New Year, New Look!

By Michelle Keller, Vice President, Community Engagement, Development & Outreach.

50th AnniversaryHello!  Do you see something different here today?

We have created a new look for Swope Health, at the same time we celebrate 50 years of service to our community.

The leadership team and Board of Directors agreed a new look would be an excellent way to kick off our next 50 years.

Why a new look?

As we reflected on our years of service, we also evaluated how we perform – our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

We identified four pillars to define our service to the community, and we re-imagined how we could show you our commitment, starting with our name. The new look should guide us into the future.

Appointment CardsFirst, the four pillars of our service:

  • Understanding: We relate to you, no matter where you are in your healthcare journey.
  • Invested: We’re committed to the communities we serve and the people who need care.
  • Accessible: Our knowledge, services and caring providers are available to everyone.
  • Skilled: Our staff delivers high-quality, expert care at every moment.

We worked with a professional branding firm, Native Digital, whose team challenged us with a question: If Swope Health was a person, what kind of person would we be?

We came up with three ideas: We would want you to think of us as a friend, counselor and advocate.

As a friend, we listen, care about you and work hard to have mutual trust. We speak your language.

As a counselor, we drive you to better understand yourself and to become the best you can be, through empathy, guidance and wisdom.

As an advocate, we are invested in your success and we boost you up so you can achieve your goals. We’re with you on your path to health.

Swope HealthAnd it’s that idea – a path leading to a healthier, happier life – that sparked the change to the logo.

We widened the bottom of the “S” to make it look more like a path, the flowing start of a journey. We also simplified the look of the lettering and made it less formal, more friendly.

Then finally, we jazzed up the colors! We want to be clean, bright and fresh.

You’ll see vibrant colors throughout our presence: pink and maroon, dark blue and light blue, dark green and light green.

All of this comes together in our new look. I hope this gives you a peek into our thinking and I hope you will see us in a new light.

Let us know how we’re doing in meeting our pillars and serving as your friend, counselor and advocate.

Comments always welcome – use the text box below or send an email to editor@SwopeHealth.org.

Awash in socks and suds!

BloomBakery - ANNALISE BAINES The Fourth Annual Socks and Hops, held Saturday, Nov. 10, raised awareness of SHS’s Healthcare for the Homeless program while participants raised their glasses filled with the products of local craft breweries.

The event also raised more than $29,000 and collected more than 15,000 pairs of socks – exceeding last year’s tally of 4,000 pairs.

More than 270 participants attended the event at the historic City Market in downtown Kansas City.

In addition, sponsorship fees and donations raised money for more than 7,000 Heater Meals for the homeless.

“We are really proud of this event, and it’s getting bigger each year,” said Amy Kuhnlein, Community Affairs Manager at SHS.

Crowd - ANNALISE BAINES

“This year we had more brewers and chefs involved, made more money from our raffle than ever, and had the highest attendance yet.”

The event featured food and drink prepared by 17 of the city’s best-loved chefs and brewers, as well as raffles for a variety of donated items ranging from steaks and wines to beard-grooming products, Chiefs memorabilia, barbecue and grilling collections, and gift cards to local businesses.

“Socks and Hops is the best ticket in town for enjoying delicious food and beer from notable chefs and brewers while supporting a cause that benefits the well-being of our overall community,” said Sue Patterson, Director of Marketing and Events – City Market. “I have a long history with Swope Health and appreciate the opportunity to support their programs.”

OurMMU - ANNALISE BAINES

In addition to pairing craft brews with artisan treats made by local chefs, the event encourages contributions to meals and collects socks for the homeless. Socks are among the most-requested items at homeless shelters.

One big contributor to this year’s flood of socks was Notes to Self, a Kansas City-based firm that uses socks to deliver positive messages.

Putting on the socks, the wearer sees a message – I am beautiful, strong, awesome, confident, courageous, joyful or amazing. The idea is to bring positive thoughts to mind with the simple act of putting on socks.

Notes to Self TM donated socks for the VIP gift bags, as well as additional socks to deliver to the homeless community.

TheHotDogs - ANNALISE BAINES

Since its founding in 2011, the company has donated more than 50,000 socks to women’s shelters and other homeless service providers.

