Blog Posts By: Bridget McCandless, MD

Bridget McCandless: ‘My final week at Health Forward’

October 9, 2019


This week is my last as president/CEO of Health Forward Foundation.  While my commitment to the mission of Health Forward will continue to be a guiding force in my life, […]

Campaign asks Missouri voters to put Medicaid expansion on ballot

September 5, 2019


Available. Accessible. Affordable. Health Forward Foundation has been working toward these goals for health care services in our two states since our founding in 2003. While we realize health entails far […]

I am retiring as Health Forward’s President/CEO

January 23, 2019


This week, I announced to the Health Forward Board of Directors my retirement. This has been one of the toughest decisions of my life. For the past five years and […]

Health Care Foundation is now Health Forward Foundation

November 14, 2018


Most of you know us as Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. But we also answer to the Kansas City Health Care Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Health Care […]

Health Forward responds to family separation and detention border policies

June 28, 2018


Our focus at Health Forward has always been to advocate for the health of those in our community who are most in need. It was a promise we made at […]

What we learned from 10 months of community dialogue

April 4, 2018


For many decades before I joined Health Forward, I ran a free health clinic, treating uninsured, low-income patients. They entrusted me with not only their physical health, but also their […]

Reflections on 2017 and a look ahead at 2018

January 4, 2018


No one can dispute that we are in a time of unprecedented change. With a new administration this year on the federal and local levels, there are many changes that […]

Survey: finding Health Forward’s permanent location

August 2, 2017


It has been some months now that we have relocated to our office space at 2300 Main Street. We have been so appreciative that this office was able to accommodate […]

Our national health care system should work for everyone

June 23, 2017


For the last eight years, we have watched our elected officials introduce and pass health care legislation. We advocated that any bill should protect our citizens with the least means […]

Health Forward to host community forums in service area

May 15, 2017


The Health Forward Foundation highly values listening and engaging with our community. While Health Forward is best known for our annual $20 million in grantmaking, we know that this funding […]

American Health Care Act: Senate must protect our most vulnerable

May 10, 2017


Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that takes a major step toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The bill, known as the American Health Care […]

With deep gratitude, thank you to all our volunteers

April 26, 2017


Did you know that 62 million people volunteer each year? Most of them volunteer for an average of 40 hours per year. It never ceases to amaze me how much […]

A great week for Kansas

Topeka Kansas Capitol

March 29, 2017


Editor’s note: Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed the bill. We expect the House to delay a vote on a motion to override the veto until next week. The Alliance for a Healthy […]

A Health Care Foundation series: Exploring #RepealAndReplace

March 23, 2017


I have been reading so many opinions and analyses of the recently proposed American Health Care Act.  In some of the more nuanced discussions, people differ on what it will […]

Now that the lawsuit is over, where do we go from here?

February 16, 2017


It was seven years ago Health Forward entered into litigation to ensure that HCA’s commitments to the communities we serve through the sale of Health Midwest were fulfilled. Last month, we […]

ACA uncertainty puts health care gains at risk

February 9, 2017


From inception, the Affordable Care Act attempted to strike a delicate balance between affordability for consumers and sustainability for insurers, all against a backdrop of varying health risks. Some components […]

Transparency in Health Forward’s funding

January 4, 2017


I am often asked about the dollars that support the efforts of the Health Forward Foundation. When a foundation grants $20 million annually, those questions are inevitable because so many […]

Creating a culture of health

December 15, 2016


As 2016 winds down, we begin our annual blog series where Health Forward associates review highlights from our work this past year. In our final post, Bridget McCandless looks ahead to […]

Wishing you a day of peace and thanksgiving

November 23, 2016


Friends, I write to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. This has been a time of immeasurable gratitude at the foundation. We are so appreciative of the support that has poured […]

What makes a good tobacco tax?

