Mark Your Calendars! Back-to-School Health Fair – Saturday, July 29th

Back to School Health Fair FlyerIt’s summer now, but school season will be here in a few short weeks!

We’re ready to help all school-aged children get ready with our fourth annual Back-to-School Health Fair.

The fair is free and will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 29 at SHS Central, 3801 Blue Parkway in Kansas City, Mo.

Like previous years, this 2017 health fair offers a one-stop shop for health screenings for kids, including immunizations (as needed), pending provider availability. Parents, please remember to bring your I.D. and your child’s immunization records.

We’ll also provide backpacks, filled with school supplies, and bicycle helmets for school-aged kids – free, while supplies last. (Children must be present to receive these items.)

The event promises music and fun, too, with performances by The Battery Tour as well as balloon animals, face painting and refreshments.

The fair includes information for parents and children, with resource tables featuring staff from SHS and community organizations.

See you Saturday, July 29!

SHS Gratefully Acknowledges the Support of our Sponsors and community partners who make this possible:


Shop Local! Visit the SHS Holiday Mart Friday, Dec. 16

holiday-mart-1-webPlan on joining us from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, as we transform the Activity Room at SHS Building C into our annual Holiday Mart.

The Holiday Mart features local vendors in a fun, festive atmosphere. You’ll find 15 to 20 local artisans, craftmakers and vendors ready to sell their wares – jewelry, handbags, artwork, clothing, beauty products, decorative items, food and more!

Participating vendors pay a small fee, which is used to provide holiday programming for adults in our community day programs.

The Holiday Mart is a great way to support local vendors who support SHS and the community.

Coffee and lunch will be available, too. The lunch menu will feature beef hot dogs and nachos 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

Support your local merchants and SHS community programs! Plan on shopping with us. All are welcome!


2nd Annual Socks and Hops a Big Success!

socks-and-hops-2016-1More than 200 people joined the Second Annual SHS Socks and Hops event Saturday, Nov. 12, at the City Market.

The crowd raised glasses of local artisanal beer and sodas while raising funds to help the homeless.

The event produced more than $9,600 from sponsorships, ticket sales, and raffles, with all proceeds supporting SHS Healthcare for the Homeless. Donations of socks were requested along with entry to the event.

“Providing clean, warm socks is one way to provide support for the homeless community, especially in these cold weather months,” said Michelle Keller, SHS vice president of patient services.

“Our Healthcare for the Homeless outreach program always sees an increase in frostbite and foot injuries as the weather turns colder. With foot injuries, there’s less mobility and, sometimes, that means more difficulty gaining access to needed healthcare services.”

The community party featured seven local craft breweries, plus six area chefs.

socks-and-hops-2016-5The local chefs:

Kansas City’s top craft brewers provided the beer and soft drinks:

socks-and-hops-2016-6“We’re grateful to all of our sponsors for their support for the homeless program,” Keller said. “We know the socks and funds will provide much-needed care for the homeless community we reach with the Mobile Medical Unit.”

The SHS Mobile Medical Unit makes regular visits to metro-area shelters to provide healthcare services.

Staffed with a full-time nurse practitioner, registered nurse and certified medical assistant, the Mobile Medical Unit offers physicals, immunizations, blood tests, and urgent care for non-emergencies.

The SHS care team also provides behavioral counseling and assists with finding resources like housing, transportation and employment.

If you missed this year’s event, you can still assist with a secure donation at the SHS website. Any amount is welcome. For example, a $10 donation provides for the purchase of two ready-to-eat heater meals.


Heads up! Here’s Our Seasonal Holiday Closing Schedule

shs-holiday-schedulePlease note our holiday closing schedule.  We will be closed on:

  • Monday, Dec. 26
  • Monday, Jan. 2, 2017

Additionally, all SHS clinics will close at noon Friday, Dec. 2.

Throughout the holiday season, and into the New Year, we encourage you to call ahead to schedule your appointments. Simply dial 816-923-5800. You can request same-day appointments using the same number.

