Blog Posts By: Health Forward Blog Team

Brighter together: Happy holidays from Health Forward

December 20, 2021

Our voices are brighter when we come together as a community. We want to thank all of you for your part in the work we did in the community this year. This has been a year of growth and understanding for us at Health Forward, and we look forward to sharing that with you in […]

A look back on 2020

January 20, 2021

2020 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic, glaring health injustices for people of color, the economic downturn, racial unrest, and political polarization have all challenged our health, mental health, and livelihood. Though Health Forward associates spent most of the year working from home, we still had a full year. In addition to […]

Zooming into the holidays

December 21, 2020

We are rapidly approaching the end of what has seemed like a 600-day year. We are ready to turn the page on 2020 and approach the coming year with hope. But before we bid farewell to 2020, we are pausing to thank the many grantees, partners, and community organizations that displayed ingenuity, creative problem solving, […]

Frequently asked questions (and answers!) about Health Forward’s refined focus

October 22, 2020

Editor’s note: On Sept. 30, Health Forward hosted a virtual celebration for our 15th anniversary. During the event, president/CEO Qiana Thomason inspired us with the announcement of Health Forward’s focus on racial and health equity. Below are some frequently asked questions that came from audience members during and after the event. You can also watch […]

Anniversary celebration recap

October 8, 2020

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual celebration in honor of Health Forward’s 15 years! We were overwhelmed by the engaged audience comments during the event.  If you were unable to join us, you can still watch a recording of the live event. We have also published just Qiana Thomason’s keynote address, which you […]

Join us for our virtual anniversary celebration

September 25, 2020

Updated: Watch the event live. We invite you to download these pages and color while you watch. Be sure to share your masterpiece on social media with #HealthForward15 so we can feature your work! For the past 15 years, Health Forward Foundation has worked to transform communities and ignite a culture of health in our […]

Art for KC Voices collection shares the real story of food insecurity

September 15, 2020

In 2019, five local artists were commissioned to create works reflecting on racial and economic inequities associated with nutrition assistance programs and how food policy shapes access to healthy food. In this video featuring the entire Art for KC Voices collection, spoken word artist Glenn North shares one of his contributions: The House of Seven […]

We’re asking: How has the pandemic impacted your organization?

May 14, 2020

Sometimes the best response is silence. That’s the approach we have taken on our blog since the onset of the pandemic. In mid-March, we suspended posting anything not related to timely COVID-19 and policy-related communications.  Normally, our blog features a healthy mixture of posts from grantees, community partners, and our associates. It’s May so our […]

A look back at 2019

Health Forward's 2019 grantmaking

January 2, 2020

As we all file back to work in the new decade, we pause to celebrate a time-honored tradition here at Health Forward by recapping highlights from the previous year. Here’s how we spent some of 2019: Honoring Bridget McCandless’ service to Health Forward Foundation Dr. Bridget McCandless announced her retirement as Health Forward President/CEO in […]

Programs target critical early phases of child development

September 19, 2019

Circumstances beyond a child’s control can shape his or her destiny, for better or worse, far into the future. That’s why helping children avert a cascade of lifelong problems triggered by early adverse experiences is central to two area programs funded by Health Forward Foundation. Known as Promise 1000 and Healthy Kids Bright Futures, the […]

Comprehensive approach targets asthma in Kansas City

August 2, 2019

Combating an elusive, often-overlooked killer that preys on the youngest and most vulnerable among Kansas City’s African-American community is the objective behind Asthma Empowerment-Kansas City, a far-reaching program supported by Health Forward Foundation. The three-year-old initiative uses evidence-based strategies to fight the chronic respiratory disease on multiple fronts: In public schools with training, screenings and […]

A look back at 2018

January 14, 2019

Before we are too solidly into 2019, we want to stop, catch our breath, and take a look back at what a big year 2018 was for our communities and for our foundation. Health Forward Foundation Obviously our big news of 2018 was the culmination of two years of work on our new identity. Our […]

‘Tis the season to be grateful

December 19, 2018

Well, here it is, dear readers. The end of another busy year, with the biggest news being our new brand reveal. In the image above, you’ll see the roughly 170 grantees and community organizations that we partnered with to build communities of health in 2018. We thank each and every one for their dedication and […]

Group harvests cornucopia of fruits and vegetables for area at-risk populations

Healthy Communities: volunteers glean produce for After the Harvest

October 25, 2018

Fresh fruit and vegetables — and the health benefits that go with them — unfortunately remain out of reach for many with insufficient means. But thanks to a powerhouse Kansas City area program, a growing abundance of fresh produce is making its way to local families who need it most. After the Harvest, a nonprofit […]

