About Us


Heartland Foundation was founded in 1982 and has been leading the region’s Healthy Communities movement since 1994.

We have traveled the path of beginning as a traditional hospital foundation managing charitable funds and healthcare-related projects to establishing ourselves as one of the only hospital-based foundations in the United States committing 100% of our annual program operations to addressing the root causes of our region’s challenges.  

Heartland Foundation was born from and is tied to our regional healthcare system, but we do not focus our resources on the medical center, clinics, illness-centric causes, or traditional community health projects.

In the early nineties, the Heartland Health (now Mosaic Life Care) and Heartland Foundation Board trustees began to realize that the health of our region’s communities is directly related to education and income levels.  They recognized that to improve the health of our communities, the root causes of these issues must be addressed.

For Heartland Foundation, it’s clear.  Each of us represents possibility.  Each of us has potential.  Each of us can influence progress, but only if we think ahead.  We lead and manage the Healthy Communities movement, specifically championing education and empowering people to build healthy and thriving communities, using well-tested methods for possibility-thinking, collaboration, and innovation.

We have gathered research and accumulated experience that proves:

  • Attaining higher levels of education and having access to higher quality education from birth through retirement . . .
  • Along with feeling empowered to personally be involved and make a difference in your community . . .
  • Increases the opportunity for people to work in better jobs, earn higher wages, and make healthier choices for themselves and their families.

Heartland Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to championing education and empowering people to build healthy and thriving communities.

Learn more about the history of Heartland Foundation in our book.

Come Together, THINK AHEAD! Inspiring People, Organizations & Communities to Thrive by Judith K. Sabbert with Christel A.K. Gollnick

This book is a comprehensive, inspiring review of how Heartland Foundation came to be and best practices garnered from experiences on the journey that can be applied anywhere people live in the world.