2015 Annual ReportSunflower at 15 Years

Sunflower at 15 Years

For 15 years, Sunflower Foundation has worked behind the scenes in Kansas to direct resources toward helping people and communities achieve and maintain optimal health. Fulfilling our mission — "To serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans" — we have focused on three primary approaches:

  1. Advocacy & Policy
  2. Healthy Living & Active Communities
  3. Health Care

The Mile Markers selected for this year's annual report are snapshots of our journey so far, helping reflect progress toward our goals. Each represents more than a number — each is a reminder of progress realized thanks to partnerships with hundreds of community-based organizations across the state.

Mile Markers

Years of Serving as a Catalyst to Improve the Health of Kansans:  15

Kansas counties served by Sunflower grants and initiatives: 105 of 105

Grants awarded: 1,071

Total amount of those grants: More than $43 million

Highlights from among our major program areas:

 Access to Health Care:146 grants totaling $13,481,791
 Advocacy & Policy: 31 grants totaling $1,997,207
 Bridge Grants:75 grants totaling $9 million, helping leverage over $34 million in services
 Built Environment:153 grants totaling over $3 million, helping leverage $3 million in local funds
 Capacity Building:418 grants totaling $7,519,206
 Integrated Care Initiative:19 grants totaling $2,274,184
 Physical Activity & Nutrition:99 grants totaling $5,447,021
 Workforce:13 grants totaling $1,026,624

Year-by-Year Highlights

 2000 Sunflower Foundation established.

First request for proposals issued.

Capacity Building program starts with 31 grants, which by 2015 would grow to more than 400 grants totaling more than $7.5 million.

Launch of Statewide Obesity Planning Initiative: $200,000 grant.

Grant to support resident-directed care at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community, a leader in advocating culture change in long-term care.

First year of Sunflower Trails grants: a total of $79,688 to build trails in six communities.

Kansas Food Bank new headquarters and distribution center: $250,000 grant to help build capacity for food storage and access in 85 counties.

Following the tornado in Greensburg, a $150,000 grant to support behavioral health services in the community through Iroquois Center for Human Development.

Creation of the Advocacy Fellowship, a comprehensive training program for leaders in improving the health of Kansans.

Launch of “Clean Air Kansas” campaign. The campaign resulted in the passage of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act of 2010.

State constitutional amendment approved removing mental illness as a factor in Kansans’ right to vote. The "Vote ‘Yes’ on 2" campaign to change the Constitution was funded in part by Sunflower.

Sunflower expands its Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) initiative and becomes one of the first programs in the United States to establish MLP services in safety net clinics, recognizing the connection between health and legal barriers.

Seven-year Bridge Grant program concludes with more than $9 million in grants to over 50 organizations in more than 30 communities, helping leverage over $34 million in services.

Sunflower’s Integrated Care Initiative ramps up with 19 grants totaling nearly $1.4 million in grants to promote the integration of primary care with behavioral health care.

A $105,000 grant helps develop, mobilize and promote GetOutdoorsKansas.com — a coalition movement and interactive website to promote outdoor activities and healthy, active lifestyles.

Second of two grants totaling $1 million awarded to Enroll America to support increasing the number of Kansans with health insurance coverage, helping Kansas become one of the top states in enrollment growth.



Advocacy & Policy Mile Markers

Through our advocacy program, the Sunflower Foundation helps nonprofit organizations become stronger and more effective in promoting the populations they serve through its advocacy program. We believe that the best policy is made when the most voices are heard: stories from the field, from divergent experience and from experts on the ground serving Kansans. Investments in this area have included the Advocacy Fellowship, capacity building, and providing support for campaigns aimed at improving the health of Kansans. More information here on our Advocacy and Policy program area.

