Blog Posts By: Steve Roling

Keep the line moving

Royals manager Ned Yost and World Series trophy

November 10, 2015


I started playing baseball at a very early age, and I have always loved the sport and the important life lessons learned by playing team sports. So as you can […]

Strong Ethics Shaped Health Forward

February 2, 2015


Shortly after I was hired as the President/CEO, founding board Chairman Dr. Harry Jonas asked me to contact several relatively new foundations around the country to find out what mistakes […]

It’s More Than a Game

October 20, 2014


Editor’s Note: On the eve of the Kansas City Royals first World Series in 29 years, Health Forward asked our most loyal Royals fan, former President/CEO Steve Roling, to reflect […]

The Voyage Comes to a Close

August 28, 2013


On March 31, 2008 I wrote my first post for “Steve’s Blog,” and today will be my last time writing on this blog, as I am retiring at the end […]

Working with Health Forward Associates a Privilege

August 21, 2013


My time at Health Forward is coming to a close. On Aug. 14, I participated in my last Health Forward board meeting. These last few days are full of cleaning […]

Medicaid Expansion Should Be Based on Facts, Not Politics

August 15, 2013


The Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) recently published a report called: Data Book: Missouri Health and Health Care. This report was designed to help members of the Missouri legislature understand the […]

Kauffman Attributed His Success to the Golden Rule

August 8, 2013


On Aug. 1, 1993, Ewing Kauffman died. To honor this great man, several of us (pictured left) who currently work at Health Forward and who used to work at the […]

The Best Years Are Still Ahead of Us

July 30, 2013


Congratulations to Dr. Bridget McCandless, the newly elected President/CEO of the Health Forward Foundation. Dr. McCandless is a well-known physician who is a dedicated and well-informed community activist and leader […]

A Lifetime of Meeting People: Health Forward Associates Are Some of the Very Best

July 18, 2013


One of the good fortunes of working a long time is that you get to work with and take pride in people who distinguished themselves over the years. It is […]

Founding Health Forward Board Set Tone for Ethics, Fairness

July 8, 2013


As the days grow closer to my retirement from this wonderful foundation, I am constantly reminded of the opportunity given to me almost nine years ago by founding board chair […]

Celebrating the ‘Bridge Builders’ in Our Community

July 2, 2013


Last weekend I attended church at St. James Parish, located at 39th and Troost. It was a special Mass honoring the retirement of long-time Parish Administrator Deacon Ross Beaudoin. In […]

The Culture of HOPE

June 25, 2013


Last week, I attended the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance conference with individuals and organizations that are trying to influence health policy primarily for the underserved. We celebrated some nice wins […]

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

June 12, 2013


“I have an opportunity for you.” I can say with complete confidence that every one of the Health Forward associates and board members during my tenure at the Foundation has […]

Affordable Care Act: Still Much to Be Done

June 3, 2013


As I have mentioned in earlier posts, the implementation of the new health care law — the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — has been full of starts and stops. The […]

Being a Grandparent Is the Best Stage in Life

May 27, 2013


Well, it happened on our 38th wedding anniversary — I now know the name I will be called for the rest of my life: Gam Pa. My young granddaughter, Isabelle, […]

Cultural Wars Playing Out in the Not-So-United States

May 14, 2013


Last week Missouri passed two pieces of legislation — which were based upon legislation recently passed by Kansas — that substantially reduces taxes and nullifies federal gun control laws being […]

Through Tough Times, the Health Forward Family Keeps Going

May 2, 2013


In October 2004, Dr. Harry Jonas, Health Forward’s founding board chair, offered me the job of president/CEO of this foundation. While I was grateful for the opportunity in 2004, I […]

Legal Aid Lawyers Work for the Rights of the Poor

April 24, 2013


Last week, I met with a group of legal aid lawyers from all around the country, including several of our outstanding team of legal aid lawyers in Kansas City. These […]

