Blog Posts By: Jessica Hembree

It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

October 3, 2018


Did you read that headline? Are you hearing the chorus of the Boyz II Men song in your head? I sure am. I must admit that I’ve procrastinated writing this […]

The good, the bad and the almost: A review of the 2018 legislative sessions in Missouri and Kansas

May 30, 2018


Health Forward focuses on igniting a culture of health by advocating for health and wellness and working to ensure that the health of those most in need is prioritized by […]

What’s happening in Kansas and Missouri? A 2018 mid-session legislative recap

March 22, 2018


The clock has sprung forward, birds are singing, the sun is (sometimes) shining … spring is upon us! As the season turns, both the Missouri and Kansas legislatures are inching […]

Access to health coverage in Kansas, Missouri

January 18, 2018


Health Forward’s Mission: Providing leadership, advocacy, and resource to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for the uninsured and underserved in our service area. When I dismantle Health Forward’s mission […]

Health Forward releases two-year policy agenda

October 25, 2017


Whew, these are some challenging times in health policy, and not a single one is a simple fix. Between repeal/replace attempts at the federal level, a steady drumbeat of ACA-related […]

Why block grants are so troublesome

August 9, 2017


Although the U.S. Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we remain vigilant to monitoring future attempts of replacing the current health care system. We have always […]

Experience informs 2017 policy agenda

February 2, 2017


This past week, we published our 2017 policy agenda, found here on our website. Setting policy goals is an annual activity for us and one that requires much consideration from both […]

Why Tobacco 21 | KC was so successful

December 8, 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 fifth post, Jessica Hembree examines why Tobacco […]

Election recap: The context may change, but the goals don’t

November 14, 2016


Now that we’ve had some time to process the outcomes of this general election, I wanted to provide a recap of Tuesday’s election results and some thoughts about how the […]

What’s a nonprofit to do?

April 20, 2016


Presidential election years heighten the decibel of the political conversation. Between SNL skits, shocking headlines, and social media, politics are very top-of-mind for many of us in our personal lives, […]

Introducing Health Forward’s 2016 Policy Agenda

January 25, 2016


Each year about this time, the Health Forward Foundation develops a policy agenda to help guide our advocacy work in the coming year. I know that many of our grantees […]

A look back at 2015: Tobacco21|KC a win for public health

Tobacco21 KC logo

December 17, 2015


On November 19, both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, passed policies to increase the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21. Having been part of […]

Send the money to outer space

September 9, 2015


Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax has created some very interesting politics, with three separate groups vying to increase the tax on the November 2016 ballot. A common strain in all three […]

What’s Going On in Missouri: A Mid-Session Legislative Recap

March 25, 2015


The Missouri legislature is on spring break at the moment, so let’s take a look at the health-related bills working their way around the Capitol. The legislature will reconvene Monday, […]

What’s Going On In Kansas: A Mid-Session Legislative Recap

March 12, 2015


The end of February marked Turnaround Day in the Kansas legislature, the date by which bills must move from their originating chamber to the other body in order to remain […]

Previewing the 2015 Legislative Session of Kansas, Missouri

January 20, 2015


January means New Year’s resolutions, honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and welcoming legislators back to Topeka and Jefferson City. As we gear up for the 2015 session, here’s […]

Living the Mission

December 8, 2014


I’m going to invite you to take out your organization’s mission statement and give it a hard look. Yeah, I imagine most of you have it memorized and ready to […]

Back to School: Medicaid Math 101

August 14, 2014


Sharpen your #2 pencil and dust off your three-ring (Lisa Frank) binder. It’s time for a quick math lesson! Let’s breakdown some simple math that’s summarized nicely in this infographic. […]

Blurred Lines: Oral Health and Overall Health

June 19, 2014


While also the name of a hit pop song, blurred lines is an apt summary of the recommendations stemming from Health Forward’s recently released oral health assessment. Oral health has […]

Previewing the 2014 Legislative Sessions in Kansas, Missouri

January 19, 2014


The Health Forward Foundation’s 2014 policy agenda has a clear top priority for both Kansas and Missouri: the expansion of Medicaid to cover those who are currently left out of […]

The Bigger Story Behind Health Reform

December 9, 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 […]

Marketplace Launch Will Highlight Need for Medicaid Expansion

September 30, 2013


Tomorrow marks the start of the first open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace that was created as part of the Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA, Obamacare, health […]

ACA Has the Opportunity to Recognize Good Oral Health as Essential for Overall Health

April 4, 2013


Here we sit with Health Forward’s Health Madness narrowed down to the Final Four. The final contenders are: complete streets, essential oral health benefits, essential mental health benefits, and smoke-free […]

Previewing the Kansas and Missouri Legislative Sessions

January 23, 2013


January is upon us, the gym is just a tad fuller, the temperatures are freezing, and your favorite legislators are back in session. While there are certainly some nuances to […]

Kansas Mission of Mercy: A Bittersweet Pill

February 23, 2012


I was an hour into my volunteer experience at the Kansas Mission of Mercy, a free two-day dental clinic, when I walked a 50-something gentlemen from the post-operative recovery “room” […]

Post-Election Cool Down

November 16, 2010


If your household was anything like mine, your phone was ringing off the hook with politicians vowing to “stop the government takeover of health care” or “end Obamacare.” In true […]


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