They have been the official sock sponsor of Socks and Hops since the first event was held in 2015.

It’s never too late to contribute to our efforts. Please visit SHS’s Giving page to learn more, including how you can volunteer or purchase items from our Homeless Outreach Wish List.

*All photos by Annalise Baines. 

RaffleBuyer- ANNALISE BAINES

Shop Local at the SHS Holiday Mart

Holiday Mart (1) (Custom)With the holiday season just around the corner, Swope Health Services is offering a way to help you get ahead of the shopping rush.

This year, the annual SHS Holiday Mart moves to November!

The Holiday Mart runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, in the activity rooms in Building C at SHS Central. The event is free and open to the public.

The activity rooms are transformed into a retail extravaganza, packed with tables featuring local shops, crafts and artists.

You’ll find clothing, jewelry, books, accessories, artwork, furnishings – and more. Last year’s Holiday Mart also included beauty products, handbags, food items and home decorations.

The event raises money by charging a $30 fee for local area retailers to set up shop in the Mart.

Holiday Mart (2) (Custom)“This entire event serves a purpose beyond shopping and getting ready for the holidays,” said Sonya Bolden-Oakley, Supervisor, Adult Day Program in the Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program.

“All proceeds from the event go directly to the Day Program. This event makes it possible for us to provide a Holiday party and small gifts for our clients.”

The Day Program offers a range of group activities for adults, ranging from learning gardening skills to cooking programs and art activities.

The program serves 78 adults, Monday through Friday, teaching them coping and communications skills, while also helping them build teamwork through everyday activities.

Participants often share personal experiences and provide support to each other through the program.

Shop LunchThis year, participants in the art activities will offer items for sale, including unique painted furniture and other decorative arts.

Our 2018 Holiday Mart retailers include Micah’s Boutique, Final Touch Jewelry & Accessories, Shining Stars/Paparazzi Accessories, Heels On Wheels, Jewels Boutique and Hand Decorated Christmas Ornaments.  There are more to come, said Sonya.

If you’d like to participate as a vendor in the Holiday Mart, contact Sonya Bolden-Oakley, 816-599-5263 or sbolden-oakley@swopehealth.org.

Meet the Socks and Hops Chefs and Brewers at BrewHaHa!

Brew Ha HaIt’s almost time for the Fourth Annual SHS Socks and Hops, a benefit to build awareness of SHS’s Healthcare for the Homeless program, our Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) and the services we provide to all those in need.

But first, here’s a chance to meet and raise a glass with the sponsors, chefs and brewers at the BrewHaHa Happy Hour at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the Bier Station, 120 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City.

The warm-up event is free and open to the public, and offers a chance to preview some of the craft beers that will be available at the Socks and Hops event.

Additionally, the pre-event features an “Ultimate Socks and Hops Gift Basket” raffle and a chance to purchase tickets for the main event Saturday, Nov. 10, at City Market.  Tickets are also available here for VIP ($75) and general ($45) admission.

While admission is FREE to the BrewHaHa pre-event, you are invited to bring new, clean and warm socks for our Healthcare for the Homeless mobile outreach program. The socks are distributed via the MMU, which also offers healthcare services to the homeless in our community.

“This is a casual pre-party where you can sample some of the great brews from selected Socks and Hops participating brewers and lock in your tickets,” said Amy Kuhnlein, Community Affairs Manager at SHS. “Or just come to raise a glass and learn about the SHS services and hang out with some of the city’s best brewers and chefs.”

Add the dates to your calendar:

  • BrewHaHa, 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, Bier Station, 120 E. Gregory Blvd, Kansas City.
  • Socks and Hops, 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, City Market, 20 W. Fifth St., Kansas City. Tickets (VIP or General Admission) available here.

Mark Your Calendar: Treat Town, Oct. 31

The annual Swope Health Services Treat Town for safe Halloween trick or treating will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. The event is free and open to the public.

For this event, the 23rd annual Treat Town, SHS Central Building C is converted into a spooky Halloween extravaganza, with lots of places for kids to show off their costumes and collect toys and treats. Community organizations also participate, offering information along with their candy and treats for the tricksters age 12 and under.

