Last week I met with Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon of the Unified Government of Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County and I was so impressed with his vision for improving his community – especially concerning his passion for promoting healthy living.
The Mayor received bad news a few months ago that Wyandotte County had the worst health outcomes of any county in the state of Kansas. Because of the Mayor’s leadership outlook, he considered this news as an opportunity to be bold and to take strong action to improve the health outcomes of his community.
He has convened several task forces and met literally with hundreds of community leaders getting their input on how to improve the health outcomes of his city. He is doing so much that the well known and respected national foundation — Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — was in town last week filming a story about the Mayor’s effort in Wyandotte County. They want to tell a story about how a community came together to change their health future for the better. Of all the towns in America they could have picked, they selected Kansas City, KS. What a tribute to the Mayor and to Joe Conner, the head of the Public Health Dept., and the countless other civic leaders who are helping the Mayor outline a health vision for the county.
Kansas City, Ks/Wyandotte County has many major challenges ahead of it and they will hit bumps along the road for sure… but thanks to the Mayor’s leadership the residents of this community are well positioned to see a long term improvements in health outcomes.