Reaching out to the Kansas City community has always been a top priority for Shawnee Mission Health. With three hospital campuses, a primary care network and four urgent care facilities, SMH has served Kansas City and the surrounding area for 56 years and is an integral part of the community.

A member of Adventist Health System, SMH’s belief in whole person care sets it apart from most health systems. The organization is consistently looking for ways to fulfill its mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ and enhance whole person care not only for patients, but also for the greater community. SMH’s commitment to this objective is evident through the ongoing quality, compassionate care provided on a daily basis within its facilities as well as a broad range of community classes and events aimed to promote wellness of mind, body and spirit for those living in Kansas City.

On an annual basis, SMH provides nearly $1 million to support nonprofit organizations that share its mission to make Kansas City a better and healthier place to live. Although SMH considers all types of community involvement, the organization has recently taken a special interest in the arts.

Communicating through drama and music

In summer 2017, SMH began its involvement with Kansas City Starlight Theatre, a premier performing arts venue within the region. Now as the presenting sponsor of the Starlight Broadway Series for the next three years, SMH has the opportunity to communicate regularly with residents of all ages within Kansas City and the surrounding area.

“As we were looking to be more involved in the arts, Starlight stood out for the quality of its programming and the work it does tied to youth education and the performing arts,” said Doug Spear, SMH’s executive director of marketing and strategic development.

During the holiday season, SMH has a long-standing tradition of offering a free concert to show its appreciation for the Kansas City community. SMH has recently partnered with the Kansas City Symphony to present Joy to the World, a memorable evening of Christmas music at the iconic Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. The family-friendly event has been widely popular and serves as an introduction to the symphony for many first-time attendees.

“Hosting Joy to the World is a heartfelt way for Shawnee Mission Health associates, physicians and staff to extend our mission and thank Kansas Citians for the privilege of serving their healthcare needs,” said SMH administrative director of Spiritual Wellness Mark Stoddart.

Around the same time each year, SMH also presents the Nutcracker Tea Party, a one-hour version of the Nutcracker ballet and holiday tea party featuring a child-friendly menu. The four performances sell out each year and proceeds benefit the public arts program in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metropolitan area where many families reside.

During the summer months, SMH encourages the community to enjoy a relaxing evening of theatre in a beautiful 10-acre park setting through their Theatre in the Park sponsorship. Theatre in the Park is one of the largest outdoor community theatres in the country and serves as an outlet for hundreds of aspiring performers and theatregoers throughout the region.

“Participating in the arts and engaging with the community are activities that promote good health,” Spear said. “We feel a high level of involvement in the arts will continue to strengthen our position as the leading community and wellness-focused health organization in the Kansas City region.”

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