Local Health Buzz

Looking Back on 10 Years: How special initiatives have helped improve systems of care

In 2015, HCF is celebrating 10 years of grantmaking. Each month, the Local Health Buzz blog will feature a guest post from a current or former HCF Board of Director, Associate or Community Advisory Committee member to look back on the past 10 years at HCF.

Karen CoxBy Karen Cox, Ph.D., R.N, executive vice president/co-chief operating officer at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics and former chair of the HCF Board of Directors

The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City reserves money each year for special initiatives. This funding helps to extend our grantmaking impact and advance our mission in a way that complements our three, core-funding areas.

Over the past decade, HCF has funded more than 200 initiatives totaling more than $34 million. Grants ranged in size from $1,500 to $7.5 million. Initiatives funding allows HCF to respond to unique opportunities that are working toward improving health throughout our service area at a more systems level.

Miles of Smiles provides dental care in schools

By Christy May, executive director of Miles of Smiles

Miles of Smiles started bringing comprehensive dental care to the uninsured and underinsured children of Clay and Platte Counties in 2002. By the end of 2003, we had treated 1,227 patients. This year, Miles of Smiles will provide free dental care to more than 2,500 children.

Miles of Smiles has more than 11,000 active patients in the practice, and we know there are more than 17,500 children in the Northland who qualify for our services.

Have you heard? Kansas City is 12345 Fit-Tastic!

By Emily Meissen-Sebelius, Weighing In project coordinator, the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative

12345Fit_Tastic_4c (1).jpgThe food and beverage industry spends $2 billion each year marketing specifically to our kids. The fast food industry spends more than $5 million every day marketing unhealthy foods to children.*

An update on BikeWalkKC’s SRTS Project

By Joe Blankenship, Safe Routes to School Planner for BikeWalkKC

Safe Routes to School

In order for any community planning process to succeed regular updates on progress, knowledge gained and connections made must be provided. The Safe Routes to School Project currently underway in KCMO’s Kansas City Public School District (KCPS) has been underway since late last fall (November 2014) and has made great strides since that time. This will be the first of many regular (monthly) updates on this project moving forward over the next year and a half.


Raising healthier kids

In 2015, HCF is celebrating 10 Years of Grantmaking. But we are nothing without the organizations that work every day on eliminating barriers to quality health in our community. To mark this milestone, we are launching a special series — A Healthy 10. Each month we’ll highlight one of 10 areas of health that saw progress in the past decade.

May - Raising Healthier Kids

We know how important early years are for getting children off to a healthy start. These years set the stage for healthy habits to last throughout one’s life.

Second Chance: How re-entry services change lives and keep Kansas City safe

By Natalie Hamingson, office manager, Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission

Since 2010, Second Chance, a Kansas City-based re-entry program, has played an important role in transforming the lives of ex-offenders, and contributing to the overall safety of Kansas City.

Drug courts save: Lives, families, costs and communities

Stephanie BoyerBy Stephanie Boyer, assistant to the director of administrative services, and manager of the probation office for the Kansas City, Missouri, Municipal Court

This May, the Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court Drug Court will join more than 2,900 drug courts nationwide in celebrating National Drug Court Month. Veterans treatment courts will be celebrated at this time, too. This year’s theme is “Drug Courts Save.” Whether it is saving lives, saving families, saving communities, saving veterans, or saving resources, therapeutic justice programs like drug courts and veterans treatment courts save.

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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