Health Forward awards $1 million in Policy and Civic Engagement Grants

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation is proud to award $1 million in grants to 15 nonprofit organizations through our 2020 Policy and Civic Engagement funding.

Funding supports advancing policies that expand health coverage and improve access to care; increase grassroots power and influence in the health policy arena; and increase political will for policies that improve health by investing in safe, affordable and healthy housing.

“This is the first time Health Forward has provided a stand-alone funding opportunity for policy and civic engagement work,” said Graciela Couchonnal, Ph.D., vice president of programs. “We believe that nonprofit organizations bring powerful voices to important conversations and should advocate to advance their missions.”

Health Forward received a total of 55 letters of intent totaling more than $3.5 million in requests.

The following grants were awarded during a January board of directors teleconference:

AgencyAwardGrant Description
Health care access grants
Kansas City Medical Society Foundation$75,000

To develop internal education and advocacy capacity; create a network of active physician leaders; and conduct education and advocacy activities to increase health access for uninsured people in Kansas and Missouri.
Missouri Budget Project$75,000

To provide policy analysis, outreach, and coalition-building aimed at securing policy priorities that protect and strengthen Medicaid coverage.
Missouri Coalition for Oral Health$60,000

To increase engagement in oral health advocacy, build long-term capacity, and broaden the statewide network of stakeholders engaged in collectively improving Missouri oral health.
Missouri Primary Care Association$75,000

To work with statewide constituency groups and secure the necessary support to bring Missouri Medicaid expansion to the ballot in November 2020.
Missouri Family Health Council$75,000

To build the capacity of provider organizations to advocate for policies that expand access and reduce structural barriers to health care, especially family planning.
Oral Health Kansas$75,000

To build legislative champions and mobilize organizational allies for the passage of a comprehensive bill that will improve access to oral health care for all Kansans.

Grassroots organizing grants

To create a robust grassroots organizing and advocacy infrastructure that will influence health policy, issues, and decision-makers through the leadership and voices of black women.
Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – EITAS$68,507

To address critical health issues affecting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Jackson Co., Missouri, by developing a health equity collaborative and building capacity for grassroots organizing.
El Centro$75,000

To expand integrated voter strategies to include building issue campaigns and developing leaders to assist in creating policies that increase health equity.
Mainstream Education Foundation$75,000

To grow a culture of year-round civic engagement in Kansas through collaboration, training, and leadership development. Funding will support the expansion of the Voter to Voter effort in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Action$75,000

To support the development and implementation of integrated voter engagement plans for grassroots organizations engaged in achieving health care expansion. Funding will support training leaders to engage in this long-term work.

To reach and mobilize leaders, with an emphasis on those personally impacted by not having access to health care coverage, by hiring a full-time community organizer.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes$53,173

To galvanize the Greater Kansas City community into grassroots supporters who are trained to protect access to sexual and reproductive health care in the region.
Housing policy grants
Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom$50,000To establish an active base of tenants and community allies devoted to winning safe, affordable, and healthy housing by operating a legal help hotline for tenants seeking information about their rights.
United Community Services of Johnson County$50,000To support the design and implementation of housing policy proposals that prioritize safe, stable, and affordable housing for residents of Johnson Co., Kansas.

The Policy and Civic Engagement Grants are the first round of grants awarded by Health Forward in 2020. Deadlines for our 2020 funding opportunities are available at