Introducing new way to access Health Forward applicant defined grant documents

August 1, 2018

We know applying for grants takes time and resources from each of our applicants. We respect that time and effort, so we’re continually seeking ways to reduce the burden of this process on our applicants. Today we’re launching an effort to hopefully reduce the confusion of grant documents. Previously, applicants used individual links on the […]

Health and wellness conversations on the blog

July 5, 2018

Part of our work to ignite a culture of health in our region is advocating for health and wellness. One of our advocacy efforts is this blog. We love to share this platform with the voices of the community to advance conversations around wellness, prevention, and other timely health issues. So, thank you to our […]

Double Up Food Bucks spurs produce purchasing, healthier diets

April 19, 2018

Government aid remains essential in the fight against hunger for the area’s most vulnerable populations. Yet there’s no guarantee those in need can or will use their benefits to support healthy eating habits. Fortunately, a Kansas City area program is making it easier for individuals and families battling food insecurity to afford a diet rich […]

Thriving urban orchards help improve diets, rejuvenate communities

February 22, 2018

A visionary idea that took root in the Kansas City area six years ago continues to flourish as it improves healthy eating for low-income families and nurtures a renewed sense of community across struggling urban neighborhoods. The Giving Grove, a program of the Kansas City Community Gardens, is a one-of-a-kind initiative that helps at-risk communities […]

A year in review: Health Forward’s grantmaking in 2017

February 12, 2018

We often talk about our work to tackle the pressing health issues facing our community. Though the topics are always worthy of discussion and support, they can also be heavy and sad; after all, rarely does something positive come from not receiving regular medical care. However, it occurred to us recently that we rarely talk about […]

May your days be merry and bright

December 19, 2017

Well, here it is, dear readers. The end of another year. And what an interesting year 2017 has been! As Americans, we persevered through a tumultuous year. As Missourians and Kansans, we saw some successes in health. And closer to our home, Health Forward experienced quite a bit of change. Before we get too far […]

Radio program reaches out to at-risk Latino population

November 30, 2017

Isolated by language, culture and poverty, many Latino immigrants in Kansas City face chronic health risks often made worse by their limited knowledge of nutrition and inadequate access to healthy foods. El Centro Inc., a 40-year-old area nonprofit, is reducing that isolation with an innovative program that draws from the oral tradition to educate vulnerable […]

Everything you need to know about our move

March 1, 2017

After a fun few weeks of packing, this week is moving week for Health Forward. Moving trucks are shuttling our work environments to the new office, and we have said goodbye to 18th and Prospect. By Friday afternoon, we will officially begin settling into our new interim home in Two Pershing Square (2300 Main Street, Kansas […]

Farewell to 18th and Prospect

February 27, 2017

At the corner of 18th and Prospect sits a humble, unassuming building that has been the home of the Health Forward Foundation since our inception 14 years ago. In those early days, the inaugural Health Forward Board of Directors looked for a location that could provide a short-term lease while the board met and began […]

A year in review: Health Forward’s grantmaking in 2016

December 30, 2016

The coming of a new year marks a time of fresh beginnings and resolutions. December, then, becomes an important time to reflect on the accomplishments of the year and brings into focus the goals we still need to work toward. Each year, organizations in our region plan and implement outstanding programs and policies that continue […]

Warmest holiday wishes from Health Forward

December 19, 2016

All of us at the Health Forward Foundation would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. As we approach the new year, we thank you for all you do to help make Greater Kansas City a healthier place to live. As a reminder, the Health Forward office will be closed Dec. 24 […]

A tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipe

November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends, good health and great food. In addition to all the delicious calories, we recommend a walk after dinner, weather permitting, of course. This year, in addition to serving the old standbys — turkey smothered in gravy, candied yams, and pumpkin pie — Health Forward is […]

~SPOOKY~ Health Forward associates treat KIPP neighbors to an early Halloween

October 31, 2016

On Friday afternoon, Health Forward associates visited our young neighbors at the KIPP Endeavor Academy for an early Halloween treat. Staff had a fun time dressing up and surprising the K-4th grade classrooms, delivering treats and sending the kids off into the weekend with some early Halloween spirit. Program officer Andres Dominguez said it was a good […]

Opioid discussion now online

October 12, 2016

Three weeks ago, Health Forward was proud to sponsor American Public Square’s Dinner at the Square event, The Painful Truth. People in attendance listened to a thoughtful, informed and respectful discussion on opioid abuse and whether Missouri needs a prescription drug monitoring program. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a prescription monitoring program. You […]

