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MacKenzie Scott donates $15 million to Health Forward Foundation

The donation supports Health Forward’s work to advance health equity, economically just places, and community power in the Kansas City region.

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation today announced it has received a one-time, unrestricted gift in the amount of $15 million from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott.

The donation will be used to advance Health Forward’s strategic efforts to support and build inclusive, powerful, and healthy communities characterized by racial equity and economically just systems. 

“We are delighted to work in partnership with our communities so that this gift has a real and lasting impact. We built our purpose plan by listening, and we will continue to do so as we put this plan into action,” said Qiana Thomason, Health Forward president/CEO.

Health Forward will use the contribution to deepen strategic investments specifically related to health and wealth building such as advancing safe and affordable housing and homeownership and increasing representation of people of color in the region’s health sciences workforce. Health Forward will conduct health sciences workforce and housing assessments to inform how to strategically deploy resources in those specific areas.

“We will use this gift to repair and rebuild systems that shape a region in which all can participate, where people who are working hard to make ends meet prosper, where people of color are free from the structural racism that creates disparate health outcomes, and where the conditions in rural communities don’t hinder their health. We appreciate the trust Ms. Scott has placed in us to deepen our impact across the Kansas City region. We are grateful for this extremely generous gift that will significantly further investments that change systems in service of health equity,” said Thomason.

“Kansas City’s future will be strengthened by meaningfully engaging those who have been historically excluded in designing solutions that redistribute wealth and build health. It is long past time to lift our communities that desire to be healthy and have access to economic opportunity,” said Stephenie Smith, Health Forward board chair. “In that spirit and joint vision, we are honored to serve as a conduit and catalyst of Ms. Scott’s investment in our region.”

Health Forward was selected after a rigorous process and is being recognized both for its history and current leadership and partnership to change the conditions for its communities of focus with strategies that center racial equity and economic inclusion.    

“This gift is not given to us but through us. It is a recognition of the outstanding work taking place in Kansas City to address health equity and the promise of new partnerships and political will to secure a fair and just region,” said Thomason.