First Hand Foundation
2800 Rockcreek Parkway
Kansas City MO 64117
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 201-5776
Fax 816- 936-9010
Mission Statement
Improve the health of an individual life.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa B Frerking
Board Chair - Position Currently Open
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1996
Volunteer Opportunities
Do you have Volunteer Opportunities? Yes
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can make donations through our website ( or by mailing them to First Hand Foundation, 2800 Rockcreek Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64117.
You can also support First Hand by volunteering. We have volunteer opportunities available through, among others, our community-facing committees, fundraising events and Love Bag program.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Improve the health of an individual life.
Background Statement
In 1995, Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig founded First Hand, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), using Cerner talent and technology to fill the gaps in health care for children. First Hand provides funding for individual children - both domestically and globally - who need assistance with clinical necessities, medical equipment and travel related to care.  In 2017, First Hand's application based Case Grant program provided funding to 1,185 individuals in 27 countries, often improving or saving their lives.
As Cerner has evolved, so has the foundation into health and wellness programming. What started with one child has grown into a foundation that has changed the lives of 400,000 children and families worldwide.
Impact Statement

 A Thought Leader in Population Health 
 In the last 10 years, First Hand has followed Cerner’s lead and developed programming in the population health space.

  • The Healthe Kids Screenings program provides free wellness screenings for elementary school students. The program has expanded into Kansas and introduced a rescreening program that prevented over 40% false positive referrals.  Over 14,000 students from 73 elementary schools (22% of all elementary schools in the KC Metro area) received free wellness screenings with referrals for follow-up care as needed.  
  • The Healthe Foundations program provides a health curriculum in Kansas City-area high schools encouraging individuals to think about and engage in their health at an early age. The program is now in areas outside of the metro area (Columbia, Springfield and Wentzville, MO) and offering courses within teaching colleges to train future educators.
  • The Healthe Communities Wellness Center at St. Sabina Parish is truly a population health model in action where community members achieve their full health potential. The program focuses on engaging at-risk individuals, identifying potential illnesses through health screenings and following up with appropriate wellness programming.
     Healthe Perceptions is First Hand’s comprehensive mental health program for middle school students. 

Cerner associates’ expertise and knowledge allow our programs to scale quickly. First Hand is highly-leveraged by using Cerner technology with two programs that use the Cerner Wellness portal. Also, each student who goes through a screening has a unique medical record within our Cerner electronic medical record.

Replicable Models on a Global Scale
 First Hand worked with Cerner associates in India to replicate the free wellness screenings program in Bangalore. The India team worked with organizations to screen over 77,000 school-aged children in one year.

Needs Statement
First Hand works with Cerner associates, volunteers and constituents within their communities to grow our various health programs and expand our service area.

Our constituents and supporters have many opportunities throughout the year to engage with First Hand and have some fun. The Jeanne and Neal Patterson Legacy Golf Tournament, Masquerade Ball, Rolling for First Hand, and Westport Bounce are returning. You’re invited to join us at all of these events.
Service Categories
Health Support
Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Children's and Youth Services
Areas of Service
MO - Buchanan
MO - Clay County
MO - Cass County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement Thank you for a record-breaking 2017! Over the last year, the foundation raised enough funds to change 119,230 individual lives all over the world, making it First Hand’s biggest year yet! Through donations of generous supporters like you, we helped more children, families and communities than ever before.
Description Cerner associates travel with already-established mission groups to several locations around the world. They help treat the children and help with other necessary aspects of the mission.
Program Budget $91,000.00
Category International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other International Relief
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), International
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Associates are able to intervene in crisis situations (including Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, earthquakes in Mexico City, and wildfires in California) and alleviate some of the suffering that inhabitants experience as a result of natural disaster.

Long-Term Success Cerner associates gain a life-changing appreciation for conditions in third world countries and continue to use their clinical and technical skills to improve those conditions - even after returning from their trip. The increased awareness and investment in improving conditions worldwide strengthens the impact that our partner agencies are able to make.
Program Success Monitored By First Hand counts and reports the number of associates who participate in Reach trips, the number of hours spent in clinical or support activities, and the number of lives changed by each trip.
Examples of Program Success Since 2002, Reach has improved the quality of life for more than 90,000 people in 16 countries. “We go with so little in our hands and it helps so much. It gives them life. It was amazing to be part of it.” —participant on a Guatemala trip
Description The Love Bag program provides much needed personal items to children entering the foster care program or students at our Healthe Kids Screenings Schools.  Individuals or groups donate supplies and assemble these bags for First Hand. 
Program Budget $89,500.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Foster Care
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Love Bags are provided to children entering the foster care system and in our Healthe Kids Screening Schools in the states of Kansas and Missouri, with the exception of St. Louis County (which has a different system in place).
Long-Term Success
By supplying a few simple personal items, the Love Bag program helps to provide stability to young children at a frightening time: they are moving from a chaotic and often dangerous situation to an unfamiliar place with adults they do not know. Smoothing the transition to their foster home can make the experience less traumatic, lowering the likelihood of long-term psychological effects.
Program Success Monitored By
First Hand Foundation monitors and reports the number of bags distributed on an annual basis. 51,028 bags have been distributed since the program began in 2000.
Examples of Program Success

Wendy, an employee of Jackson County Division of Family Services, sees hundreds of foster children go through her doors.

