Watch the Webinar:

Telehealth for Immigrants and Refugees: Opportunities and Challenges

During our April 30 webinar, we have joined by leaders in the health care community to discuss the use of technology with immigrant and refugee communities. We heard from panelists about their journey transitioning to telehealth visits, share lessons learned, and hear from a community member's experience.

Featured Speakers

John D. Cowden, MD

John D. Cowden, MD, is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a general academic pediatrician at Children's Mercy Kansas City, where he served for 10 years as Medical Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity, and now serves as Health Equity Integration Project Lead. He is also the founder and Director of the Culture and Language Coaching Program (CLCP), an innovative model for training bilingual health care providers seeking to reach a professional level of linguistic and cross-cultural proficiency. The CLCP includes CHiCoS, a training program for pediatric residents, and Adelante, which supports mental/behavioral health providers in community safety net settings.

Dr. Cowden’s research and quality improvement interests include provider-patient communication, models for culturally and linguistically appropriate care, and data collection for health equity surveillance. In his bilingual primary care practice at Children’s Mercy’s Pediatric Care Center, he serves Spanish-speaking families from throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. He teaches medical students from the University of Kansas City – Missouri and the University of Kansas and pediatric residents at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Cowden trained in medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, completed a pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington, and received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington. He also completed the Disparities Leadership Program at the Disparities Solutions Center, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Gabriella Gardner, MBA

Gabriella Gardner, MBA, is the Director of Language Access at Truman Medical Centers. She is a professional linguist with more than 15 years of experience in the health care field as an administrator, interpreter, translator, and instructor. Gabriella studied Language and Literature at Arizona State University and at Université Catholique de Lille in France.  She has a Master’s in Business Administration and is an American Essential Hospitals Fellow.  She is also a graduate of the first Truman Medical Centers Executive Fellowship program where she received a UMKC-Cerner Certificate for Healthcare Leadership from the Bloch School of Management. Gabriella is known for implementing high-quality services and programs in multicultural healthcare environments to reduce health disparities and ensure equal access to healthcare for diverse populations.

Since 2010, Gabriella has led a multilingual team of interpreters and health navigators to help facilitate the delivery of care to a growing number of culturally diverse patients at Truman Medical Center’s downtown and suburban campuses. With more than 95 languages spoken by patients, her team provides over 160,000 interpreting sessions per year. During her tenure, Gabriella designed an award-winning automated interpreter dispatching system in the electronic health record which resulted in a 20% improvement in patient throughput, a 40% increase in REAL data capture, a 49% increase in productivity and a cost avoidance of $500,000. Her initiatives and innovative use of health information technology helped TMC earn the 2014 HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award of Excellence and more importantly have enabled TMC to provide a more personalized care experience for each unique patient while providing the correct care in the fastest possible time.

Chelsea Johnson, MD

Chelsea Johnson, MD, was born, raised and educated in Nebraska. She earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed her residency training at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Dr. Johnson has a particular interest in innovative care delivery, digital health, and telemedicine and passionately advocates for dyslexia education. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family - attending TaeKwonDo tournaments, dance competitions and tennis tournaments.

Dr. Johnson has twenty years’ experience in pediatrics, including urgent care, emergency care, and hematology/oncology medicine. She has been the scheduling director for the urgent care center and CM Kansas emergency department. Her current role is medical director of Kidcare Anywhere telemedicine at Children’s Mercy. She is a member of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Health Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), and International Dyslexia Association. In addition to her clinical and administrative role, she is on the board of Decoding Dyslexia Missouri, a grassroots organization advocating for dyslexia education and legislation. Dr. Johnson resides in Liberty, MO with her husband and enjoys life with her 3 children, 2 parakeets, 2 Ragdoll cats, and Alaskan Klee Kai puppy.


Children's Mercy Virtual Visits