In 2017, the Kansas Health Foundation was privileged to provide more than $23,000,000 in qualifying distributions and approved more than $36,000,000 in new grants to strategic partners and initiatives throughout Kansas. We invest in ideas for healthier people and stronger communities. To maximize impact with limited resources, we focus our efforts in areas with critical health needs: reaching out to low-income and racially-diverse communities, both rural and urban, and helping individuals reach higher education levels. When we improve the health of individuals, we also make our communities stronger. Every day, we work to improve the health of all Kansans.

A Letter from Our Board Chair and CEO

Michael Lennen
Board Chair

President & CEO

Every Kansan deserves to be healthy. This simple phrase describes why we gather data, leverage partnerships, raise awareness of health needs, invest in programs to improve health and encourage community leadership to build stronger places where Kansans call home.

It requires us to be curious and inquisitive, thoroughly researching data to understand the complex needs of our communities. We have to be intentional and deliberate, considering appropriate and timely opportunities for change. By engaging partners, we create better, innovative solutions. We expand our community networks by offering leadership development and leveraging resources, helping us be more responsive to health problems in our state. Through strategic discipline, we can be more thoughtful, open and transparent about how our work contributes to change.

Simple and clear. It’s what we do, who we serve, and what outcomes we hope to achieve. We know by working with others, we can address critical health needs today and make positive change for generations to come.

But the Kansas we have known is changing. Our health problems today are much different and more complex than in the past. Data shows us that race, income, zip code and education level can all influence health outcomes. We link this information with our impact areas:

  • Access to care (medical, dental and behavioral health)
  • Healthy behaviors (access to healthy food, making physical activity a priority, reducing tobacco use)
  • Civic and community engagement (increasing voter engagement and building stronger communities)
  • Educational attainment (increasing literacy levels, graduation rates and workforce readiness)

We try to be most effective in reaching the greatest needs by making strategic choices, establishing priorities and allocating resources to achieve a desired result – to improve the health of all Kansans. In 2017, we invested in healthier people and stronger communities. But, our work continues so EVERY Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play.

2017 Highlights

Kansas Health Foundation was honored to provide more than 150 grants throughout our state to make positive change in our program and impact areas, as well as build capacity for many organizations. We initiated new programs to expand grocery/food distribution, encourage voter engagement, and create awareness of health challenges in communities across the state. We continued work with Active Schools, policies to improve access to care, and core support for Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and Kansas Health Institute (KHI).

Please view the PDF for a complete list of grants approved in 2017.

View Full Report

$36,000,000 in New Grants
New Impact Area: Educational Attainment
14.3% Total Investment Return
More than 150 Grants

Impact of the Kansas Health Foundation

Access to Care

It is important for all Kansans to have access to health care, for help when they are sick, and to prevent or reduce the severity of disease and illness. In Kansas today, however, one in six adults age 18 to 64 lack health care coverage. And, one in three do not have dental coverage. For others, the challenge is not having enough health and dental providers close to where they live.

$929,043 Approved
29 Grants

View All Grants

Statistics on Access to Care

Whether talking about medical, oral or behavioral health, Kansas must improve access to care.

1 in 3

Healthy Behaviors

Tobacco use and obesity remain the leading causes of preventable death and illness in Kansas. One in three Kansans are obese (31%), and just over 17% of Kansans smoke. KHF invests in programs and supports policy efforts that promote health eating, physical activity and tobacco use prevention. This work is focused on encouraging healthier individual behaviors, shaping the environment and changing policies to affect larger populations.

$13,616,868 Approved
30 Grants

View All Grants

Statistics on Healthy Behaviors

Kansans continue to engage in behaviors like smoking and eating unhealthy foods.

1 in 6
Kansas adults smoke cigarettes
of Kansans do not have reasonable access to healthy food/groceries
of Kansas adults are overweight or obese

Civic and Community Engagement

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. KHF invests in programs that help to build stronger communities and provides the support for leadership, information and data.

