KC Health Equity Learning and Action Network 

We Advance Health Equity In Kansas City

What We Do

Together, we’re building the foundations for a better, culturally responsive health ecosystem that meets our whole community’s needs.

No one is better suited to inform the solutions needed in our communities and health systems than the people who have firsthand lived experience with systemic racism. We actively engage people with that lived experience to inform the solutions needed in our region to achieve health equity.

We do this by committing to collective action through shared learning and accountability.

The LAN exists to highlight mindsets, policies, processes, and systems that perpetuate health inequity.

How We Do It

The Kansas City Health Equity Learning and Action Network (KC HE LAN or the LAN) engages leaders across our community and the health ecosystem to learn and understand what health equity and structural racism are, centering the experiences of communities impacted by health inequity in our region. 

Those engaged in the LAN include a full spectrum of organizations and individuals involved in health and health care, including clinicians, health systems, community-based organizations, public health entities, payers and researchers. The LAN started with an initial cohort of members who participated in a learning curriculum developed by the nationally recognized Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Learning was focused in three areas: equity as a strategic priority, equity in community and clinical care and treatment, and equity in access to social determinants of health. 

Following our learning phase, organizations committed to making sustained improvements toward health equity put the work of centering their communities in action, with the KC HE LAN standing behind them. Learn more about our Action Organizations.

We’re Creating High-Quality Ecosystems


The LAN drives learning and action in our region to create a high-quality health ecosystem rooted in equity, humanity and community.

Through our collective work, we help community stakeholders and health systems understand the work of health equity through an antiracism lens – by addressing deep, long-standing, systemic health inequities experienced by people of color. For it is the power and duty each of us to take action.

We Motivate Change

Centering Health and Racial Equity Is Our Ethos

The LAN is the only place-based initiative with a broad set of players focused on health equity-centered improvements that promote culturally responsive, antiracist health ecosystems.

The effort is a partnership between The Health Forward Foundation, the KC Health Collaborative, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in collaboration with other regional funders and thought leaders.

We're equity-centered and focused on creating antiracist health ecosystems

The LAN is comprised of more than 50 member-organizations committed to identifying and addressing practices that are perpetuating health injustices.

Our 50 member organization identifies and addresses health injustices

The LAN creates high-quality health ecosystems rooted in equity and humanity and driven by gifted leaders who understand the power of community.

We motivate and inspire community change-makers

During our Community Health Improvement Leadership Academy (CHILA) events, we motivate changemakers to reimagine what’s possible in their community.

Our anti-racism work shifts power within systems so that it is used responsibly

The LAN offers a refreshing approach to antiracism work that focuses on recognizing power within teams, organizations, and communities and wielding that power responsibly.

We've created a blueprint, and we're ready to share

The work of the LAN can be supported by, expanded, and duplicated in other communities to foster collaboration and improve health equity and antiracism efforts nationwide.

Positioned For What’s Next

Health Forward Foundation shares the concerns of many Americans following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in higher education.

The ramifications of this ruling are significant — not only in higher education, but across many sectors that have benefitted from diverse identities and perspectives. Closest to our heart is the impact this decision will have on economic advancement for people of color, particularly across our health ecosystem, and for patients of color who have been proven to experience better outcomes when they receive care from people who look like them.

Kansas City nonprofit addresses Black maternal health crisis

Uzazi Village’s mission is to decrease maternal and infant health inequity in Black and brown communities. In 2019, Uzazi Village started the Community Expert Review Board (CERB), a volunteer-based board. The board’s mission is to revolutionize…

No Equity Without Quality, No Quality Without Equity

The Kansas City Health Equity Learning and Action Network is addressing medically racist structures that have persisted since the early framing of Kansas City’s health care system. This article take a historical look at the early days of Kansas City’s medical history and sheds light…

KCHC joins the LAN to advance health equity in Kansas City

Most businesses, including health care organizations, respond to numbers and data, according to  KC Health Collaborative. So first, some data. In Kansas City, Missouri, the life expectancy for residents in the majority white ZIP code of 64113 is 86.3 years.

“I look at health equity as the most important work we do. Our job is to keep moving people out of poverty.”

- Wil Franklin, CEO KC CARE Health Center

KC LAN Action Partner

Copyright © 2024 KC Healthy Equity Learning and Action Network | Privacy Policy

Get the latest by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

Skip to content