Local Health Buzz

Why was the ALS ice bucket challenge such a success?

Jennifer SykesBy Jennifer Sykes, HCF Communications Officer

There’s probably a good chance that at some point over the past month you’ve poured a bucket of ice water on your head … and not because of the scorching end-of-summer heat.

A phenomenon hit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds this summer called the #ALSicebucketchallenge.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the challenge involves filming people getting doused with buckets of ice water, posting it to social media, then nominating others to do the same, or make a donation within 24 hours, all in an effort to raise both awareness and money for ALS.


A case for raising the legal sale age on tobacco products

Adriana PecinaBy Adriana Pecina, HCF Program Officer

There are many milestones for a parent. Having your child turn 18 may be among the top. It’s an emotional time for a parent.

I should know — my oldest daughter turned 18 this year and she is now a legal adult who can make her own decisions. She can vote. She can join the military. And yes, she can legally buy tobacco products.

That is a lesson I learned the hard way.

My children's futures are hopeful, but not all parents can say this

By Bridget McCandless, President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

I was catching up with some friends recently and to no one’s surprise, the conversation quickly turned to our families and children. We shared the stories of our kids growing and changing and driving us crazy.


A small patch of ground

By Dina Newman, Health Initiatives Manager of Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council

“These two were over in the garden,” he said sternly.

I glanced over at the boys, both holding a plastic sack that contained what looked like a fistful of greens. The boys were opposite in appearance except for the fact that they both looked down at the carpeted floor, not willing to make eye contact.

“You were in the garden without permission?” I asked.

They nodded.

“Are you hungry?” They shook their heads. “Do you need food?” I asked.


Back to School: Medicaid Math 101

By Jessica Hembree, HCF program officer

image001.jpgSharpen your #2 pencil and dust off your three-ring (Lisa Frank) binder. It’s time for a quick math lesson!


How you can help fight mental illness

By Natasha Sims, HCF Local Health Buzz blog administrator

As usual, I logged in to Twitter during a free moment on Monday. The first tweet I saw was a retweet of The Chive, a popular satire site similar to The Onion. In this tweet, they were expressing their condolences regarding Robin Williams’ death. My stomach dropped. “Please let this be a sick joke,” I thought.

As I continued scrolling, my shock grew as I realized we had indeed lost a wonderful person. Sadness set in as I further learned that the man behind so many beloved characters had suffered from severe depression.


Nonprofit employees, are you forgetting to tell your story?

Melinda Lewis-Edits-0004 copy.jpgBy Melinda Lewis, associate professor of practice in the KU School of Social Welfare; consultant to area nonprofits around social services and social change

In advocacy, we talk about ‘message’ a lot. We’re exhorted to remember to ‘stay on message’. We’re given talking points that are supposed to distill our message into sound bites. We’re asked to condense our communications to the most essential message. And yet we seldom have the tools we need to build really effective messages, versatile enough to meet our every communication challenge, robust enough to withstand the cycles of policy change, flexible enough to work for different messengers, complex enough to be authentic, but simple enough to work.


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 jsykes@hcfgkc.org.


About Bridget's Blog

Bridget McCandless

Bridget McCandless, MD, MBA, FACP, HCF President/CEO

Bridget McCandless is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and is a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist with an interest in chronic disease management and poverty medicine. She shares her thoughts and perspectives on health and policy issues that impact the health of the community as a whole.

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