Changing How We Describe Ourselves to Match Our Evolving Organization


The work we undertake at Missouri Foundation for Health is both impactful and inspirational; it’s something I feel every morning when coming into the office. But when I read the mission statement and core values that were developed when the Foundation formed, I have to say, it felt like something was lacking. The mission captured some aspects of our work, but the core values didn’t resonate emotionally as much as they should. It didn’t feel like they expressed all of the traits that make the Foundation special. These important pieces of text are supposed to inspire us, our Board, and our Community Advisory Council (CAC), and act as guiding principles we can refer to when making decisions. While our original mission and core values served their purpose in their time, we as a Foundation decided that both should be amended to better convey the organization that we have evolved into over the years.

For the past year we, along with our Board and CAC, set about carefully revising our mission statement and developing a new set of core values. This was an iterative process, allowing us to explore new language that better reflects our aspirations and beliefs, and provides clarity to our commitments.

After a lot of introspection, discussions, and hard work, we’re proud to present our updated language to you. We also would like to share some of the thinking behind these revisions. The Foundation’s work isn’t changing, we just feel that these updates better portray who we are.

Mission Statement:

In addition to being our reason for existing, we wanted our mission statement to better demonstrate our pledge to improve the health and well-being of those in our region that are most in need. And, in doing this, we acknowledge that health is complicated, broad, and more than simply the absence of disease. We also aimed to capture our commitment to health equity. There are individuals in Missouri that do not have an opportunity to live a healthy life, and that is where our work needs to start. While the revised mission statement does not change our original core purpose, it does better reflect what Missouri Foundation for Health is aiming to achieve.

Our new mission statement: To improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities most in need.

Core Values:

Our core values play an essential role in guiding all of our work and are integral to achieving our mission. They reflect who we are as an organization and what we strive for in all of our interactions, both internally and with the public. When faced with challenges, we look to our core values as a constant reminder, a basis of how we go about addressing those challenges.

Equity – We believe that health is a fundamental human right and that achieving equity is our collective responsibility. We are committed to eliminating disparities within all aspects of health and addressing the social and economic factors that shape health outcomes.

Integrity – We value the trust of the individuals and communities we serve and earn that trust through a culture of ethical conduct and transparency.

Humility – We recognize the dignity of all people and embrace the fact that some of our greatest ideas and feedback are generated from the communities we serve. We possess an openness and curiosity to listen, learn, develop solutions, and self-reflect.

Commitment – We are passionate about creating meaningful change and understand this requires a sense of urgency combined with dedication, risk-taking, and strategy.
We’re looking forward to taking a deeper look at each of our core values, exploring what they look like in action, and sharing more with you in future blog posts!

Sarah Smith is a learning & effectiveness associate at Missouri Foundation for Health.