When the Missouri Foundation for Health, a not-for-profit agency, was created to take over most of the assets of RightChoice Managed Care Inc., the foundation knew it had a solid financial base. Since then, the foundation's assets have grown to $950 million. Under its charter, the foundation must give away at least 5 percent of its asset value every year, or more than $47 million.
The first $20 million in grants will go to programs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, improving access to health care for the uninsured and the underinsured and for supporting existing programs that help the uninsured and underinsured.
The overall goal of the foundation is to help low-income and underinsured Missourians. The first of a series of hearings about the foundation's 84-county service area on the eastern side of the state will be held June 1 in Sikeston. Some local agencies already are considering needs that might be funded by a grant from the foundation.
The Missouri Foundation for Health has the potential to help thousands of Missourians who need medical attention but can't afford it. In the coming months, it will be interesting to see how that help is provided.