In April 2003, HCA purchased Health Midwest, a nonprofit health care provider serving areas in Kansas and Missouri. The sale was the largest hospital transaction in Kansas City and one of the largest in the nation at that time.
With 80 percent of the proceeds — amounting to $400.5 million — from the sale, then-Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon established the Health Forward Foundation and appointed the inaugural 25-member Board of Directors. The board moved quickly from there, registering Health Forward as a nonprofit, hiring Steve Roling as Health Forward’s president and CEO, and establishing Health Forward’s mission and guiding principles.
Health Forward began grant making in 2005, and our continued funding in the areas of mental health, safety net health care and healthy communities have helped remove barriers to quality health care for the underserved and uninsured in our service area.
In the early years of setting up Health Forward, there were some deliberate choices made to keep the organization focused totally on its mission in the most effective way possible. Read the background on these decisions in our Decade of Difference blog series.