Allen County Thrives as Residents Focus on Health

April 10, 2013


I had the opportunity to travel to Iola, Kan., (located in Allen County, Kan.) this week and meet with several grantees that Health Forward has funded over the years. I […]

Vote on Tuesday to Renew the Health Levy

March 29, 2013


On April 2, Kansas City, Mo., voters have an opportunity to renew, for another nine years, an existing 22-cent levy on their property tax to pay for health care for […]

There’s Still Time for Medicaid Expansion in Kansas and Missouri

March 19, 2013


I just returned from a Grantmakers in Health (GIH) Conference in San Francisco. (The stairs in the picture to the left welcomed our Health Forward contingent to the conference.) I […]

Could You Survive on $354 Per Month?

March 5, 2013


Currently in Missouri, if you are a parent with three children and have an income of more than $4,250 per year ($354 per month), then you are considered too rich […]

Make Your Voice Heard

February 19, 2013


The Missouri House Democrats have produced a bill on how they would like expand Medicaid in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Next week, we are told, the House […]

Stan Musial Touched the Lives of So Many

February 12, 2013


I have played and enjoyed watching baseball virtually my entire life. I grew up in Jefferson City and we listened to every Cardinal game on KMOX radio — the announcers […]

Mentors Help Shape Us

February 6, 2013


Mentors are a wonderful gift! Next to our parents and our immediate family members, mentors help make you the person you are and they can open doors for you that […]

Compromise Is the Art of Leadership

January 30, 2013


The last two weeks have been full of promises by the governors from Missouri and Kansas and our President of what they hope to accomplish in 2013. Each leader has […]

Family Matters

January 3, 2013


The holidays were full of excitement, joy and sadness for my family. The greatest gift during the holidays is the gift of being with your family — and now that […]

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth … Billions of Dollars

December 21, 2012


It’s been a busy year for Health Forward and our grantees. Before we bid farewell to an eventful year, our Health Forward associates take a look back at significant events […]

The Journey Continues

December 13, 2012


On Wednesday, December 12th I notified the Health Forward Foundation Board of Directors of my intention to retire as President/CEO. This was a hard and emotional decision, but it is […]

A Lasting Connection

November 22, 2012


The Thanksgiving holiday is very special for my family. My mother was born on Nov. 23, so every year somewhere close to Thanksgiving, we celebrated my Mom’s birthday. Earlier this […]

Our Spirit Will Not Be Defeated

November 8, 2012


My granddaughter, Isabelle Lafaver, is about to celebrate her first birthday this Sunday. She accompanied her dad and grandpa to the polls on Nov. 6. Her dad, Jeremy LaFaver, was […]

This Year’s Election Is About Health

October 29, 2012


For those of us who care about the health and health care of our citizens — especially the poor and uninsured — this upcoming election has many things on the […]

Personal Touch Matters to Kansas City Residents

October 19, 2012


In my line of work I try to keep up on philanthropy efforts around the country, so I read The Chronicle of Philanthropy regularly. Many of the articles in the […]

Monday Nighters Know How to Celebrate Life

October 8, 2012


In my job I get to meet many inspiring people who live life to the fullest. Recently I was invited to join the Kansas City Call’s Monday Nighters to watch […]

Advocacy Must Be an Essential Part of Nonprofits

September 26, 2012


In the late 1960s, I worked for a not-for-profit agency in rural Missouri that cared for kids who were separated from their parents for various reasons. Back then our job […]

Remembering Joan Berkley

September 20, 2012


Last week, I lost a friend and Kansas City lost one our best community advocates in Joan Berkley. The memorial service for Joan was remarkable — but then, you kind […]

Health Reform Isn’t Easy, but Let’s Work Together Anyway

September 13, 2012


I recently participated in small group discussion of folks who are very knowledgeable of the health care system. They came from various backgrounds: insurance provider, health investor, health attorney, home […]

