The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund was established in 1986 by the Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church to advance health, healing, and wholeness throughout Kansas. Through stewardship of the original $23 million endowment, grants totaling more than $60 million have supported many projects and programs over the Health Fund's 25+ years. The current fund balance is approximately $53 million with annual grants of $1.9 million.
Since 2003, the directors have chosen to focus grants on a few carefully selected health issues to achieve greater impact with the grant dollars available. Through 2016, the Health Fund's resources have been committed to three areas of health that are vitally important to overall health and well-being – obesity prevention/breastfeeding, access to health care, and social/emotional care in early childhood. Two of these areas reflect the firm belief in the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and are aimed at healthy lifestyles and social/emotional development of the youngest Kansans - birth through age six. Another focus is at the very root of the Health Fund and has taken center stage in the national arena with health care reform: access to health care. The Fund has a staff of five full-time employees and a Board of Directors of 18. They have a total annual budget of $2.5 million.
The founding President of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is retiring after a 31-year tenure, opening up an extremely rare opportunity to lead and partner with a remarkable group of talented, inquisitive, motivated and dedicated people at both the staff and board levels. The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund prides itself on identifying gaps in the healthcare arena and leveraging its resources to impact and change systems. The Fund has led and operated “ahead of the curve” on issues such as oral health, raising its visibility and then partnering with other foundations and the state until Kansas founded its own Office of Oral Health. The Fund has operated ahead of the curve on multiple other issues: access to care in rural and frontier areas, preventing obesity through breastfeeding, promotion of mental health through a focus on the mental health of very young children, and healthy living through the education of church congregations.
The next President of the UMHMF will have the opportunity to build upon this solid base and to truly make a difference in the health and well-being of residents in Kansas and parts of the surrounding states. As President of one of the very few health philanthropies in the state, the next UMHMF President will provide critical leadership in facilitating and voicing an understanding of the state’s health needs, particularly in the current climate of reduced government funding and involvement, and cultivating the current community of learning at the UMHMF.
Reporting to the board of directors, the UMHMF President is a visionary leader who partners with, helps to inspire, and serves as the face of the organization to external funding partners, the United Methodist conference and its congregations, advocates, legislators, health providers and the general public.
UMHMF seeks a proven leader with at least ten years’ progressive leadership experience and a passion for the mission of The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The selected candidate will have high integrity, a collaborative spirit, a strong commitment to faith-based mission, trustworthiness, and a passion for social justice. Familiarity and an interest in working with congregations of the United Methodist Church and Conference are optimal, but not required. He/she will have strong strategic vision and will be able to bring a long-term perspective to the programmatic and financial investments and potential priorities of the Fund. The next President will bring substantive expertise in a related subject area, policy and political savvy, management and communication skills. Demonstrated grantmaking experience is desirable, as is knowledge of the political landscape in Kansas.
Experience in healthcare and/or philanthropy is preferable, though not a requirement. The ideal candidate will exhibit an understanding of the local and national healthcare environment and provide thought leadership as to how UMHMF can leverage its resources and policy expertise for the benefit of the health and well-being of Kansas residents. A bachelor’s degree is required.
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