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Welcome to the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

HCF is dedicated to our mission of providing leadership, advocacy, and resources to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for uninsured and underserved in our service area.

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HCF Grantee Spotlight: Women's Health Services Clinic in Cass County - Women's Health Services Clinic, a division of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, provides quality health care to the women of Cass County. The staff serves the hundreds of women who have...



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Did You Know?

Increasing Missouri’s cigarette tax from $0.17 per pack to $1.00 per pack would raise nearly $400 million per year in state revenue while saving thousands of lives. The long-term health care savings from the decline in smoking would be over $2 billion.

23.5 million Americans lack access to a supermarket within a mile of their home.

Americans are now eating 31 percent more calories than we were forty years ago. The average American now eats fifteen more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.

This year, over 562,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer - that's more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. Cancer accounts for nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States.

Unvaccinated people can pass diseases on to babies who are too young to be fully immunized, and to children and adults who can’t be immunized for medical reasons. They can also infect the small percentage of children whose immunizations did not take.

People in the highest income group can expect to live, on average, at least six and a half years longer than those in the lowest. Even those in the middle (families of four making $41,300 to $82,600 a year in 2007) will die, on average, two years sooner than those at the top.

The safety net population, those who are either uninsured or on Medicaid, totals nearly 450,000 people in Metropolitan Kansas City – almost 25 percent of the entire population. Over 245,000 of these people are uninsured, while nearly 204,000 are receiving Medicaid benefits.

Obesity appears to lessen life expectancy markedly, especially among younger adults.

Low and moderate income families will receive financial help to purchase insurance.

The obesity rate in the Kansas City region is just over 30 percent.

The vast majority of substance abuse treatment facilities are located in either a metropolitan county or a county adjacent to a metro county.

Rural residents have higher rates of age-adjusted mortality, disability, and chronic disease than their metropolitan counterparts.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.

Nearly 34% of all Americans are obese.

The effects of smoking cause one in five deaths in the United States.

MARC's Regional Health Care Initiative report concluded "There is a substantial and increasing need for safety net services in the region that cannot be met with the existing capacity of the system."

Many more Americans are using Medicaid than in past years. Enrollments have accelerated since the recession, bringing the total number of Americans enrolled in Medicaid to nearly 49 million.

Since 2006, 82 of 213 grocery stores serving Kansas communities with populations of 2,500 or less have closed.

Of all the households in the United States, 2.3 million, or 2.2 percent, live more than a mile from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle. An additional 3.4 million households, or 3.2 percent of all households, live between one-half to 1 mile and do not have access to a vehicle.

The Food Desert Oasis Act of 2009 would officially designate Kansas City, Missouri – and 19 other cities as food deserts.

Nearly 40% of Missourians and nearly 30% of Kansans did not visit a dentist in the past year.

Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs, and about 60 percent of all RN jobs are in hospitals.

Kansas and Missouri’s diabetes rate are both near 8 percent. Kansas City, Missouri’s diabetes rate is just over 13 percent.

Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri have over 17,000 acres of parks, or 8.6% of the total acreage.

Health Reform is not a government takeover of the health care system. Private hospitals, providers, and health insurance companies will continue to remain privately owned and operated. The key provisions of health reform actually expand the business of private companies by helping individuals without coverage purchase insurance.

Kids are less active today, and 23% of children get no free time physical activity at all.

The number of Americans who smoke has decreased over the past decade, but as of 2010, nearly 20% of all adults smoked.

Nearly 3 percent of commuters are walkers in Kansas City, Missouri, which is up 31% since 2008. This ranks 43rd out of the 70 largest cities in terms of walking commuters.

In 2008, 1.3% of Missouri's children had elevated blood lead levels – and many of the high risk zip codes are in urban Kansas City, Missouri.

A 2008 survey of Federally Qualified Health Centers indicated that 49% were using electronic health records, and were either all or partially electronic.

Obesity accounts for over 9% of all health spending in the United States, or $147 billion per year in 2008.

Research suggests that there is no one absolute best way in which to treat adult mental illness. There is no one program that will be effective for everyone. The most effective program depends on a number of variables including diagnosis, age of onset, social support, etc. Treatment can include individual or group therapy and counseling, medication, case management, social support, skills training, and more.

African-American women have lower rates of breast cancer than white women, but are more likely to die from the disease.