Age Isn’t a Number, It’s an Attitude

September 6, 2012


This doesn’t seem possible…but it has finally happened to me. This week I become eligible for Medicare. I remember when I thought folks on Medicare were REALLY OLD. But now […]

A Report on Giving

August 26, 2012


The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released a study of giving in America based upon 2008 itemized tax returns. The report show the national giving averages by income category: $50,000 to […]

It’s Back to School for Voters: Time to Study the Issues

August 15, 2012


The August primary elections are over and now we know who will be the Democratic and Republican candidates running for each major state and national office. Unfortunately, I am already […]

Missouri Voters Should Keep Missouri Plan

July 31, 2012


More than 70 years ago Missouri voters did something that 34 other states have since adopted. After Tom Pendergast tried to buy an election of a Supreme Court judge, Missouri […]

Meet the Future Leaders of Greater Kansas City

July 23, 2012


This past week we celebrated the graduation of the Kansas City cohort of Ladder to Leadership, a program sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) and implemented by the […]

Give the Affordable Care Act a Chance to Succeed

July 5, 2012


My reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was both excitement and confusion. Legislators who oppose the ACA (including most elected officials in Missouri and […]

The Future of the ACA

June 26, 2012


On Thursday morning, we will know how the Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am leaving the country to attend a wedding before […]

What We Can Learn From City and County Officials

June 11, 2012


Every year I join the members of The Community Advisory Committee to visit all 11 elected city and county officials within our region to inform them about the work of […]

Remembering Those on Memorial Day

May 28, 2012


In the last four months I have lost both my mother and best friend Dick, who I’ve known since grade school. Other than my wife and children, these two people […]

Making Sense of the 2012 Missouri Legislative Session

May 16, 2012


The Missouri legislature passed its $24 state billion budget last week. While many legislators noted how painful it was passing the budget in difficult economic times, they were not willing […]

Implementing Health Reform in Kansas and Missouri

April 24, 2012


Just last week, the Missouri House introduced new legislation to block implementation of the current health reform law. Attempts like these to block implementation of provisions contained in the Affordable […]

Missouri Should Consider Other Options to Raise Revenue

April 16, 2012


The Missouri legislators are getting close to the deadline when they have to vote on a final state budget. As they have in the past, it appears that legislators are […]

Show-Me Content Missourians

April 5, 2012


A few weeks ago the results of a national survey (the U.S. Well-Being Index) was released that ranks states and cities on a variety of health and lifestyle measurements. It […]

Dole Institute Panel to Address HEAL

March 27, 2012


On March 29th I am a speaker on a panel at the Dole Institute of Politics. The panel is addressing an important issue – healthy eating and active living. Over […]

Time for Missouri to Kick Butts

March 20, 2012


The United States Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has recently issued a report on teen smoking. Some of her findings include: One in four high school students smoke and 80 % […]

Improve Health Literacy Rates = Reduce Health Care Costs

March 14, 2012


Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Research shows that […]

Sharing the Legacy of Sen. Tom Eagleton

March 6, 2012


On Monday March 5th I was in St. Louis joining about 15 other former Senator Tom Eagleton staffers giving a presentation to St. Louis University Law students and other family, […]

Missouri Got it Right with Buck!

February 29, 2012


When I read in the newspaper that Buck O’Neil was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on February 27…a big smile came over my face. While I did not […]

Balancing the Missouri State Budget by Increasing Revenues, Not Cutting Services

February 21, 2012


The legislature in Jefferson City is correctly looking for ways to curb spending in order to balance the Missouri state budget. The governor presented his budget to the legislature that […]

Remembering Aylene Roling

February 14, 2012


My mom died on January 30, 2012. For her last three weeks of life, I spent most of my time with her. It was both a wonderful experience and one […]

Recognizing Three Outstanding Leaders

January 12, 2012


In February, Health Forward will be losing three long time board members because of term limits: Mamie Hughes, Judge William Mauer and Rev. Fuzzy Thompson. These three individuals have played […]

