What Juneteenth means for health equity

This past weekend we celebrated Juneteenth. A new holiday to many Americans, considering it’s the second year of it being a national holiday. However, growing up as a little Black Baptist girl in Kansas City — my family and my Sunday/Vacation Bible School teachers anchored us in knowing why Juneteenth was our day of liberation. […]

Protecting our economy by protecting Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion hangs by a thread and the Missouri Senate is the last line of defense in protecting health care for working families.  Two years ago, Missouri voters went to the polls and overwhelming passed a constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid coverage to people who were earning a paycheck but unable to afford private health […]

‘You cannot build power without community’

One thing that can’t be debated:Power never changed on its own, you got to make it.That’s why community is so sacredThat’s the symbol that we make when we raise fists ~Brother Ali, Letter to My Countrymen These lyrics are from a song that moves and centers me, personally and professionally. Brother Ali, one of my […]

Recapping the legislative sessions in Kansas, Missouri

The regular 2022 legislative sessions in Kansas and Missouri have concluded. At Health Forward, our work is centered on supporting and building inclusive, powerful, and healthy communities by prioritizing people who experience the greatest injustices in health outcomes. Throughout the legislative session, we worked to remove or address these injustices through our leadership, advocacy, and […]

We get by with a little help from our friends

Rubiselda was late. Twenty-two minutes late.   I was nervous. The local news station with camera crew and news anchor were waiting for Rubiselda Velazquez, a patient of Mercy and Truth Medical Missions. They had just finished their interview with the executive director of Pharmacy of Grace, the first freestanding nonprofit pharmacy in the Kansas City […]

New policy ensures KC tenants facing eviction have lawyers

It is 2016 and Kenya Banks is standing in front of Division 27 at the Jackson County Courthouse. She doesn’t have an attorney; she doesn’t have a plan. She only knows that her landlord is suing her for eviction and she is hoping the court will exercise some mercy. Kenya, a lifelong fast-food worker, fell […]

Kansas Birth Equity Network elevates voices of Black families

Growing up in rural Arkansas, I started my career as a babysitter because I loved children and dreamed of becoming an OB-GYN and delivering babies. But after earning a biology degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and having a son to care for, I discovered a new path — public health — […]

What we’re watching: April 2022 legislative update in Kansas, Missouri

Health Forward is supporting and building inclusive, powerful, and healthy communities by prioritizing people who experience the greatest injustices in health outcomes. We are working to remove those injustices through our leadership, advocacy, and resources.  Our current Kansas and Missouri policy agendas outline the unique challenges that each state faces and seeks to address state-centric […]

New finance leader hopes to inspire change through impact investing

I began my career at the New York Mercantile Exchange when futures and options were still traded in open outcry ‘pits’ (like in the movie Trading Spaces).  This experience taught me not only about the power of investment markets but also about the ever-changing nature of these complex markets. My move to invest primarily on […]

Cradle KC supporting, advocating for Black maternal health

Cradle Kansas City is a collective impact initiative created to address infant mortality in the Kansas City region. This collective gathers partners who work in the family support sector, including maternal child health organizations, medical systems, education, housing, and transportation services. These organizations and individuals work to uplift the voice of the community and provide […]


Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006