September 21, 2016


The tobacco tax is a powerful public health tool. Tobacco taxes are like antibiotics— dose matters. A drop here and there does nothing. With tobacco taxes, the dose needs to […]

Home is where the heart is

August 11, 2016


Editor’s note: As of March 3, 2017, we have relocated to an interim office while we continue our search for a permanent location. Our temporary home is now 2300 Main […]

Farewell to our beloved Rhonda Holman

June 23, 2016


What a bittersweet message to write. This is a time to celebrate the a wonderful career of our friend and colleague, Rhonda Holman. Rhonda has had a career that spanned […]

When nothing is better than something

March 2, 2016


Update: Please read why we only support a tobacco tax that has an actual effect on public health. Health Forward intends to pursue a substantial and impactful increase in the tobacco tax […]

Fanfare for the common man

January 11, 2016


Yesterday was the service for my friend Landon Rowland. It is hard not to smile when thinking of how to describe him. I heard several people lovingly describe him as […]

Farewell to Tracy Skidgel

Tracy Steve Dr. Jonas

January 6, 2016


There are few words to describe someone as important to the Health Care Foundation as Tracy Skidgel. She was the first employee of Health Forward, and in many ways, helped to […]

My New Year’s Resolution for Kansas City

Health Forward associates, 2015

December 31, 2015


  2015 was an exciting year for the Health Forward Foundation. It was during this year that we celebrated 10 years of grantmaking. Over the course of the past decade, […]

Recognizing trauma will change health landscape

Mental health behavioral health

November 24, 2015


People have been hearing a great deal about trauma lately. The concept is anything but new to social workers, of course. They could have told us 30 years ago that the […]

Proud to live in Kansas City

Culture of Health prize

November 6, 2015


Kansas City is sometimes on great lists and other times on not-so-great lists. My friend, Jim Heeter, at the Kansas City Chamber, says that Kansas City wants to move from […]

The Health Care Foundation supports Tobacco 21 | KC

Tobacco21 KC logo

October 22, 2015


Cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, kill up to one-third of regular users. The Surgeon General’s report on the dangers of tobacco came out […]

Health Not a Privilege of the Few But an Opportunity for the Many

August 7, 2015


On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson traveled to Independence, Missouri, to the Harry S Truman Presidential Library to sign legislation forming Medicare and Medicaid. Former President Harry Truman and […]

Electronic Health Records Improve a Patient’s Care

July 29, 2015


Anyone who has ever touched a computer knows that they are a blessing and a curse — a blessing when I need quick information, and lots of cursing when the […]

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marketplace Subsidies

June 26, 2015


We are pleased by today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold subsidies for health insurance purchased through federally-run Marketplaces, including in Kansas and Missouri. This decision means […]

Infographics Highlight Resources on Health Data Website

May 29, 2015


Two years ago, Health Forward was pleased to launch a new community website called KCHealthMatters.org. The goal of the website is to help strengthen and build healthier communities by providing […]

Remembering Mary Kettlewell

May 19, 2015


This week we said goodbye to our friend and colleague Mary Kettlewell. Mary spent her career dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate. Many of you had the […]

Healthy KC Initiative Seeks to Put Kansas City at Leading Edge of Health

April 1, 2015


The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce issued a challenge to the broader community: come up with ways that Kansas City could become a community on the leading edge of […]

5 Years of the Affordable Care Act: Improvement But We Can Still Do More

March 24, 2015


This week marks the five-year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA). This has heralded the largest transformative process in health care since the advent of […]

Seeing the Forest: Kansas City’s Progress in Health Care

March 19, 2015


At the beginning of March, a few colleagues and I traveled to sunny Austin, Texas, to attend the Grantmakers in Health conference. I always enjoy the opportunity GIH provides by […]

Health Levy Funds Must Continue to Support Safety Net Providers

March 4, 2015


There has been much discussion of the proposed changes in the distribution of Kansas City’s health levy funds. In 2013, 72 percent of voters approved the extension of a portion […]

Looking Ahead: 2014 Gives Us Hope for Health in the Coming Year

December 18, 2014


As has become an annual activity for our organization, before we ring in the new year, we take a look back at events, projects and moments from 2014 that have […]

Kansas City’s Conversation on Health a Lesson for Us All

October 22, 2014


Last Saturday, I was honored to spend a day with 300 members of our community, talking about how we can make where we live better for everyone. On Oct. 11, […]

What’s the True Cost of Untreated Mental Illness?