Neighborhood engagement key to healthy communities

May 6, 2016

Editor’s note: In our last feature on our 10-year report, we highlighted the efforts of municipalities that are working toward healthier communities. But neighborhood organizations are creating improvements as well, as you’ll read in this excerpt. Read more about healthy communities. In addition to municipalities, neighborhoods also are stepping up with grassroots solutions to stimulate active […]

A Decade of Difference: city efforts encourage healthier communities

complete streets

April 15, 2016

Since 2010, a dozen municipalities in the region have implemented complete streets resolutions. A “complete street” is a street that allows for multiple modes of transportation, such as walkers, bikers, bus riders and wheelchairs, in addition to cars. Many municipalities in the region are also working to create areas more conducive to physical activity. Johnson […]

Tobacco 21|KC policies spreading in Kansas, Missouri

March 27, 2016

It’s been four months since Kansas City, Missouri, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, became the first cities in the metropolitan area to pass policies to increase the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21. Since then Gladstone and Independence, Missouri, and Olathe and Prairie Village, Kansas, have passed […]

What were the 10 healthy improvements in our region?

A Healthy 10

March 2, 2016

A few years ago, we started looking ahead to our 10-year anniversary and how we could mark the occasion. Thus was born an ambitious project of mapping the health care landscape to better understand the accomplishments and obstacles surrounding care to the uninsured and underserved in the Kansas City region. To accomplish this, we sought interviews […]

Decade of Difference: Reaching out to at-risk populations

Oral health

February 5, 2016

In addition to new general service clinics, the area also has benefited from an expansion in dental care access for special needs and elderly populations. Oral Health on Wheels, a 40-foot mobile dental clinic operated by Johnson County Community College, provides professional dental cleaning and other maintenance services to special needs populations. A dental services […]

A Decade of Difference: Increasing tobacco taxes

Tobacco taxes 2015

January 27, 2016

Historically, one of the most effective strategies for reducing smoking has been to increase the cost of tobacco through higher taxes. According to the American Lung Association, a 10 percent increase in tobacco cost reduces consumption by about 4 percent among adults and 7 percent among youth. Each year, 6,500 Missouri youth start smoking, while […]

Happy holidays from Health Forward

December 23, 2015

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! As we celebrate the holiday season, we asked Health Forward associates about their favorite holidays traditions. We hope you enjoy our latest infographic. We want to wish all of our grantees and community partners a very happy and healthy holiday season. As a reminder, the Health Forward offices will […]

Health insured

Health insured

December 7, 2015

While many people in this region are uninsured and underserved, over the past decade, legislation like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other health care transformations has made health care more accessible to many in our communities. Local free clinics, community health centers, safety net hospitals and community organizations are seeing increased […]

Thankful for 10 healthy years

mental health thankful

November 25, 2015

In case you haven’t heard, during 2015, we have been celebrating Health Forward’s 10th anniversary of grantmaking. Whether a celebratory picnic in the park, a luncheon and report looking back on how health has advanced in our region, or through our #AHealthy10 series, we’ve enjoyed looking back on all the amazing work that has been done […]

Understanding trauma

Understanding Trauma

November 9, 2015

Over the past decade we’ve seen new approaches in the understanding and treatment of mental illness. Among the most effective of these is trauma-informed care. We’re proud to say that the Kansas City area has emerged as a national leader in this approach. Trauma-informed care is grounded in the knowledge that traumatic events or situations […]

Decade of Difference: expansion of oral health workforce

October 14, 2015

Ed. Note: This is a modified excerpt from our Decade of Difference report. Read more about the region’s health care workforce in our full report. Important developments throughout the dental workforce have played an essential role in supporting the expansion of the area’s oral health safety capacity. Increasingly, dental schools are reaching out to engage students […]

Right people. Right places.

October 8, 2015

In 2015, Health Forward is celebrating 10 Years of Grantmaking. But we are nothing without the organizations that work every day on eliminating barriers to quality health in our community. To mark this milestone, we launched a special series — A Healthy 10. Each month we’ll highlight one of 10 areas of health that saw progress […]

Decade of Difference: Oral health emerges as public health priority

October 6, 2015

Ed. Note: This is a modified excerpt from our Decade of Difference report. Read more about the region’s oral health evolution in our full report. Increased oral care capacity, improved collaboration among safety net providers and a growing awareness of the relationship between oral and general health all have helped push oral health care nearer […]

