What were the 10 healthy improvements in our region?

A Healthy 10

Clean indoor air is exactly what our region needed. With many community-wide bans in Missouri and a statewide ban on indoor smoking in Kansas, you can breathe easy knowing your air is clean and your lungs are protected.

Safety is freedom from more than just violent situations — it’s also freedom from anxiety. Whether in the community or at home, knowing you’re safe can improve your physical and mental health. We’re proud to support initiatives that make this region a safer place to live.

The key to ensuring kids grow into healthy adults is to start young. By teaching good eating and exercise habits, and treating mental health problems early, we’re giving kids the knowledge, support and foundation to build a healthy lifestyle. It’s a commitment to their future. And we’re proud to back them all the way.

Better health starts with better food and when one of the biggest inhibitors to eating healthy is access, it makes sense to start there. So with the help of our partners, we're working to make fresh, whole foods available to the entire community.

Everyone should receive great care regardless of language, income or type of insurance. And not just physical health care — quality dental and mental care should be available at a reasonable cost, too. By investing in local organizations, we’ve helped open the doors to better health care for more people than ever before.

With the help of our partners, we're turning blighted areas into warm communities that entice people to get out and be active. From adding sidewalks and bike lanes to building playgournds, we're encouraging active lifestyles in safe and inviting neighborhoods.

Oral health extends well beyond the mouth — it affects the entire body. By supporting community partners, we're able to raise awareness about the benefits of dental care while also making it available to those who need it most.

Health care professionals are needed everywhere. But some areas need them more than others. Through recruitment, education and training programs, the right people are put in the right places to make the biggest impact on underserved communities

Recognizing and understanding trauma is the first step in treating it, whether it's a child who had an adverse experience or an adult who's trying to cope. Helping people of all ages, their families, communities and the health care providers around them better understand the impact of trauma enriches everyone’s lives. Which is why we help fund programs that provide the tools needed to move forward.

Many in this region are uninsured and underserved. But the Affordable Care Act has made health care more accessible. Our goal is to help people sign up for health insurance, while also working to expand other programs designed to reach this population and ensure they're covered for the care they need.


A few years ago, we started looking ahead to our 10-year anniversary and how we could mark the occasion. Thus was born an ambitious project of mapping the health care landscape to better understand the accomplishments and obstacles surrounding care to the uninsured and underserved in the Kansas City region. To accomplish this, we sought interviews with experts, community partners and leaders, and longtime professionals in our three funding areas of health, and compiled the results in a report.

We consider this report to be a signature project, one we can learn from, and reflect upon, in order to better inform the community’s collective efforts going forward. In short, HCF’s Decade of Difference. (We’re only being a little immodest when we say that you should check out the website and 10-year report because they are amazing.)

Now, throughout the interview and production process, it was clear that 10 areas of health in the region showed marked improvement. So, to honor those accomplishments, we spent 10 months in 2015 highlighting the efforts and programs that helped improve the health of our communities. Please scroll through the slideshow above to learn more about A Healthy 10, and click on the links below to explore the topics.

A Healthy 10:

March: Clean Indoor Air
April: Supporting Safe Places
May: Raising Healthier Kids
June: Nutrition Nearby
July: Care Without Limits
August: Actively Living
September: Smiles All Around
October: Right People. Right Places.
November: Understanding Trauma
December: Health Insured

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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 .


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