New beginnings for Health Forward from Bridget and Qiana
Health Forward Foundation’s vision of healthy people in healthy communities requires an incredible amount of innovation, collaboration, advocacy, and transformation to achieve.
It is in the spirit of collaboration and transformation that together we share highlights from 2019 — a year that marked a time of great change, great progress, and new beginnings for Health Forward.
The most notable of changes was the transition in Health Forward leadership. Speaking as former and current president/CEOs, we are both thankful to the board of directors, Community Advisory Committee, and Health Forward associates for their stability, leadership, and unwavering devotion to our mission.
We were pleased this year to be able to provide over $20 million in grants to partner organizations working in the areas of healthy communities, mental health and safety net care.
We were pleased this year to be able to provide over $20 million in grants to partner organizations working in the areas of healthy communities, mental health and safety net care. In addition to providing these needed resources to nonprofits, we also supported efforts to empower leaders working within and across their communities through programs like our Healthy Communities Leadership Academy and Enhanced Suicide Care Academy.
Health Forward also unveiled a new grants management system. The new system brings the promise of more efficient workflows for the foundation and our partners, more opportunities to aggregate and analyze data, and enhanced management of grantee relationships. Applicants and grantees are also now able to complete more grants management tasks online and collaborate with colleagues on applications. As with any new technology, there were (and are) bumps in the road. We appreciate the patience and cooperation shown by our partners while we navigated the uncharted waters of a new system to manage our grants process.
Medicaid expansion in Kansas and Missouri remained of keen importance to Health Forward. We have taken a leadership role in encouraging both states to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, which would bring approximately $325 million annually into our region in support of health access for our residents.
In 2019, we led real progress on that front:
- In Kansas, legislative leaders have pledged to take up the debate on Medicaid expansion in the 2020 session.
- In Missouri, Health Forward is among many partners of Healthcare for Missouri, which officially launched a campaign in early September to put Medicaid expansion on the November 2020 ballot.
We hold much hope that policy advancements in 2020 bring our vision of healthy people in healthy communities closer to reality.
As we embark on a new decade, we welcome the opportunities to begin new partnerships, strengthen existing ones, and work to ensure everyone in our region has a fair and just opportunity to achieve optimal health.