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 […]

Why Tobacco 21 | KC was so successful

By Jessica Hembree on December 8, 2016
Program Officer, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

As 2016 winds down, we begin our annual blog series where HCF associates review highlights from our work this past year. In our fifth post, Jessica Hembree examines why Tobacco 21 policies were well-received in the area. Join us as we look back on 2016.  As reflected in the national decline in smoking rates, there have […]

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 […]

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. […]

What makes a good tobacco tax?

By Bridget McCandless, MD on September 21, 2016
President and CEO, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

The tobacco tax is a powerful public health tool. Tobacco taxes are like antibiotics— dose matters. A drop here and there does nothing. With tobacco taxes, the dose needs to be strong enough to affect the choices of purchasers. This makes phased-in taxes ineffective. The bare minimum to change behavior is an increase of 10 […]

Tobacco 21|KC policies spreading in Kansas, Missouri

By HCF Blog Team on March 27, 2016

It’s been four months since Kansas City, Missouri, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, became the first cities in the metropolitan area to pass policies to increase the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21. Since then Gladstone and Independence, Missouri, and Olathe and Prairie Village, Kansas, have passed […]

When nothing is better than something

By Bridget McCandless, MD on March 2, 2016
President and CEO, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

Update: Please read why we only support a tobacco tax that has an actual effect on public health. HCF intends to pursue a substantial and impactful increase in the tobacco tax in the coming years. HCF and many others came together in 2012 to advocate for a ballot initiative to increase Missouri’s tobacco tax from $0.17 per […]

A Decade of Difference: Increasing tobacco taxes

Tobacco taxes 2015

By HCF Blog Team on January 27, 2016

Historically, one of the most effective strategies for reducing smoking has been to increase the cost of tobacco through higher taxes. According to the American Lung Association, a 10 percent increase in tobacco cost reduces consumption by about 4 percent among adults and 7 percent among youth. Each year, 6,500 Missouri youth start smoking, while […]

A look back at 2015: Telling a good story

By Jennifer Sykes on January 1, 2016
Communications Officer, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

Everyone loves a good story. The best part of my job as as the Communications Officer at the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City is being able to share the stories of our community partners as they work to create healthier communities. This isn’t always easy. While there have never been more ways to reach […]


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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