Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” For many Kansans, 2020 will be remembered mostly by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting illnesses, deaths, job losses and financial struggles. As the year progressed, both Kansas and the nation became gripped by conversations about racial justice and equity. Yet, through this “despair,” individuals and communities in our state stepped up to provide hope. Throughout the year, the Kansas Health Foundation tried to use its resources and platform to give and promote that hope. In this annual report, we hope to show our attempts to be a force for good in 2020, as well as highlight our partners and grantees who truly made a difference. For us, the year 2020 can best be categorized by the four key themes outlined below.
When COVID-19 was detected in late 2019, the world was changed forever. The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) quickly put aside “planned work,” to determine how we could support the public health and social needs of our state with the spreading, deadly virus. The uncertainty of how the virus spread, the challenge of school closures, the widespread shutdown of businesses and loss of jobs, and the significant increase in food insecurity in communities all across Kansas presented us with immense and ongoing needs. From March to December 2020, KHF repurposed or approved additional funds totaling $16.7 million for COVID-19 relief efforts, as outlined in this COVID-19 summary.
At the end of 2020, there were approximately 223,000 COVID-19 cases with 2,741 deaths. The virus and variants are still spreading in Kansas. The needs continue. The work is not done. KHF will continue to respond.
As COVID-19 devasted families and communities, the tragic killing of George Floyd put an ugly spotlight on racial disparities in our criminal justice system, but also a stark reminder of how those same racial disparities permeate our health systems and produce stunningly inequitable health outcomes. As our CEO Reggie Robinson said, “We must confront and address the racism, brutality, and disregard that cut unmistakably across all of the domains – justice, health, education, work – that touch our lives and profoundly affect the quality of those lives.” Though KHF has worked toward health equity over the past several years, we used this tragedy to pause, refocus and recommit our work to assuring the health of ALL Kansans. In 2021, KHF will begin a new strategic planning process focused on health equity and how our work and partnerships can positively change systems for future generations.
At the beginning of 2020, KHF was under the new leadership of CEO Reggie Robinson. As Matt Allen, KHF Board Chair, said, “We knew we were in for something uniquely special when he became the Foundation’s president and CEO. His prior leadership experiences made such a positive impact on so many lives, and he enthusiastically took on transforming health for Kansans.”
Unfortunately, in June 2020, Reggie was diagnosed with a serious illness, and he passed away on September 19. Our KHF staff and board mourn with his wife Jane, and daughters Clare and Paige, in this unexpected and overwhelming loss.
When Reggie accepted the KHF appointment last year, he said, “This is the opportunity of a lifetime to work with a committed team and Board to make real and positive differences for Kansans.” For the entire KHF team, it was the opportunity of a lifetime to work with and learn from such an inspirational, deliberate and talented thought leader. We will miss his passion, his kindness and his grace. KHF will forever be a better organization because of his leadership.
Despite the unexpected events that unfolded in 2020, KHF remained committed to critically important work, including the Census, voter engagement for elections, summer reading programs for children, and supporting our partners and grantees with flexible grantmaking. Like other organizations that transitioned to remote work, we had to get more creative with our engagement efforts. With large community events cancelled for Census, voter registration and summer reading programs, KHF and our partners had to resourcefully engage others through physically-distanced outreach and social media. Partners embraced creating videos and hosting live events on Facebook, or holding Census and voter registration sign-ups following COVID-19 precautions, and using drive-through activities to share educational information with families. Unique times require unique solutions – and our grantees stepped up once again with their innovation and creativity!
Information, awareness, funding, contributions and hope are just a few of the ways KHF tried to work with Kansas communities and organizations as the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the 2020 headlines. In this section of our annual report, we’ve attempted to recap our work in this area. Our hope is we helped to make a difference this past year.
Approximately 223,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas in 2020.
KHF provided approximately $16.7 million in COVID-19 response and recovery funds.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, municipalities and health care providers struggled to acquire the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to keep citizens and workers healthy. In one Kansas county, the solution involved a group 3D printing enthusiasts, community partnership and a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.
As the COVID-19 crisis led to statewide stay-at-home orders, even essential services in the healthcare industry saw people hesitant to come and seek needed help. For the High Plains Mental Health Center (HPMHC), this meant many of their 6,000 annual patients from across Northwest Kansas were facing the anxiety and uncertainty of life without the necessary support, and thus, the need to move to a telehealth model.
As the pandemic swept across the state, the Kansas Health Foundation allowed many grantees to repurpose existing grants to meet immediate, COVID-related needs. In this video, learn more about a program in Wyandotte County using these repurposed funds to make a big difference in local neighborhoods.
When schools shut down in March 2020, districts had to find ways to continue providing meals for children who needed them. This same effort had to continue through the summer months, as new ways were created to make sure no child went hungry. The Kansas Health Foundation, in partnership with Sunflower Foundation and Greenbush, provided $1.2 million to help a total of 118 Kanas districts meet the meal needs of children.
Beginning in March 2020, KHF sought to ways to help individuals, grantees, organizations, communities and the state of Kansas as a whole navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the year, this work took shape and resulted in a multi-phased approach including both response and recovery efforts. To view the full scope of KHF’s impact in 2020 regarding the pandemic, please click the button below. Also, please note KHF’s efforts in this area are not finished. While this report summarizes 2020 contributions, be watching kansashealth.org for updated versions of this report showing new work in 2021.
While the report referenced above provides a complete and detailed account of all of KHF’s response and recovery efforts, the infographic below provides a quick reference guide to how KHF’s approximately $16.7 million in COVID-19 funding was categorized in 2020.
