Health Forward Foundation is celebrating 15 years of grantmaking. In this time, the foundation has anchored access to safety net health care for those most in need in the Kansas City region.

Our inaugural grant in 2005 supported a health levy ballot initiative in Kansas City, Missouri. That small investment of $25,000 has leveraged close to $50 million annually in safety net health care for uninsured Kansas Citians. Since that first grant, we have partnered with more than 500 organizations and infused the region with over $300 million dollars in investments that have resulted in healthier people in healthier communities. This includes funding to increase access to safety net health and oral health services that brings about better health, better health care, and smarter spending.

Along the way, we have learned valuable lessons about maximizing our investments through innovations and partnerships to benefit those most in need.

  • Lesson 1: Philanthropy is uniquely positioned to pursue bold action.
  • Lesson 2: Philanthropy is positioned to advocate for social care reimbursement.
  • Lesson 3: Partnerships are necessary to address gaps in clinical services.

Poverty is one of the most common barriers to health among the people we serve. We know the underpinnings of poverty are income, wealth inequality, and structural racism.

Health Forward will spend the next year refining our focus for measurable impact on these social factors. We will engage in an internal process that will explore strategic paths at the nexus of health, economic well-being, and race equity.

Read the full article about health philanthropy by Graciela Couchonnal at Grantmakers In Health.