Berwick Resignation Yet Another Partisan Barrier to Improving Health System

December 20, 2011


I have never met Dr. Donald Berwick. Dr. Berwick was the former interim head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), who resigned from the position on December […]

Time Is Now To Plan Missouri and Kansas Insurance Exchanges

December 1, 2011


The American response to health reform has seemingly reached a “cooling off” period until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionally of the individual mandate. This wait and see attitude […]

Welcome Isabelle Marie

November 17, 2011


Last week was very special for our family. Our oldest daughter and her husband became the proud parents of their first child and our first grandchild. Isabelle Marie was born […]

America Needs Job Creation, Not Wealth Creation

November 8, 2011


The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office in Washington, DC recently released a report that gives evidence that not only are the rich are getting richer, but the gap between the very […]

Former Kansas Governors Define Leadership

October 31, 2011


The Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita, Ks. (funded by the Kansas Health Foundation) fosters civic leadership. Its initiatives are designed to inspire, educate and connect Kansans from all areas of […]

Interrupting Crime in Kansas City

October 24, 2011


Last week, I saw the documentary “The Interrupters” at the Tivoli Cinema. It was one of the most thought provoking movies I have seen in my life. The movie is […]

New Documentary Showcases Work of Violence Interrupters

October 13, 2011


Our foundation office is located on the corner of 18th Street and Prospect in downtown KC. Though we have a nice office space within close proximity to the wonderful Negro […]

Reforming Our Current Health System

October 10, 2011


Approximately 450,000 people in the KC metro area either are uninsured or on Medicaid. This represents about 25% of the total population in our area. Of this amount, over half […]

The Influence of Sports on Our Community

October 3, 2011


It is amazing to me the influence sports teams have on the energy and mind set of a community. A former KU Chancellor told me that it was much easier […]

September 20, 2011 – The First Step Towards Improving the Health of Missourians

September 26, 2011


September 20, 2011 will hopefully go down as an important day in the history of Missouri. This marks the day that a group of folks–including this foundation—filed ballot initiative language […]

Celebrating Life’s Milestones

September 20, 2011


No matter how busy we are at work…our family always takes over as the top priority at certain milestone times in our life. In July 2010 our oldest daughter was […]

Meeting the Health Needs of the Undocumented in Kansas City

September 14, 2011


It is estimated that there are over 100,000 undocumented immigrants living and working in Missouri and Kansas. These folks came here illegally to work in jobs that most Americans are […]

Are You Interested in Health Policy Issues?

August 30, 2011


You may have never heard of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) but if you are serious about health policy issues, this is a group that you must […]

Hope for the Future

August 22, 2011


For the last several years my daughter has supported and raised a beautiful young lady she first met at Operation Breakthrough. Like most of the young children at Operation Breakthrough, […]

Where Is the Logic In Kansas

August 15, 2011


Kansas Insurance Department Director Sandy Praeger is well known and respected throughout the region and nation as a knowledge expert in her field. For the last few months she has […]

Lessons Learned About Kansas City

August 8, 2011


I have the honor of serving on the United Way of Kansas City Board of Directors which is skillfully lead by President /CEO Brent Stewart. At a recent meeting, United […]

A Salute to Mayor James and Mayor Reardon

August 2, 2011


We live in a strange world. Civil discourse used to be the norm. This is no longer the case. In the Kansas City region we are lucky to have several […]

HOPE

July 26, 2011


As the US debt ceiling debate continues in Washington, DC and various budget cut proposals are made public, it is hard for one to not lose hope. How can the […]

The Flaw in Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

July 19, 2011


Drug testing of welfare recipients was recently signed into law by Missouri Governor Nixon. While no one wants tax payer money being spent on purchasing illegal drugs, it is very […]

It All Started with a Postcard

July 15, 2011


It all started with a post card! In late 2008 Health Forward sent a postcard to residents of Cass County alerting them to the various funding opportunities available through the […]

Looking for a Few Good Men and Women

July 6, 2011


Did you ever want to be on a health foundation board? Well you now have an opportunity to apply to be considered to be on the Board of the Health […]

Helping Joplin

June 24, 2011


I am sure many of us have heard some unbelievable stories of heroic efforts of ordinary people who came to the aid of victims of the tornado in Joplin one […]

What Are We Really Debating with Health Reform?

