E. Frank Ellis will step down as CEO of Swope Community Enterprises

Swope Community Enterprises announced Tuesday that E. Frank Ellis will step down as chief executive officer next year.

Ellis, 67, is working with a transition committee of Swope board members to complete the details of his departure.

Ellis said the health care and economic development organization is in sound financial shape, with more than $100 million in net assets. That’s largely because of the sale of FirstGuard Health Plan, which had been developed and managed by Swope.

Ellis has worked at Swope since 1971, which began as a primary health services provider in the basement of Metropolitan Baptist Church through a federal Model Cities Program grant.

By 1980, Swope Health Services grew to include mental and behavioral health services. It now serves more than 40,000 patients at eight sites in the Kansas City area.

A related entity, Swope Community Builders, has been responsible for more than $225 million in investment and development, mostly in east Kansas City.

In announcing the executive transition, the organization said it expects Swope Health Services to be spun off next year from Swope Community Enterprises and become its own operating entity.

Ellis will retain the titles of founder and chairman emeritus of Swope Health Services, Swope Community Builders and Swope Community Enterprises. The organizations are planning a celebration of his service for early 2014.

Several community leaders complimented Ellis for his years of service to Swope and Kansas City. He is a past chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Brush Creek Community Partners.

“Frank serves as the consummate example for a generation of Kansas City leaders of how to manage the growth of your organization while giving back to the community,” said David Gentile, chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.