Health Care Foundation

Finally there's a way to understand the language of health insurance

By Rhonda Holman, HCF Vice President

Rhonda HolmanOn October 24, Health Literacy Missouri (HLM), in concert with Health Literacy Kansas and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, staged its first annual Summit in Kansas City. At that conference, as at similar conferences this year across the nation, health insurance literacy was on the agenda.

The first enrollment period for health insurance marketplaces uncovered a secret that most of us have been able to keep for a long time.

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.

Blurred Lines: Oral health and overall health

Jessica HembreeBy Jessica Hembree, HCF program officer

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.

Free Mental Health First Aid training offered

Editor's note: The next Mental Health First Aid training will be planned for late winter/early spring. Please check Wyandot Inc's website for more information.

By Mark Wiebe, Wyandot Inc. Public Affairs Director

On July 10, the Metropolitan Council of Community Mental Health Centers will host a Mental Health First Aid ‘Day.’ This first-ever opportunity for the Kansas City area will be offered at no cost to the public thanks to funding from the Health Care Foundation and the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund.

Our aim is to certify more than 250 Kansas Citians in the adult or youth version of the course and increase the ranks of people trained to respond to a mental health crisis. In the process, we hope to add momentum to an already robust conversation about mental health in the region.

Make breakfast time your favorite time

Gretchen Speer PatchBy Gretchen Speer Patch, MPH, Healthy Schools Program Manager for Kansas Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Do you have trouble getting your children out the door with breakfast in hand bright and early in the morning? Do you find yourself begging your child to eat breakfast or sitting in the morning drive thru line? Let me share a time-saving secret that may also save you money-- it’s called school breakfast.

You already know breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it primes your child’s brain for peak performance and studies show children that eat breakfast have better concentration and critical thinking, fewer behavioral issues and reduced tardiness.

On mental health and poverty: The new Rainbow to offer 'port of calm,' 'port of access'

By Mark Wiebe, Wyandot Inc. public affairs director

In Sunday's New York Times, a headline on the op/ed page underscored one of the central challenges in mental health and criminal justice circles: How do we reduce the number of people with mental illness in our jails and prisons? The column, "Inside a Mental Health Hospital Called Jail," profiles Cook County Jail in Chicago, where some 60 percent of the inmates on a given day are diagnosed with a mental illness.

Tobacco is still deadly, and we are still fighting for a tobacco-free future

Brenda CalvinBy Brenda Calvin, HCF program officer

It’s been 50 years since we first learned that tobacco smoke is deadly. Since the release of the groundbreaking, 1964 Surgeon General’s report, we have further evidence that links smoking to diseases of nearly all organs of the body.

In light of this significant health anniversary, a new report, The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, was released this week. It states that more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking.