2020 Annual Report Shining Through the Darkness
Portrait image of Robert Hughes.

A Message From Our President & CEO

A crisis can bring out the best in people, and that has been the shining light for me in this dark year. I’ve watched our team at the Foundation come together with numerous partners, working to address a crisis that deeply impacted all of us on a professional and personal level. And while the coronavirus pandemic raged, our other work continued, in spite of and in adaptation to, our new reality. As you look over our annual report, I hope you are as inspired as I am, not just by the accomplishments and highlights of the Foundation, but by all the communities and organizations that stood united at a time of turmoil and worked to promote health equity in our state.

What an honor it’s been to serve as Missouri Foundation for Health’s president and CEO for the last decade. When I envisioned the end of my tenure here, I didn’t predict it would coincide with a once-in-a-century pandemic. And while leaving when there’s still so much work to do in Missouri has caused many mixed emotions, I am pleased with all that MFH has accomplished and is positioned to do for years to come.

The Foundation’s evolution is noteworthy. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness our transition to a changemaking institution as we refined our strategies and incorporated new tools to make our updated mission statement a reality – to eliminate underlying causes of health inequities, transform systems, and enable individuals and communities to thrive.

The pandemic is not over, and even when it finally fades from the front pages of our newspapers, it will likely still spread in under-resourced parts of our region. COVID-19 has lifted the curtain for many people, highlighting the numerous inequities that exist in our health care system, in our economy, and in our society. In many ways we’ve taken steps back from where we were, and it will take time to recover. However, this is also an opportunity for broad systems change, and I am confident that the Foundation will be a key player in the forthcoming years of public health and post-COVID transformation. For that reason, despite the dark days many of us experienced, I encourage you to look toward the horizon and embrace the light.

Watching progress from afar,


Image of Robert Hughes' signature.