October 8, 2014


This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. During this time of year, mental health advocates use this opportunity to educate about the symptoms of major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and […]

A Look Back at My First Year as President/CEO of Health Forward

September 11, 2014


Two years ago, I was running a small, free health clinic in Independence, Missouri, sitting at my computer and working on a grant application to the Health Forward Foundation. My […]

My Children’s Futures Are Hopeful, But Not All Parents Can Say This

August 21, 2014


I was catching up with some friends recently and to no one’s surprise, the conversation quickly turned to our families and children. We shared the stories of our kids growing […]

Medicaid Part 2 Begins in 2015

June 17, 2014


I wrote last week about the journey toward Medicaid, Part 1. I was asked by several people what Part 2 would be. That remains to be determined. Part 1 included […]

End of Missouri Session—Part One

June 3, 2014


We have come to the end of the Missouri legislative session. I have been absolutely encouraged by the hard work done by so many this session and the progress that […]

Reflections on Six Months

March 26, 2014


This month I had the privilege of attending the Grantmakers in Health conference, a gathering of organizations working in the health philanthropy field. While these organizations were of different sizes […]

What Your Gut Tells You

March 12, 2014


There has been a long association between lower incomes and overweight/obesity. It makes sense that access to safe built environment; access to healthy foods, and social factors that influence healthy […]

Hunger Is a Major Culprit in Health Problems

February 25, 2014


A recent study showed that there was an increase at the end of the the month in the number of visits to the emergency room from low-income patients who had […]

Small Business Engine of Change

February 11, 2014


I was fortunate to travel to Washington D.C. recently with a group of people who are concerned about health and access to health insurance. While there were many sectors represented […]

What Are We Willing to Do on Their Behalf?

January 28, 2014


Let’s face it – the weather recently has certainly been a detriment to spending time outside. That is why it struck me just how addictive cigarettes are. As I looked […]

Smoking, Prevention and New Year’s Resolutions

January 15, 2014


It’s that time of year again when many of my patients are trying to quit smoking. My job is only to be the cheerleader because I know that they have […]

Looking to 2014

December 20, 2013


Before we bid farewell to an eventful year dominated by the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, our Health Forward associates take a look back at significant events and projects […]

Talking About Life Care with Your Family

November 14, 2013


I was able to visit recently with some folks who are working in the area of Palliative Care. Palliative Care is the practice of specialized medical care for people with […]

Salute to a Statesman

October 29, 2013


I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to Ike Skelton, who passed away Monday. He will be remembered as one of Missouri’s finest statesmen. He served as a […]

Kansas City Treasures

October 23, 2013


I recently attended the Grantmakers in Aging conference here in Kansas City. The Grantmakers in Aging, the host of the conference, is an organization that celebrates aging. The organization speaks […]

And the Winning Medical Residents Are …

October 9, 2013


I was delighted to attend the American College of Physicians Medical Conference two weeks ago. The best part to the conference is always the Doctors’ Dilemma where Internal Medicine residents […]

How Our Neighbor’s Health Impacts Us

September 25, 2013


A Missouri Hospital Association report was released this week, drawing a stark contrast between Missouri’s counties. Residents in Pemiscot County in southern Missouri suffer the lowest life expectancy in the […]

October Launch of Marketplace Is an Opportunity to Finally Afford Insurance

September 11, 2013


October 1 is right around the corner and with it, the start of open enrollment on the insurance marketplace. I know that this is important to real people—lots of my […]

An exciting life change

September 3, 2013


Hello friends, new acquaintances and readers, I am so honored to join the Health Forward Foundation’s team. As anyone who has worked with this organization knows, they are the most […]


Health Forward Foundation
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Kansas City, MO 64108
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