinic has five exam rooms and a procedure room with all new equipment and supplies.

Swope Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Thomas also spoke at the ribbon-cutting, both to welcome the community and express appreciation for all the hard work that supported the creation of the new clinic. He introduced the clinic associates, including Dr. George J. Bures Jr. and Nurse Practitioner Kylie Gaustad.

Swope Health West Opening

Bertha Thomas, Clinic Manager, left, introduced the West Clinic staff: Dr. Jennifer Frost; Dr. George Bures; Nurse Practitioner Kyle Gaustad; Medical Assistants Jalyssa Marshall, Nastasha Garry, and Yuliana Loveland-Paez;  and Jeron Ravin.

Dotte

Dr. Thomas, who introduced himself as a “Dotte,” shorthand for native of Wyandotte County, spoke of his deep ties to the community. He emphasized the Swope Health commitment to quality healthcare for all.

 “This beautiful new facility is another example of our commitment to and investment in high-quality care,” Dr. Thomas said. “We want our patients to have an experience that demonstrates our promise to quality care, starting at the moment you enter the new Swope Health West. We want you to find a safe, clean and welcoming environment, with associates who are skilled and compassionate in caring for every person.”

To schedule an appointment at Swope Health West, call 816-923-5800. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

New Improvements at Swope Health Facilities

You may have noticed a range of construction and development activity around the Swope Health Central Facility lately.

Here is a rundown of what is happening:

  • First floor, C building: We have added two new showers and a laundry facility that are available for our patients who are experiencing homelessness. The showers and laundry are accessible only by keycard, meaning Swope Health associates schedule and coordinate access to the services. The showers include storage cabinets for single-use toiletries and supplies, as well as a pull cord for patient safety in case of emergency. The washer and dryer use are free and available during regular facility hours. Patients will be able to sign up for regular access to these private, convenient and comfortable facilities.
  • First floor, A building: We have newly renovated public men and women’s restrooms with new flooring, walls, lighting, sinks and stalls, as well as hands-free soap, water and towels and faucets. New baby-changing stations are provided in men’s and women’s restrooms. We have also renovated the public restrooms on the first floor of B building. Renovations to second floor restrooms are scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.
  • Behavioral Health offices on the second floor of B building have undergone a massive transformation. A row of five offices was converted into 10 offices, allowing the department to provide more services for patients. Additionally, 30 offices were reconfigured for safety with changes to their furniture layout, added panic buttons and door windows.
  • At the Kanzetta Harris House and Curtis Franklin Lodge, Swope Health residential facilities, two restrooms and shower rooms were renovated in each home. The upgrades included new ceramic tile floors and walls, fixtures, sinks, lighting and doors. In each home, one of the restrooms was renovated for ADA wheelchair compliance.

Swope Health - 2020 Facility Improvements Swope Health - 2020 Facility Improvements

The importance of these improvements.

“This investment in renovations and upgrades focuses on better serving our patients and clients,” said Debbie Meads, Project Manager for Swope Health. “For example, the Behavioral Health offices support an improved workflow to promote greater efficiency and serve more clients.”

The new showers and restrooms are designed for privacy and safety, and include a reserve of personal-size toiletries like soap and shampoo (many donated from organizations like the Plaza Rotary Club).

Swope Health - 2020 Facility Improvements“We want your experience here to be pleasant, safe and comfortable,” she said. “We’re paying attention to even itty-bitty details, like making sure there’s a hook near the changing stations for easy access to hang a diaper bag.”

The upgrades also represent the Swope Health commitment to quality healthcare for all.

“We know that being without stable housing or experiencing homelessness makes a person more susceptible to illness,” said Josette Mitchell, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health.  “By offering shower and laundry facilities for individuals experiencing homelessness, we are providing some support in meeting their basic needs, which in turn could help improve their health outcomes.”

In the renovated women’s public restroom on the first floor in Building A, the baby-changing station was positioned for easy access to the sinks and paper towels.

Public restrooms include spacious stalls with handrails, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The laundry facility includes a washer, dryer and large sink, conveniently located near the shower. The area is available for use by clients who are experiencing homelessness.

Ribbon-cutting & Open House at Swope Health West!

Mark your calendars to help us celebrate our newest clinic location – Swope Health West, at 4835 State Ave., in Kansas City, Kansas.

Join us starting at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14 for tours of the new facility.

Swope Health West Open House on 2/14/20We’ll have a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by light refreshments. You’ll be able to meet our CEO Jeron Ravin, our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Thomas, as well as the entire clinic team.

