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 families and our community. And while safety net clinics were working hard serving their low-income patients, they often did so in insolation of a well-developed system of care
This was the picture painted for the Health Forward Foundation as it began its grantmaking a decade ago. And look how far we’ve come. During the past 10 years, Health Forward and its partners have collaborated on projects that are developing healthy communities, improving mental health diagnosis and treatment, and strengthening the safety net health care system.
This year we are 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 have developed a number of plans to recognize the work our grantees and partners have done over the decade.
Our celebration centers around a multi-year research project we are conducting to identify the progress in our communities that has been made in 10 years, as well as the extensive work that still needs to be done. Gathering all this information has allowed us to take a new a look at the health of our communities, and what we found was heartening. The results of this research project will be displayed this summer, but we didn’t want to wait to share some of the themes we’ve heard.
Enter: “A Healthy 10.” Each month until the end of 2015, we’ll highlight one of 10 areas of health that saw progress in the past decade. We hope through media, social media and of course, through the Local Health Buzz blog, we can highlight just a few of the many people and organizations that have helped us to advance health in Greater Kansas City in the past decade.
We have committed nearly $200 million to the underserved and uninsured in our service area over the past 10 years, funding initiatives that support safer and healthier communities and we are ready to celebrate. We hope you’ll join us.
March: Clean Indoor Air
April: Supporting Safe Places
May: Raising Healthier Kids
June: Nutrition Nearby
July: Care Without Limits
August: Actively Living
September: Smiles All Around
October: Right People. Right Places.
November: Understanding Trauma
December: Health Insured