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We’re on a journey to make Missouri a healthier place to live. Join us as we highlight a few of the many lives and communities we’ve touched while striving to improve the well-being of the underserved in our region. We believe the changes we’re making affect lives both now and down the road, and that’s what keeps us going.

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Bringing Food to the Table


Food Insecurity

Bringing Food to the Table

How we’re breaking the cycle.

When it comes to fighting hunger, we have a lot on our plate. In fact, food insecurity rates in Missouri have gone up over the past 10 years. In 2013 we partnered with four food banks across our region to help strengthen their organizational infrastructure through our Emergency Food Access grants. These efforts made a real impact, but with a problem this complex, we needed to give ourselves and the public a deeper understanding of the size and scope of the issue.

Furthering our work in this area, we released a comprehensive Food Insecurity Report in 2015 as part of our Health Equity Series. In it we examined Missouri’s food system, including how factors such as race and gender impact food security and food access. There are no easy answers, but by understanding how food deserts or a lack of transportation worsen food insecurity, we’re one step closer to solving the problem.

In this land of plenty, no American or Missourian should go without food.

MFH Food Insecurity Report

Filling the Gaps


Expanding Coverage

Filling the Gaps

Educating consumers on the benefits of being covered.

Having health insurance is a security that some people think they can’t afford, which is why our Cover Missouri Coalition aims to help those that are uninsured get the coverage they need. In just three years, Cover Missouri has reduced the rate of uninsured Missourians by 25 percent. During the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period – held from November 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016 – there was an impressive 91 percent increase in signups for the Missouri Marketplace compared to year one.

In total, 290,201 people gained essential coverage that will keep them and their families healthier and more financially secure, giving Missouri the ninth highest enrollment rank in the nation. These positive results don’t happen without a huge number of partners and a ton of work. For example, during this enrollment period alone there were almost 2,000 outreach events held by our Cover Missouri partners throughout the state.

They were so thankful and felt like now they had a fighting chance to survive.

Tina Rasmussen, Access Family Care
on signing up an ailing elderly couple for insurance in the Missouri Marketplace


Since the Cover Missouri Coalition began its work in 2013, Missouri has seen a 25 percent decrease in the total number of uninsured adults under age 65.

There's No Place Like Home



There's No Place Like Home

Helping people get back on their feet, starting with a place to live.

“There’s no place like home” was the iconic phrase that brought Dorothy back to Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. In the story, home represented somewhere stable, a place that made sense in a confusing and frightening world. At the Foundation we recognize how important it is to have a place to call home, and how essential it is as a first step in building a happier, healthier life for yourself.

Through our Show Me Healthy Housing program, we’re using multiple strategies and a variety of partners to help at-risk people into safe, stable, affordable housing. Their new “home base” becomes the foundation from which all of their health improvements can build. So far, our work has included partnerships with four nonprofits to aid in the construction of supportive housing in different parts of our region, the sponsorship of the new Missouri Supportive Housing Institute in 2015, and the creation of our first-ever Program Related Investment in 2016, to help fund even more work in the years to come.

You can assume a lot about people in poverty, but did you even ask? We need more people that are willing to put in some time.

Cornellia Williams, Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator at Columbia Housing Authority


From Columbia to Springfield, we’re helping fund 4 housing projects across the state for groups such as homeless veterans and working to provide affordable housing for struggling families.

Our Shared Vision


Health Policy

Our Shared Vision

Empowering our communities to improve health equity.

Honestly, we like to think our ideas are making Missouri a better place to live. In fact, we consider ourselves a resource for the region in part because we have a wealth of information and experts at our disposal. Perhaps our most important responsibility is to listen to our numerous, varied communities and let them express what issues are most important to them, and what solutions they think would work best.

As part of our effort to amplify voices and ideas from our communities, we created Community Convening Grants. This program, created in 2016, is allowing six select groups (outside of St. Louis city/county) to hold health-focused discussions that mobilize the necessary stakeholders, skills, and resources to form coalitions that address health issues from a local policy perspective. We’re pushing for the roundtables to get larger, so even more people have a seat at the table. These two-year grants are just getting started, but we’re excited to learn from them!