 Number of years the Kansas Constitution included discriminatory language regarding voting rights for people with mental illness: 151

 Estimated number of Kansans who will experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Kansas Chapter: 1 in 4

 Year that “Vote Yes on 2” campaign, which was funded by Sunflower, succeeded in changing the state Constitution to remove mental illness as a disqualification to vote: 2010

Lives affected by the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act: 2.9 million Kansans

 Year that the law was approved and went into effect: 2010

Number of previous years that smoking ban proposals died for lack of support in the Legislature: 15

Year that Sunflower helped launch the “Clean Air Kansas” campaign: 2009

As part of that campaign, number of audio postcards recorded and sent to key legislators explaining why each constituent supported a statewide smoking ban: More than 4,000

Percentage of Kansans who supported passing a statewide smoking ban, as found by a 2008 survey commissioned by Sunflower: 77%

Estimated reduction in heart attacks in a single year thanks to a Kansas smoking ban, according to KDHE: 2,160

Estimated reduction in hospital charges to public and private sources in a single year thanks to a Kansas smoking ban, according to the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment: $21 million

Number of Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellows: 89

Cumulative hours graduates have devoted to improving their advocacy skills during the Fellowship:  More than 10,000



Healthy Living & Active Communities Mile Markers

The Sunflower Foundation seeks to help all Kansans find opportunities for healthier lives through education, lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Investments in this area include promotion and support of the built environment — human-made structures, systems and surroundings that enable individuals to make "the healthy choice, the easy choice," especially in regards to nutrition and physical activity.

This includes the Sunflower Trails initiative, which partners with communities and schools across the state to create safe, accessible pathways for outdoor physical activity for all ages and abilities. More information here on our Healthy Living & Active Communities program area.

• Total number of Sunflower Trails projects: 140

• Number of Kansas counties with Sunflower Trails: 55

• Number of Kansas municipalities with at least one Sunflower Trail: 84

• Total number of Kansans with a Sunflower Trail in their community: 2,123,574

• Percentage of Kansans with a Sunflower Trail in their community: 73%

• Number of Kansas schools with Sunflower Trails: 28

• Percentage of Sunflower Trails built near schools: 20%

• Total length of all Sunflower Trails combined: 839,216 feet or 158.94 miles

• Longest Sunflower Trail: Blue River Rail Trail in Marysville, an 11-mile crushed stone walking trail, which is the Kansas section of a trail that ultimately will extend to Lincoln, Nebraska.

• Percentage of Sunflower Trails by length:

 More than 5 miles:6%
 3 to 5 miles7%
 1 to 3 miles9%
 ½ to 1 mile31%
 ¼ to ½ mile38%
 Less than ¼ mile9%

Percentage of Sunflower Trails in towns by population size:

 50,000 to 99,9995%
 10,000 to 49,99916%
 1,000 to 9,99956%
 Under 1,00017%



Health Care Mile Markers

The Sunflower Foundation works to help strengthen and improve the health care system, especially for vulnerable populations, by working closely with providers and consumers on access, quality and outcomes. Investments in this area have included the support of the expansion of projects that bridge the gap between primary care and behavioral health care, reduction of racial and ethnic barriers that affect access to health care services, and assistance for community health clinics to better serve their clients. More information here on our Health Care program area.

 Number of Kansas primary care safety net clinics that have partnered with Sunflower: 36

 Kansas community mental health centers (CMHCs) that have partnered with Sunflower: 21

 Number of Kansans who receive care at Kansas CMHCs per year: More than 100,000

 Number of Kansas professionals who have participated in Sunflower’s Integrated Care Initiative Learning Collaborative, working to better integrate mental health and primary care delivery: More than 200

Year that the Sunflower Bridge Grant program was established to help safety net providers offset costs of new clinicians until services became self-sustaining: 2005

Number of Bridge Grants awarded: 75

Percentage of Bridge Grant partners who are:

 Federally Qualified Health Centers and Community Health Centers48%
 Behavioral Health Centers, Community Mental Health Centers, and Specialty Clinics36%
 Rural Health Centers8%
 Dental, Public Health, and other providers8%

Total of Bridge Grants awarded: More than $9 million

Total value of services leveraged by Bridge Grants: $34.6 million

 Number of Capacity Building grants awarded to help nonprofits become more effective and strengthen their organizational sustainability: 418

 Total of Capacity Building grants: More than $7.5 million

Total amount of grants focused on improving care for the aging in Kansas: $625,009

Total amount of grants supporting efforts to address health care workforce issues in Kansas: $1,026,624

→ Learn more about the Sunflower Foundation and its mission here.