June 17, 2011


I spoke last week to the Downtown Rotary Club 13 about the new health reform law. I was impressed by the turnout, by the quality of questions and how open […]

The View From 18th and Prospect

June 7, 2011


As I write this blog, I sit gazing out our foundation office window on 18th and Prospect looking toward the beautiful KC downtown skyline. While the distance between my office […]

How You Can Help Feed Hungry Children

June 3, 2011


Last week the Health Forward associates spent the morning at Harvesters’ sorting food to be included in the “BackSnack” program. Over 13,000 back packs full of nutritious food are given […]

Health Literacy Required to Make Sound Medical Decisions

May 27, 2011


The words Health Literacy sounds so fancy and academic. I have been married to a nurse practitioner for over 36 years and along the way I have picked up a […]

What Determines Your Health?

May 23, 2011


Last week I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. David Williams, Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health speak at an event hosted by Truman […]

What Really Matters?

May 10, 2011


What really matters? Sure we all work hard each day, trying to make a living so we can provide our family with financial support. Hopefully most of us also have […]

Coming Soon: A New Addition

April 28, 2011


Last week my daughter Stephanie and her husband Jeremy informed our family that they are going to have a baby in November of this year. This will be the first […]

America’s Divide Between the Haves and Have Nots

April 21, 2011


In my daily life I experience and live in two worlds – one that is full of opportunity and hope and one that is full of despair and frustration. One […]

KC Leaders: Focused on What Unites Us

April 12, 2011


Last Friday our foundation hosted 29 future health leaders of this community as selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and trained by the Center for Creative Leadership. Health Forward […]

Kansas SRS Policy Goes Too Far!

April 4, 2011


Before I was hired to work at Health Forward I was the Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services. This Department was responsible for over 11,000 children who were […]

Reducing the Size of Government

March 29, 2011


I read several newspapers daily to keep informed. Last week I noticed that Jack Miles, Editor of the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal, wrote a column that really made sense to […]

Happy Birthday ACA

March 23, 2011


On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law and a lot has happened since then. As you may recall the provisions of the bill […]

A Life of Caring Remembered

March 15, 2011


Last Friday I was notified that Dick Dunn, former Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had passed away. Prior to running this large state agency, Dick […]

Lessons Learned from Grantmakers in Health 2011

March 8, 2011


I just returned to Kansas City after spending four days in Los Angeles attending a Grantmakers in Health Annual Conference. Grantmakers in Health (GIH) is made up of some 450 […]

Aiming to Improve Health Conditions in KCK

February 28, 2011


Last week I met with Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon of the Unified Government of Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County and I was so impressed with his vision for improving his […]

Acceptance at St. James Catholic Church

February 21, 2011


My family has attended and been active in a wonderful and vibrant church in south KC ever since we moved here in 1980. However, we have been blessed to visit […]

Keeping You Informed

February 11, 2011


Welcome to the new Health Forward web site. Jennifer Sykes, our communications officer, has spent many months talking to our stakeholders in order to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of […]

The Key to Reducing Healthy Disparities

January 19, 2011


Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report on racial disparities. To no one’s surprise, the poor, the uninsured and the less educated tend to live […]

Looking Back on 2010 and Ahead to 2011

December 21, 2010


The mission of the Health Forward Foundation is to provide leadership, resources and advocacy to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for uninsured and underserved. As we worked toward that […]

