Kansas City Advocate for Children’s Health Will Receive Honorary Doctorate from UMKC

Expert in crisis management and strategy design David Westbrook will be honored during spring commencement 

At the age of 17, local philanthropist and advocate for children’s health David H. Westbrook lost his eyesight to juvenile glaucoma. He says his blindness has been nothing less than a “privilege,” connecting him to innate talents and opportunities he likely never would have reached had he remained sighted. Philanthropies such as the Pew Family Trust and the Kauffman Foundation have employed that talent in service to causes for children, which have been his passion for his entire adult life. A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Westbrook is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, holding bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology.

Westbrook will receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City during the College of Arts & Sciences spring commencement ceremony on May 12. Westbrook will receive his degree and give the commencement address at the College’s 7 p.m. ceremony, which will be held at Swinney Recreation Center on campus.

Westbrook currently serves as Senior Vice President for Strategy and Innovation at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been associated with the health care system for the past 25 years, having taken on his current assignment on a full-time basis in 2008. Prior to that time, Westbrook founded and successfully operated a consulting practice that employed 30 professionals and served clients throughout the nation and in parts of Europe. His expertise in strategy design and crisis management has been recognized by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor. His thought leadership has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and the Public Broadcasting System.

Westbrook’s current civic engagement activities include: Chair, Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities (Kansas City); Chair, Alphapointe Foundation; and Trustee, University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees.


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