"I remember a little girl showed up one evening without the chance to pack her things," recalled Wendy. "She really appreciated the fact that she was given her own blanket and a new pair of pajamas and didn’t have to sleep in her underwear or borrowed clothing."

Description Healthe Kids Screenings is a school-based wellness screening program for children regardless of insurance status. A team of clinicians and contractors spend time in area elementary schools to conduct these screenings. In about 44% of cases, a clinician identifies a potential health issue and makes a referral.
Program Budget $481,350.00
Category Health Care, General/Other School Health Services
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Healthe Kids Screenings seek to achieve the following improvements in the Kansas City community:

  • Create healthier communities by identifying and treating health issues in children.
  • Increase the rate at which children with identified health issues visit their primary care physician for care.
  • Make health care available for all children with identified issues regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Collect data that tells the story of the community’s health and push for overall improvement of community health.
  • Create savings for families, employers and the entire community by identifying and treating health issues in children before they grow into more serious problems that require more costly medical care.
  • Create a dynamic volunteer opportunity for health care professionals to gain hands-on experience with a school-age population. 
Long-Term Success
The connection between preventative care and better health outcomes is well documented. Newer research also connects academic performance and health status. Unfortunately, state budget cuts have limited the number of school nurses available, and well child screenings rarely fit within the scope of what the nurse or paraprofessional can accomplish. Healthe Kids Screenings provide the preventative care that intervenes before a condition can reach a critical stage, requiring more extensive and invasive medical care.
Program Success Monitored By
The Healthe Kids Screenings team prepares reports for each school district, drawn from the electronic medical record of each screened student. Year over year data is compiled into a report card which compares identified health issues requiring a referral with the prior year's results. The percentage of recurring referrals is tracked as is percentage of referrals completed (school reports that student has seen a health provider, the health issue is resolved or under continuing care).
Examples of Program Success

  • Since 2007, we have conducted 70,555 screenings in the Kansas City area, which amounts to $9.1M in free screenings provided.
  • We refer 44% of students screened to health care professionals for care of an issue and have documented an 85% referral follow up rate.
Healthe Foundations is a highly interactive and experiential high school health curriculum, offered free of charge in 31 school districts.
Program Budget $206,000.00
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Students learn the impact of lifestyle, exercise and nutritional choices. They understand how these choices can lead to a poor health status, and in many cases,  a full blown, but very preventable, disease. They demonstrate this knowledge to both their classmates and to Healthe Foundations staff. Pre-and-post questionnaires based on the CDC's YRBSS indicate an intention, by the student, to adjust his/her lifestyle specifically to avoid the disease being studied.
Long-Term Success
Adolescents completing the Healthe Foundations curriculum have the knowledge and motivation to make quality, healthy lifestyle choices, resulting in better health outcomes and lower incidence of disease in their adult years. An added benefit is reduced health care costs for this population.
Program Success Monitored By
Students are given a pre- and post-test, asking about their knowledge of the disease being studied and their lifestyle choices (for example, questions include "is heart disease preventable" and "do you talk on your cell phone while driving?"). Students in a pilot district in the 2014-2015 academic year had access to an online portal to document and manage their wellness efforts.
Examples of Program Success

Without exception, student responses indicate an intention to change their behavior after having studied each of the patients. In response to questions regarding the patient with melanoma, caused by over-exposure to the sun, only 6% reported always wearing sunscreen in their pre-test, while 21% reported that they planned to always wear sunscreen in the post test. In response to the patient who suffered a traumatic brain injury, suffered during an accident caused by texting while driving, 75% reported talking on their cell phone while driving in the pre-test, but that number dropped to 62% in the post-test.

