Having a strong network of partners and collaborators that work tirelessly to expand health insurance coverage and care enables us to leverage our limited financial resources – while continuously expanding our impact.”
– Brenda Sharpe, President & CEO
Seated (left to right): Danielle Jones; Vicki Hohenstein; Jon Marshall; Lisa Thurlow, D.D.S
Standing (left to right): Wendy Neal; Arif Ahmed, PhD; Jim Sanders, M.D.; Lynette Sparkman-Barnes, PsyD; Tom Handley; Joe Reuben, M.D.; Jerrihlyn McGee; Angela Harse; Brenda Sharpe
Not Pictured: Laura Bond; Katie Ferro; Andy Klocke; Todd Pleimann; Heather Samuel
2018 marked the third year of a five-year strategic plan that is focused on
reducing the numbers of uninsured in the REACH service area and increasing those served by a vital health care safety net.
We are pleased to share our 2018 annual report and highlights of the REACH Foundation’s community investments last year.
It’s a pleasure to reflect on our prior year of grant making and the effective board and staff partnership required to effectively support nonprofit health and human service organizations that share our commitment to advancing health equity. Having a strong network of partners and collaborators that work tirelessly to expand health insurance coverage and care enables us to leverage our limited financial resources – while continuously expanding our impact.
2018 marked the third year of a five-year strategic plan that is tightly focused on reducing the numbers of uninsured in the REACH service area and increasing those who are served by a vital and responsive health care safety net. Ninety percent of grants awarded last year were directed to support the efforts of key partners whose work is highly aligned with our three outcome areas – Enroll All Eligible, Close the Coverage Gap and Strong Safety Net.
Investing in partnerships has yielded positive results: Stabilizing the number of insured people in our service area despite continued efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act; development of strategies and action plans to close the health insurance coverage gap in Kansas and Missouri; and increasing the capacity of the health care safety net to provide more coordinated and connected care.
Partnering with our peer health philanthropy colleagues continues to be a source of pride and strength in the face of ongoing attempts by legislative leadership to prevent the expansion of Medicaid in Kansas and Missouri. As a collective, we are uniquely positioned in the nation to tackle complex policy challenges and leverage one another’s expertise and funding.
The Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a statewide coalition supported by REACH and five other health foundations working in Kansas, expanded its broad and vocal base of supporters last year, who have continued to press for adoption of this critical state policy. While we didn’t attain Medicaid expansion in 2018, the coalition did gain new supporters across Kansas among health providers, business groups and individuals. The public overwhelmingly supports and understands the immediate and dramatic impact expansion would have on access to a regular source of primary and behavioral health care. This effort is just one demonstration of the power of partnership – essential to achieving our mission.
The REACH Board of Directors takes seriously its commitment to maintain consistent investment in health improvement efforts in the counties we serve.
REACH’s interest in addressing health care barriers faced by immigrants and refugees also has helped to cultivate new partnerships. One example is our grant to Welcoming America to work with diverse leaders in metro Kansas City to initiate collaboration around a welcoming region plan. The Communities Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees learning and action network supported by REACH is another.
The REACH Board of Directors takes seriously its commitment to maintain consistent investment in health improvement efforts in the counties we serve, as evidenced by our annual core operating support of 28 critical health care safety net providers, which have become trusted partners and important voices for their clients.
Lastly, the governance model embraced by the REACH board and staff promotes a culture of accountability, transparency and adherence to our core mission. The stronger our organization is as a best-practice nonprofit, the better we are able to remain nimble and prepared to address emerging opportunities and challenges to health equity across our service area.
As you read about our 2018 community investments and partners, we hope you share our excitement and belief that better health is within reach.