New Behavioral Health Services
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Lexington Now Offering Behavioral Health Services
Residents in Lexington and surrounding communities now have greater access to behavioral health services thanks to a new partnership between Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) and a local counseling practice, The Center for Counseling and Training (TCCT).
“Our Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental and WIC Services practice office has long been providing medical, dental and WIC Services to the community in one convenient location, so it’s a natural progression to now also add behavioral health services,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO and President of SURHC. “This addition reflects the best practice of incorporating behavioral health into the primary care setting and it also means that our patients and their families can now access virtually every aspect of their health care all in one place.”
In partnership with TCCT, counseling services are now available to patients ages 3 and up at SURHC’s Lexington practice office located at 811 South 13 Highway in the “4 Life Building.” One of TCCT’s therapists, Becky Moser, has just begun seeing clients referred to her by SURHC’s medical providers at that location one day a week. TCCT has seven therapists on staff at its primary location at 109 S. 10th Street in Lexington.
“Mental health is a critical component to a person’s overall health and well-being,” noted Sudeep Ross, MD, the Chief Health Officer at SURHC. “SURHC has been recognized as a ‘patient-centered medical home’ which by definition, is known for putting the patients’ needs first and foremost, and for providing a holistic approach for each patient’s care. Adding behavioral health services reinforces that model of care with the beneficiaries being the patients we serve.”
Theresa Dotson Alexander, MS, LPC, NCC, owner of TCCT, concurs. “This partnership will allow clients to receive the best overall care possible. Both TCCT and SURHC will be able to refer to one another and be in contact about their common clients more readily,” noted Alexander. “We’re excited about working with SURHC.”
Behavioral health services at SURHC will be offered every Monday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Prospective clients may call 660.259.3823 to make an appointment. To schedule an appointment at TCCT call 660-259-3900.
New Dental Pilot Program
New Dental Pilot Program Seeks to Improve the Oral Health of Medical Patients in Lafayette County
Imagine going to see your medical provider and getting a diagnoses of cavities or dry mouth. Having dental problems “red flagged” early on is the goal of a new program being piloted at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s (SURHC) Lafayette County practice office.
“We are often the first point of entry for someone seeking needed health care services,” said Tina Moore, a Nurse Practitioner at the Lexington location. “It may sound odd that a medical provider would spot oral health issues, but we now ask each patient about any problems they may be having in this regard. We also now perform an oral health assessment for all of our patients at their annual exams as well as for new patients coming in.”
Previously, these kinds of checks have been routinely done for diabetic patients and those complaining of mouth pain. The new program takes that approach to the next level. “We want health providers to identify these kinds of issues early to help ensure that a patient gets to the dentist promptly for needed care,” said Jamey Onnen, DDS, Dental Director at SURHC. “If we catch the problems early, we stand a better chance of stopping them in their tracks, which is always a better approach to health issues.”
Integrating oral health into the primary care medical setting is a project supported by the REACH Healthcare Foundation. SURHC was deemed a candidate for this program in part because it has received recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home by the National Committee on Quality Assurance, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. Medical patients at the Lafayette practice can easily access dental care which SURHC also provides on-site.
The REACH Healthcare Foundation engaged Qualis Health, a non-profit health care consulting organization with expertise in integrating specialty services into primary care. SURHC is piloting the program at its Lexington location; it will be rolled out to its other practice offices in the future.
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New Dental Director
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Announces New Dental Director
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) now has a new Dental Director—Jamey Onnen, DDS, assumed that role starting this week. Onnen currently practices at SURHC’s Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental and WIC Services practice office in Lexington, Missouri. Onnen will continue to provide dental care at that location on an interim basis.
“Dr. Onnen has provided quality oral care for almost 5 years now, to a loyal following of patients at our Lexington practice, but I’m delighted he is taking on additional responsibilities as our Dental Director,” said Hilda Fuentes, SURHC’s CEO. “Dr. Onnen demonstrates strong leadership abilities and I know he will make a lasting impression on the organization.”
SURHC provides dental services at 5 practice offices including its Downtown Campus, Cabot Westside, Lexington, at the Clay County Public Health Center in Liberty and at J.A. Rogers Elementary School. SURHC offers a full array of both pediatric and adult dental care services.
Onnen graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry in Kansas City, Missouri, as a Doctor of Dental Surgery, with honors. He was an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University and he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
When asked about his approach to treating patients, Onnen said, “I strive to help develop positive lifelong oral health habits with each patient through education, prevention, and quality restorative therapy. I will continue to do that with my patients in Lexington, but I also look forward to taking on new challenges and responsibilities within SURHC. It’s a remarkable organization.”
Onnen succeeds Mike Jurkovich, DDS, who had been Dental Director at SURHC for the past 4 years. Jurkovich is moving on to pursue a new opportunity.
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New Dental Provider in Lexington
New Dental Provider Joins Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Lexington
A new dental hygienist has joined the dental team at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s (SURHC) Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental and WIC Services practice office in Lexington, Missouri.
Barbara DeLynn Ford (Lynn) recently joined the staff and will be seeing patients two days a week—on Wednesday and Thursdays. She has been a dental hygienist for the past 13 years and has worked in a variety of settings in the Kansas City area. “I’m excited to become a part of the Health Center ‘family,’” said Ford, noting that she has a passion for providing care to patients of all ages and backgrounds, with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle. “I’m looking forward to helping to improve the oral health of residents of Lafayette County.”