Number of low-income residents in the HCF service area living more than one mile from the nearest grocery store:

  • Jackson County - 36,713
  • Cass County -9,951
  • Lafayette County - 4,757
  • Wyandotte County - 12,914
  • Johnson County - 9,853
  • Allen County - 2,268

The number of people in the United States without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period.

In the United States, 1 in 4 Women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Collectively, minority groups constitute 42% of Kansas City, Missouri’s population. Foreign-born individuals comprise 7.4% of the population.

Nearly 55 million people or almost 20 percent of the U.S. population speak a language other than English at home.

Those who received domestic violence advocacy and support services rated that help very highly. At least 93 percent of domestic violence survivors who received services reported having strategies for enhancing their safety and having knowledge of available community resources.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Kansas City, Missouri, with lung cancer causing the most cancer deaths. Heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and stroke follow cancer as the leading causes of death in Kansas City.

Missouri has the fifth highest smoking rate in the nation, where 23% of the adult population smokes. Nearly 18% of adult Kansans smoke.

In 2008, Kansas City ranked 34th out of the 40 largest U.S. cities in walkability.

There is a growing body of evidence that validates cultural and linguistic competency as effective interventions in the goal to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and inequities in the provision of quality care.

The Childhood obesity rate has more than tripled over the past three decades, and today nearly one in three children are obese.

More than 1 in 4 Missourians age 65 or older have lost all of their teeth and more than 1 in 2 have lost six or more teeth. In Kansas, 1 in 5 seniors have lost all of their teeth, while nearly 43% have lost six or more teeth.

Before the Polio vaccine arrived in 1955, Polio caused nearly 2,000 deaths and 16,000 cases of paralysis each year. Polio has since been virtually eliminated from the Western Hemisphere.

In 1969, approximately 50% of children walked or bicycled to school, with approximately 87% of children living within one mile of school walking or bicycling. In 2009 only 13% of schoolchildren walked or biked to school.

Hispanics are twice as likely as non-Hispanic blacks and three times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to lack a regular health care provider.

Smoking causes half a million deaths each year in the U.S.

Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, or 60 million people, live in rural areas, yet only 8% of all physicians work there.

In 2009, 81% of commuters drove alone in Kansas City, Missouri, and 3.4% used public transportation.

The obesity rate is 28% in Kansas. Missouri’s 30% obesity rate places it as the 9th most obese state.

There are 297 domestic violence shelter beds in Metropolitan Kansas City.

Social health disparities are a priority concern of the City of Kansas City Missouri Health Department. Between 40 and 49% of all deaths among minority residents are premature compared to 25% of deaths among non-Hispanic whites.

In 2007, 23.6 million Americans, or 7.8% of the population had diabetes.

Metropolitan Kansas City has 17 safety net organizations running 33 clinics that provide primary health care to patients.

Abuse of alcohol and use of smokeless tobacco is a significant problem among rural youth.

Obesity is linked to very high rates of chronic illnesses – much higher than smoking or drinking.

In 2008, homicide was the 10th leading cause of death for Kansas City residents, and 7th among males. Among non-Hispanic blacks it was the 3rd leading cause. Nationally, homicide was the 15th leading cause of death.

Children exposed to traffic pollution are more likely to have asthma, permanent lung deficits, and a higher risk of heart and lung problems as adults.

Businesses will receive tax credits to purchase health insurance companies for their employees.

The estimated total cost from heart disease and stroke in the United States for 2007 (including health expenditures and lost productivity) was $286 billion.

There is a direct correlation between a person’s level of health literacy and their overall health status.

As of 2006, 68% of hospitals had fully or partially implemented electronic health records. While it is encouraging more hospitals are investing in electronic health records, only 11% were fully implemented.

Each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes. Men are the victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner related physical assaults.

More than 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV, yet it’s estimated that 21% of these individuals are unaware of their HIV positive status. Someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV every 9½ minutes.

Missouri's cigarette tax of $0.17 per pack is the lowest in the nation. Kansas’ is only the 36th highest in the nation at $0.79. The average state tax is $1.45 per pack.

While Kansas City, Missouri experienced a 125 percent increase in bicycle commuting from 2000-2009, bicyclists only make up 0.28% of commuters, placing Kansas City 63rd out of the 70 largest communities.