Description Healthe Communities facilitates a person-centered wellness home for a diverse community in Belton Missouri. Our wellness center provides screening services for adults and children, including biometrics and lipid profiles, without charge to participants. Coupled with educational sessions and wellness programming, Healthe Communities seeks to engage individuals, regardless of financial status or insurance, in managing their health - whether their goals are to maintain their current good health, manage a chronic condition, or seek access to the health care system to secure urgent care.
Program Budget $300,500.00
Category Health Care, General/Other Early Intervention & Prevention
Population Served Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
By the end of the nutritional and wellness classes, participants will report an increased engagement in managing their health and increased understanding of their health status. Their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and A1C readings will be at, or moving toward, normal ranges.
Long-Term Success
This program will be successful if participants' biometric measures (cholesterol, A1C measures and blood pressure) remain in, or move toward, normal ranges. These are good baseline indicators of a healthier lifestyle, which will allow older participants to "age in place" and younger participants to ward off lifestyle-related health conditions.
Program Success Monitored By
We pull data from the electronic medical record of each participant, de-identify it and generate comparative reports to show progress toward normal biometric ranges. We track participation in classes electronically through the use of a membership card that is scanned at each event attended.
Examples of Program Success
One participant reported, "I got more out of my first wellness center visit than any doctor's office visit. I wish I had started a year ago." Our data shows that participants who both received regular biometric screenings and attended wellness programming showed a 7.15% improvement in total cholesterol levels, a 7.1% improvement in triglyceride levels, and a 43.75% improvement in systolic blood pressure measures.
CEO Comments
There has never been a more exciting time at First Hand. Our energetic and entrepreneurial board challenges us to develop new programming in response to emerging needs identified through our highly-effective Kansas City area programs, now on both sides of the state line.  We are working to replicate these programs regionally and globally so that all communities may have the benefit of the preventive wellness that has been our focus since we developed the Healthe Kids Institute programs over 10 years ago.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Melissa B Frerking
Term Start Mar 2003
Experience Melissa has spent her career at Cerner Corporation in many different leadership roles over the last 33 years. She has a wide array of experience from overseeing highly technical groups responsible for Cerner engineering to installing and supporting clients systems. She spent her last 12 years with Cerner as a Director responsible for Cerner's Vision Center, Client Health Conference, Tradeshows and the technical teams supporting the sales organization. She joined as First Hand's Executive Director full-time in 2003. She works with many grantmakers and grantees in Kansas City and around the world to ensure First Hand is improving the lives of children, families and communities. Education: B.S.B.A. CMSU, Emphasis in CIS; Marketing M.B.A. Rockhurst University, Emphasis in Business.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Co-CEO Experience
Former CEOs
Ms. Jeanne Lillig-PattersonJan 1995 - Feb 2001
Senior Staff
Title Lead Operations Manager
Title Lead Developement & Operations Manager
Paid Full-Time Staff 32
Paid Contractors 148
Volunteers 2289
Retention Rate 86%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Top Charity Golf Tournament in Kansas CityThe Independent0
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
There has never been a more exciting time at First Hand. Our energetic and entrepreneurial board challenges us to develop new programming in response to emerging needs identified through our highly-effective Kansas City area programs, now on both sides of the state line.  We are working to replicate these programs regionally and globally so that all communities may have the benefit of the preventive wellness that has been our focus since we developed the Healthe Kids Institute programs over 10 years ago.
Board Chair
Board Chair - Position Currently Open
Board Members
Ms. Amanda AdkinsCerner Corporation
Ms. Joanne BurnsCerner Corporation
Ms. Melissa B FrerkingFirst Hand Foundation
Mr. Marcos Garcia
Mr. Bill GraffCerner Corporation
Mr. Cliff IlligCerner Corporation
Mr. Allan KellsCerner Corporation
Ms. Lynn MarascoCerner Corporation
Mr. Marc NaughtonCerner Corporation
Dr. David NillCerner Corporation
Ms. Cortney PattersonPatterson Family
Ms. Brenna QuinnCerner Corporation
Mr. Kent ScheulerCerner Corporation
Mr. Randy SimsCerner Corporation
Ms. Julie WilsonCerner Corporation
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
Standing Committees
Distributions / Grant Making
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $6,300,000
Projected Expenses $6,300,000
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$510,920$532,919$837,224
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$727,308$851,302$953,052
Revenue In-Kind$3,180,908$3,414,579$505,594
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$5,043,667$3,960,638$3,818,855
Administration Expense$1,397,543$1,220,284$886,225
Fundraising Expense$415,121$500,196$385,982
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.271.611.22
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%70%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$34,234,160$28,609,616$27,556,201
Current Assets$1,551,129$1,905,383$1,883,429
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$556,866$568,775$524,981
Total Net Assets$33,677,294$28,040,841$27,031,220
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities2.793.353.59
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountCerner Associates (Individuals) $2,866,068Individual Donor $3,002,475 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $2,624,635Cerner Corporation $2,928,301 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCerner Corporation $1,192,510Cerner Corporation $1,194,067 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Other Documents
Organization Name First Hand Foundation
Address 2800 Rockcreek Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64117
Primary Phone (816) 201-5776
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa B Frerking
Board Chair - Position Currently Open
Year of Incorporation 1996