Issues related to COVID-19 have drastically altered everyday life across our nation and state. Throughout the pandemic, KHF has provided information on everything from child learning tools to information about where to get tested for the virus. Now, the first vaccines have been approved, and there may be light at the end of the tunnel. But, Kansans must remain vigilant, practice social distancing and learn more about vaccine availability. By clicking on the link below, you can learn more about KHF’s COVID-19 resources and up-to-date information about vaccine distribution.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued month after month, researchers began identifying many disparities associated with disease diagnosis, hospitalization and deaths. These disparities involved issues of race, ethnicity, income, education and job type. Some of this lack of health equity has been unique to the pandemic. But, many of the disparities discussed represent a rapid widening of already-existing issues. In the infographic below, please see some of these disparities KHF is monitoring closely in its ongoing efforts to promote health equity for all Kansans. For more detailed information, please see a recent KHF newsletter article about disparities and the pandemic.
The Kansas Health Foundation and its Investment Committee designated the following investments for the allocation of the KHF portfolio during 2020.
This chart outlines KHF’s historical average assets for each of the past 10 years.
This chart shows the yearly investment returns for the KHF portfolio for each of the past 10 years.
Due to the “roller-coaster” year seen in major financial markets, KHF wanted to show the 2020 investment return by individual month.
This chart shows the total yearly amount of KHF’s payout for grants and grant-related activities during the past 10 years. In previous annual reports, this total was termed “Qualifying Distributions.” Also of note, the higher distribution total in 2020 is directly related to KHF’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
In the bar chart shown in the previous financial section, KHF reported grants and grant-related activities in 2020 totaling approximately $25.1 million. The pie chart below takes this total amount of funding and demonstrates how the dollars were distributed based on the four KHF impact areas (Access to Care, Healthy Behaviors, Civic and Community Engagement, and Educational Attainment) and a fifth category designated “Improve Overall Health.”
Year Ended Dec. 31, 2020 (Unaudited)
|Cash and investments||$486,719,841|
|Land, building and equipment||$11,961,889|
|Liabilities and Net Assets|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$134,768|
Year Ended Dec. 31, 2020
|Revenue and gains|
|Total revenue and gains||$18,130,132|
|Grants and grant-related activities, net
|Total operating expenses||$6,015,615|
|Decrease in net assets||($7,622,927)|
|Net assets, beginning of year
|Net assets, end of year
As previous financial sections have shown, KHF distributed more than $25 million in grants and grant-related activities in 2020. That number represents the total payout of funds. Additionally, KHF also tracks the total number of grants and grant dollars newly approved each year. During 2020, KHF approved more than 120 new grants totaling approximately $34.7 million to be paid over the next five years. These investments further KHF’s efforts across four key impact areas, which are also summarized in this section.
More than 120 newly approved grants.
More than $25 million distributed for grants and grant-related activities.
More than $3.4 million distributed to meet basic needs, such as food insecurity and educational support.
More than $34 million in newly approved multi-year initiatives.
Access to necessary behavioral, oral and general health care remains a vital need in Kansas communities. This has only become more important amidst the pandemic. Through both grantmaking and policy engagement – including ongoing support for Medicaid Expansion – KHF works to create additional opportunities to keep Kansans healthy. Learn more about this impact area here.
Studies show tobacco use and obesity remain the leading causes of preventable death and illness in Kansas. It’s why KHF continues to seeks ways to increase access to healthy foods, increase physical activity and reduce the use of tobacco products. Exercise rates among Kansans decreased after quarantines and lockdowns were used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Due to this, many health experts predict obesity rates to continue to rise. Learn more about KHF’s work in this impact area here.
Public meetings and opportunities to be involved in a person’s town or neighborhood look very different during the pandemic. Yet, getting Kansans engaged and involved is more important than ever. KHF recognizes individuals’ health and well-being are also influenced by where and how they live. And stronger communities also help improve the health of Kansans. Active, engaged community members help to shape policies, express needs and expectations, determine how resources are allocated, and elect their representatives. Learn more about KHF’s efforts in this impact area here.
Administrators, teachers and students have all faced unprecedented challenges since many schools shut down and went virtual in March 2020. Since then, innovation, flexibility and dedication have been on full display. During this time, KHF has sought to assist communities and districts with these issues in a number of different ways. For more information about KHF’s work in this impact area, click here.
Vice Chair/BOD Representative
Senior Community Organizer
Director of Community Relations
Information Systems Manager
Senior Program Officer
Chief Financial Officer/Vice President of Finance
Associate Vice President
We will be good stewards of the resources in which we have been entrusted to address issues today, and to benefit generations to come. We are committed to the highest ethical standards in governance, administration and grantmaking.
We support and participate in activities that inform and advance effective health policy. We vow to lead by example and model the policies, practices and programs we support.
We realize we will be successful in meeting our mission when we listen to and build solid partnerships across sectors.
We understand that communities are best positioned to identify and respond to their unique health needs and believe in building community capacity and resources to address those needs.
We care about the health of all Kansans.
We seek to maintain an environment and atmosphere of diversity and inclusion – in governance, staff and partners. We honor the diverse needs, strengths, voices and backgrounds of all individuals in our state.
We believe in taking a proactive approach to grantmaking and that promoting systemic change through population-based approaches is the most effective strategy for improving health.
We pledge to be open and honest. We will highlight our successes, failures and lessons learned.
KHF defines health broadly, and as such, provides funding in many different areas in order to achieve our mission. However, our organization does have a list of grant exclusions, or projects for which our grant funds may not be used. These include any of the following activities:
Learn more about the latest Foundation news, grant opportunities, stories and health articles by signing up for KHF’s e-newsletters. Join today!