Posts by Kim Smolderen

Partner Spotlight: Paseo Gateway

Partner Spotlight: Paseo Gateway Choice Neighborhood Initiative

As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” And as we undertake this community outreach effort to promote understanding about peripheral artery disease (PAD), we are so fortunate to be working with tremendous partners within the Kansas City community. With their insights and connections, we are sure to make a difference and help people improve their cardiovascular health. We asked one of our partners to explain his role in this endeavor.

Meet Chris McKinney

Chris McKinney

Christopher McKinney

I’m the Choice Neighborhood Initiative: Paseo Gateway community liaison. The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a $30 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. This project is providing six mixed-income housing developments, which includes replacement housing for the existing 134-unit public housing development, Chouteau Courts. Along with providing replacement housing, the grant enables Critical Community Improvement projects, which consist of placemaking, public park improvements, small business façade improvement, and minor home repair programs.

These projects are revitalizing the area around the new developments to create a welcoming and healthy environment for the current and new residents of northeast Kansas City. In my role, I connect stakeholders to execute existing projects and plan new projects. I also ensure residents remain engaged and that their feedback guides all decisions. Finally, I lead the effort to ensure sustainability for all the investments beyond the life of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant.

In my efforts to create an environment that supports project sustainability, I’ve worked to engage organizations and individuals that have exhibited the capacity, energy and vision for healthy communities. While health in this sense does not only relate to physical health, physical health is a big component of a healthy community.

This is where the Saint Luke’s PAD grant fits perfectly. The grant will help to encourage residents to get out into the community and interact with neighbors and utilize public spaces. Being that social interaction and cohesion are the hallmarks of strong communities, I believe this will go a long way in ensuring that the Choice Neighborhood Initiative: Paseo Gateway project will be very successful.


Follow these steps to learn about PAD

Call for Artists to Create Community Art Project About PAD

We’re excited to announce that we are partnering with the Mattie Rhodes Center to plan a collaborative community art project to promote understanding and awareness of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the historic northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, Mo. The first step is to find a passionate artist to work with on this health-focused collaboration with the community.

If you or someone you know is an artist, please share this Call for Artists information with them and encourage them to apply.

Call for Artists

This is an open call for Kansas City area artists who work in all media. The team is looking for artists who are interested in working collaboratively to create a meaningful and interactive multi-faceted art installation in the historic northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, Mo.

This call extends to artists who are interested in working on a health-focused project with community members. There will be several events where community members will be invited to contribute to the art project, and the final product will require a team effort. The intent is for this collaborative art project to increase awareness about PAD and its risk factors, as well as shed light on ways to prevent PAD.

How to Apply?

Submit the Artist Application or letter of interest to Kiki Serna, Project Coordinator at Mattie Rhodes Center


March 15, 2020

More Details?

The artist selected for this project will receive payment. An informational event for interested artists to learn more about this opportunity will be held Thursday, March 12, 5-7 p.m. at the Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery, 919 W. 17th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108.


Contact Jenny Mendez, Project Creative Director at Mattie Rhodes Center


Download the Call for Artists Application

Read the complete news release


Follow these steps to learn about PAD

Town Hall Meeting

Join Us for a Town Hall Meeting

by Kim Smolderen

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects 8.5 million Americans. Having PAD can cause pain in the legs while walking, and it is associated with a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Data from the American Heart Association shows that inner-city neighborhoods are especially at risk of getting a late diagnosis of PAD. And if PAD goes untreated, it can lead to amputation.

That’s why we’re taking action.

With the help of a funding award from the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, our team will be working to engage the residents of Kansas City, and specifically, the Paseo Gateway neighborhood. We want to get your input about how we can best raise awareness about PAD and educate the community about cardiovascular health.

Join us at our first community event:

Town Hall Meeting on Cardiovascular Health
Thursday, Dec. 5  **new date!
5-7 p.m.
Mattie Rhodes Center Northeast Office
148 N. Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO 64123

Dinner and refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Christine Fuss by email.

We will discuss a community art project that will serve as a visual expression of the importance of vascular health, and we’ll share information about PAD symptoms, how to get tested, and the different ways of managing this condition.

Learn more about our community outreach program.

Hope to see you there!

Follow these steps to learn about PAD

What Show Me PAD Is All About

by Kim Smolderen

Kim Smolderen, Ph.D.

Kim Smolderen, Ph.D.

As a medical psychologist and outcomes researcher, I have always focused my work on trying to better understand patient experiences as they navigate care for their disease. I started my career in social work and worked in a hospital. I saw many patients at a critical juncture in their lives as they were dealing with chronic diseases. In my work as a researcher thereafter, I focused on the individual’s experience and how other life factors and societal factors shaped those experiences.

Through a post-doctoral training in cardiovascular outcomes research by the American Heart Association, my focus expanded on understanding quality of care and quality of life outcomes for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Through this broader lens, our team – along with a team of patient experts – started studying hundreds of patients’ experiences in the U.S., the Netherlands and Australia as they were facing a new diagnosis of PAD.

This research allowed us to understand PAD better as seen from the patients’ perspective, as that perspective should be the driver of how tailored and responsive care is designed, as patients’ needs define that care. With our work, we hope to develop patient-centered management programs to improve patients’ quality of care and outcomes.

Helpful PAD Resources

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with PAD, take some time to explore our Show Me PAD website to learn about PAD and the different treatment options available. You can watch videos with perspectives from patients and providers, and use the Decision Aid to help you decide what is best for your lifestyle.

Follow these steps to learn about PAD