Coen to retire after 31 years at KHF

February 28, 2019

Media Contact Kristi Zukovich, 316-491-8419

WICHITA, Kan. – Kansas Health Foundation President and CEO Steve Coen has announced plans to retire effective July 31, 2019. Coen has served as President and CEO since August 2008. Since joining the Foundation in 1987, Coen has held several other positions, including director of public affairs, senior program officer and vice president for administration.

“It has been an honor to be part of the Kansas Health Foundation team. I’ve had the privilege to work with so many talented, dedicated people across this state who are focused on improving health and building stronger communities. I have had an extremely fulfilling career and am ready to enjoy my next life’s adventures with my wife, Monica, and my family.”

The Kansas Health Foundation Board plans to begin a national search for the Foundation’s successor President and CEO, in order to ensure a smooth transition.

“The KHF Board is grateful for Steve’s dedicated service over the past 31 years – including his most recent 10-year tenure as the Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer,” said Mike Lennen, KHF Board Chair. “He is one of those individuals whose work has made a profound and positive difference for Kansas and its citizens. I think it is fair to say that throughout his years of service, Steve has been a compassionate, forward-looking leader. Because of his dedication and vision, the Kansas Health Foundation has continued to be at the forefront of efforts to improve the health of our communities and citizens.”

Coen championed a number of significant initiatives during his tenure at KHF, including the following:

  • The creation and development of the Kansas Leadership Center;
  • The establishment of a 20-year, $60 million investment in Kansas community foundations called Giving Resources to Our World (GROW), vastly expanding the resources and technical capability of local community foundations;
  • The development and implementation of innovative in-school physical education programs;
  • Leading the foundation’s movement from private foundation to public charity tax status so that it could support public policy and advocacy efforts in the state; and,
  • Most recently, the launch of the Foundation’s statewide “Can’t Wait to Read” early childhood literacy campaign.

Beyond these efforts, Coen has led work to improve our public health system, to ensure access to healthy foods, and to improve the affordability and availability of medical care for all Kansans.

Before coming to the Foundation, Coen served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Bob Dole in Washington, D.C. and as state director of his four Kansas offices. In addition to his professional experiences, Coen has been an active member of Grantmakers in Health, served as chair of the Governor’s Council on Fitness and is a member of the Leadership Council of the Greater Wichita Partnership.

“I know the KHF board and staff are committed to our mission of improving the health of all Kansans,” said Coen. “What a privilege it has been to work with such passionate professionals during my time at KHF to help build healthier, stronger communities.”


About the Kansas Health Foundation

The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) is a nonprofit organization based in Wichita but statewide in its focus. At KHF, all our work centers on our mission: to improve the health of all Kansans. As part of a new strategic framework, developed by our staff and board of directors, KHF also strives to accomplish three primary purposes: empower Kansas to lead the nation in health; eliminate the inequities that create health disparities; and, for KHF to become THE model for philanthropic impact.

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