Local Nonprofit Fights Hunger with Fresh Produce

By Lisa Ousley
Director, SoSA West

Summer is here, and with it the brilliantly colored jewels of the season — the soft green of baby lettuce leaves, the dark green of curly kale, the creamy orange-yellow of perfectly ripened cantaloupe and the deep purple of plump, juicy blackberries. The smells are just as vivid and the flavors bring back memories of […]

Nutrition Nearby: A Logical Way to Build Healthier Communities

By HCF Blog Team

To build healthier communities, a logical place to start is through improving nutrition. Ensuring that everyone has access to healthy foods has major implications for preventing chronic diseases and for improving overall community health. The availability of healthy foods — in grocery stores, restaurants, schools and farmers markets — is the hallmark of a thriving […]

Nicotine Is Nicotine, No Matter the Form

By Reshana Peterson, MPH, CHES
Youth Prevention Specialist, Tri-county Mental Health Services

Didn’t it seem like a great idea to find an alternative to cigarettes that didn’t smell as bad, create as much secondhand smoke, and cost as much? The common misconception is that e-cigarettes, often called e–cigs, are that savior. As much as America would like to believe that, we simply cannot. The reason for that […]

School District Integrates Mental Health Services Into School Day

By Heather McFarland
Executive Director, Belton Educational Foundation

Several years ago, I met with the leadership of the Belton School District to discuss what some of the most difficult challenges the students of the Belton School District faced. At the top of the list was access to quality mental health services. Approximately 75 students (1.5 percent of the student population) each year were […]

Community-Based Approach to Children’s Dental Care Is Saving Smiles

By Martha McReynolds, RN
Public Health Nurse, Lafayette County Health Department

Saving Smiles is a preventative program to reduce the amount of tooth decay in the children of Lafayette County Missouri. It is a Missouri Oral Health Preventative Services Program, which is a community–based approach to prevention of oral disease. The Saving Smiles program is organized by personnel at Lafayette County Health Department with the support […]

School Meals Provide Nutrition Safety Net

By Jeanette Mott Oxford
Executive Director, Empower Missouri

One of my favorite inspirational readings ends with the line “Face reality and unwilled change will happen.” If our communities are to thrive, here is a reality that our society has to face: Too many families struggle to put food on the table. In fact, in 2014, one in six households in Missouri said there […]

Miles of Smiles Provides Dental Care in Schools


By Christy May
Executive Director, 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 […]

Have You Heard? Kansas City Is 12345 Fit-Tastic!


By Emily Meissen-Sebelius
Project Coordinator, Weighing In

The 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.* Researchers found that even five years after adolescents had been exposed to promotions of unhealthy foods, they purchased fewer fruits and vegetables, but increased […]

Raising Healthier Kids


By HCF Blog Team

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. Raising healthy children sounds pretty simple: brushing teeth, developing healthy relationships, practicing good nutrition and encouraging 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Instilling these life-long habits […]

Second Chance: How Re-Entry Services Change Lives and Keep Kansas City Safe

The Second Chance Program’s “Job Club” is a weekly

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. When it comes to crime prevention, assistance for ex-offenders is an unexpected, but powerful and necessary tool to enhance public safety. At any given time, there […]


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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