2016 Annual ReportAnnual Report, 2016

Annual Report, 2016

Catalyzing Collaboration, by Kriss Wittmann - click to view full size

Dear Colleagues,

Each year, we take time to reflect on our work over the past 12 months. We think about the lessons we learned, the partnerships we developed, and the challenges we faced in serving as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans.  

This year, many of our partners also faced significant challenges as they advocated for policies and practices that promote access to health care and healthy living, particularly for vulnerable Kansans. Yet many organizations came together around common goals and shared resources. Collaboration and shared responsibility is not always easy, but the return on investment and the impact on health and quality of life for all Kansans is the driving force.

In this year's Annual Report, we are sharing three stories about the power of collaboration — featuring the work of grantees and partners. We applaud the innovation and leadership that have made these projects successful.

The first is about the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a coalition of thousands of Kansans who share the goal of expanding KanCare coverage for 150,000 of our neighbors. Coalition members — including leaders in business, faith, social service organizations, safety net clinics, physicians’ groups, and hospitals — are working to advocate for expansion in their own way. But together, their voices are more likely to be heard and acted upon by policymakers.

The second feature in this report highlights efforts by health care providers to integrate primary care and behavioral health care. Treating the mind and body in the same clinical setting is known to improve health outcomes, efficiency, and satisfaction for patients and providers. By working together, these pioneering providers are changing the health care system in Kansas.

The third feature takes a look at a bold vision to build a 22-mile trail all the way around the city of Lawrence. The effort has taken years so far, and — with significant challenges remaining — may take many more. But key to making the “Lawrence Loop” a reality are the collaborative efforts of a variety of community groups, government agencies, and advocates.

Last, we want to acknowledge our 2016 Advocacy Fellowship Class. These Kansas leaders were our first multi-sector class, and the diversity in expertise and perspectives led to an even more profound learning opportunity. The theme this year was civil discourse — how to practice and promote the art of listening, compromise, and finding solutions for our state’s critical issues. It was a privilege to spend a year with 15 of the most committed community leaders in Kansas.

On behalf of Sunflower's Board of Trustees, we thank our many grantees and partners for their commitment to improving the health of Kansans.



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