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 Advisory Committee (CAC) has provided our board and staff with useful and fair feedback and has done an outstanding job of vetting potential board candidates. Health Forward associates are simply the best. Their dedication and leadership to adhering to the mission of the foundation is impressive.
In our first four years, Health Forward has approved approximately $70 million of grants to organizations that serve the health and health care needs of the uninsured and underinsured in our service area. The agencies we fund have been remarkable partners in serving our targeted client base. However, I would be hard pressed to argue that health conditions for the poor are better today than they were four years ago. Current economic conditions, job losses, and cuts in government funding have caused a serious increase in demand for social services like I have never seen before in my lifetime. In light of these tough times, I’m very proud that our Board has agreed to increase our funding in 2009 by $1.5 million to total $26.5 million.
While our efforts to increase the cigarette tax in Missouri were not supported statewide, we are proud to have supported efforts to make clean indoor air a commonplace in most areas of our region.
The four years have gone by very quickly. Our Board, CAC and associates are more dedicated than ever to fulfill our mission of providing leadership, advocacy, and resources that eliminate barriers to quality heath for uninsured and underinsured in our service area. We’ve worked very hard to treat others the way we want to be treated -with dignity, respect and honesty. It has been our honor to work with you in this noble effort. We have much more work to do — together!