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KVC Health Systems

At 50th Celebration, KVC Health Systems Will Honor Sesame Workshop, Lynn Kaufman and More

KVC 50th Celebration - KVC Health Systems' 50th Anniversary Celebration - Oct. 15, 2020

This October, KVC Health Systems will celebrate 50 years of heart-centered service to children and families. At KVC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 15, the nonprofit organization will also honor an inspiring list of heroes and partners including Sesame Workshop, long-time clinical social worker Lynn Kaufman, Sleep Outfitters, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Academy for Child and Family Well Being, Kellie Hans Reid and Aetna Better Health of Kansas, volunteer Robyn Lambert and Church of the Resurrection West, Family-Finding Model creator Kevin Campbell, and supporter Aaron Thakker.

Register for this special event today!

The organization that is now KVC Health Systems began in 1970 as a home in downtown Kansas City, KS called Wyandotte House. A group of caring women from the Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties created it to help vulnerable children; victims of abuse or neglect who otherwise had nowhere to go except the local juvenile detention center. The nonprofit grew steadily, thanks to its strong values and measurable outcomes, eventually changing its name to Kaw Valley Center and then KVC Health Systems.

Mother hugging her two childrenNow, KVC is a team of more more than 1,500 child welfare and behavioral health professionals based at 35 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia. KVC strengthens families and prevents child abuse and neglect. We help people achieve wellness by providing in-home family support, mental health treatment, foster care, adoption, children’s psychiatric hospitals and more. The KVC Institute provides training and consultation around the world. KVC has changed the face of foster care nationally by reimagining how we serve children and families in crisis, integrated trauma-informed care into its broad continuum of care, and innovated tremendously in children’s psychiatric treatment.

KVC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration will take place virtually on Thursday, October 15. This free event begins with a reception 2:30-3:00 CDT, followed by a one-hour program 3:00-4:00 CDT. Learn more about the event here or directly register through CrowdCast. Anyone with a connection to KVC or an interest in helping children, adults and families overcome adversity is encouraged to attend.

During the 2:30-3:00 CDT virtual reception, participants can get connected to the online meeting, get comfortable, and enjoy some visual highlights. Participants may interact using live chat; their audio and video will not be shared at any time during the event.

During the 3:00-4:00 CDT program, participants will see KVC’s 2020 Annual Impact Report, revisit wonderful memories from the last 50 years, hear an update from KVC Health Systems President and CEO Jason Hooper, see tributes to friends of KVC who have been champions for children and families, and watch as awards are presented to six values-driven partners and two KVC Hero Award winners.

Tribute to Dick Bond and Mayor Mike Copeland

KVC will also pay tribute to two long-time supporters and board members who passed away in 2020. Former President of the Kansas Senate, Dick Bond, and Olathe, KS Mayor Mike Copeland. KVC Board of Directors Co-Chair Wayne Sims said that both men exemplified the Albert Einstein quote, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

Dick Bond and Wayne Sims

Bond and Sims

Sims said, “Dick Bond did many great things in his career in law, banking and politics. He chaired many citywide and statewide committees aimed at improving the human condition. However, none brought more clarity of his greatness than watching him provide individual counseling to a child who had been born with physical challenges. No matter who we are, we all need teachers and mentors. These are people we can look up to and inspire to be like them. Children born with some type of handicapping condition are no exception. To see Dick model for children what could be overcome and subsequently achieved was a blessing and all who met with Dick were indeed enriched.”

Mayor Mike Copeland


“In like manner, Mayor Mike Copeland was uniquely gifted. He was the longest serving Mayor in Olathe history, holding the office for almost 20 years. In that time, Olathe grew exponentially not only in population but in commerce and was a nationally recognized city. Mike was truly a humanitarian. He was passionate about his work as Mayor and his role as city father to improve the lives of all the city’s children. Mike read books to children in school. He made sure that some of the funds raised for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund went to providing new school shoes and socks for Olathe’s economically challenged children. And, he did what he could to better the lives of neglected and abused children entering the state’s foster care system. Mike was truly a caring and generous man.”

KVC thanks and honors these two men who lived a life worthwhile by serving others.

KVC Hero Award Recipients:

Sesame Workshop, Sesame Street in Communities - Sherrie Westin, Rochelle Haynes - KVC Hero AwardSesame Workshop

Creators of the innovative Sesame Street in Communities initiative. Pictured are Sherrie Westin, President of Social Impact and Philanthropy, and Rochelle Haynes, Vice President of U.S. Social Impact. Read more about KVC’s partnership with Sesame Street in Communities here.

Lynn Kaufman Grump Meter KVC Hero Award KVC HospitalsLynn Kaufman

Beloved, long-time licensed clinical social worker at KVC Hospitals, helping children experiencing a mental health crisis, and creator of The Grump Meter.


KVC Values-Driven Partner Award Recipients:

Aaron ThackerAaron Thakker, a generous supporter of children receiving psychiatric treatment at KVC Niles and KVC Hospitals

Kevin CampbellKevin Campbell, creator of the Family-Finding Model (learn more)

Faculty at the UNL Academy for Child and Family Well-beingThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Academy for Child and Family Well Being, our partner in Fostering Educational Success (learn more)

Kellie Hans Reid and AetnaKellie Hans Reid and Aetna Better Health of Kansas, positively impacting children’s life-long health (learn more)

Mike Poppe and Chuck Ikner, Sleep OutfittersMike Poppe and Chuck Ikner, Sleep Outfitters (Lexington, KY), providing hundreds of beds and restorative rest to children and families in need (learn more)

Robyn Lambert Church of the Resurrection WestRobyn Lambert and Church of the Resurrection West
(Olathe, KS), supporting adults to become foster and adoptive families (learn more)


Learn more and register for KVC’s 50th anniversary here. If you have questions about this event, contact us at

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