Don’t forget! We ask for at least 24-hours’ notice for any cancellations or requests for rescheduled appointments. If you can’t make your original appointment, please let us know. That way, we can offer the appointment to someone else who may need to be seen. Thank you.

SHS wishes our patients and all in our community a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season.

Time to Man Up: Learn About Prostate Cancer on Tuesday, September 27th

prostateflyerSwope Health Services is hosting a free event, “Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know,” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Cleveland Room at SHS Central, 3801 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Mo.

The event features Dan Gillen, APRN, FNP-C, who works in the SHS Adult Medicine Department. He will present the recommendations on prostate cancer screenings from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based health care.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer, the task force reports. Older men, African-American men, and men with a family history of prostate cancer have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.

In recent years, Dan noted, the task force has revised guidelines for Prostate Cancer screening. That’s because although prostate cancer is common, in most cases it grows very slowly and does not cause symptoms.

“There were many cases of false positives, and often, the tests, biopsies and treatments would cause unnecessary pain,” Dan said. “It is important to understand and make decisions about screening and treatment, especially since most prostate cancer won’t cause health problems.”

At the event, Dan will review the two types of screenings – a blood test and a rectal exam. He’ll explain the typical steps if prostate cancer is indicated: a second blood test, an ultrasound, and if warranted, a biopsy.

A biopsy, he notes, can cause pain, bleeding or infection, sometimes for no reason. Treatment may also include radiation or surgery, which can be more risky than allowing the slow-growth cancer to proceed untreated.

“I want to applaud men for taking charge of their health with a prostate screening, and I want to make sure they know other screenings might be even more important,” he said. “Colon cancer screening can identify a cancer that needs to be removed. If you have high blood pressure, you’ve got to take your medication. If you’re smoking, you should stop.”


To participate in the Prostate Cancer event, please RSVP by calling 816-599-5715 or send an email to Free screenings are available for the first 10 people who sign up.

Men, today is a good day to take charge of your health. If you haven’t had a check-up lately, call SHS at 816-923-5800 to make an appointment.

Burgers, Brews and Brainteasers! Join Us Friday, August 5th!

BBB 2016Why should you plan on coming to the Swope Health Services’ Second Annual Burgers, Brews, and Brainteasers event?

Here are four good reasons:

  • an all-you-can-eat burger bar,
  • drink specials,
  • great raffle prizes and
  • trivia!

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill, 817 Westport Road. Tickets are just $25 and are available online. All proceeds from the event support the SHS Patients In Need fund.

Trivia master Nate Herron runs the event as a cross between stand-up comedy and pop culture trivia and games, said Jennie Rinas, one of the members of the organizing committee for the event.

“You can expect a lot of laughs,” she said. “Even if you’re not big on trivia, you can count on some great laughs.”

In addition to laughs, you might also be lucky enough to win one of several raffle prizes, including tickets to a Royals game, the Lyric Opera and the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Other prizes include gift cards, Royals gear, Swope Health Services gifts and more.

BBB2015Jennie, a marketing and branding coordinator at the Kansas City Water Department, helped with last year’s event, too. She encourages advance ticket purchases because last year, the event sold out!

“We hated to do it, but we had to turn people away at the door,” said Jennie. “We reached capacity so make sure you buy your tickets early.”

Team sign-ups are also welcome but not required. Individuals who want to participate will be assigned to a team at the event.

“If you’re going to spend money on a night out with friends, I think you might as well spend it so that it goes to help a great cause,” she said. “Why not? That’s a win-win situation.”

The event is held in connection with SHS’s celebration of National Health Center Week, which runs Aug. 7-13.


Celebrate America’s Health Centers, Join our Community Luncheon on August 12th

Dr. Karmen Smith

Dr. Karmen Smith

In honor of National Health Center Week, Aug. 7-13, 2016, Swope Health Services will host a community luncheon and book signing featuring Dr. Karmen Smith.

Dr. Smith will speak on the power of forgiveness at the Kauffman Foundation at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 12. Tickets are $45 and include a copy of Dr. Smith’s book, The “I Am” Solution.