Solutions for Missouri’s Low Health Outcomes

December 3, 2010


According to the American Public Health Association the state of Missouri ranks 38 out of the 50 states in health outcomes…only 12 states are in worse shape than us (Kansas […]

Time to Give Thanks

November 22, 2010


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. This Saturday morning my wife cooked two turkeys for a charity event and the smell of those baked turkeys was unbelievable. Besides […]

Our New Elected Leaders Should Come Armed with Questions

November 5, 2010


What an interesting election we have just experienced. Congratulations to those who have been elected to serve our community and nation. Thanks also to those unsuccessful candidates who were brave […]

Separation of Church and Discrimination

October 12, 2010


It has always amazed me that people of faith sometimes use their religion to explain why they can discriminate against others, kill others, and exclude others. Religion is now being […]

Training the Future Non-Profit Leaders

September 21, 2010


When I was in college I was fortunate enough to meet Tom Butterfield who had started a residential home for troubled boys in Marshall, Mo. Tom’s vision for helping youth […]

Let’s Start Holding Political Candidates Accountable

August 30, 2010


Political campaigns and policy discussions are having a tough time co-existing in today’s world. I am old enough to remember a time when what a candidate said during his campaign […]

Remembering Richard Nadeau

August 9, 2010


Last week Richard Nadeau, a former respected founding board member of Health Forward, passed away at his home. Richard led a full life even though he was partially blind. He […]

Reform Reality – Who Really Wins with a Yes Vote to Proposition C?

July 30, 2010


Proposition C is on the Missouri Ballot on August 3. Most legal scholars, political pundits and even proponents agree that the vote on this referendum is mostly symbolic. Even if […]

Who Will Care for the Newly Insured?

July 2, 2010


With the new health reform bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, over 32 million currently uninsured folks are estimated to be insured by 2014. […]

Focus on Implementation of Health Reform

June 18, 2010


The federal health reform bill was signed into law in March of this year after months of difficult and very messy negotiations and partisan political activity. It was not a […]

We’re Number 50!!

May 18, 2010


Missouri is Number 50! That is the reputation the state has earned when last week the state of South Carolina raised its tobacco tax. Now Missouri has the lowest tobacco […]

Together … We Can Do Anything!

April 9, 2010


The last few weeks have been truly historic… the Clean Indoor Air bill was signed into law in Kansas and President Obama signed into law a massive federal health reform […]

A Fine Tribute to a Fine Woman

March 16, 2010


On March 6th the Lucile M. Bluford Library (30th and Prospect) was reopened after extensive renovations on a cool but glorious Saturday morning. I could feel Ms. Bluford watching down […]

Kansas to Now Enjoy Clean Indoor Air, but Where Is Missouri?

March 1, 2010


Four years ago it was generally agreed that passing a clean indoor air bill in Kansas would never happen. Then year by year with much work, education, cooperation and networking […]

Why Just Waldo?

February 16, 2010


I have a daughter who lives in the Waldo area and we have been very disturbed about the rapes that have recently occurred in this neighborhood. To the credit of […]

A Fond Farewell

February 2, 2010


For those of you who work for a nonprofit organization or who serve on a nonprofit board, you know the importance and dedication of the folks who serve as board […]

Reforming Health Information Technology

January 19, 2010


For those of you who know me, it will come as no shock to hear me say that I am not skilled in matters that pertain to computers or technology. […]

New Year Is a Time to Give Thanks

January 7, 2010


The Holidays are over and it is time to get back to work. My house was full of family, laughter, and good food for virtually every day between Christmas and […]

We Need Solutions, Not Politics!