$23,160,728 Approved
77 Grants

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Statistics on Civic and Community Engagement

With statewide elections in 2018, Kansans will soon have another opportunity to improve the voter turnout rate.

of eligible Kansas voters participated in the 2014 November election
2014 voter turnout in Phillips County, the highest for any Kansas county
of Kansans sometimes/always vote in local elections

Educational Attainment

Research shows that individuals with more education live longer, healthier lives than those with less education. And, Kansas data indicates that lower levels of education are often linked to lack of health care coverage, limited ability to pay for medical or dental treatment, higher use of tobacco products, increased obesity rates and poor health outcomes.

Educational Attainment is a Growing Impact Area for the Kansas Health Foundation

View All Grants

Statistics on Educational Attainment

Graduation rates and reading literacy rates are at the heart of KHF’s planning efforts in this impact area.

of public school students graduate from high school
of students are approved for free- or reduced-price lunches
of 4th grade students are below proficient in reading

Our People

Board of Directors

Michael Lennen

Interim President and CEO

Donna Shank

Matt Allen


Claudia Bakely

Mollie H. Carter

Junetta Everett

Jeffry L. Jack

Vice Chair

C. Patrick Woods

Steve Coen

President and CEO

Investment Committee

Mollie H. Carter

John MacDonald

Brian Heinrichs

John Maurer, Jr.

Ben Zimmerman

Audit Committee

Junetta Everett

Jay Smith

Arnold Hudspeth

Michael Flores

Finance Committee

Donna Shank

Matt Allen


Jeffry L. Jack

Vice Chair


Steve Coen

President and CEO

Christopher Power

Vice President of Operations

Deanna Van Hersh

Vice President for Programs

Stephen Webster

Chief Financial Officer

Elina Alterman

Program Officer

Kristi Zukovich

Vice President for Communication and Policy

Valerie Black

Information Technology Officer

Ashley Booker

Associate Communication Officer

Chan Brown

Program Officer

Doug Clasen

Facilities Manager

Kathy Lawless


Gina Hess

Grants Associate

Mary Poort

Finance Assistant

Nadine Long

Director of Strategic Learning and Grants Administration

Tanya Tanner

Executive Assistant

Blair Weibert

Grants Officer

Jeff Usher

Senior Program Officer

Chase Willhite

Associate Vice President for Communication

Carolyn Williams

Senior Program Officer

Guiding Principles



We care about the health of all Kansans.



We pledge to be open and honest. We will highlight our successes, failures and lessons learned.



We believe in taking a proactive approach to grant making and that promoting systemic change through population-based approaches is the most effective strategy for improving health.



We realize we will be successful in meeting our mission when we listen to and build solid partnerships across sectors.



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 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 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 grant making.



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.

Portfolio Asset Allocation as of December 31, 2017

Historical Average Assets ($)

Qualifying Distributions ($)

Balance Sheet

December 31, 2017

Cash and investments $502,097,727
Other assets $396,311
Land, building and equipment $11,468,269
Liabilities and Net Assets
Payables and accrued expenses $119,346
Bonds payable $0
Grants payable $28,316,547
Net Assets $485,526,413

Statement of Activity and Changes in Net Assets

Year Ended December 31, 2017

Revenue and gains
Investment income $2,287,192
Net realized and unrealized gains on investment $63,570,834
Investment management expenses ($1,764,425)
Other income $911,438,000
Program grants, net of writeoffs $29,560,961
Operating Expenses
Charitable activities and grants administration $5,749,285
Total operating expenses $5,749,285
Increase (Decrease) in net assets $29,694,792
Net Assets, beginning of year $455,831,621
Net Assets, end of year $485,526,413


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:

  • Medical research
  • Contributions to capital campaigns
  • Operating deficits or retirement of debt
  • Endowment programs not initiated by KHF
  • Activities supporting political candidates or voter registration drives, as defined in IRC section 4945(d)(1)
  • Vehicles, such as vans or buses
  • Medical equipment
  • Construction projects or real estate acquisitions
    (Both KHF and match funding from other foundations or organizations may be used for community enhancement projects.)
  • Direct mental health services
  • Direct medical services
  • Grants to individuals
  • Annual fund drives
  • Fundraising events

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Every month, our electronic newsletter, Health Happenings, features a story about a focus area, grant, partnership or program involving the Foundation.