The Swope Health team welcomed the community and supporters for a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 17 commemorating the completion of construction of the PACE KC Adult Wellness Center, a state-of-the-art health and wellness facility at 4141 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, MO.
When it opens early next year, PACE KC will offer seniors a complete range of social, physical and behavioral health services all under one roof.
PACE, an acronym for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a national program implemented by 154 organizations across the United States, with the goal of helping seniors age gracefully in their home communities and out of nursing homes.
The 34,000 sq. ft., two-story facility has multiple clinical spaces to provide primary care, medical services, and other therapies, as well as a day center, rehab gym, computer lab, library, arts and crafts room, bathing suite, low-stimulation memory care area, outdoor recreation space and meeting rooms. The center does not have a residential component.
PACE KC will begin enrolling participants in January 2024, with Medicare and Medicaid patients eligible for enrollment. Participants must be at least 55 years old, live in Jackson County and have a nursing home level-of-care need.
“We actually do that screening assessment for you and anyone can refer you to us, a lot of workers or groups like the Shepherd’s Center of Kansas City, Jewish Family Services, hospital discharge planners, and others,” said Heath Rath, executive director for PACE KC.
At capacity, Rath says the center should be able to accommodate 350 participants, with some coming regularly for day center services and others just using the center’s interdisciplinary service team.
“Today marks the culmination of years of advocacy, fundraising, meticulous planning and construction,” said Rath at the ribbon cutting.
Planning for the center began five years ago in response to an identified need for service.
Local attorney Wesley Fields served as honorary fundraising chair for the $15 million project that received donations from some of the country’s largest philanthropic organizations. The project represents the organization’s largest capital investment since the development of the Swope Health Central campus in 1995.
Rath and others spent nearly a year working with the State of Missouri and the Missouri General Assembly in the development of state-level standards for PACE programs. With the new regulations fleshed out, PACE KC is the first and only PACE facility in Jackson County and only the second in the state.
In addition to being a historic moment for the state, the opening of PACE KC is historic for Swope Health.
“Expanding our mission to provide services that meet the needs of older adults demonstrates our enduring commitment to the community that we have proudly served for more than 50 years,”Jeron Ravin, J.D., president and CEO of Swope Health
“We’re really excited about the opportunity this facility will bring, especially on the east side of Kansas City, where we know for far too long there have been years and years of disinvestment,” said Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Ryanna Parks-Shaw before the ribbon cutting.