December 24, 2009


After months of intensive debate, the Senate has passed a health care bill. When Congress comes back to Washington, D.C. after the Holiday break, serious negotiations will begin as House […]

KS and MO: Stop Cutting and Start Looking for New Revenue Streams

December 8, 2009


Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently announced another round of very deep and troubling budget cuts. Both Governors’ gave a clear signal that more budget cuts […]

Thanks to Those Working Toward Reform

November 23, 2009


During the Thanksgiving season one year ago I wrote a blog about my Mom celebrating her 90th birthday. Today I am happy to report that my Mom will be celebrating […]

Have a Little Faith

November 12, 2009


Sometimes I go months without reading a good book and sometimes I find myself reading two or three books at the same time. Well, I have been reading a lot […]

Hawaii – A Model for the Nation to Follow

October 23, 2009


The New York Times recently ran a story about the health care system in the state of Hawaii. You can read the entire story on the Health Forward web site […]

Congratulations WIC!

October 5, 2009


Something wonderful happened in KC last week and very few people noticed. This change will positively affect the lives and health outcomes of thousands of residents. Last week the KCMO […]

Health Care – A Moral Obligation

September 22, 2009


The health care debate is getting very interesting if you are a social scientist, a researcher, reporter, or political pundit trying to figure out who has the most influence in […]

Remembering September 11th

September 10, 2009


The day of September 11, 2001 will unquestionably be one of the most remembered days in the history of our country. On the day of the attack, I had one […]

RIP Senator Kennedy

August 27, 2009


There is a small cafeteria right off the floor of the US Senate where only Senators and their guests are allowed to eat. In 1974 former U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton […]

America Deserves Open, Honest and Safe Debate on Health Care Reform

August 18, 2009


Most citizens are forming opinions on health reform based on how the current health system currently affects them. If they have never been turned down for coverage because of pre-existing […]

Lessons from a Legend

July 30, 2009


On August 1, 1993 Mr. K (Ewing Kauffman) died. It is so hard to believe he passed away 16 years ago. I still go by Kauffman Gardens and pay my […]

Message to Washington D.C. – Set Aside Politics as Usual and Find Health Care Solution

July 20, 2009


A group of foundation leaders who fund programs in Kansas recently met with Gov. Mark Parkinson. In my opinion, Gov. Parkinson is a hard working, compassionate and honorable person. I […]

Small Businesses Need to Be Heard in Health Care Debate

July 6, 2009


My dad was a small business person who owned, bought and sold several small businesses over the years. He loved being his own boss and having the freedom to run […]

Let’s Focus Reform Talks on Quality Health Care, Not Profit Margins

June 18, 2009


Health reform discussion and legislation is on a fast track in Washington, DC. All the players say we must provide quality health insurance to the 47 million uninsured. Everyone agrees […]

Happiness Is…

June 5, 2009


Knee replacement surgery is not for the faint of heart. It has been a little over two weeks since my wife had her surgery and she is getting better every […]

From President/CEO to Caregiver

May 17, 2009


I will be away from the foundation for a week to ten days helping my wife who is undergoing knee replacement surgery. My wife is a nurse practitioner and she […]

Let’s Stop Playing Partisan Politics

May 4, 2009


In Missouri and Kansas the state legislatures are winding up their legislative sessions. In Kansas, hopefully Governor Mark Parkinson will bring a fresh approach to the partisan discussion that has […]

Nonprofits – Are You Listening??

April 18, 2009


I used to work in the for-profit sector as a banker and as a publisher of a business newspaper. It was customary for us to regularly conduct focus groups or […]

Every Child Deserve Unconditional Love

April 7, 2009


The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is an issue that is very special to me. Early in my life I worked at Butterfield Youth Services […]

Rest in Peace

March 25, 2009


In the last few weeks two people who have had an important impact on my life passed away—Mike Russell and Gurnie Gunter. Mike Russell was the co-founder of the Kansas […]

Now Is the Time for Health Care Reform

March 11, 2009


In the last few months the Health Care Foundation has hosted several poverty simulations across the community. In less than two hours a person attending these simulations can feel the […]

Clean Indoor Air – Now Is the Time

February 24, 2009


Last week I was in Jefferson City attending a social function for a friend. The dinner was held in a popular downtown restaurant. It was so good to see old […]

Who Cares About the Super Bowl?

