Thoughts on Equity is a new blog series presented by the Kansas Health Foundation to feature written, video and audio content from president and CEO Teresa Miller. Through this blog, Teresa will discuss issues of equity, systemic racism, health disparities and how Kansans have the opportunity to shape a more equitable and inclusive future.
In our ongoing efforts to chart a new course for the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF), I’m enjoying the opportunity to listen, read and learn from others. During the last decade, other foundations have focused on powerful work related to equity and community impact. Their learned experiences will be a wonderful resource as we determine how these takeaways translate to Kansas solutions. It has been great to have meaningful conversations with such a diverse group of organizations, including Colorado Trust, Colorado Health Foundation, California Endowment and some of the health foundations in Kansas. Our state is very fortunate, and unique, to have six health foundations: Health Forward Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation, Sunflower Foundation, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Wyandotte Health Foundation and KHF. It has been amazing for me to see how these groups often collaborate on initiatives – pooling financial and staffing resources to address disparities and inequities – to make our Kansas communities healthier and stronger. It’s not about turf or competition, but shared values about equity and healthier Kansans. That is POWER right there!
Each time I meet with someone, I gain new insights and perspectives. I am excited to share what I’ve learned as someone who recently moved to Kansas and what I believe will guide our KHF team work.
I expect over the next few months I will become more familiar with Kansas communities and better understand how KHF can shift and build power. Transparency is a core value of our organization, and a real value of mine, so I will continue to share my “aha” moments and how we are evolving as we focus on impact. We are anxious to dive into the data, listen to communities and be more deliberate in how we approach equity.
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