Public health policy: an unassuming name for some truly life-saving programs

By Lee A. Norman, MD, MHS, MBA on April 24, 2017
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, The University of Kansas Health System

This may sound odd, coming from a physician, but I believe that the general public and, in particular, public policy makers, place too much emphasis on medical care and too little emphasis on the other determinants of health. I believe that a country as productive and wealthy as ours should be able to provide a […]


The great Kansas comeback

By Annie McKay on March 23, 2017
President/CEO, Kansas Action for Children

I am a fiercely proud native Kansan and believe two things to the core of my being: That Kansas is the greatest state in the nation and that Kansans are good people. When historians reflect on Kansas, they always seem to make note of a unique, collective mindset among its people. We’ve been described as […]


Experience informs 2017 policy agenda

By Jessica Hembree on February 2, 2017
Program Officer, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

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 […]


Independence tobacco-free policies begin in 2017

By Cindy Calender on November 17, 2016
Public Health Specialist, Independence Health Department

It is widely known that the use of tobacco products and secondhand smoke exposure put many at risk for tobacco-related health conditions that include: cancer, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases. To make matters worse, tobacco kills more than 480,000 people each year in the United States, with most adults becoming addicted to tobacco products before […]


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

By Jessica Hembree on November 14, 2016
Program Officer, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

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 […]


Renew with Question 2

By Jennifer Hurst on October 19, 2016
Director of Communications, Children's Services Fund Coalition


Ashley Burns
Social Media Manager, Children's Services Fund Coalition

On November 8th, Jackson County residents will have the opportunity to vote on a levy tax that will make a big difference for Jackson County children and their families. Too many children in our community are living in crisis. In a recent year, more than 4,000 children have been homeless and wait times for area […]


Opioid discussion now online

By HCF Blog Team on October 12, 2016

Three weeks ago, HCF was proud to sponsor American Public Square’s Dinner at the Square event, The Painful Truth. People in attendance listened to a thoughtful, informed and respectful discussion on opioid abuse and whether Missouri needs a prescription drug monitoring program. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a prescription monitoring program. You can […]


Missouri’s tobacco tax proposals: Are the current proposals better than nothing?

By Michael O’Dell, M.D., M.S.H.A., FAAFP on September 28, 2016
HCF Board Member, HCF Board of Directors

‘Tis better to do nothing than to do something stupid. Two proposals are being circulated for placing tobacco tax increases before Missouri voters on the November 2016 ballot. Each proposal will need to collect upwards of 100,000 signatures before the May 8 filing deadline. Neither initiative is effective in impacting price-sensitive choices of young smokers. […]


A regional approach to prescription drug abuse

By Bradford T. Hart on September 15, 2016
Program Officer, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

Recently, I had the opportunity to testify before the Jackson County legislature on the topic of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). As many in our region already know, Missouri has the dubious distinction of being the only state in the country to not have a PDMP, the single most impactful tool to reduce the supply […]


Should Missouri have a drug registry?

By Allan Katz on August 31, 2016
American Public Square, Founder

Sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. And so have overdose deaths involving prescription opioids. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids, bringing the total from 1999 to 2014 to more than 165,000 deaths in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Forty-nine states have prescription drug monitoring […]



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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 jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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