Research has increasingly linked education level of nurses and patient outcomes, indicating a need for more baccalaureate-prepared nurses to ensure access to high quality, safe patient care.

Before measles immunizations were available, nearly everyone in the U.S. contracted measles. If measles vaccinations were stopped, each year 2.7 million measles deaths could be expected worldwide.

People of diverse racial and ethnic groups are less likely to get regular medical checkups, receive immunizations, and be routinely tested for cancer, when compared with the majority U.S. population.

Large metropolitan areas have 62 dentists per 100,000 people versus 29 per 100,000 people in the most rural counties.

The death rate from heart diseases declined 27.8 percent from 1997 to 2007, and the stroke death rate fell 44.8 percent. However, during the same period, the total number of inpatient cardiovascular operations and procedures increased 27 percent. This indicates that while people are living longer with heart disease due to advances and increases in treatment, the disease burden on the population is still very high.

Each year an estimated 46,000 non-smokers die from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke. Another 3,400 non-smokers die from lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke.

Nearly 36% of Missourians and 29% of Kansans reported having poor mental health in 2007.

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis remain STD risks. Missouri ranked 16th in the U.S. for Chlamydia infections and 14th for Gonorrhea and Syphilis.

Cigarette taxes reduce the number of smokers, particularly among youth. These taxes can also raise needed public revenue to treat the negative health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke.

Between 20 to 25% of the U.S. homeless population suffers from some form of severe mental illness.

Mental disorders are common in the United States, and in a given year approximately one quarter of adults are diagnosable for one or more disorders. Only a fraction of those affected receive treatment.

The benefits of implementing clean indoor-air laws include decreased risks of heart attack in the community.

A 2009 survey to key health information leaders and managers indicated that they believed health information technology could most impact improvements in quality outcomes.

The number of small farms, as well as their diversity of crops, is growing in the United States.

Pedestrians are more than twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle in locations without sidewalks.

In 2008, 25% of Kansans and 27% of Missourians indicated that they did not allot any time for leisure physical activity.

In Missouri, the unmet need for domestic violence shelters was at its highest rates in 30 years in 2009, increasing by 60 percent - 10,506 women, children and men received shelter, while 15,106 were turned away.

Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. National reports estimate a national nursing shortage of up to one million nurses in the next 10-15 years.

Insurance companies will not be allowed to rescind coverage except in cases of fraud.

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis remain STD risks. Missouri ranked 16th in the U.S. for Chlamydia infections and 14th for Gonorrhea and Syphilis.

Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, or place lifetime benefit limits on those covered.

Children can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26.

In Missouri, the costs of poor health literacy are estimated to be $3.3 billion to $7.5 billion each year.

College graduates can expect to live at least five years longer than those who have not finished high school, and almost two years longer than those who didn’t finish college.

Nearly 40% of Americans are affected by limited health literacy.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted diseases – 50% of sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their life. HPV can cause genital warts in men and women, and cervical cancer in women. Recently developed vaccines now help prevent the most dangerous types of HPV.

Older adults, those with limited education, minorities, the poor, and those with limited English proficiency have greater rates of limited health literacy.

There are several regional efforts to coordinate electronic health records. In the Kansas City bi-state region, eHealthAlign is seeking to coordinate a 25 county area that will work with state exchanges in Kansas and Missouri.

The League of American Bicyclists has designated the following regional communities with bicycle friendly status:

  • Columbia, Missouri (Silver Level)
    - Kansas City, Missouri (Bronze Level)
  • Springfield, Missouri (Bronze Level)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (Bronze Level)
  • Lawrence, Kansas (Bronze Level)
    - Shawnee, Kansas (Bronze Level)

In 2008, the United States spent over $93 billion in direct medical costs on cancer, creating a direct economic impact of nearly $230 billion due to these costs and lost productivity due to illness and premature death.

Approximately 33 million or 15% of all U.S. adults admit that they were a victim of domestic violence. Furthermore, 6 in 10 adults claim that they know someone personally who has experienced domestic violence.

A total of 49,215 women, children and men received residential and non-residential domestic violence services in Missouri in 2009. The total unmet requests for those services was 18,821.

The main burden of mental illness is concentrated among a smaller proportion (about 6 percent, or 1 in 17) that suffers from a seriously debilitating mental illness.

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