New Health Forward director called to policy work from early age

I was taught at an early age that I owe a debt to my community. Both of my parents made a living by improving the lives of others. I have always been driven by a desire to make them, my community, and my ancestors proud. And it is that desire that calls me to policy work. […]

Missourians don’t despair, they stand and fight back

Earlier this month, we celebrated our nation’s Independence Day and the as-yet-unrealized vision of the Founders to secure, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Of course, not all of us have enjoyed these allegedly inalienable rights. COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the health care disparities that have plagued our state since long […]

‘Sorry, you don’t qualify’: Many Missourians can’t access affordable health coverage

How I dread having to utter the words, “Sorry, you don’t qualify.” Every year, as we assist hard-working families to sign up for Medicaid or the insurance marketplace, this is a phase we have to use often.  Worst yet is when we explain to someone that their income is too low to qualify for marketplace […]

What Missourians need to know to vote Yes on Amendment 2

I will admit that, in the midst of a global health pandemic that appears to be resurging in Missouri, as well as the protest movement for racial justice, it can be easy to lose focus on things that would otherwise command our attention.  Elections, especially primary elections that tend to have lower turnout anyway, can […]

Uneven opportunity: Safe and available employment during a pandemic

Even as businesses and workplaces cautiously re-open, Health Forward is acutely aware that among low-income individuals and people of color, employment opportunities, working conditions, and benefits vary dramatically.  Addressing these disparities is essential, as is advocating for policies that advance economic inclusion and health equity. Unemployment disparities We all know that too many people are […]

A complete census is important for racial equity

“The census was designed as a tool to ensure adequate representation, resources, and voting power for citizens, any attempt to use it instead as a means of suppressing the vote, should be and must be viewed as an insidious threat to our overall democracy.” ~ Leon W. Russell, chairman, NAACP Friends, by now you have […]

Emerging data show COVID-19 disproportionately impacts communities of color

An abundance of national historical data reminds us that in public health, when America catches a cold, people of color catch pneumonia. As coronavirus (COVID-19) rips through our communities, it exposes social injustice and divisions that determine whether people have necessary resources to be healthy.  As such, we are paying acute attention to nascent local […]


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