Everyone loves a good story. The best part of my job as as the Communications Officer at the Health Forward Foundation is being able to share the stories of our community partners as they work to create healthier communities.
This isn’t always easy. While there have never been more ways to reach audiences in today’s digital era, it has also never been more difficult to really reach them. How can you talk about the amazing things being done to create a culture of health with 140 characters on Twitter or with an image that likely disappears as soon as it is opened?
Over the past few years, Health Forward has used social media channels to highlight some of this work to our 3,000 followers. On Facebook and Twitter this year, we featured #AHealthy10, a series of blogs and other stories highlighting current and former grantees that coincided with our 10th anniversary of grantmaking. We continued to build our Pinterest page with new infographics, including my favorite on Health Forward associates’ holiday traditions.
Not on social media? Most of our digital content is also shared through our many options of electronic newsletter. You can sign up for press releases, events and our monthly e-newsletter, The Pulse, for all the latest comings and goings at Health Forward. But our most popular electronic communication remains our weekly Friday news email, which curates all local and national health news into a one-stop shop of information.
View Health Forward’s individual funding pages:
This year, we also debuted a new website. The new website, of course, features a responsive design, so as to be more easily viewed on tablets and smartphones. The site also has more streamlined navigation, more images, graphics and videos, but my favorite feature is that we’ve incorporated into the design individual pages detailing each funding area. In addition to housing grant requirements and the current RFP, you can browse resources, blog posts, infographics and videos all related to each individual funding area.
One of my favorite features of the new website is our new and improved Local Health Buzz blog. Each year we’ve grown the LHB with guest bloggers. This year we heard from more than 60 grantees and community partners. This is a space where they can go to learn about new services, lessons learned and inspire social change.
Some of our most-read blog posts this year include:
- Iola turns floodplain into oasis
- Training equips KCPD officers to recognize mental illness
- The Little County that could
- Parenting intentionally and with care
- If I had a million dollars….
- Healthy KC initiative seeks to put Kansas City at leading edge of health
In case you haven’t heard yet, we celebrated 10 years of grantmaking in 2015. This afforded us an opportunity to do something special by taking a look back across the health landscape to better understand the accomplishments and obstacles surrounding care to the uninsured and underserved. We launched Health ForwardDecadeofDifference.org in September in an effort to tell the story of the amazing work being done to advance the health of our region.
In a year that saw the Kansas City Royals win the World Championship, I’d be remiss not to include a quote from the Royals former owner, Ewing Kauffman, whom many of you have heard our own former President/CEO Steve Roling quote by saying, “Money doesn’t solve problems, people do.”
At Health Forward, we know that money is an important resource. But it is just that. A means to an end. It is the work of our grantees and community partners that is eliminating barriers and promoting health in our community.
It has been our pleasure to share the stories of your work in 2015, and we look forward to continuing that this year.