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Ronald W. Holt
Chair, Kansas Health Foundation
Board of Directors

Board Letter
At the heart of every great organization is great leadership, and in 2008 the Kansas Health Foundation was led by two of the very best. First, the organization was privileged to have Don Stewart serve as interim president for much of the year. His experience was an invaluable asset, and we cannot thank him enough for his efforts. Then, in August, the board of directors was excited to announce the hiring of Steve Coen as the Foundation’s new president and chief executive officer. Though he’s new to this position, Steve’s history with the Foundation goes back more than 20 years, as he’s served in a number of capacities for the organization, most recently as vice president for administration.

Like Don, Steve is truly a Kansan in every sense of word, and we have no doubts that he’s the right person at the right time to lead the Foundation. Just as throughout the nation, our state faces many unique challenges, many directly tied to issues of health, wellness and community. We’re confident that Steve, along with the Foundation’s outstanding staff, is ready and able to meet these challenges head-on and search for practical, responsible solutions.

One of Steve’s greatest strengths has always been his ability to work with people and organizations throughout the state to identify common areas of interest and determine how best to combine resources on particular projects. These skills will be more important than ever as the Foundation is truly committed to seeking, establishing and executing partnerships with the many tremendous organizations and leaders across Kansas. We understand that great ideas come from every corner of the state, and that the answers to many of the state’s most complex issues will come from those we’re proud to call fellow Kansans. Partnerships will not only be central to our work, but they will also determine our success.

A key part of being a good partner is being a good listener, and I can assure you the Foundation takes very seriously the feedback, knowledge and experience we hear from Kansans. In 2008, we had the opportunity to team with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to administer a constituent survey about the Foundation. Respondents were asked about the major health issues they see in the state, as well as more direct questions about the Foundation, its operations, its goals and its areas of focus. Combined with the direct information we receive when speaking with Kansans, these are the ideas that will drive our work and guide our decisions.

Through sound leadership, careful planning, listening and dedication, the Foundation will continue to strive to improve the health of all Kansans and make an impact that will be felt for generations.

Ronald W. Holt
Chair, Kansas Health Foundation Board of Directors