Allen County wins Culture of Health Prize

It is with tremendous excitement that we announce that our home — Allen County, Kansas — has been named as a 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner. The Prize honors communities for their unwavering efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live healthier lives. And that certainly describes what […]


Medical students need to understand poverty and its pernicious effect on health

There is little to no doubt that poverty and health are inextricably linked. If you are poor in the United States, you are more likely to die earlier,1 suffer from a mental illness2  and chronic medical conditions like obesity.3 And sadly, one could go on ad infinitum. There are several lessons that medical students took away […]


In-school therapy combined with parenting program make world of difference for families

Peace begins with a smile.  – Mother Teresa Individuals living outside of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, may pause when they hear about poverty in a city that is considered so affluent, but a 2013 survey conducted by the City of Lee’s Summit shows that this affluence only makes things more complicated. Lee’s Summit residents living at […]


HealthStart Academy inspires urban students to enter health sciences careers

In the Kansas City region, people of color are underrepresented in health sciences occupations. Additionally, there are too few candidates to meet the workforce demands of this growing field. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, health care and social assistance is the highest employment and wage growth industry in Kansas City—but only […]


Kansas City foster-parent group grows to nationally recognized agency

In 1998, I joined a handful of Kansas City-area foster parents at a support group meeting in Eastern Jackson County. In that meeting, people who were new to fostering, and people who had fostered for a while, were sharing their experiences and challenges and seeking solutions together. I quickly decided that I wanted to be […]


Youth Ambassadors write children’s book depicting harsh reality

In my children’s favorite childhood book, For Every Child a Better World, Kermit the Frog shows children that others are working hard to make our world a better place.  It is a compassionate book that gently introduces us to how others live “outside” their community and acquaints us to the United Nation’s Convention on the […]


Gun violence is a public health issue for which something can be done

Dallas. Baton Rouge. Orlando. San Bernadino. Ferguson. When city names become synonymous with acts of gun violence, we need to talk. This is how the Center for Practical Bioethics introduced the 22nd annual Rosemary Flanigan Lecture and Symposium held August 10-11, 2016 in Kansas City. Initially, we started with just three city names in that […]


JVS helps refugees face bewildering U.S. health system

Refugees come to Kansas City from countries all over the world — Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burundi, Burma, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. Their first view of Kansas City is through the windows of a jet landing at Kansas City International Airport, usually late at […]


Wait, don’t change that doctor just yet

It’s a statement that makes me cringe each time I hear it, and I hear it often – “I miss my Planned Parenthood provider since I’ve stopped needing reproductive health care.” Reproductive health care isn’t just about the years women and men are either trying to get pregnant or avoiding it. It includes the hormonal […]


Planned Parenthood Great Plains offers robust transgender care

I was training at City Gym in Waldo with my friend and City Gym owner, Hailee Bland Walsh, when we struck up a conversation about a workout program she had launched with a group of transgender men to help them develop a more masculine body shape. This casual conversation happened at a time whenPlanned Parenthood […]



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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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