There’s music and dancing, provided again this year by Battery Tour, featuring AY MusiK, the founder and leader of this popular Kansas City-based community-focused music festival band.

Last year, more than 1,500 children and their parents came to Treat Town. For many children, Treat Town was their first-ever trick-or-treat experience – warm, safe and fun with plenty of toys and treats. No tricks!

Please plan on joining us for Treat Town!

Treat Town

Participants at a recent Treat Town at SHS all filled their bags with candy, toys and treats!

Join us for National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15, 2018

suicide warning signsSwope Health Services is joining in the campaign to raise awareness of suicide prevention, in alignment with National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 9-15, 2018.

“Our goal is awareness,” said Nicole James, Crisis Specialist at SHS. “We want to be accessible to everyone.”

SHS activities will extend though National Suicide Prevention Month and include:

  • Promoting awareness through T-shirts and outreach: The Crisis Team will set up tables in the SHS Central lobby on Fridays (Sept. 14, 21 and 28) for outreach with information, stress balls and cards. T-Shirts will be available for sale ($12 for short sleeve, $15 for long sleeve) with all funds supporting the Zero Suicide
  • Encouraging kindness: SHS is using “Care Cards” to provide an extra outreach and show support to anyone facing challenges. The postcards have simple messages, like “I Care About YOU.” SHS providers, case managers and associates are invited to use the cards with their patients and clients. Cards are developed by participants in the Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program and will be available through the crisis staff for anyone to use.
  • Advocating for primary care providers’ engagement in identifying behavioral health issues. As part of the Zero Suicide initiative at SHS, providers and clinical staff are encouraged to use a standard Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) to identify patients in need of support.

A majority of suicides – 83 percent – are completed by people who had seen a primary care provider within a year, Nicole said, citing data from Zero Suicide. The idea is that providers can help reduce suicides by recognizing depression and other warning signs and addressing those issues.

power of connectionThere is no single cause of suicide – it occurs when an individual becomes overwhelmed by stress and experiences feelings of hopelessness and despair. Each year, nearly 45,000 people complete suicide, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed. That’s why it is so important to be aware of depression and other mental health conditions, and to address them with treatment. Events like these at Swope Health aim to remove the stigma associated with suicide and depression, Nicole said.

“We can all benefit from a little kindness, and from honest conversations about mental health and wellness,” she said. “We can all benefit from connecting with each other. We all have a role in preventing suicides.”

If you are worried about someone, take action:

  • Call the Access Crisis Intervention Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 1-888-279-8188. These confidential calls are routed to Swope Health and provide direct local support.
  • Call the national Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • Send a text to 741 741. You can text the word “home” or ask a question.

“If you have any doubt or any question, just call. Or text. Or come in,” Nicole said. “You can ALWAYS walk in and ask to speak with a crisis specialist. We are here for you.”

More resources and information about Suicide Prevention:

Join Us in Celebrating Community Health Centers

August 12-18 is National Health Center Week in the United States, designated and promoted by the National Association of Community Health Centers.

At Swope Health Services, we start the celebration early and keep it going all week!

  • Join us for our annual Burgers & Brainteasers Trivia Burgers and BrainteasersNight, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, August 10 at the Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the event, 817 Westport Road in Kansas City. Your $25 ticket includes all-you-can-eat burgers, plus drink specials and trivia. Order your tickets in advance.  Proceeds from the event support the SHS Patients in Need Fund, supplying medicine, eyeglasses and other items to patients who otherwise would do without.
  • During the week, August 13-17, we pause and thank the “Healthcare Heroes” in our midst. With help from our sponsors, we offer healthy snack bags to our clients and treats to our associates, too. Our associates have the opportunity to recognize colleagues who deliver exceptional service as “Healthcare Heroes” in any capacity. Winners will be treated to the August 17 T-Bones game.
  • We host a Community Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, August 17, at the Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road. This year’s topic is “Coordination and Collaboration in the Face of Risk: Responding to Missouri’s Opioid Crisis.” Four panelists will discuss their organization’s role in addressing the opioid crisis while offering leadership lessons for responding to challenges that require coordination across multiple agencies. Attendees will learn strategies and tips for breaking down silos and working more effectively in cross-functional or interagency teams. Panelists are:
    • Dr. Rex Archer, Director of Health for the City of Kansas City, Missouri.
    • Andrea Buford, Director of Clinical Operations for Swope Health Services Behavioral Health Department.
    • Vince Ortega is the executive director of COMBAT, the Jackson County organization funded by the Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax that focuses on addressing substance abuse and drug-related crime.
    • Dr. Rachel Winograd is a Research Assistant Professor at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH) – University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL).
Americas Health Centers

