Get to Know the 24%: Representative Kathyrn Swan
Representative Kathryn Swan represents District 147 of Cape Girardeau County in Missouri. She got her start in politics after being elected to the Cape Girardeau School Board in the early 1990s. In addition to being involved in K-12 and higher education, Representative Swan is the President and owner of JCS Wireless, a small wireless communications company in Southeast Missouri. Her background also includes earning an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southeast Missouri State University. Representative Swan’s well-rounded background helps her make knowledgeable policy decisions in the legislature. She explains that her experiences in education, business, and healthcare have had a significant impact on her policy-making decisions. Using her knowledge from each of these subjects, Representative Swan provides solutions through the legislative process to resolve issues within her community.
One issue that Representative Swan advocates for is early childhood education. She explained, “Most brain development occurs by the time the child is five. We need to capture that time and make sure the children are ready for school, which will make a significant impact on the child’s school career.” She further explained that several children start school when they are not ready, which can put them behind throughout their school career. Early childhood education is important to help children have a good start in school, ultimately having a positive impact on them for the rest of their lives.
Another legislative accomplishment of Representative Swan is proud of is her Nursing and Telehealth Bill. This bill allows Advanced Practice Nurses to provide healthcare services using electronic forms of communication, under the supervision of a physician, to patients outside of the current 50-mile radius restriction from the collaborating physician. She explains this bill was inspired by spending time in the rural communities where their access to healthcare is limited and there is a need for greater access to primary care. She stated, “This bill can have a significant positive impact on the long-term health of individuals in these communities. Individuals will be able to identify [health] issues much earlier through the use of technology.”
In addition to serving her community in the legislature, Representative Swan is engaged in her community through volunteering. She serves on numerous boards and has volunteered with United Way, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association, to name a few. She advises young women who aspire to become involved in politics to first volunteer within their communities. She stated, “A good way to become involved in policy-making is to volunteer and gain experience working with a group of people who have different opinions. [Through volunteering] people in your community learn that you care about your community and you are willing to devote time to help your community.”
About the Author
Molly Eggleston completed the Future Women in Government Program at the Midwestern Regional Conference in June, 2014. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in December, 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. Molly is a Registered Nurse at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, MO. She plans on continuing her education in 2016, pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing.
About Future WIG
Women In Government supports women of all ages in leadership roles, and is working hard to ensure that young women are given the resources and mentorship they need in order to achieve their goals. This program takes place at WIG Regional conferences, where WIG asks women state legislators and leaders in the private sector to encourage young women across the country to pursue leadership roles. This program is made possible by Southwest Airlines.