Dr. Smith brings more than 20 years’ experience in mental health and child welfare. She will explain how the power of forgiveness can be the key to unlocking the life you imagine, from more loving relationships to more abundant finances.

In addition to her roles as a public speaker and author, Dr. Smith is a licensed clinical social worker, a trauma specialist, and an ordained minister based in Las Vegas, Nev. Her mother, Kanzetta Harris, was a longtime social worker at SHS. In 1989, SHS opened a residential housing facility and named it The Kanzetta Harris House to commemorate her work.

ABOUT National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week is a time designated to celebrate the critical role of community health centers in caring for the medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.


Celebrate National Health Center Week with us!

At Swope Health Services, we’re joining forces with 1,200 community health centers to celebrate National Health Center Week, Aug. 7-13, 2016.

BBB 2016National Health Center Week is a time designated to celebrate the critical role of community health centers in caring for the medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States.

In honor of National Health Center Week, SHS is hosting two events:

  • Burgers, Brews, and Brainteasers: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at the Westport Flea Market. An evening of trivia, with raffles, a burger bar, drink specials and fun, with all proceeds supporting the SHS Patients In Need fund. Tickets are $25.
  • Community Luncheon featuring author Dr. Karmen Smith: 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the Kauffman Foundation. Tickets are $45 and include a copy of Dr. Smith’s book, The “I Am” Solution.
Dr. Karmen Smith

Dr. Karmen Smith

Why celebrate community health and community health centers? Community Health Centers:

  • Serve more than 24 million people in all 50 states
  • Generate $24 billion in savings for the national health system annually
  • Deliver primary and preventive care services, including screening, diagnosis, and management of chronic illnesses
  • Offer enabling services including transportation, case management, health education and community programming

We’re honored to be part of the national celebration as a community health center serving the greater Kansas City region. We are proud of our mission and work: Improving the health and wellness of the community by delivering accessible, quality, comprehensive patient care.

Be part of the SHS community. Join us at one of our events or call us at 816-923-5800 to make an appointment for health care services. Same-day appointments are available.


Back-to-School Health Fair: Join us Saturday, July 30th!

BTS Health FairPlan on joining us at Swope Health Services Back-to-School Health Fair, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at SHS’s Building C.

The fair, sponsored by Aetna Better Health of Missouri, features a blend of fun activities for school-age kids:

  • Music, from Hot 103 Jamz
  • Face painting
  • Hot dogs, while supplies last, and
  • Balloons and Balloon animals

SHS providers and associates will be on hand to offer back-to-school health screenings and, where possible, immunizations. (To participate, bring your ID and your child’s immunization records.)

Plus, while supplies last, kids can pick up a backpack full of school supplies. Donated by SHS associates, the backpacks contain pencils and pens, crayons, loose-leaf paper, pocket folders, notebooks and other items like glue sticks.

That’s not all! Courtesy of The Bike Shop (RevolveKC), we’ll have a drawing for refurbished bicycles. The Brain Injury Association is donating new bike helmets for kids, also part of the drawing.

The end of summer will be here before you know it! It’s never too early to start preparing for a healthy school year.  Join us!

If you can’t make it to the fair, why not make an appointment for a back-to-school check-up now? Call 816-923-5800 for an appointment.

You’re Invited — Third Thursday Party on May 19th!

Join Swope Health Services for Third Thursday, a free party at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Thursday, May 19. Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. and feature live music by My Brothers and Sisters, a DJ, free programs and hands-on art activities. SHS will be featured in the Community Spotlight at the event.

We’ll be offering tours of our Mobile Medical Unit, which will serve as the backdrop for a special scavenger hunt, complete with prizes. SHS associates will also be on hand to share information about our programs and services.

The theme for this month’s event is #picturethis, which is a nod to a new exhibit at the museum featuring amateur snapshots.

Mobile Medical UnitWith an event that celebrates snapshots, you can bet that there will be lots of opportunities for taking photos — selfies and others — for publishing on our social media sites — FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Make sure to use #picturethis.

Picture yourself having a great time at the party! Come join us!

When:  6 p.m. Thursday, May 19

Where: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

What: #picturethis — the Third Thursday party


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