Blog Posts By: Jessica Hembree

Access to health coverage in Kansas, Missouri

January 18, 2018

HCF’s Mission: Providing leadership, advocacy, and resource to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for the uninsured and underserved in our service area. When I dismantle HCF’s mission into its bits and pieces, the action words stand out loud and clear: “leadership, advocacy, and resources,” but perhaps more importantly I think about the who of […]

HCF releases two-year policy agenda

October 25, 2017

Whew, these are some challenging times in health policy, and not a single one is a simple fix. Between repeal/replace attempts at the federal level, a steady drumbeat of ACA-related executive orders, dormant efforts at expanding Medicaid (looking at you here, Missouri), and a groundswell of interest from area cities that are taking the reins […]

Why block grants are so troublesome

August 9, 2017

Although the U.S. Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we remain vigilant to monitoring future attempts of replacing the current health care system. We have always advocated that any adjustments to the federal health care laws should be more inclusive to all Americans and should impose fewer restrictions to access quality […]

Experience informs 2017 policy agenda

February 2, 2017

This past week, we published our 2017 policy agenda, found here on our website. Setting policy goals is an annual activity for us and one that requires much consideration from both internal and external sources about our previous year’s policy results, the political and economic climate, and health trends. It’s neither a quick nor easy process […]

Why Tobacco 21 | KC was so successful

December 8, 2016

As 2016 winds down, we begin our annual blog series where HCF associates review highlights from our work this past year. In our fifth post, Jessica Hembree examines why Tobacco 21 policies were well-received in the area. Join us as we look back on 2016.  As reflected in the national decline in smoking rates, there have […]

Election recap: The context may change, but the goals don’t

November 14, 2016

Now that we’ve had some time to process the outcomes of this general election, I wanted to provide a recap of Tuesday’s election results and some thoughts about how the election results will impact HCF’s policy work in the coming years. National Election Results While it is too early to know the impact of the […]

What’s a nonprofit to do?

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

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 […]


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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