Ford is a registered dental hygienist who graduated from Southern University in Shreveport, Louisiana; she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The dentist at Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental and WIC Services practice, Jamey Onnen, DDS, was recently promoted to become Dental Director at SURHC. Dr. Onnen will continue seeing patients in Lexington several days a week. Ford will see patients on the 2 days Onnen will be dedicating to administrative duties for the Health Center.
“We know Lynn will be an excellent addition to the Lexington practice,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of SURHC. “She has a long and strong background in this field, and I’m sure once patients get to know her, they’ll be impressed by her expertise and caring spirit.”
A full range of dental services are provided at the state-of- the- art practice office located at 811 A South 13 Highway in Lexington; accepted methods of payment include most major insurance health plans and MO HealthNet coverage. Some discounts are provided for patients meeting income guidelines.
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Patient Centered Medical Home
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s Community Sites Receive Recognition as “Patient Centered Medical Home” from NCQA
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) has become the only federally qualified health center in Kansas City, Missouri, to be recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.
SURHC received Level 3 Recognition—the highest designation possible—last year for its Downtown Campus and applied at that time to receive the same recognition for its practice offices located in the Northland and in Lexington, Missouri. Cabot Westside currently has Level 3 Recognition, also.
“It’s gratifying to know that NCQA recognizes our ability to provide quality health care that is primarily centered around our patients’ need,” said SURHC’s CEO, Hilda Fuentes. “This additional recognition validates the hard work, time and effort our clinicians and management staff have invested to improve our patient care outcomes and processes.”
According to the NCQA, PCMH recognition is the most widely adopted model for transforming primary care practices into “medical homes”--a model of care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” In a set of standards that describe specific criteria, the program recognizes providers who organize care around patients, who work in teams, and who coordinate and track care over time.
The 3 new locations receiving recognition include 2 Northland locations--Northland Family Medicine & WIC Services located at 4820 North Oak Trafficway; and SURHC’s Clay County Family Medicine & Dental, located within the Clay County Public Health Center at 800 Haines Drive, in Liberty. The third location is Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental & WIC Services located at 811-A South 13 Highway in Lexington, Missouri, which serves a rural population in that area.
“Really, it’s the patients we serve who matter most and who will benefit from this improved model of care,” said Sudeep Ross, MD, SURHC’s Chief Health Officer. “They are the whole point of everything we do.”
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Don’t Wait—Plan Ahead
Children’s Back to School Immunizations, School Physicals and Medical Visits
Children will be heading back to school shortly and parents are encouraged to get their child’s school physical and immunizations completed soon. Working in partnership, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) and the Clay County Public Health Center’s staff are offering both at special times at their location in Liberty at 800 Haines Drive, during the end of this month and the first week of August.
“This is a perfect time to beat the rush to ensure your child is ready to go back to school,” said Navkirandeep Kaur, DO, with SURHC. “We’ve set aside appointment slots for the last 2 weeks of this month and in early August, so that parents can plan early and take advantage of getting medical check-ups for their child and any needed vaccinations in one convenient location.”
According to Sue Miller, Section Chief of Family and Personal Health at Clay County Public Health Center, “the health center will be offering back to school immunizations by appointment Monday through Friday during the same time period as Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. Although both agencies are co-located, appointments for both immunizations and school physicals/medical visits will require calling the appointment phone lines for both agencies, located below.”
SURHC has been providing medical and dental services at the health center location for the past several years and it now has a pediatrician, Dr. Kaur, on staff 3 days a week. Dr. Kaur also provides pediatric care 2 days a week at SURHC’s North Oak practice office located at 4820 North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City, Missouri.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, parents can call SURHC at the Clay County office at 816.413.0662 or the staff at Clay County Public Health Center at 816.595.4355.
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Infant Massage Classes
Baby Your Baby With Free New Infant Massage Classes at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Lexington
New infant massage classes will soon be offered free to families with infants and children of all ages--from prenatal and beyond, at the Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental & WIC Services practice office in Lexington. Classes will begin March 20th.
According to Tina Moore, Family Nurse Practitioner and a certified infant massage instructor at the practice, the classes will help families understand an infant’s cues and teach caregivers simple techniques that will help promote relaxation and the healthy growth of their baby.
“Research has shown that infant massage benefits babies by increasing their circulation, respiration and elimination processes,” noted Moore, who will be teaching the classes. “Massage can also improve a child’s sleep patterns and discomfort from teething, gas and colic. It can benefit parents, as well, by improving their ability to read infant cues and help to promote bonding between a parent and their child.”
Moore has over 20 years of experience providing health care, receiving her Masters of Science Degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, specializing in training as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is Board Certified from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Classes are scheduled on Thursday mornings from 9 to 11 AM. There is no fee to attend. For more information about infant massage or to schedule an appointment, call the Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental & WIC Services practice office at 660.259.3823.
SURHC opened its Lexington practice in 2006. SURHC is a federally qualified health center serving over 27,000 residents at its 7 locations.
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Moore Joins Lexington Practice
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental & WIC Services Adds New Provider
To better serve the Lafayette County region, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) has added a new health care provider to the staff at its Lafayette Family Medicine, Dental and WIC Services practice office in Lexington. Tina Moore, APRN, FNP-C, began providing care to area families and patients of all ages, last week. Moore is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in meeting the needs of the entire family, from newborns to the elderly.
“I believe in providing patient centered medical care,” said Moore, “one that puts the patient first and one that provides consistency of care in a helpful, supportive, and healing environment. I am from this area and am committed to serving our community.” She lives in Lawson, Missouri.
