Blog Posts By: Jessica Hembree

What’s a nonprofit to do?

Advocacy Rules for Nonprofits

April 20, 2016

Presidential election years heighten the decibel of the political conversation. Between SNL skits, shocking headlines, and social media, politics are very top-of-mind for many of us in our personal lives, but where do they factor into the work of nonprofit organizations? Although nonprofits are prohibited from endorsing candidates or taking partisan position, they have significant […]

Introducing HCF’s 2016 Policy Agenda

Kansas City Skyline

January 25, 2016

Each year about this time, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City develops a policy agenda to help guide our advocacy work in the coming year. I know that many of our grantees and nonprofit partners do the same, and let me assure you that crafting these agendas is tricky! Every decision about where […]

A look back at 2015: Tobacco21|KC a win for public health

Tobacco21 KC logo

December 17, 2015

On November 19, both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, passed policies to increase the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21. Having been part of many tobacco fights over the previous 15 years, this one felt different. We were quick to achieve success and fortunate to find a depth and breadth of […]

Send the money to outer space


September 9, 2015

Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax has created some very interesting politics, with three separate groups vying to increase the tax on the November 2016 ballot. A common strain in all three proposals is that they propose to use the revenue generated from a tobacco tax for non-health issues (namely, transportation, early education, and higher education). This […]

What’s Going On in Missouri: A Mid-Session Legislative Recap

March 25, 2015

The Missouri legislature is on spring break at the moment, so let’s take a look at the health-related bills working their way around the Capitol. The legislature will reconvene Monday, March 30, before a short Easter break at the beginning of April. Medicaid Expansion Proving only that silence is deafening, this session in Missouri has […]

What’s Going On In Kansas: A Mid-Session Legislative Recap


March 12, 2015

The end of February marked Turnaround Day in the Kansas legislature, the date by which bills must move from their originating chamber to the other body in order to remain live. The legislature will adjourn on April 4 and reconvene at the end of April for a veto session, leaving only a short window of […]

Previewing the 2015 Legislative Session of Kansas, Missouri

January 20, 2015

January means New Year’s resolutions, honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and welcoming legislators back to Topeka and Jefferson City. As we gear up for the 2015 session, here’s a snapshot of what to expect for both states. Kansas There are a couple big issues that are going to occupy most of the legislators’ […]

Living the Mission

why are we here question

December 8, 2014

I’m going to invite you to take out your organization’s mission statement and give it a hard look. Yeah, I imagine most of you have it memorized and ready to deliver as an “elevator speech” to someone at a networking function or potential donor, but today I am inviting you to stop and really read […]

Back to School: Medicaid Math 101

August 14, 2014

Sharpen your #2 pencil and dust off your three-ring (Lisa Frank) binder. It’s time for a quick math lesson! Let’s breakdown some simple math that’s summarized nicely in this infographic. Medicaid expansion has the potential to connect nearly 90,000 people in the HCF service area with health insurance, bringing $325 million to the area for […]

Blurred Lines: Oral Health and Overall Health

June 19, 2014

While also the name of a hit pop song, blurred lines is an apt summary of the recommendations stemming from HCF’s recently released oral health assessment. Oral health has traditionally been siloed apart from physical health and, unfortunately this separation has greatly impacted the cost, quality and access to oral health services. As changes in […]


HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at


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