Click this image for a detailed infographic on Community Health Centers.

Purchase tickets online by August 10, 2018. Tickets will NOT be available at the venue.

Behind this national celebration is a long record of success in the delivery of high quality, cost-effective, and accessible care.

We are proud to recognize our community-based model of care and creating public awareness of the many services we offer, especially to medically underserved segments of the community.

Nationally, health centers provide care to more than 27 million underserved patients, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers. This includes:

  • More than 330,000 veterans
  • Nearly 1.3 million homeless patients
  • More than 955,000 migrant farmworkers, and
  • About 8 million children

A large majority – 83 percent of patients – are uninsured or insured by Medicare or Medicaid. More than 90 percent of patients nationally served by Community Health Centers are low income.

Nationally, Community Health Centers play a vital role in creating cost savings and promoting economic growth. Community Health Centers are responsible for generating $45 billion in economic activity, and saving $24 billion to the entire health care system.

That’s because Community Health Centers have 24 percent lower spending than other primary care providers for Medicaid patients.

All reasons worth a celebration. We hope you’ll join us.

Get Ready for Summerfest – Saturday, Aug. 4!

summerfest logoIt’s almost Back-to-School season, and we want to help you get ready.

Plan on joining us at the Kansas City Public Schools’ annual Summerfest, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at Summerfest Park at the Board of Education, 2901 Troost Ave., and extending along Troost between 28th and 30th Streets.

Summerfest is an opportunity for school children of all ages to celebrate and prepare for the new school year.

This event has live entertainment, athletic competitions, educational games and free food. The event is presented by the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation, with support from sponsors.

Summerfest is open to the community and will include a variety of community resources and children’s activities like a book nook, bouncy house, arts and crafts and face painting. The athletic and gaming zone features wall climbing, kickball and basketball – including a 3-on-3 tournament.

kcpsef logoStudents in Kansas City Public Schools will also be able to meet teachers and principals, and enroll for the coming year at the event.

In preparation for school, students will have the opportunity to receive a free T-shirt, backpack, school supplies and more. Register in advance to reserve a backpack for your student.

The event offers free shuttle transportation with pick-ups starting at 9 a.m. and continuing every half hour from Northeast High School, Manual Career and Technical Center, East High School, Central High School and Southeast High School. Returns start at 1 p.m.

Swope Health Services will be at the event, too. A pediatric provider will be on hand to talk with parents and share information about our services. We’ll be scheduling appointments for well-child visits, immunizations and annual physicals for kids participating in school sporting activities.

The SHS Mobile Medical Unit will be on site, too, offering free hearing and vision screenings, and helping you make follow-up appointments.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Join Us at the Public Health & Safety Fair

healthfair flyerYou are invited to the 12th Annual Public Health & Safety Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21 at Arrowhead Stadium Founders’ Plaza.

Sponsored by Missouri Sen. S. Kiki Curls, this event is free and open to all.

The purpose of the event is to reduce health disparities in the African-American community by providing access to resources.

The event will feature more than 150 vendors providing information on health care, nutrition, exercise and all aspects of healthy living.

Demonstrations will include bicycle safety training and courses in car and booster seat installation. Healthcare stations will offer a variety of services like diabetes and blood pressure screenings and dental and eye checks.

Last year, more than 3,000 people participated in the event. This year, program partners are the Kansas City Police Department, Truman Medical Centers, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the Black Health Care Coalition and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Swope Health Services will be at the event, offering information on our services.

If you need transportation to the event, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority will provide free transportation from several pick-up points. See the Health & Safety Website for details.