This new facility replaces the former Swope Health West location at 6013 Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kansas.

The larger space allows for additional services, noted Debbie Meads, Swope Health program manager. The new Swope Health West has five exam rooms, plus a procedure room, all newly renovated and installed with new fixtures and equipment. The clinic is designed for improved workflow and efficiency for patients, she added.

“This beautiful new facility is another example of our commitment to and investment in high-quality care,” said Dr. Kenneth Thomas, Chief Medical Officer at Swope Health. “We want our patients to have an experience that demonstrates our promise to quality care, starting at the moment you enter the new Swope Health West. We want you to find a safe, clean and welcoming environment, with associates who are skilled and compassionate in caring for every person.”

Plan on joining us for the open house on Friday, Feb. 14. To schedule an appointment at Swope Health West, call 816-923-5800. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Swope Health wins International Relations Council Award

IRC LogoSwope 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.”

2019 IRC Award

Swope Health President and CEO Jeron Ravin accepts the Contributions to the Community Award from the International Relations Council.

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.

Global Health

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

2019 IRC AwardPast 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.

Swope Health Hosts Opioid Discussion with Missouri Attorney General

Attorney General Visit

Attorney General Eric Schmitt, left, with Jeron Ravin, J.D., president and CEO of Swope Health; Mark Miller, vice president of Behavioral Health; and Mark Stringer, director of Missouri Department of Mental Health, at the opioid discussion held at Swope Health.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt heard first-hand from Swope Health providers, peer counselors, social service providers, rehabilitative housing specialists, public defenders and the police department about needs in combatting the opioid abuse issue in the Kansas City area.

The discussion, held at Swope Health Central, was part of the Attorney General’s listening tour to better understand what is working – and what is needed. The attorney general is gathering the information in advance of an expected settlement from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers who are alleged to have misled doctors and patients about the highly addictive nature of their drugs.

Missouri joined other states in lawsuits against Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, Johnson & Johnson and Teva, as well as other pharmaceutical companies. In October, a settlement framework was announced, which could lead to millions of dollars coming to Missouri in the next few years.

Opiod Related Overdoses

In his comments to the audience of more than 40 participants, the Attorney General noted that there were nearly 1,000 deaths caused by opioid related overdoses in Missouri last year.

“We want to do everything we can to help as many people as we can,” he said.

Dr. Naiomi Jamal

Attorney General Visit

Dr. Naomi Jamal is a family physician as well as a specialist in preventive medicine and public health. She spoke about the need to provide support to the one in three families affected by opioid disorders in Missouri.

Dr. Naiomi Jamal of Swope Health spoke as a family physician as well as a specialist in preventive medicine and public health. She noted that one in three families are affected by opioid abuse, with vulnerable populations at disproportionately higher risk. Nationally, opioid addiction has killed more people than HIV at its peak in 1995.

“We have to recognize that addiction is a chronically treatable brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgment,” she said.

Dr. Derek Brown

Dr. Derek Brown, psychiatrist at Swope Health, described the Medication-Assisted Treatment program and noted how it can help break the cycle of opioid use, opioid withdrawal. He called for support taking treatment programs out into the community and for caseworkers to help provide the ancillary services – like transportation and housing – so critical to recovering patients. Andrea Buford, Director of Clinical Operations and the Swope Health Imani House, envisioned a world with services to support sober living after opioid treatment, ranging from fully staffed residential housing, to sober community group homes and individual housing with community support groups and services built in.

Greg Smith, Greg Mermelstein and Detectives

The Attorney General also heard from Greg Smith, speaking for Healing House Inc. and the Missouri Recovery Network; Greg Mermelstein from the Missouri State Public Defender System; as well as detectives from the Kansas City Police Department. They spoke of a need for better connections to physical and behavioral health care service, access to medications and therapy, housing support, child care, education, case workers and peer counselors to assist with the journey from addiction to recovery.

Mark Stringer

Attorney General Visit

Dr. Derek Brown, a psychiatrist at Swope Health, described the Mediation-Assisted Treatment program and called for additional resources to bring programs like this out into the community.

“Far too many people in Missouri are dying from opioid disorders,” said Mark Stringer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health. “Addiction has been considered separately from medical care for decades, but it’s time to bring them together.”

Would you like to comment to the Attorney General? The Attorney General’s office has established a website – Real Opioid Pain – to invite Missourians to share their experiences with opioid addiction and recovery, to assist the state in pursuing litigation against manufacturers.