Not only are we spurring conversations, we're helping to bring disparate groups together that might not have interacted otherwise.

Ryan Barker, Vice President of Health Policy


As a result of our first request for applications in 2016, we acquired six new grantees and partners who helped us engage with Missourians on topics most important to the communities in which they live.

Ferguson and Beyond

St Louis Metro


Ferguson and Beyond

Catalyzing change one community at a time.

2014 was a tough year for our region; after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, longstanding racial and social inequities were painfully pulled center-stage for the world to see. In late 2015 the Ferguson commission released a report entitled Forward Through Ferguson, which suggested that health disparities were a key factor leading to the explosive situation.

In 2016, six areas of focus were identified and supported by our Board of Directors. Moving quickly, the first two grants related to the Ferguson report were approved: the Regional Health Commission’s Alive and Well STL effort to reduce the impact of toxic stress and trauma on health and well-being, and SLU’s Shut it Down: School to Prison Pipeline project.

By the close of the year, three additional grants were awarded, including one for operating support for the Forward Through Ferguson organization, and two in the area of food insecurity. We’re making progress, but these partnerships represent only the beginning of our long-term Ferguson and Beyond work.

When Change Adds Up

We've designated up to $6 million in funding for six areas of focus to address health disparities defined by Forward Through Ferguson.

Helping Babies Flourish

St Louis Metro

Infant Mortality

Helping Babies Flourish

Promoting infant vitality at a grassroots level.

In late 2016 around 100 attendees gathered in St. Louis’ New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, joined arms, and pledged to work together to fight infant mortality in the region. The event was held by GenerateHealth, one of our infant mortality “backbone” organizations, as part of their FLOURISH St. Louis campaign. FLOURISH has examined the racial and social health disparities leading to infant deaths, and is narrowing in on five specific areas of focus for their action plan, including improving prenatal care, mental-health treatment, and safe-sleep habits.

We believe that all babies deserve the chance to thrive, and through our Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative we’ve targeted two parts of our region that need the most help: St. Louis and Missouri’s Bootheel. By convening and joining forces with local partners, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that babies and their families live happier and healthier lives.

Imagine the lost potential… Imagine the future leaders, the artists, the minds we lose each year.

Jill Thompson, GenerateHealth


5 action teams totaling 79 people were put together by Flourish St. Louis that support women and families in the area by giving their time, donating items, and educating the public.

Winning Oral Health Solutions


Oral Health

Winning Oral Health Solutions

Our strides toward better teeth, better health!

This should bring a smile to your face: In 2016, Missouri’s health centers collectively earned $7.5 million through a federal program to expand their oral health services. Across the entire U.S., Missouri received the fourth highest dollar amount, only trailing California, New York, and Florida.

Out of the 20 organizations in Missouri receiving awards, eight were supported through our MoCAP program. By offering help to qualified groups as they navigate the grantmaking process, MoCAP leverages our funds to bring in substantially larger dollar amounts to the state. As a result of this support, more health centers are able to integrate and expand their oral health care services and increase the number of patients served.


Nearly 400 MoCAP-supported proposals have been successfully funded since 2010 and $24.9 million has been awarded with MoCAP assistance in 2016, a new record!

Weighing in on Childhood Obesity


Childhood Obesity

Weighing in on Childhood Obesity

Changes that give kids the opportunity to lead healthier lives.

America and Missouri have an important problem to solve: We have some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the world, and we’re struggling to keep the numbers from climbing. That’s why in 2016 our President and CEO Bob Hughes wrote a piece for our website doubling down on our commitment to combat this issue, and highlighting the progress we’ve made so far.

In 2013 we formed our Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative to address childhood obesity by bringing schools and the community together to fight for changes that help kids stay active and eat well. By 2015 there were 33 HSHC-participating school districts, reaching nearly 30,000 students. Progress so far includes 126 environmental, practice, and policy changes, such as installing new playground equipment and school salad bars. There’s much left to be done, but together we’re working to make Missouri healthier now, so we’re healthier in the future.

We're not just improving (kids') health right now, we're setting them on a path toward healthy living for the rest of their lives.

Deidre Griffith, Program Director


12 counties across the state have joined the effort to hire district wellness coordinators who spearhead action plans for physical activity, health education, school policy, and family engagement.

Tech-Focused Mental Health


Behavioral Health

Tech-Focused Mental Health

Support and advice in the palm of your hand.

Every once in a while we have the opportunity to fund projects that provide gratification in a relatively short amount of time, rather than in decades. Just days before Missouri marked the fifth anniversary of the most devastating tornado in state history, our Program Officer Michael Renner visited Joplin, the city at the epicenter of that destruction. He was there to join the Ozark Center in announcing a new MFH-supported smartphone app, designed to address the mental-health needs of families before, during, and after a disaster. The app, titled Help Kids Cope, was developed in partnership with UCLA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

The app was part of a pilot project we funded in 2013 called “Improving Mental Health Access and Outcomes through Technology.” This was an untested, somewhat risky proposal, but the results speak for themselves. Not only did we help create Help Kids Cope, two other mobile technologies are now available: MyStrength and Super Me!

Simply put, we were intrigued. If any place had reason to improve access to mental health services using new technology, it was Joplin.

Michael Renner, MFH program officer

2 additional mobile technologies

The pilot program funded by MFH has led to the creation of two additional mobile apps, placing disaster preparation, mental health tips, and advice at your fingertips.


Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for taking this journey through Missouri with us. We are eager to share our stories of impact and success over the past two years. It’s important to emphasize that funding is just one aspect of what we do. We hope that from these stories, you recognize our roles as catalyst, convener, influencer, and educator, to name a few. Over the past two years, we’ve been working with other community partners to overcome challenges and find better ways to accelerate positive changes in health. This report highlights how we’ve done that in various areas throughout the state, offering just a glimpse into the efforts of the grantees that are executing our approaches in the field.

To our grantees, advocates, and community partners, your dedication to this work motivates us to continue to improve the health and well-being of individuals most in need. Thank you!

  • Letter From The Board Chair
  •    |   
  • President

Dear Colleagues,

During my years serving on the Community Advisory Council and Board of Directors, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Missouri Foundation for Health evolve into an even more effective catalyst for change in our region. Having played a part in this work fills me with immense pride. Our Board, CAC, and staff continue to strive tirelessly to ensure that our efforts center on listening to communities and improving systems, so that our most vulnerable residents can lead healthier lives.

This diverse collection of stories embodies some of our recent work, and we are pleased to highlight areas of impact and sustainability. The Foundation is fortunate to have such dedicated grantees and community partners that share our convictions and commitment to health. Our work together in the face of a changing health and health care environment, gives us hope for the future.

Warm Regards,


the Run Down

Where we’ve been and where we’re going

Since 2001, we’ve been involved in a wide range of inspiring, impactful work that improves the health of those in our region. As we’ve grown, the way we talk about ourselves has evolved, and from there the need for an updated mission and core values was identified. This change was necessary, not only because we have matured, but because we wanted our new language to act as guiding principle for us as we move forward. It took more than a year of hard work collaborating with our Board and Community Advisory Council members to make the updates. We now proudly stand behind these new words, which keep the spirit of the original text, but with an extra emphasis toward serving those most in need.

See Our Numbers
  • 84counties + the city of St. Louis
  • 50staff experts
  • 4core values
  • 561awards
  • 1mission
  • $50333627in funding 2015
  • $43622097in funding 2016



  • Joan Bray
  • Pamela F. Campbell
  • Connie Cunningham
  • Janet Gooch
  • Kay Griffin
  • Kenneth A. Haller
  • Bob Hughes, Ex-Officio
  • Jeanne A. Jarrett
  • Bethany Johnson-Javois
  • Andwele Jolly
  • Deborah Kiel
  • Shelley Layton
  • Theresa Mayberry
  • Serena N. Muhammad
  • Darin Preis
  • Steve Renne
  • Tim Shryack
  • Tim Swinfard


  • Judy Baker
  • Joel Ferber
  • John Hickey
  • Deb Kiel
  • Miranda Lewis
  • Brooks Miller
  • Loretta Prater
  • Claudia Preuschoff
  • Wilma Saunders Schmitz
  • Misty Snodgrass
  • Kim Stemley
  • Aimee Wehmeier
  • Heather Zoromski