Sept. 4, 2019

Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird has selected Dr. Jay Rapley as the 2019 Citizen of the Year for his perseverance and strength when faced with extreme adversity, inspiring others with his story and helping those who have faced injury or trauma in their own lives.

He will be honored at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation’s Annual Citizen’s Reception on Sept. 6 and at the Foundation’s Toast to Our Towns Gala on Sept. 28.

Dr. Rapley is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Rockhill Orthopaedic Specialists in Lee’s Summit. In 2017, a truck hit Dr. Rapley as he was walking his dog. The accident left him paralyzed. His strength, determination and faith guided him through months of surgeries, grueling physical therapy and relearning how to live life. Six months after his accident, Dr. Rapley was back at work. Two months after that, he was back in the operating room.

“Despite a devastating and life-changing injury, Jay never wavered in his determination to return to giving his talents to serve others,” said Mayor Baird. “His inspiring journey is one of courage, perseverance, focus and faith.”

At Rockhill Orthopaedic Specialists, Dr. Rapley specializes in knees, shoulders and sports medicine. Patients have suffered either an injury or serious trauma, affecting their daily lives. The opportunity to improve lives and see tangible differences in a patient’s recovery is what drove Dr. Rapley to become an orthopaedic surgeon.

In addition to his work as an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Rapley is active in the community. He serves as team physician for the football team at Lee’s Summit West High School. He is also active in his church along with his wife, Ashley, and their four daughters.

During his residency at the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Dr. Rapley was selected as Outstanding Resident of the Year. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Missouri State Orthopaedic Association; Missouri State Medical Association; American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; and Arthroscopy Association of North America.

The prestigious Citizen of the Year award recognizes exceptional citizens whose work and service to the community has significantly enhanced the quality of life for citizens of Lee’s Summit. The City has been recognizing its outstanding citizens since 1996.