Moore has over 20 years of experience providing health care, beginning her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1993. She went on to earn her Bachelors of Science degree from Park University, in Parkville, Missouri, and then her Masters of Science Degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, with specialized training as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is Board Certified from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
“Meeting the health care needs of our Lafayette County residents is most important to us,” noted Hilda Fuentes, CEO of SURHC. “Many patients have multiple, complex medical issues that need to be addressed. We know that Tina and her care team can really help make a difference in the lives of families seeking her care.”
“I believe in listening to my patients,” said Moore. “My goal is to help patients meet the highest level of health and well-being, that’s possible. It’s why I’m here.”
SURHC was welcomed to Lexington in 2006. SURHC is a federally qualified health center serving over 27,000 residents at its 7 locations.
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New Partnership with KCUMB
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and KCUMB
Partner to Improve Community Health
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 16, 2013) – Two anchor institutions in Kansas City’s Northeast Neighborhood announced a collaborative partnership today, bringing together Missouri’s largest medical school and the state’s first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) entered into an agreement that will enhance access to health-care services in Kansas City, including one of the most diverse communities in the area, the Historic Northeast Neighborhood.
This new partnership will provide greatly needed primary care physicians for SURHC. For KCUMB, it will expand educational opportunities for osteopathic medical students in a safety-net primary care setting, providing them with experiences among a culturally diverse patient population.
Beginning Oct. 1, seven board-certified primary care physicians from KCUMB’s clinical faculty will provide some of the medical services, and its medical students will participate in clinical training activities at SURHC’s new state-of-the-art location in downtown Kansas City.
“This partnership is an exceptional opportunity for both of our organizations,” said Hilda Fuentes, chief executive officer of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. “It advances both organizations’ missions to ensure healthier people in a healthy community — which was the vision of our founder Samuel U. Rodgers, M.D., 45 years ago. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of this partnership will be our patients who will receive the highest quality care available.”
SURHC is a Federally Qualified Health Center, which qualifies the center for receiving federal funding to serve populations with limited access to health care, including low income people, the uninsured, and those with limited English proficiency. Last year, SURHC provided culturally competent medical, dental and behavioral health services to 21,000 patients.
KCUMB’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the second-greatest provider of physicians within the state of Missouri, with 72 percent practicing in a primary care specialty and 40 percent serving in rural and underserved areas.
Both institutions have been located in the Northeast Neighborhood since their establishment − SURHC in 1967 and KCUMB in 1916. The two campuses are located just blocks apart, with KCUMB on Independence Avenue and SURHC two blocks south.
“We are two institutions with like missions and a common focus - to improve the well-being and health of our community,” said Marc B. Hahn, D.O., president and chief executive officer for KCUMB.
“Individually, KCUMB and Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center make enormous impacts in the northeast community,” he added. “It’s exciting to anticipate how, together, we will provide even better access to clinical services and address health disparities that exist within our own community. At the same time, we’re expanding our osteopathic medical students’ clinical training opportunities during their four years of medical school and beyond into graduate medical education.”
Saint Luke’s Health System + Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Announce
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) and Saint Luke’s Health System (SLHS) are pleased to announce they are in negotiations regarding the future of Cabot Westside Health & Dental Center, located at 2121 Summit Street in Kansas City, Missouri. Negotiations center on a proposed plan for Cabot to become part of SURHC.
Due to changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act and the changing face of healthcare, Cabot would benefit by achieving the status of a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). SURHC is one of three designated FQHC’s in the greater Kansas City area. The proposed transaction will allow SURHC to secure approval from the federal government for Cabot to be included under Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s FQHC status. This will afford Cabot greater financial security, benefits and resources for expansion. SURHC and Cabot both provide primary medical and dental services for a large segment of patients with little or no health insurance, who pay on a sliding scale basis, depending on income.
Negotiations are ongoing and expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, with an anticipated completion date of November 1, 2013. A formal announcement outlining the scope of the agreement will be made when negotiations are complete.
About Cabot Westside Medical and Dental Center and Saint Luke’s Health System
Cabot Westside Medical and Dental Center is a member of Saint Luke’s Health System, which consists of 10 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.
About Samuel U. Rodger’s Health Center
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing high quality, compassionate and affordable healthcare for all. Founded by Samuel U. Rodgers, MD, over 40 years ago, SURHC was the first federally recognized community health center in Missouri. Last year SURHC provided medical, dental and behavioral health services to over 21,000 patients at its eight locations.
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Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Welcomes New Chief Health Officer
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) is pleased to announce that Sudeep Ross, MD, MBA, has been named its new Chief Health Officer. Ross started in his new position this week.
“The role of Chief Health Officer is a most important one for the Health Center,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of SURHC. “A Federally Qualified Health Center presents unique challenges and opportunities for its medical leader, and an exhaustive search was conducted to find the right physician. We believe that the knowledge, background and expertise Dr. Ross brings to this position, make him an excellent fit for us.”
Ross received his medical degree from J.S.S. College in India and then completed his residency in Family and Community Medicine at Penn State University. In addition, he has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona.
Ross worked as an Embryologist prior to his Family Medicine residency; he then served as Medical Director of a hospital on the East Coast before relocating to Arizona, where he was employed as Regional Medical Director for two of the nation’s largest urgent care companies, each serving over 50,000 patients annually. Dr. Ross has also been the Medical Director of a national health care management organization and creative director for a medical software firm developing point-of-service applications to improve patient outcomes.
