On September 20, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) welcomed 16 hospital CEOs and senior leadership from across the country to discuss improving health outcomes through faith-based and community partnerships.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center President and CEO Samuel H. Turner, Sr. was among those invited by the White House to participate in the Health Care Forum.

The one-day event also included hospital staff to seek and share best practices on partnerships and programs that work for the good of the community. These health care leaders are proven innovators in pursuing creative and successful public health partnerships.

In addition to spiritual support, turning to faith and community leaders for health and wellness is a part of many faiths,” said Joshua DuBois, special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “By linking to the strong infrastructure of congregations, hospitals and care providers are able to reach deep into hard-to-reach and underserved communities to improve the health of Americans.”

Faith and community leaders are trusted messengers within their communities and are on the front lines of fighting many of the health care issues that are plaguing so many underserved communities,” said Mara Vanderslice Kelly, acting director, HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “By engaging faith and community leaders in collaborative partnerships, health providers can expand health care access and monitor which best practices are working in local communities and lower costs.”

Shawnee Mission Medical Center was one of a few hospitals selected nationwide to participate in the event based on its tradition of serving the community through faith-based partnerships. The health systems invited for the meeting are unique as their faith-based and community partnership programs are fully implemented within rural, urban and suburban communities respectively and demonstrate their impact on the full community.

Representatives from Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare of Memphis, Tennessee, Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers of Camden, New Jersey, and the Southcentral Foundation of Anchorage, Alaska, gave formal presentations on their community health partnership models.

About Shawnee Mission Medical Center

Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) is a 504-bed facility with nearly 20,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually. SMMC has the busiest emergency department in Johnson County, the area’s first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center, an accredited Breast Center and delivers more babies each year than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. SMMC employs more than 2,900 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties, the largest medical staff in Kansas City. Visit us on the Web at ShawneeMission.org.

For more information, please visit:www.hhs.gov/partnerships.