February 3, 2009


Sunday was an exciting day for football fans. But it was hard to get too interested in hype that surrounds the Super Bowl this year because of all the heartache […]

Healthy Lifestyles Funding Opportunities

January 22, 2009


Last week we completed our pre-proposal conferences for Healthy Lifestyles Foundation Defined Grants. We had a record turnout with many people attending their first Health Forward pre-proposal conference. I am […]

Turning Problems into Opportunities

January 6, 2009


Often times the best opportunities are usually disguised as unsolvable problems. 2008 has brought to our collective attention many seemingly unsolvable problems. Those of us who spend much of our […]

Celebrating Four Years at Health Forward

December 18, 2008


I recently celebrated my fourth anniversary of working at Health Forward. It has been an honor to be associated with such a compassionate and ethical Board of Directors. The Community […]

New Medicaid Rule Takes Us in the Wrong Direction

December 5, 2008


Last week President Bush’s administration published a new federal rule giving states the sweeping authority to charge Medicaid recipients premiums and higher co-payments for doctors’ services, hospital care and prescription […]

A Special Thanksgiving

November 21, 2008


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. Yes, I love turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes but great food is not the real reason I love Thanksgiving. I love […]

Paying More Attention to Main Street

November 11, 2008


A few weeks ago my mother shared with me a letter she has saved for over 85 years. It is a letter her mother received from a small bank in […]

Accepting All Children

October 30, 2008


Many years ago I worked for a residential treatment center for homeless and delinquent youth in a small town in Missouri. Every Sunday we took our children to a local […]

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

October 13, 2008


As many of you know, our foundation office is located on the corner of 18th and Prospect Street in Kansas City, Mo. As I drive to work every morning I […]

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times

September 23, 2008


Recently I’ve noticed a trend that has left me hopeful that Americans, especially the younger generations, are becoming more involved in their communities and in the political process. I’ve been […]

The Legacies of Our Elected Officials

August 28, 2008


Recently my wife and I visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL and the Gerard Ford Presidential Library and Museum in Grand Rapid, Michigan. We are spoiled in […]

UMKC Dental School: Good News and Bad News

August 8, 2008


We are so lucky to have the UMKC Dental School in Kansas City. Each year the dental school graduates 100 new dentists. 72 of these dental students are residents of […]

Story Telling

July 18, 2008


Last week I took a few vacation days. During my time away from the office, I spent some time with my mom and in-laws. For years I had asked my […]

Take Time to Refresh Your Mind and Spirit

June 24, 2008


I started my career as a front line child care worker in a residential treatment facility for abused and neglected children. It was a wonderful job. I lived full time […]

Money Does Not Solve Problems, People Do!

June 10, 2008


I had the pleasure of working for the Kauffman Foundation for over 11 years and in the early years of the foundation I had the honor of working directly with […]

Count Yourself Lucky

May 22, 2008


Since March 31 I have been writing a blog and must admit that it is fun to express a point of view on community issues and then receive feedback from […]

Health Insurance Premiums Continue to Rise

May 9, 2008


A new study recently released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Washington Post shows that employer- sponsored health insurance premiums for family coverage increased 10 times faster than […]

It’s a Darn Shame!

April 21, 2008


According to the US Census Bureau there are over 770,000 uninsured Missourians. At the beginning of the current legislative session, Governor Blunt and the leadership of the House and Senate […]

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

April 8, 2008


All across the country PBS is showing a documentary entitled “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Unfortunately, Kansas City’s PBS affiliate (KCPT) has decided to show this program at […]

The Maiden Voyage

March 31, 2008


Those of you who know me will laugh when you hear I am writing a blog. To say I am technically challenged is an understatement. However, I do understand and […]


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