Ross said he is most enthused about helping the Health Center fully implement a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) system, with the goal of improving the quality and efficiency of care for patients. SURHC is applying for recognition as a PCMH from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
“PCMH means that patients will be receiving a higher level of care and will become a participant in their own care process,” said Ross. “For years, the emphasis has been on specialty services in the health care system, but now the tide is turning back toward a more wholistic, primary care approach to providing for a patient’s needs. The timing couldn’t be better and I look forward serving in my new role.”
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SAMUEL U. RODGERS HEALTH CENTER’S WIC PROGRAM RECEIVES SPECIAL “BREAST
The “Breastfeeding Friendly” designation from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services is awarded to only 20 local agencies. This designation mirrors the “Baby Friendly Hospital” designation as defined by the World Health Organization.
The WIC program at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center offers new mothers breastfeeding education and support through the opportunity to work one-on-one with peer counselors—women who have successfully breastfed their children. According to Gina Lile, a Registered Dietitian and Breastfeeding Coordinator of SURHC’s WIC program, “women from various cultural backgrounds have been recruited to be peer counselors in order to meet the needs of the diverse local community. SURHC provides weekly breastfeeding classes in Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali and English.” Lile says there is also a breastfeeding support group available in both English and Spanish, for participants to attend.
“Breastfeeding is important for babies and for mothers,” noted Eve Wells, Director of the WIC program at SURHC. “Breast milk is easier for newborns to digest and studies show that it helps protect babies against diseases such as respiratory infections, asthma, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia and that it also helps to prevent obesity.” Likewise, breastfeeding is good for mothers, according to Wells, with benefits that include lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer and post-partum depression.
The WIC program at SURHC sees an average of 3,300 participants every month at 5 locations including downtown Kansas City, the Northland, Lexington, Higginsville and Odessa, Missouri
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Receives Grant from the Health Care Fo
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) has been awarded $100,000 from the
Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to aid in the development of a patient portal system. The goal is to improvepatient health care outcomes and to achieve higher standards of quality care.
“The portal will allow patients to better access their health information via the SURHC website—things such as their A1C reading if they’re diabetic, blood pressure readings if they have heart problems—and it will help improve communication with their physician,” said Hilda Fuentes, Chief Executive Officer of SURHC. To best serve the needs of SURHC’s culturally rich patient population, the portal will be accessible in a number of different languages.
The portal will also:
- Help patients increase their disease self-management skills by providing disease specific tools and health information.
- Help to motivate and support improvements in health behaviors including smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol use.
- Provide symptom education that will enable patients to reduce complications resulting from their illnesses, eliminating unnecessary hospital admissions, and increasing patients’ sense of wellbeing.
- Link patients to timely and accurate publicly available online health information.
Additionally, the portal will support health care providers in providing a “patient-centered approach” in delivering care, allowing them to function more efficiently and effectively. The new system will monitor a patient’s health status, so that providers can access real time information that will enable them to deliver pro-active, planned care, and increase the effectiveness of team based care.
The portal will allow providers to communicate with patients in an easy and seamless manner, reducing the instances in which providers miss patient phone calls and play “phone tag” with patients. Patient’s messages will flow into the patient’s health record so there is a complete record available to both the provider and the patient. In addition, the portal will be used to remind patients, such as diabetics, that they need a foot exam or an additional blood sugar test. It will provide clinical data with predictive modeling that will identify high-risk patients in need of additional care.
“We are deeply grateful to the Health Care Foundation for their generous grant award,” said Fuentes. “We will begin implementing the patient portal into our system early next year.”
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Retains Title of “Breastfeeding Friend
Kansas City, MO—The WIC Clinic at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) has again been designated as “Breastfeeding Friendly” by the Bureau of WIC and Nutrition Services at the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.
“We know that implementing the necessary steps to be a ‘Breastfeeding Friendly WIC Clinic’ was not easy”, noted Kathy Mertzlufft, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for DHSS. “The state WIC office would like to thank Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s staff for their dedication and hard work in providing the best support necessary for WIC moms to be successful meeting their breastfeeding goals.” Mertzlufft said that only 27 local WIC agencies out of a total of 112, received the designation. Evidence shows that implementing best practices in breastfeeding will increase the number of women who choose and continue to breastfeed.
According to Gina Lile, a registered dietitian and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant with SURHC’s WIC program, all 370 prenatal mothers enrolled in WIC programs at SURHC receive education about breastfeeding. The latest statistics show that WIC moms at SURHC’s Downtown Campus initiate breastfeeding their newborns at a rate that surpassed that of the state.
Research done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that breastfeeding offers many advantages including the ease of newborns to digest breast milk. Breast milk helps to fight disease thanks to the cells, hormones, and antibodies it provides and this protection is unique--formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. Breastfeeding promotes life-long health in that rates of obesity and diabetes are significantly lower in breastfed infants.
“We’re very proud to have received this designation for a second year in a row,” said Eve Wells, Director of SURHC’s WIC program. “Breastfeeding isn’t just beneficial for babies, but it’s also good for the mother’s health, too.” Wells cited evidence that showed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum depression among moms who breastfeed. Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center is an equal opportunity provider.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center CEO Elected to “American Liver Foundat
Kansas City, MO—Hilda Fuentes, Chief Executive Officer for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, has been elected to the American Liver Foundation’s Board of Directors, the nation’s largest non-profit organization focused solely on promoting liver health and disease prevention.
“I feel very honored to have been selected to be on the American Liver Foundation’s board,” said Fuentes. “Their mission is to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease. Liver disease affects thousands of children and millions of adults in this country. The Foundation does admirable work and I’m looking forward to being a part of their leadership team and contributing to this worthwhile cause.” Fuentes attended her first board meeting last week.
