What are we willing to do on their behalf?

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

Let’s face it – the weather recently has certainly been a detriment to spending time outside. That is why it struck me just how addictive cigarettes are. As I looked out the window during the polar vortex with wind chills at -20 degrees, I saw a thin elderly woman standing alone in the freezing wind, smoking her cigarette.

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.

Youth advocates are crucial to success

By Alex Higginbotham, youth advocate for S.W.A.G.

5,000,000… five million … 5 million

Any way you put it, that’s a big number. Try to picture 5 million people. (That’s all 32 professional football stadiums filled to standing-room only. And then doubled.) These people are grandparents, parents, siblings and friends.

Now, imagine that every one of those people you just pictured is dead.

Truman Medical Centers working toward a healthier Kansas City

In the post below, Truman Medical Centers President/CEO John Bluford gives us a glimpse into how the hospital has carefully implemented a hiring policy based on tobacco usage, which was one of the 64 prevention strategies competing in Health Madness. Even though hiring practices was eliminated early on, Truman Medical Centers is truly embodying the spirit of Health Madness by implementing policies that have a healthful effect on its environment and its employees.

Clearing the way to clean air

Our spirit will not be defeated

My granddaughter, Isabelle Lafaver, is about to celebrate her first birthday this Sunday. She accompanied her dad and grandpa to the polls on Nov. 6. Her dad, Jeremy LaFaver, was elected to the Missouri General Assembly. Her grandpa worked hard to pass Prop B to increase the cigarette tax in Missouri. Obviously her dad had a better day on Nov 6 than her grandpa.

Over the years I have been involved in many campaigns and I have been on both the winning and losing side. I understand the risks you take when you get involved in a campaign—you win some and you lose some.

Without Proposition B, we must find other solutions to prevent tobacco use

Norm SiegelBy Norm Siegel, HCF Board of Directors

Being a parent comes with constant concerns about the environment our children grow up in. Parents worry about their children's education and making healthy choices. While there are many things in life you cannot predict or prevent, death or disease from tobacco use is not one of them.