South KC News / Member News

  • 17 Jun 2019 10:13 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    St. Joseph Medical Center announced today that it is a recipient of the Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award. This distinction places St. Joseph Medical Center among the top 5% of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals.

    St. Joseph Medical Center is a member of Prime Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest hospital systems with 45 hospitals in 14 states. Prime Healthcare has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for four consecutive years (2016-2019) than any other health system in the country.

    “We are proud to recognize the recipients of the 2019 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, which shines a spotlight on the hospitals that are preventing the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications, for patients during their hospital stay,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “We applaud these hospitals and their commitment to providing the best possible care for every patient.”

    During the study period (2015 to 2017), Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals demonstrated excellent performance in safety provided for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) for 14 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

    “Our recent awards including the Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award demonstrates the tremendous commitment and expertise of our caregivers,” said Jodi Fincher, CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center. “We take patient safety very seriously to earn our patients’ trust every day.  Thank you to our physicians, nurses, technicians, volunteers and staff who collaborate to consistently provide high-quality care to patients and families in South Kansas City and the wider Kansas City area. We are proud of this achievement.”

    Healthgrades found that patients treated in hospitals receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award, as compared to patients at non-recipients hospitals, were on average*:

    • 55.9% less likely to experience an accidental cut, puncture, perforation or hemorrhage during medical care.
    • 50.9% less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest.
    • 64.4% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital.
    • 57% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital.

     If all hospitals in the country performed at the level of award recipients for each of the 14 Patient Safety Indicators, 127,667 patient safety events could have been avoided.*

    In addition to Healthgrades, St. Joseph Medical Center has excelled at passing stringent audits with honors from The Joint Commission, the Leapfrog Group, the American Heart Association, Women’s Choice Award, and many more re-certifications for acute-care and specialty care services across the country. 

    View Healthgrades hospital quality methodologies.

    *Statistics are calculated from Healthgrades Patient Safety Ratings and Excellence Award methodology which is based primarily on AHRQ technical specifications (Version 5e and 2018) to MedPAR data for years 2015 through 2017 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

  • 13 Jun 2019 12:18 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    What should transit be trying to do in Kansas City?

    The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has initiated one of the largest system redesigns in agency history – RideKC Next.

    The RideKC Next project is a review and redesign of current transit service focused on Kansas City, Mo. (KCMO). The goal is to make sure updates to the transit network reflects the needs, priorities and values of people in KCMO communities.

    Take the Survey

    We want to hear from you! The KCATA wants to hear people’s thoughts and opinions about transit. The responses will help shape future transit decisions.

         Take the survey online in English or Spanish at

         Request a paper copy by email at
    (Surveys are available in English and Spanish.)

         Request a paper copy by phone at 816-346-0300.

    The survey is open until July 31, 2019, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete!

    RideKC Next has three phases.

         Phase One: Review existing transit service. Gather community feedback through a survey and in person at community meetings and events.

         Phase Two: Share a draft updated transit service plan. Get more community feedback.

         Phase Three: Submit final plan to KCATA for review and approval by the Board of Commissioners. Implement the plan over the next two years.

    Find Out More!

         Visit - Learn more and stay updated by visiting the project webpage.

         Share the online survey. You can also request a paper copy in English and Spanish.

         Follow the KCATA on social media for updates: Facebook @RideKC  |  Twitter @RideKCTransit

  • 23 May 2019 1:55 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    First Call educates families about addiction and empowers them to live their most healthy and productive lives. We know that for every, one person fighting substance use disorder, 10 others are impacted. That is why First Call Family Services programs help those facing a loved one’s substance use disorder in the Kansas City area. These programs include How to Cope for adults; Caring for Kids for young children and teens; How to Care for caretakers of children impacted by familial substance use disorder; extended support sessions, and an alumni group.

    Companies can now partner with First Call Family Services to help expand programming for families by utilizing the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Tax Credit. First Call Family Services has been approved by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, from now until December 31, 2020, to participate in the NAP Tax Credits. This allows eligible donors to contribute to programs for families impacted by addiction while receiving a tax credit equal to 50% of their donation to be used toward their Missouri state taxes. For example, a gift of $10,000 to Family Services will receive a Missouri state tax credit of $5,000. This credit is in addition to the usual federal and state charitable deductions.

    Any qualified person, firm or corporation in business in Missouri is eligible to receive credits, including individuals with income royalties or rental property and sole proprietors.

    For more information, visit; or contact Emily Hage, Vice President of Development, at emilyh@firstcallkc.orgor 826-800-8052.

  • 10 May 2019 10:26 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Avila University announced the appointment of Timothy Klocko as vice president for finance and administration. In this role, Klocko will oversee all aspects of the financial life of the University, providing management and direction for Avila’s financial activities.

    Klocko brings more than 30 years in leadership in higher education, including extensive experience overseeing finance, accounting, business operations, strategic budgeting and planning, facilities, campus safety, human resources and auxiliary enterprises.

    Prior to joining Avila, Klocko served as vice president for finance and administration at Stephens College in Columbia. In two tenures at Stephens, he streamlined financial management systems and established a data-driven approach to financial well-being.

    “We’re very pleased to be welcoming Tim to Avila in this important role,” said Avila President Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA. “In a rapidly changing higher education economy, his experience navigating tricky financial situations for numerous institutions will put Avila in a position of preparedness and strength for years to come.”

    Between his appointments at Stephens, Klocko served in a vice president role at Sweet Briar College of Sweet Briar, Virginia and Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. In the former, he served as part of the first administration after Sweet Briar’s restoration, working with partners to quickly create a strategic, sustainable plan for the college. Prior to serving in administrative roles, he taught accounting.

    “I am excited to join Avila University and apply the skills and lessons I’ve gained throughout my professional career,” Klocko said. “I admire the mission of the University, specifically its diversity and the opportunities it provides to groups underrepresented in higher education. I hope my varied background and extensive experience will be beneficial to Avila.”

  • 26 Apr 2019 2:28 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Southeast Enterprises is proud to announce and welcome David Melton, as our new sales Account Executive.  David will be responsible for uncovering revenue, with new and existing clients. As a part of the Southeast team, we look forward to his assisting area businesses with high quality assembly and packaging needs while furthering the mission of Southeast Enterprises. The Southeast mission is to provide a safe work environment and challenging employment opportunities for Jackson County Citizens who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

    Southeast Enterprises allows your company to increase production without increasing your current workforce.  Assembly, inserting, folding, collating, blending, mixing and recycling are some examples of the wide variety of jobs performed for all types of industry. 

    David joins the Southeast Enterprises team from over 28 years in the Newspaper advertising industry, and 13 years in retail.  During this time, David has been awarded many industry sales awards and helped hundreds of large and small companies grow and prosper.   As a parent of a child with Special Needs, David understands the importance of the Sheltered Workshop and the positive impact it has on the employees. 

    If you would like to learn more about how Southeast Enterprises’ workforce can help your company grow and prosper, please contact David Melton at

  • 18 Apr 2019 1:49 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)
    If you’re seriously thinking about upgrading to a shiny, new state-of-the-art refrigerator or energy-efficient washer & dryer, then April 19-25 just might be the best time to make your move.

    You see that’s the week that Kansas City, Missouri, residents can save money and stimulate the economy by participating in Missouri’s Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday.

    ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances purchased during this week within KCMO, located in Jackson County, are exempt from state and city sales tax. Additionally, purchases made in the portions of Kansas City, located in Clay, Platte and Cass counties will be exempt from city, state and county sales tax.

    The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday exempts state sales tax on retail sales of qualifying energy star certified new appliances, up to $1,500 per appliance, during a seven-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 19 and ending at midnight on April 25.

    The following energy star certified appliances qualify for the holiday:
    • Clothes washers
    • Clothes dryers
    • Water heaters
    • Trash compactors*
    • Dishwashers
    • Conventional ovens*
    • Ranges*
    • Stoves*
    • Air conditioners
    • Furnaces
    • Refrigerators
    • Freezers
    • Heat pumps
    (*According to the Energy Star Website, trash compactors, conventional ovens, ranges and stoves do not receive an energy star rating. Therefore, although the statute anticipates that someday they may receive the energy star rating, tax will continue to apply to purchases of these items during the upcoming Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday.)

