LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 18, 2016) The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is viewed as a non-partisan, independent organization and a credible source of information needed to make health policy more responsive to Kentucky’s health care needs, according an external evaluation report by the Center for Community Health and Evaluation. The interim report, released today, assesses progress on the Foundation’s strategic investments under its “Promoting Responsive Health Policy Initiative,” which continues through 2017.
The Sustaining Health Policy Gains group, organized by the Foundation in 2015 to develop a shared approach for the transition to a new administration in Kentucky, “was identified as one of the most significant contributions the Foundation made to informing health policy this year,” the report said. In addition, the Foundation’s “convenings are valuable for their ability to bring a variety of people together to educate and talk about tough issues that may not be addressed elsewhere,” the report said.
Among the accomplishments cited in the report are the contributions that the Foundation and its grantees have made to reducing the number of Kentuckians without health insurance and ensuring the full funding of Medicaid expansion through 2016 and partial funding of kynect in 2017 while the new administration develops its plan for moving forward. Respondents also commended research funded by the Foundation for showing clearly how policy changes affect health care costs, access and related issues.
The Foundation’s Promoting Responsive Health Policy Initiative includes four types of work:
- Grantmaking: Awarding flexible, multi-year grants that support five organizations working on health policy to plan and operate more effectively (Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy, Kentucky Voices for Health, Kentucky Population Health Institute, and Kentucky Youth Advocates), among other grants;
- Data and Research: Funding studies, including the annual Kentucky Health Issues Poll; an ongoing, 34-month study of the impact of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky; and other targeted studies;
- Relationship and Capacity Building: Offering training to bolster the skills of Kentucky’s nonprofit community to mold effective health policy and to connect diverse groups working on related issues; and
- Convening: Holding and underwriting the full cost of workshops and an annual health policy forum and other meetings to help civic leaders better coordinate and engage on topics such as Kentucky’s plan to transform Medicaid and efforts to make health care pricing more transparent.
“The proposed changes to Kentucky’s insurance enrollment systems and Medicaid policies mean the Foundation and its grantees are shifting their efforts, and we all remain committed to ensuring that health policy changes lead to better health in Kentucky,” said Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “As always, we look for areas of alignment where we can work together with policy makers and grantees to support evidence-based policies that improve health.”
The interim evaluation report of the Foundation’s Promoting Responsive Health Policy Initiative, prepared by the Center for Community Health and Evaluation, is available here.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested over $26 million in health policy research, advocacy and pilot project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the Foundation is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by informing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on Twitter and on Facebook, or visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth