Our work

Health Forward supports purpose-driven projects that deliver on our mission to achieve health equity and secure a fair and just region on both sides of the Kansas-Missouri state line.

Our purpose areas

A desire for change, for racial and economic equity, and for healthier communities lies at the core of every effort we undertake.


Equitable systems support community health. Our approach to fostering healthy people is to center equity in all aspects of our community health ecosystem and to support innovative ideas that make it more inclusive.


Powerful communities are healthy communities. We work to adjust the balance of power by encouraging community members to participate in democracy, amplifying community movements, and supporting community leaders and advocates.


The places we live impact how healthy we are. Our approach to improving where we live focuses on two influential social factors: housing and digital access.


How healthy we are is strongly influenced by our society’s systems, policies, and stories.

To advance racial equity and economic inclusion, Health Forward is partnering with local governments and funders to center equity and race in all policies, systems, and decisions. We are reshaping the way people understand and talk about racial, economic, and health equity. And we are aligning our invested resources in a way that advances our purpose and has a positive impact on the people and communities we serve.

A purpose-driven approach to community health

Healthy people need healthy communities. We recognize that health equity, racial justice, and economic inclusion overlap. We cannot have one without the other. We also recognize that our effort to build racial equity and economically just systems commits us to changing the systems under which we all live. These changes mean healthier people, an increase in community power, and creating equitable and just places.

Where we make our impact

Health Forward forms community partnerships in, urban, suburban, and rural communities on both sides of the state line.


  • Cass County
  • Jackson County
  • Kansas City, MO (including portions of Clay and Platte counties)
  • Lafayette County


  • Allen County
  • Johnson County
  • Wyandotte County

Health Forward’s funding service area was established by the Missouri State Attorney General in 2002 and is made up of the communities previously served by Health Midwest prior to its sale.

Our purpose plan

This five-year plan outlines how Health Forward will use our leadership, advocacy, and resources to advance health equity by promoting racial and economic equity.

Learning efforts

Our learning and evaluation work supports Health Forward’s purpose by expanding knowledge, fostering reflection, and putting learning into action in partnership with the communities we serve.

Health equity is happening in the Kansas City region.


As an Equitable Evaluation Initiative Practice Partner, our learning and evaluation work expands our knowledge of systemic societal challenges and gives us an opportunity to intelligently reflect on actions we can take.

Funding Opportunities

Health Forward centers trust in all of our community partnerships. We are committed to transparency and centering relationships, conversations, and the personal experiences of the communities we serve.

Purpose-Driven Investments

We invest in people and places that we feel exemplify our mission and purpose. That’s why we are proactively diversifying the investment firms and managers we partner with.