We often talk about our work to tackle the pressing health issues facing our community. Though the topics are always worthy of discussion and support, they can also be heavy and sad; after all, rarely does something positive come from not receiving regular medical care. However, it occurred to us recently that we rarely talk about the excitement and exhilaration of seeing the creative touches our partner organizations use to serve those community members in need. We experience this every day. Whether it is in a site visit, a blog post from a grantee, or through a workplace hallway conversation about a particular program, we are grateful that there is some lightness to this work. We’d like to take a moment to share some of those heady moments that took place in 2017. We’ve created a digital look at regional accomplishments over the past year, but here are a few highlights:
- In 2017, we encountered hundreds of community leaders, community members, and local organizations through our community dialogue project. We don’t think a single Health Forward associate, board member, or Community Advisory Committee member left those conversations without feeling a sense of hope for the future. Your communities are full of caring and intelligent people.
- We kicked off a food insecurity campaign, with the debut of a cost of food insecurity calculator. This tool helps gauge what food insecurity costs your community and your business. We invited elected officials and community leaders to accompany us on a food insecurity bus tour through Kansas City to display the creative work of local organizations who are leading the nation in this area.
- We funded more than 150 organizations through our funding. Those programs addressed school-based health services, community gardens, oral health care and everything in between!