This week is my last as president/CEO of Health Forward Foundation.
While my commitment to the mission of Health Forward will continue to be a guiding force in my life, this marks the formal end of what has been a 15-year relationship with this foundation, first as an inaugural board member, then a grantee, and finally CEO.
As I look back and celebrate, I’m struck at how easy it is for us to be consumed by our day-to-day work. We don’t take nearly enough time to step back and look at what we, collectively, have done to redefine health in our region.
Health Forward has taught me much in these 15 years.
The job of philanthropy is to think about the long run. It’s about fostering system change. It’s about durable effect. So that when we leave, we know that what we left behind is better than where we started. It truly takes an entire village to make that happen.
So in this final post, I must acknowledge the Health Forward village and how grateful I am that you are a part of my journey.
I’m grateful to work with a board and Community Advisory Committee that are ambassadors and champions for those most in need. They bring tremendous dedication, guidance, and commitment to our work.
I’m grateful to our partners — for your collaborative spirit, your creativity, your problem-solving, and for raising the voice of others who are so often ignored.
I’m grateful to my colleagues who come with their passionate hearts to work each and every day to celebrate what is best in Kansas City and look for ways to make it even better.
I am grateful that Health Forward has a solid, interim leader in CFO Rick Zimmer while the board’s capable Search Committee finds my replacement. His leadership allows me the freedom to step away from Health Forward.
It has been an honor to lead Health Forward. While I’m ready to enter a new phase of life, I know that Health Forward will continue as a stalwart advocate for those in need. I know that Health Forward will continue to uphold the founding principles of compassion, inclusion, diversity, and stewardship. And I know that your way forward will be marked with integrity and an unwavering vision of healthy people in healthy communities.
We are so privileged to do the work that we’ve been entrusted with. Thank you for letting me be a part of that.