City News | KCMO.gov – City of Kansas City, MO

For immediate release: July 1, 2022

The Kansas City Health Department is trying a new way to connect with residents, hoping more people will take advantage of their important services, trust information provided by subject matter experts, and ask questions about health issues. health that have an impact on their lives. .

So far, 53 residents across the city have signed up to share public health information with neighborhood associations and with the people they meet throughout their day.

They will be part of the health department

Community Wellness Ambassador program, trained to give presentations or just have conversations with people about health department services and health topics that residents are most concerned about.

“These Community Ambassadors give us a direct connection to residents who may never think of calling or visiting with their questions,” said Chief Health Officer Dr. Marvia Jones. “We have many residents who call us with questions or come in for vaccinations, birth certificates or to report problems in their rental home. But we know there are so many more who don’t know our services and how we can help them.. These ambassadors are committed to serving their community and eager to share important health information.

Ambassadors are business owners, teachers, nurses and other professions who meet the public every day. Many have realized during COVID how essential it is to stay connected to public health.

“For me wellbeing is so important and being able to have information out there for our community is so important because a lot of times, whether it’s with COVID and with everything that’s going on, they’re not informed,” said said GiGi Jones, business owner and new Community Wellness Ambassador who attended the training.

Community Wellness Ambassadors receive a stipend of $225 per month for their communication efforts.

Wellness Ambassadors are spread across the city to reach residents in every council district. The Health Department also recruits Spanish-speaking ambassadors to reach the Hispanic/Latino communities in Kansas City.

“We are committed to improving lines of communication with residents whose first language is not English,” Jones said. “As Kansas City becomes more diverse, we know the health department must be representative and must provide health information for different cultures and languages.”

“I believe that prevention and wellness are two things that my community needs. My community has grown a lot as I work with English language learners and people who are trying to go back to school to get their GED,” student Kevin White said. KC literacy advocate. “When I was given the opportunity to do this program, with the work that I do, it’s such a great fit, such a positive, good fit.”

Another Wellness Ambassador, business owner Taryn Kelly, said she wanted to give people information.

“I expect everyone in this room to take that passion and that energy that they had here and come out and be that light for others, starting with their homes, their community, their city, their state and for Kansas City as a whole, as we usually do, to come together and work for the greater good,” Kelly said.

Media should contact Michelle Pekarsky, Public Information Officer for the Department of Health, at 816-719-3610 or [email protected]

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