According to Donna Cryer, Chair of the American Liver Foundation, “These are exciting times for the Foundation as we work together to advance our mission. To ensure our success for the benefit of people with liver disease, we continue to engage the best and brightest volunteers and staff leadership available. We are delighted to welcome Hilda Fuentes to our team.”
Newton Guerin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Liver Foundation said, “We believe that the leadership and knowledge Hilda Fuentes brings to our volunteers and staff across the country will move us closer to the day when we can say liver disease no longer threatens our public health.”
Dental Practice Office Expands Care in the Northland—Samuel U. Rodgers
Kansas City, MO—Residents in need of quality dental health services in Kansas City’s Northland will be the beneficiaries in a new partnership announced between Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and the Clay County Public Health Center.
An existing dental practice office, previously operated by the Clay County Public Health Center and located at 800 Haines Drive, in Liberty, Missouri, will now expand its hours and its patient base to include adults. Previously, only children received care at the practice. Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center will now operate the newly renamed Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Clay County Family Medicine and Dental Services in its current location.
“We believe there is a need for affordable dental health services in the Northland, especially for adults,” noted Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. “As we know now, maintaining good oral health plays an important role in maintaining overall health for every individual and we’re very happy to be working in partnership with the Clay County Public Health Center, serving Northland residents,” said Fuentes.
The practice accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most insurance. For patients without insurance, care can be provided at a reduced fee, based on income.
“Improving access to dental care for people of all ages including the uninsured and underinsured, is a key toward improving overall health outcomes for the people and communities in the Northland,” said Gary E. Zeborac, Director of Public Health for Clay County. “We’re grateful to Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center for their willingness to partner with us and excited for the new opportunities this provides to the people of Clay County.”
Special Week Honors “Quiet Heroes” of Health Care—Information Professi
Kansas City, MO—“There is a critical part of our health care system you may have never thought about—professionals in charge of your medical records,” noted Lisa Millerd, Director of Health Information and Systems Management, for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC). Yet, without their diligence and expertise, the accuracy and efficiency of patient care would suffer.
“We’re proud of our Health Information Management Department,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of SURHC. “I don’t think most people realize all that they do to protect a patient’s privacy and to move patient information from within disparate points within our health care system, to providers and departments in need of that information,” she added. “Health information professionals are the conduit to ensure accurate patient information is recorded, maintained and disseminated.”
This is the 23rd annual Health Information Professionals Week and SURHC is celebrating with contests for staff members, posters and fliers to explain their role to patients. The Health Information Department is even planning an ice cream social this Wednesday, March 28, to get out word of what they do and how they serve patients. This year’s theme is “Managing Health Information for Life”.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center recently converted to an electronic health records system, a huge undertaking for any health care provider. “Working collectively to deliver quality health care through quality information, is our goal--one we believe we must be diligent about continually improving,” said Millerd.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Named a Winner of Kansas City Business
Kansas City, MO—Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center has been named the winner of a “Capstone Award” by the Kansas City Business Journal and its co-sponsors, in the category of “Community Impact”. The Health Center won for the construction of its new facility, which recently opened at 825 Euclid Avenue in downtown Kansas City, on land adjacent to the previous structure.
This is the 7th year of the Capstone Awards, which recognizes real estate development projects that enhance the Kansas City metropolitan area. In the category of “Community Impact”, the award goes to projects which are socially desirable and contribute to the overall well being of the community.
“It’s wonderful to receive this recognition,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC). “We like to think of our building as a symbol of hope and an eastern anchor in Kansas City’s downtown, which will foster additional redevelopment in the area. Most importantly, we hope that the new structure will add to the belief of SURHC’s permanence in the community--for our patients, funding partners and business leaders.”
Completion of the new SURHC facility is the result of a successful $25.5 million capital campaign that began several years ago. The building provides 68,000 square feet of space and has a large glass exterior. It offers additional dental operatories and exam rooms for patients, and was designed using a soothing, healing color palette. Thanks to its increased capacity, SURHC will be able to provide health care services to an additional 7,200 patients in the community. Last year, SURHC saw over 19,000 individuals in need of medical, dental and behavioral health services.
The previous structure is being demolished to make way for the new Legacy Park, named in honor of Samuel U. Rodgers, M.D., who founded the Health Center almost 50 years ago. Construction of the new facility met the Silver Level of LEED Building Design guidelines, and its landscaping includes a generous water garden along the northern exposure of the building. “At long last, we have a technologically advanced facility, worthy of commemorating the name and vision of Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers,” noted Ralph Caro, Chief Operating Officer at SURHC.
Awards will be presented to recipients on Thursday, April 5, by the Kansas City Buiness Journal at the Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center’s Chief Marketing and Development OffiKansas City, MO—Ruth Terrell, Chief Marketing and Development Officer at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, will head to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to offer input on jobs and health care at a meeting hosted by the White House.
Called a “Conversation on Jobs and the Kansas City Economy,” the meeting was planned by the White House Business Council and Business Forward, who have invited local officials and business leaders from the Kansas City-area for a day-long forum on jobs and the economy. Senior administration officials are also slated to attend.
“I feel honored to be included in the Kansas City contingency,” said Terrell. “I plan to offer input on health care and job development in our community.” Terrell is one of about 30 representatives from Kansas City to be invited, which include Mayor Sly James and Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, along with individuals from various local Chambers of Commerce, business and non-profit organizations.
Over the past year, the White House Business Council has hosted over 500 meetings with business and civic leaders in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. According to information provided by the Business Council and Business Forward, the goal for each meeting is to have a meaningful, interactive dialogue with local representatives about what's working and how the private sector and government can collaborate more effectively, to foster greater opportunity, innovation and job creation.
