Health Forward awards $946,827 in Policy and Civic Engagement Grants

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation is proud to award $946,827 in grants to 14 nonprofit organizations. Each nonprofit is receiving a third year of funding as part of Health Forward’s first round of Policy and Civic Engagement Grants.

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.

“These organizations work every day to change the systems that have historically excluded people who experience economic insecurity, live in marginalized conditions, and find barriers to accessing high-quality health care,” said McClain Bryant Macklin, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives. “Their work is essential in building communities that are more healthy, powerful, and inclusive.”

Earlier this year, Health Forward launched a new purpose plan and announced updated strategies. Now we are in the process of determining what our long-term support for policy and civic engagement work will look like. For that reason, we will not accept new applications for Policy and Civic Engagement Grants in 2022.

The following grants were awarded during a February board of directors meeting:

Health care access grants

Agency Award Grant Description
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 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 ensure the successful implementation of Missouri Medicaid expansion by working with legislators, various state departments, and other partners.
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

Agency Award Grant Description
BlaqOut $43,320 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. 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.
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.
MORE2 $75,000 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.
The Voter Network $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.

Housing policy grants

Agency Award Grant Description
Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom $50,000 To 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 $50,000 To support the design and implementation of housing policy proposals that prioritize safe, stable, and affordable housing for residents of Johnson Co.