    For more information, please contact the State of Missouri Department of Revenue website:

  • 15 Apr 2019 11:11 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    South Kansas City accounting and consulting firm MarksNelson is continuously recognized for quality service and industry knowledge and once again they are being acknowledged for their efforts.  They recently received ClearlyRated’s Best of Accounting™ Award for providing superior service to clients. The Best of Accounting Award winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients.

    Also, for the fifth consecutive year, Accounting Today has named MarksNelson LLC to its prestigious list of top accounting firms in the Midwest. It is once again the only Kansas City area firm included.

    MarksNelson became one of the first accounting firms in the nation to add a high-level

    technology development division to help businesses use technology to succeed in dynamic new ways. The new technology division added in 2018 crafts custom technology solutions to solve clients’ problems and leverages data to help businesses make smart decisions.

    In addition to adding high level niche expertise in technology, MarksNelson also created an Entrepreneurial Services practice to serve Small and Medium Enterprises nationwide, acquired a firm with business location and economic development incentives expertise, another with real estate expertise, gained certification for business exit planning, expanded its Foreign Trade Zone expertise, added Enterprise Resource Solutions, and more.

    The firm also is committed to offering resources that provide staff with quality of life and opportunities for personal growth and success. To ensure that tomorrow’s leaders will be prepared to take on leadership and continue MarksNelson’s growth and profitability, the firm invests in a robust staff and leadership development program. MarksNelson’s innovative Talent Over Tenure culture allowed for the promoting to partnership the youngest managers in the firm’s history.

    MarksNelson’s multi-award-winning community outreach program, Marks of Kindness, uses innovative, creative methods to encourage employees to personally get involved in moving the community forward. What sets Marks of Kindness apart is that it isn’t just about fundraising but about employees getting involved and personally doing something that makes an impact. For instance, its Wrapped in Warmth program provided more than 2,000 scarves, hats, and gloves for the homeless last winter. MarksNelson professionals were joined by clients as they tied the donated items around trees and lamp posts in areas frequented by the homeless.

    MarksNelson has won numerous awards for its business stewardship, customer service, support of women in the workplace, and community outreach program. Accounting Today previously named Managing Partner Mark Radetic one of its “2014 MP Elite,” the top 10 managing partners of U.S. accounting firms.

  • 12 Feb 2019 3:01 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    A new service will help build a bridge between employers and tomorrow’s workforce. Missouri Intern Connect — — is a free online platform that will link young Missourians with internship opportunities. The goal of Missouri Intern Connect is to give young people a connection to employers. These connections will then lead to job opportunities and provide a powerful incentive for workers to stay in Missouri. “Unfortunately, too many of our talented young workers are choosing to seek employment outside of Missouri. We need to change this trend,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Missouri Intern Connect will give our emerging workforce more access to career experience and provide a platform to network with Missouri employers. This will go a long way toward influencing more of these young people to stay in Missouri and help address our state’s workforce needs.” The service was created by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the University of Missouri System and with support from the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program. “We are very excited about the Missouri Chamber’s Missouri Intern Connect program,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “We support the strong emphasis on education and workforce development to fuel economic growth in Missouri.” The Missouri Department of Higher Education was instrumental in supporting the site and making it a reality. “Providing more opportunities for students to gain real-world work experience through meaningful internships is a game changer,” Commissioner Zora Mulligan said. “Missouri Intern Connect will help make the process easier for both students and employers to connect.” The service is also supported by Union Pacific Railroad. “Union Pacific is proud to support Missouri Intern Connect, helping students find internship opportunities that will open doors for their future,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, and Union Pacific Foundation President. “Putting youth on the path toward success brings economic prosperity and wellbeing into the communities where our employees live and work.” In addition, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America organization is supporting Missouri Intern Connect. The service is now live at Businesses and non-profits are encouraged to register their internship opportunities. Organizations can list internship openings directly on Missouri Intern Connect. If an organization needs help setting up an internship program, Missouri Intern Connect offers a step-by-step guide covering the all steps. A full-time staff member, Kelly Dyer, is the service’s Intern and Business Engagement Director and is available to assist employers in this process as well. College students interested in finding an internship in Missouri should visit to create a profile and begin searching for opportunities. Internships are searchable by interests and abilities. Students can also search by region if they want to stay close to home or try working in a new region of Missouri. Even if the right internship isn’t listed yet, students should still create a profile as employers will be encouraged to search student profiles to find a match for their opportunities. The service is based on, a successful program run by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The decision to bring this program to Missouri was driven by the goals of Missouri 2030, the Missouri Chamber’s strategic initiative. One of Missouri 2030’s four core drivers is “Preparing the Workforce,” which reflects a growing concern from Missouri employers about workforce readiness and availability in our state. “When we launched Missouri 2030, we knew immediately that workforce was one of the biggest issues facing our state,” said Mehan. “Missouri Intern Connect is a direct result of Missouri 2030. We are thankful for the support of businesses across the state which allows us to bring this solution to Missouri. We now encourage all employers to use Missouri Intern Connect and help make this service a success.”