“I’m anticipating a lively discussion and exchange of ideas that will hopefully result in some positive changes at the local, state and even national level,” concluded Terrell.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Staffer Selected to Receive Molina Hea
Van Kirk has been with Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) for the past three years as a Community Outreach Specialist based at the Mexican Consulate’s office in Kansas City, Missouri. “Aracely has been an exemplary employee,” said Ruth Terrell, Chief Officer for Marketing and Development at SURHC. “But her giving spirit extends beyond her role here at the Health Center to personally helping those less fortunate in our community.”
Terrell cited examples of Van Kirk’s generosity which include bringing victims of domestic violence and their children into her own home to keep them safe, when shelter housing was unavailable. Van Kirk has also helped countless homeless people and their families by providing shoes, clothes, food and shelter, often paying the expense from her own pocket.
At one time, Van Kirk provided housing for a year to a teenager fighting a battle with drugs who had overdosed and almost died. Doctors didn’t want to release the teen back to his home because his older brother had supplied him with drugs. Aracely has also been a volunteer for hospice for the past 7 years, providing cosmetology services for terminal patients. She and her husband adopted a special needs little girl from China, who is now happy, healthy and flourishing in her new country.
“I feel so honored and happy to be selected for such an honor,” Van Kirk said. “It was totally unexpected!” The award includes a $1,000.00 check to be provided to the winner’s charity of choice—in this case, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. The Molina Healthcare’s Community Champion award ceremony will take place March 29, in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the first award in several years, for an individual from the Kansas City region of the state.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center's CEO Named Recipient of Missouri Prim
Kansas City, MO—Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers, MD, inspired its inception eleven years ago, and now, the CEO of the Health Center named on his behalf, Hilda Fuentes, is receiving the Missouri Primary Care Association's prestigious annual Achievement Award.
"I can think of no one better suited to receive this honor," said Joe Pierle, CEO of the Missouri Primary Care Association (MPCA). "Under Ms Fuentes’ leadership, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center is now serving 22% more individuals in the Kansas City area in need of health care services, than it did in 2005, when Ms Fuentes first took the reins as its Chief Executive Officer.” Currently, the Health Center serves the medical, dental and mental health needs of almost 20,000 patients each year. Many of its patients have no other means of obtaining these services.
To accomplish that goal,Samuel U.Rodgers Health Center has opened additional practice offices in Liberty and at the Clay County Health Center, and it now also provides medical care to residents at Sheffield Place, a shelter for women and their children. Earlier this year, it also opened a new dental practice office at the J.A.Rogers School in Kansas City,Missouri, serving the needs of low-income students, their families and residents of the community. Soon, a new $25.5 million facility will replace its aging, existing Downtown Campus building located at 825 Euclid Ave.in Kansas City, Missouri, which will allow the Health Center to serve an additional 7,200 individuals in the area. The new building is slated to open early in 2012.
The Missouri Primary Care Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving access to high quality, community based and affordable primary health care in Missouri. It established its most prestigious Achievement Award in 2000 and named it after Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers, MD. “Dr. Rodgers’ established the first federally recognized Community Health Center west of the Mississippi over 40 years ago,” noted Pierle. “His vision and mission—to empower people’s lives and to improve the health of individuals and communities—is being successfully carried on today through the work of Hilda Fuentes, at the Health Center bearing his name.”
”I feel more than honored to be selected for this award,” remarked Fuentes. “The fact that it was created to honor Dr. Rodgers gives it all the more meaning. We’ll continue to not only keep his dream alive--but to help it thrive-- in this community.”
SURHC’S CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER RECEIVES AWARD
It was after the team’s relief aid to tornado stricken Joplin, Missouri, that its members announced Purdom as the award recipient. He arrived in Joplin, along with 50 other team members, 12 hours after the recent deadly tornados struck. Purdom remained in Joplin for 3 days. Purdom also traveled to Haiti to aid victims following the devastating earthquake there. “We probably respond to disasters on an average of 3 times per year,” he noted. Purdom has been with the “Missouri1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team” team for over 5 years.
“We are so very proud of Dr. Purdom and of all of the tremendous work he does, both for the Health Center and for the residents of Missouri,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.
Purdom has been Chief Health Officer at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center for 5 years. In that capacity, he oversees the medical care provided at all 8 of its practice locations, which serve over 18-thousand patients, each year.
“The mission of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center is to reach out to those in need, and sometimes the need extends further than our local community,” said Purdom. “I’m incredibly grateful to the Health Center and Hilda Fuentes, for their ongoing support of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team’s work and my efforts on behalf of the team.”
NEW ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD SYSTEM TO LAUNCH AT SAMUEL U. RODGERS HEA
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Lafayette County with the goal of helping to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care services provided at the Lexington practice.
“Going from a paper record keeping system to an electronic one, is significant and represents the future trend in health care,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. “We’ve already implemented an electronic health record (EHR) system at both of our Northland practice offices and at Sheffield Place where we serve the health care needs of women and their children in a shelter environment—all with positive results. We’re pleased to announce that our Lafayette County practice will soon follow.”
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Lafayette County is located at 811-A South 13 Highway in Lexington, Missouri, and provides primary medical, pediatric, OB/GYN and dental care to adults and seniors, children and adolescents. It opened its doors in 2001 and currently sees 2,450 patients each year. The new EHR system will be implemented for pediatric and family health care services at the practice on May 23rd.
