KHF Equation for Tackling Kansas’ Greatest Health Challenges

Overview

At the Kansas Health Foundation, we never want to be accused of thinking small. In fact, our three-part purpose statement is nothing short of audacious. And we know it.

We also know that none of it will be accomplished through the resources, efforts, ideas and actions of KHF alone. To make real, sustainable progress on complex and adaptive challenges, we believe it will take a committed, aligned and far-reaching network of individuals and organizations working collaboratively around a set of common goals.

This belief has framed how we think about tackling the greatest health challenges facing our state. It’s the idea that by focusing on a single issue or challenge, we can mobilize the right partners and resources to make a lasting societal impact.

The Equation

We believe five significant pieces of infrastructure must be built in order to make long-term change possible on challenging health issues. These include:

  • A Well-Resourced Statewide Organization: An organization with the capacity and skills to sustainably support local coalitions, track metrics, engage partners and communicate about the issue.
  • Well-Resourced Local Coalitions: Coalitions at the local level build buy-in, connect with their communities and advocate for local policy and system change.
  • Policy Emphasis: Efforts will include a focus on policies at various levels which need to be passed, implemented or repealed to make progress on a given issue.
  • Resources to Innovate: The leveraging of additional funding is needed to maintain a statewide organization, launch and sustain local coalitions and to run new, bold experiments in order to make long-term impact.
  • Data and Measurement: The setting and tracking of shared metrics is needed to help partners align their efforts toward common goals. These metrics must be monitored and reported on in order to ensure progress or to determine where course corrections are needed.

When all of these are present, we believe we can make progress and sustained impact on even the most complex health issues.

Our First Major Challenge

As the initial test of how the Kansas Health Foundation works on major health challenges, KHF is working with partners across the state to tackle the challenge of reducing (and someday, eliminating) hunger and food insecurity in Kansas.

It won’t be easy. But, with multiple organizations playing key roles in the effort, we believe it’s possible. That’s the belief behind the launch of Hunger Free Kansas, an initiative to bring all the pieces together for the benefit of Kansas families. Please visit hungerfreekansas.org to learn more about this effort.

 

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