  • 24 Jan 2019 10:43 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    On a recent Friday afternoon, for just a moment, an audience at Swope Health Central hit the “pause” button to think about what life was like in 1995. The reason? The unsealing of a time capsule placed in the wall of the building by members of the Swope Health Board of Directors and staff members that year. They offered mementos and messages for a future audience.

    Fast forward 25 years. That “future audience” of current staff, board members, patients and community representatives were on hand to witness the opening of the time capsule as part of the kickoff of Swope Health’s 50th anniversary year.


  • 17 Jan 2019 8:55 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    South  KC Chamber President, Vickie Wolgast spoke with Fox 4's Rebecca Gannon about changes on 103rd and Stateline. 

    "The area at 103rd and State Line in South Kansas City was once considered a dying area. Businesses left. Store fronts stood empty.

    But that’s all changing.

    During the Wednesday lunch rush at Cacao, the tables were full, and the servers were busy.

    The restaurant opened in July at State Line Shopping Center on the northeast corner of 103rd and State Line. And already, business is heating up.

    Twenty years ago, Afonso Esqueda worked in this shopping center with his Uncle Victor. In fact, it was next door at what was then Guadalajara Cafe.

    “For several years, it was empty," Esqueda said of the shopping center back then. "I mean, this area, all the spaces were empty.”

    Even Guadalajara Cafe left in 2012. But in 2018, the Esqueda family came back with Cacao because commerce came back.

    “They are trying to renew the area,” he said. “For us, it’s that right moment.”

    The Tesla dealership is slated to move from the Plaza to the State Line Shopping Center. New restaurants with new concepts (like a Panera Drive-Thru) are moving in.

    The South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President Vickie Wolgast said the development isn’t limited to 103rd and State Line. It spreads south to Red Bridge and Holmes, to Martin City and even Raymore.

    Wolgast credits Cerner for bringing a campus to South Kansas City. It’s 6 miles from 103rd and State Line, and the campus is predicted to bring as many as 15,000 people to the area.

    "I think that has really gotten people really excited about being out here," Wolgast said, "and moving businesses out here that can service those employees.

    She also noted several other employers are now located in South Kansas City area, including Honeywell and Burns and McDonnell.

    "It really is a rebirth for Kansas City," Wolgast said, "and we’re seeing a lot of great development out here."

    Businesses like Cacao find that very appetizing.

    But other businesses nearby have had to adjust. Just down 103rd toward Wornall is a place hit hard by flooding, twice, in 2017.

    The strip mall and two surrounding buildings have been purchased by the city of Kansas City. City crews plan to demolish the three buildings this spring or early summer. It will turn the area into a Greenspace, along with a small parking area at the Indian Creek Trailhead."

    Watch the Video.....

South KC Chamber of Commerce

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340





South Kansas City is one of the fastest growing areas in the KCMO metropolitan area. Millions of investment dollars are being spent in this region, which makes it a prime location for businesses to grow and prosper. 

The South KC Chamber is dedicated to working with KCMO's city leadership, our business members, and local community organizations to create a positive, growth-oriented business environment in South Kansas City. We would love to support your company's growth too! 


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