According to Lisa Millerd, RHIA, Director of Health Information and Systems Management at the Health Center, recent studies about using EHR systems have demonstrated the potential for health information technology to improve the efficiency of patient visits as well as ensuring the safety and accuracy of patients’ health records. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality medical care available anywhere,” noted Millerd, “and integrating EHR systems is an important next step in that process.”
For more information about our Electronic Health Record System contact Lisa Millerd at 816.889.4614
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center-Full Speed Ahead. Capital Campaign Do
The signatures of contributing individuals and organizations will signify the support of the Health Center’s vision of “healthy people in a healthy community.” The beam signing will be an affirmation of each and every person’s commitment to the community and the health and well being of each of its members.
“We are thankful to have had the continuing support of so many wonderful people and organizations, and we want their mark and legacy to literally be part of the foundation of our new building,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.
The signing of the final beam is one of the final components that show increased access to quality preventive primary care for the most vulnerable members of our community is on its way. The 68,000 square foot building will allow the Health Center the opportunity to provide care to an additional 7,500 new patients.
Every person involved in making this happen has made a lasting impact to our community and the people of Kansas City. The new facility will enhance the way the Health Center provides health care.
The media is invited to attend the celebratory event at 825 Euclid Avenue, Kansas City Missouri.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in partnership with the Communities Cr
The anniversary of the Affordable Health Care for America Act signifies the beginning of a time where communities are coming together to alleviate suffering and reduce health care burdens for the citizens of Kansas City, and is cause for celebration. Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, in partnership with Communities Creating Opportunities will celebrate the one year anniversary on Wednesday, March 23, at 1:00 p.m. at the construction site of the new Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, 825 Euclid, Kansas City, MO.
In the past year we have seen increased access to critical medical care for thousands of Kansas Cities’ most vulnerable citizens, and hope that number continues to increase as more people are beginning to utilize services available to them. In addition to increasing access to health care, jobs are being created and people are being presented with opportunities to go back to work. “The Affordable Health Care Act has presented Kansas City with a challenge to continue laying the foundation for our children and the people of Kansas City, making health care accessible to all! Over the past year we have worked tirelessly to make that happen, and we will continue to work, and do our job, to ensure everyone has access,” noted Congressman Cleaver.
Health Care Reform is the first step in creating a true system of care in the United States. We have taken the first step and are committing to the development and responsibility of developing an infrastructure that will benefit everyone in the community and beyond. This system of care enables people and organizations to develop collaborations that will make a lasting impact on the overall health of our community. “Through my involvement with the Health Center and the CCO, I have seen members of the community rise to the occasion, and take action,” said Reverend Hartsfield
In 2010 nearly 19,000 patients received care at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. We expect that number to increase in the coming years. As more patients are seeking a medical home, we will have increased capacity to meet the needs of the community and partnering agencies to provide referrals to their congregations, members and the community. As the need for comprehensive care continues to expand, Samuel U. Rodgers is excited to provide quality affordable health care to our community.
Communities Creating Opportunity is a faith-based grassroots organization that has been developing community leaders in metro area congregations for over 34 years in Kansas City. We are the founding member of the statewide coalition of faith congregations, Missouri Faith Voices and are a member of the PICO National Network.
For the past several years, CCO faith leaders have committed themselves to improving the health of our city by organizing efforts on local, state and federal levels to increase access to quality, affordable health care for all. We have engaged over 1,000 heads of households in Kansas City to learn about their health concerns and we have taken what we've heard to City Hall, Jefferson City and Jefferson City to ensure the people's voice is being heard. We helped to win the expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program in 2009 and worked tirelessly toward the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which became law a year ago today.
This year, CCO has twice taken the healthcare hopes of Kansas City to highest levels of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC as we look for ways to improve the quality of care and reduce the cost of care for our people in Kansas City.
The media is invited to attend the celebratory event sponsored by Jackson County, Missouri which will include remarks from Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, II 5th District of Missouri, Corey Dillon, Regional Director, Office of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Dr. Rev. Wallace Hartsfield, Pastor Emeritus Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.
For more information, contact:
Ruth Terrell, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Chief Officer, Community Affairs & Resource Development 816-889-4779 email@example.com
Tameka Bell, Communities Creating Opportunity, Communications Organizer
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Partnership with Friends of the Con
World Glaucoma Week is March 6-12. If you are an organization or business that would like to provide opportunities for free Glaucoma screenings contact Elizabeth Williams, Chronic Disease Health Educator (816)889-4679 or for Spanish contact Laura Gallegos, Patient Care Coordinator (816) 889-4604 to schedule screenings for your organization today.
Don’t loose sight of your life. Show the community you care by hosting a Free Glaucoma Screening today.
Who should be screened?
- African Americans, Latinos & Native Americans over the age of 30
- Persons of Asian & Caucasian decent over the age of 40
- Anyone with a family history of glaucoma
- Anyone with diabetes and/or high blood pressure
Individuals are also encouraged to come directly to Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center located at 825 Euclid Kansas City, MO every
Thursday from (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for their free screening. Bring a loved one or a friend; don’t let the thief of sight take away your ability to see.
Glaucoma is a very misunderstood disease, and many people don’t think they are at risk. The fact is everyone is at risk for Glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve, the nerve that carries messages from the eye to the brain. There are no noticeable symptoms or early warning signs and cannot be cured. If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to irreversible blindness. Glaucoma affects nearly 4 million Americans, many are not aware that they have the disease.
Unique Partnership Results in Better Access to Dental Care Services in
The new Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center-J.A. Rogers Dental Clinic is the result of a partnership between the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and the Kansas City, Missouri, School District. The dental center will celebrate its grand opening on Monday, Feb. 28, at 10:30 AM, at the J.A. Rogers Elementary School, located at 6400 E. 23rd Street in Kansas City, Missouri.