Smiles all around

Smiles all around

September 10, 2015

In 2015, Health Forward is celebrating 10 Years of Grantmaking. But we are nothing without the organizations that work every day on eliminating barriers to quality health in our community. To mark this milestone, we are launching a special series — A Healthy 10. Each month we’ll highlight one of 10 areas of health that […]

Actively living

Actively Living

August 6, 2015

In 2015, Health Forward is celebrating 10 Years of Grantmaking. But we are nothing without the organizations that work every day on eliminating barriers to quality health in our community. To mark this milestone, we are launching a special series — A Healthy 10. Each month we’ll highlight one of 10 areas of health that […]

Care without limits

Care Without Limits

July 9, 2015

At its best, the quality of health care in our country and in our region is outstanding. We are at the forefront of developing and using state-of-the-art technologies and innovative pharmaceuticals and have some of the most sophisticated and highly renowned medical centers and clinicians. However, despite these impressive feats, the quality of health care […]

Nutrition nearby: A logical way to build healthier communities

Nutrition nearby healthy 10

June 4, 2015

To build healthier communities, a logical place to start is through improving nutrition. Ensuring that everyone has access to healthy foods has major implications for preventing chronic diseases and for improving overall community health. The availability of healthy foods — in grocery stores, restaurants, schools and farmers markets — is the hallmark of a thriving […]

Raising healthier kids

May 12, 2015

We know how important early years are for getting children off to a healthy start. These years set the stage for healthy habits to last throughout one’s life. Raising healthy children sounds pretty simple: brushing teeth, developing healthy relationships, practicing good nutrition and encouraging 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Instilling these life-long habits […]

Making communities safe from violence

April 13, 2015

If there is one thing that we’ve truly come to understand the past decade, it is that health is influenced by the places in which people live, learn, work, and play. In addition to the work we’ve supported to increase access to care, we’ve also funded work that transforms communities to make healthy choices easy […]

Breathe deeply: The air is clean

Clean Indoor Air Healthy 10

March 25, 2015

Just a decade ago, prohibiting smoking indoors wasn’t even on the table in most of the Kansas City metropolitan area. There was simply too much opposition on the part of tobacco companies, municipalities and owners of hospitality businesses to even begin the conversation. It was thought of purely as an economic decision that would harm […]

Introducing “A Healthy 10”

A Healthy 10

March 17, 2015

The year was 2005. There was little discussion and even less action surrounding the need to make public buildings smoke free. The same is true about improving food distribution in the urban core — helping low-income families get fresh fruit and vegetables. The public had few open discussions about mental health and its impact on […]

Health Forward’s Year in Review Blog Series

December 22, 2014

Before we ring in the New Year, Health Forward associates blogged about events, projects and moments from 2014 that impacted the health care scene in our communities and our nation. Our Year in Review blog series has been annual activity for the last three years, and we’re pleased to present the full series here for […]

Local Health Buzz blog: Top 10 Posts of 2014

December 22, 2014

What a year 2014 has been. We really ramped up production on our blog, hearing more from guest bloggers on health and health care in our communities and nation. In fact, we posted just under 100 blog entries this year, and nearly three-quarters were from our grantees and community partners. We strive to highlight the […]

5 reasons to eat local for the holidays

5 reasons to eat local for the holidays

November 26, 2014

Long gone are the dog days of summer. Winter, while not “officially” here, made its appearance early with bitter cold. Fortunately, with the decline in temperature, we also get to usher in the season of Thanksgiving, that wondrous holiday when we give thanks for the many blessings, family and friends in our lives. It also […]

Health Forward’s Grantmaking in 2014

January 22, 2014

At the end of each year, our Health Forward associates recounts health-related events from the year in our Year in Review blog series. This year was no different. In 2014, we also recapped our 10 most popular blog posts. We also like to keep you informed about what we’ve been up to in the past […]

Health Forward Grantmaking in 2013

December 31, 2013

This year was a groundbreaking year in health care. The passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act will afford many more Americans with the opportunity to access quality health care through affordable health insurance. It was a productive year for our service area, too. Our grantees worked tirelessly to help eliminate barriers to quality […]

Happy Holidays from Health Forward

December 24, 2013

Happy holidays from all of us at Health Forward! We are thrilled to share with you our holiday greetings video. Please click on the image below to view our holiday greetings video. As a reminder, the Health Forward Foundation offices will be closed for the holidays beginning Tuesday, Dec. 24 and opening again on Thursday, […]

A Thanksgiving Wish from Health Forward

November 27, 2013

It is that time of year where we reflect on our blessings of the past year. As many of you know, 2013 has been an emotional year at the Health Forward Foundation. With 17 total employees, Health Forward has always been a small, tight-knit organization. We are a family and as many families do, we […]

