Every Missourian deserves the fair opportunity for health, but dwindling resources and increasing demand for services create significant barriers for local public health agencies. Like a complex machine with many moving parts, Missouri's public health system depends on all "gears" working smoothly together to reach peak capacity and help Missourians thrive. The #HealthierMO initiative provides a platform for transforming Missouri's public health system into a stronger, more sustainable, culturally relevant and responsive system that will allow public health experts to better meet the challenges of Missouri's diverse communities. The initiative advocates for long-term, systems-level change that will lead to healthier families, healthier communities, and a healthier Missouri.


Missouri's public health professionals passionately desire to help people of all ages, to care for families and to improve population health. Even when their work isn't visible, these public health experts are the very heartbeat of Missouri and core "gears" in the public health system.


Policies help protect the health of all Missourians. Communicable disease control, environmental public health and injury prevention depend on strong policies. Policies around housing, transportation and other community issues also affect public health. #HealthierMO offers leadership and resources to support communities collaboratively developing policies focused on preventing disease and creating a culture of health.

Learn more


Alone, public health cannot create environments where all Missourians have the fair opportunity to choose a healthier life. But with strong, innovative partnerships, added energy can support public health leaders and power changes that build economically healthy, resilient communities and healthier Missourians.

Learn more

Our Work

Successful, sustainable public health system transformation requires long-term commitment and investment in a multi-year process. The #HealthierMO initiative works to engage public health stakeholders at all levels of Missouri's public health system in creating strategic, system-wide changes that will be sustainable over time.

Strategic Planning

Missouri's public health system is complex. Years of data collection and strategic planning laid the groundwork for the launch of the #HealthierMO transformation initiative in late 2017. Ongoing strategic planning assures a fluid, organic process, responsive to stakeholders and the changing face of public health and the environment.


A grassroots initiative depends on active participation from every level of Missouri's public health system. The initiative seeks to grow engagement in the transformation process through two-way communication, information sharing and ongoing dialogue.


Transforming Missouri's complex public health system will be a long-term process that requires ongoing commitment from public health stakeholders, partnership building with Missouri's professional organizations focused on public health and other partners, and foundational systems change groundwork.





Across Missouri, local public health agencies offer strong leadership to address unique public health needs in their communities. Their innovative partnerships and creative solutions embody the #HealthierMO initiative's vision of providing every Missourian the fair opportunity for a healthier life. Their stories demonstrate the urgent need to transform Missouri's public health system into a stronger, more sustainabile, culturally relevant and responsive system that can better meet the needs of Missouri's diverse communities and provide the supportive framework these local public health agencies need to succeed.


As a grassroots initiative, #HealthierMO depends on involvement from public health stakeholders across Missouri. From front line staff to mid-level managers to leadership, every voice matters! Missouri's public health professionals weigh in on transformation.


System-wide transformation depends on a combination of tactical and strategic changes. Tactical, or project level changes, involve decisions by organizations who control infrastructure and assets. Strategic changes involve policy level decisions by regulators and policymakers. Policy plays an important role in pursuing community health goals. Policies around housing, transportation, education and other sectors can have a profound impact on public health. Policy development is an art and a science that depends on active engagement from representatives of broad and diverse sectors sharing a common vision. The #HealthierMO initiative provides that common vision for stakeholders across Missouri. The initiative works with its partners to identify gaps in Missouri's public health system and facilitates discussion around developing polices that will strengthen the public health system and create a healthier Missouri.

Foundational Public Health Services

The #HealthierMO initiative leads stakeholder work to define the fundamental public health services (FPHS) necessary for every Missourian to have the fair opportunity to choose a healthier life. With input from focus groups, the FPHS Workgroup will identify fundamental services required and design an FPHS model specific to Missouri.
Learn more

Public Health Funding

Missouri has a complex public health structure with diverse revenue sources. Missouri ranks second-to-last in the nation in state general revenue budgeted for public health services, allocating only $5.88 per person each year. Yet, Missouri spends nearly $7,000 per person in health care costs each year, exceeding more than half of the other states' spending.



In order to successfully connect with policymakers and engage them in Missouri's public health stories and the need for transformation, public health advocates must speak clearly, with a unified voice, sharing relevant data and consistent messaging within a common narrative.
Learn more


The Public Health 3.0 model calls for public health agencies to be a catalyst for change in their communities, leaders at convening partners with whom they can collaborate to create environments in which everyone can choose healthier lives. Effective partnerships require broad invitations, creative strategizing and honest trust-building, all while moving toward a shared vision. The #HealthierMO initiative convenes partners and facilitates collaboration toward collective impact on Missouri's public health system.



Representatives from Missouri's professional organizations focused on public health are working together to achieve collective impact. They are uniting their voices around public health issues, supporting workforce development opportunities and working to create a stronger public health system. Representatives contribute unique organizational perspective and expertise while aligning for the benefit of public health in Missouri. Meeetings are facilitated by the #HealthierMO initiative.


Learn more