“A school may seem an unlikely location for a dental center, but we estimate that over the next year, we’ll provide service to over one-thousand new patients in our community, including students of J.A. Rogers, their families and local residents,” said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. “If our current ratio of adult patients to children holds, we anticipate that over half of our new patients—or about 60%--will be children.”
“This is a win-win situation for the School District and the community,” noted Dr. J. William Covington, Superintendent of the KCMO School District. “We’re pleased to be a part of providing a much needed and important health service to area residents, especially here, in the heart of the city.”
A full range of dental services will be available at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center-J.A. Rogers Dental Clinic, which will include three operatories. One dentist and a dental care team will staff the new practice.
The Samuel U. Rodgers (SUR) Health Center first began providing dental care services to the Kansas City community in 1968 at what was then the Wayne Minor Health Center. Last year, 6,259 patients received dental care at its existing three locations, resulting in 7,644 patient care visits. Current locations include the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Downtown Campus, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center-Independence Dental Clinic and the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center-Lafayette County office in Lexington, Missouri.
The media is invited to attend the grand opening event which will include remarks from both Dr. Covington and Hilda Fuentes, Board Chairmen Eric West, Kansas City Missouri School District and Ralph Johnson, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Receives $8 million Grant from U.S. De
Kansas City, MO - Thanks to a grant received today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center will soon be providing health care services to thousands of new patients in the Kansas City area.
"We are extremely grateful to have been selected to receive this grant award," said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. "These resources will allow us to provide quality health care to 7,500 new patients in our community."
HHS announced that the Health Center was one of only six community health centers in Missouri selected to receive funding from the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration. The Health Center will receive $8.2 million, all of which is slated to go toward construction of a new facility, on land adjacent to the current building at 825 Euclid Avenue, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Health Center also provides an array of medical, dental and behavioral health care services at 6 other locations in the Kansas City area and in eastern Jackson, Clay, and Lafayette County.
A capital campaign to raise funds for a new building began in 2007. Before today's announcement, the Health Center had accumulated over $15 million, toward its goal of $25.5 million. Land preparation for the new site began in July of 2009. The construction project includes 48%MBE participation and meets the Silver Level of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED guidelines.
The new building will be three stories high and provide over 68-thousand square feet of space. Nine new exam rooms and dental operatories will be added to treat patients. The new facility will also include a community room for outreach events and patient education workshops. Construction is scheduled for completion in the fall of next year. The existing facility, built in 1971, will then be demolished and converted into Legacy Park, in the memory of the Health Center's founder, Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers.
"The first year our existing health center opened its doors, we saw 5,000 patients," noted Fuentes. "Last year, in 2009, we saw over triple that amount—17,751 patients. We're long overdue for additional space and more efficient space, to ensure the highest quality of care for each and every one of our patients, and we couldn't be happier to be chosen for this grant."
WIC Services Come to Samuel U. Roger's Northland Clinic Office
Kansas City, MO - There's good news for mothers and their children in the Northland, who may need assistance providing healthy food and a balanced diet for their families. The Women, Infants and Children, or "WIC" program, began providing services starting today, at the Samuel U. Rodgers (SUR) Health Center Northland Family Medicine & WIC Services office, located at 4820A North Oak Trafficway, in Kansas City.
The Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Northland Family Medicine & WIC Services office opened this past spring, providing primary medical care to adults and children. "We believe there's clearly a need for WIC services north of the river", said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. "We're pleased to be able to provide these needed services to families in the Northland area."
The WIC program provides healthy food and nutrition education to women and their children. Benefits of the WIC program include:
- supplemental foods
- personal counseling and nutrition information to help mothers provide a healthier diet for their childre
- support and help with breastfeeding
- referrals to other health programs that could benefit a family
Mothers may qualify for WIC services if they are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an infant younger than 12 months of age, or a child or children under the age of 5. There is no cost for the service. To be eligible, families must meet income guidelines and be in need of nutritional education.
"The current downturn in our economy has caused many families to need that small 'leg up' that WIC can provide," according to Eve Wells, Director of WIC for the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. "Having a source to provide nutritious food items will free up a family's budget so that resources can be spent on rent, utilities, and other necessities."
The new WIC office is open on Thursdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Call 816.889.4626 for an appointment or more information. WIC and the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center are an equal opportunity provider.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Selected to Receive Grant From Country
KANSAS CITY, MO - The Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center has been selected to receive a $10,000 donation from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "Neighbor's Keeper" charitable fund at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
"We're excited and very proud to have been selected as a grant recipient," said Hilda Fuentes, CEO of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. "To be recognized for the work we do, providing much needed quality health care for children and their families in our community, is rewarding."
Country music superstar, Tim McGraw, is supporting non-profits across the U.S. during his 2010 "Southern Voice" tour. He's performing at the Sprint Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 27th. Through a sponsorship with Frito-Lay, McGraw's charitable fund, "Neighbor's Keeper", has identified worthy local non-profit organizations in 34 cities on the scheduled tour.
"Neighbor's Keeper" was founded by McGraw and Faith Hill in 2004 out of their desire to help people in need and encourage the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. Its goal is to strengthen communities by contributing to diverse projects, with primary emphasis on children's initiatives.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee oversees more than 720 charitable funds, including "Neighbor's Keeper". In the past 18 years, the Community Foundation, located in Nashville, Tennessee, has distributed more than $460-million to community programs and institutions.