And Your Health Madness Champion Is …

April 9, 2013

The championship round of Health Madness mirrored last night’s championship game between Louisville and Michigan — game full of excitement with two teams worthy of competing for the top spot. There were lead changes, some fast breaks, answered quickly by votes from the other team, and ultimately a win decided by one point. Your Health […]

Final Four: Health Madness Results

April 8, 2013

We said this at the beginning of Health Madness: we think every single one of the 64 prevention strategies (and, some that didn’t make the tournament, truth be told) is a winner. But, wow. Color us yellow, because we are shocked (get it? color us yellow for the Wichita State University Shockers? Ok, moving on, […]

Elite Eight: Health Madness Results

April 4, 2013

Healthy Eating/Active Living division Complete Streets and Physical Activity both raced to the finish, with Complete Streets snagging the champion spot by five votes. Complete streets would facilitate safer transportation for everyone, especially children walking or riding a bike to school. Physical/Oral Health Essential Oral Health Benefits took the lead over Preventive Screenings and didn’t […]

Round 1: Health Madness Results

March 25, 2013

The first round of Health Forward’s Health Madness ended at noon on Sunday, March 24, a precursor to a memorable afternoon of NCAA Tournament basketball, with teams punching their tickets to the Sweet Sixteen. The fans have spoken! We’ve had time to tally your votes and declare which strategies moved on to the second round. […]

Health Madness: Our Prescription for Good Health

March 15, 2013

Voting is now closed. Read the final blog post to find out the champion of Health Madness. In Kansas City, it’s common to find a Wildcat, a Jayhawk and a Tiger all working side by side in harmony. But when college football and basketball seasons roll around, that harmonious relationship can turn to one of […]

We Are Thankful

November 22, 2012

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our grantees — current and former — and all the dedicated work they do to improve our communities and provide health services to the uninsured and underserved in our neighborhoods, even on the holidays. From all of us at the Health Care Foundation, we want to wish you a […]

Where Are They Now: Q&A with Sister Therese Bangert

November 15, 2012

Where Are They Now is a new series that brings updates of former Health Forward Board and The Community Action Committee (CAC) members. Sister Therese Bangert was an inaugural member of the CAC. She was appointed in January 2004 and served through January 2008 as a member and then co-chair of the Review Committee. What […]

Where Are They Now: Q&A with Bishop Steve Jones

September 27, 2012

Where Are They Now is a new series that brings updates of former Health Forward Board and Community Action Committee (CAC) members. Bishop Steve Jones was an inaugural board member appointed in September 2003 and served through 2010. He was incredibly involved during his tenure, serving on the Administration & Logistics Committee, the Executive Committee […]

Where Are They Now: Brenda Pelofsky

August 16, 2012

Where Are They Now is a new series that brings updates of former Health Forward Board and Community Action Committee (CAC) members. Brenda Pelofsky was a founding board member and served as the chair of the Administration and Logistics committee. She was inaugurated in September 2003 and resigned in July 2005. In the blog post […]

Where Are They Now: Interview with Sister Rosemary Flanigan

August 9, 2012

Where Are They Now is a new series that brings updates of former board and Community Action Committee (CAC) members. Sr. Rosemary Flanigan was one of the original members of Health Forward’s Community Action Committee, serving from January 2004 to December 2005. She was appointed by then Attorney General Jay Nixon. 1. In what capacity […]

Smoke-Free Kansas City

June 7, 2012

As a grantmaking organization, we provide financial support to agencies and organizations who are doing tremendous work in our communities. These organizations are working to improve health care access, campaigning for better, safer streets, raising awareness on health-related issues. They host free dental clinics, offer free counseling, work with children in after-school programs. The list […]

Knowing the Signs of Abuse Can Help Protect Children

April 26, 2012

As April winds down, so too does Child Abuse Prevention Month. But child abuse prevention is a continual, 12-month effort. In 2010, there were 56,897 reports of child abuse in Missouri. Perspective: that number would fill approximately 70 percent of Arrowhead Stadium. You can find more information about child abuse in Kansas and Missouri in […]

Kansas City Scores Touchdown with Free Health Screenings

April 4, 2012

Special thanks to Raquel Garcia of Truman Medical Centers for contributing information about Touchdown Family Fest. It’s hard to picture the iconic Arrowhead Stadium filled not with raucous fans and Chiefs football stars but instead with patients and a multitude of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. But that’s just what will happen at Touchdown […]

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