A bi-state catalyst for improving maternal, child and family health
in the greater Kansas City community.
Summer 2018 Newsletter
MCHC July 27 Quarterly Meeting
"Youth & Mental Health: Living in an Anxious World"
Research shows that 1 in 5 children and adolescents has a mental health problem. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem among children between the ages of 9 and 17. This details a reality that can create powerful barriers to the success of our youth. Learn the data on youth and mental health in our region, hear from high school students and mental health professionals. Register today to attend Mother & Child Health Coalition's Quarterly Meeting, "Youth & Mental Health: Living in an Anxious World. "

Friday, July 27
8:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Kansas City MO Health Department
2400 Troost Avenue, Biery Auditorium
Kansas City MO 64108

MCHC Chair 2018-19
Audrey Dunkel, JD – Director of Financial Advocacy,
Kansas Hospital Association; MCHC Chairperson and
Chair, Executive Committee
Dear friends –

It is with great excitement that I begin my term as chairman. I am beginning my term following one the best annual meetings MCHC has had in recent years – my deepest thanks to our friends at Children’s Mercy Hospital for both their financial and staff support for the meeting. It’s partnerships like these that help move everyone forward in achieving the goal of optimal health for children and families in the Kansas City area.

Our distinguished keynote speaker, Dr. Arthur James from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center spoke about infant mortality and the impact of efforts across the nation to reduce infant mortality during his presentation Equity: A Dream Deferred .  He brought to light the sobering reality that while much work has been done to reduce infant mortality for all families, African American and Latino families still experience far higher rates of infant mortality than their white counterparts.

The panel discussion that followed, which included Dr. James, Dr. Dennis Cooley from Stormont Vail Hospital and Cecelia-Ananya Belzer-Patton, President, Uzazi Village, was facilitated by Melissa Robinson, President, Black Health Care Coalition. This panel of experts provided additional insight into challenges and opportunities for addressing infant mortality for all families.

Our From Birth to One report, made possible by our friends at Children’s Mercy Hospital, was released following the panel discussion. The report is a stark but necessary reminder of the work that still needs to be done to address infant mortality in the KC metro area. 

Armed with all of this information, the room broke into smaller groups to work on solutions to the issues that had been identified throughout the day. It was exciting to hear the voices from our friends from the Family Conservancy, KC Public Schools, the Platte, Wyandotte and Shawnee County Health Departments, the March of Dimes, Samuel Rodgers Health Center, Swope Health Services, KC Healthy Kids, Sunflower Health Plan and many others as they worked to develop strategies and identify partners to help Kansas City Families.

I left the annual meeting energized and excited to work with the great team at MCHC, both old and new, and look forward to implementing the strategies developed with all of our partners in the coming year! 

Learn More about Audrey Dunkel

PS: The raffle and photo project in honor of Mother’s Day at the event raised over $600! Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to all who participated.  

To view the 2018 Infant Health in Greater Kansas City report online, click here:  www.mchcinfanthealthgkc.net

For hard copies, call the MCHC office at (816) 283-6242.
10 Ways Your Support Has Helped
These are just some of the many ways that your contributions helped make life better for a Kansas City Healthy Start family during the past year: 

  • Khadija was accepted into the nursing program at Penn Valley, fulfilling her lifelong dream.
  • Karla is now exclusively breastfeeding after several months of struggling to breastfeed.
  • Maria was able to sign up for insurance and receive medical care during her pregnancy.
  • Charlotte was able to move from a shelter into permanent housing before giving birth.
  • Ramona successfully transitioned her child to a safer sleep environment after receiving SIDS training from Healthy Start.
  • Zara enrolled her kids into Head Start so she could go back to school, and she got her high school diploma last summer.
  • Lauren got a new job and an apartment after living in a shelter for several months. 
  • And last but not least! Ebony was a Healthy Start mom, and is now employed as a HS Community Health Worker!
Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative Update
A program of Mother & Child Health Coalition, the Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative (KCHSI) is moving into the final year of the 5 year grant cycle celebrating many accomplishments. KCHSI has provided services to pregnant women and families with children under 2 years of age in the Kansas City metro area for over 20 years.
For one hundred Healthy Start programs across the country, the new cycle began in 2014 under revised guidelines of a format outlined to focus on reducing infant mortality and eliminating health disparities through five approaches. These include: 1) Improve Women’s Health; 2) Promote Quality Services; 3) Strengthen Family Resilience; 4) Achieve Collective Impact and 5) Increase Accountability through Quality Improvement, Performance Monitoring, and Evaluation. 
Through committed staff members, local and national organizational partnerships and collaborations, volunteers, and families who were eager to improve their health and lifestyles, each year KCHSI consistently exceeded the goal to serve at least 720 families.
In anticipation of preparing for the new grant cycle, confidence abounds that this program will be ready to implement better, stronger and effective services that will make a positive impact for, and on, the families that are served in the Kansas City metro communities.
Referrals of pregnant women and/or families to KCHSI can be made at www.mchc.net
Welcome Marcela Metcalf, KC Healthy Start Initiative Community Health Worker
The Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative has hired a new bilingual Community Health Worker (CHW) and is currently recruiting for another. These staff will enroll and provide care coordination and case management services for families in the Kansas City metro area based on a “home visiting” model. This model of service will allow for the CHW to make visits with the families in their personal environment. Marcela Metcalf is a native Spanish-speaker and brings a level of experience and commitment that will surely have a positive effect on the families served.

“I am excited to be a part of this amazing organization that does so much for our community. I believe it is important to empower and support families by educating, showing compassion, and building trust so they can reach their goals.

 I have many years of experience working with families from different cultures and backgrounds. I worked for Catholic Charities in Tulsa, OK as a Spanish medical interpreter for about eight years. The program served 900 women every year. I also worked as a bilingual Family Support Specialist for Family and Children Services in Tulsa, OK for a number of years.  

I have always been passionate about helping others, as there are so many people out there who are in need of special resources but are not aware of what is available for them. I am ready and thrilled to help out and serve our community.”   - Marcela

Annual Immunization Symposium
Friday, October 26
Children's Mercy Park
1 Sporting Way
Kansas City KS 66111

Plan now to attend the Mid America Immunization Coalition's Annual Immunization Symposium, " Vaccines: What You Need to Know. "
More details will be coming soon. If you would like to sponsor the event,
exhibit, or have any questions, please contact DuJuan Hord, MAIC program coordinator at dhord@mchc.net .

Membership Report
Your valuable financial and in-kind support helps us continue our many programs and activities. Heart-felt thanks to the individual members and organizational partners joining or renewing their membership during the period of April - May - June , 2018. Please let us know of any errors or omissions. We appreciate you!

New Individual Members:
Brittany Cline, Barbara Lafal, Lindsey Richardson, Karman Romero, Rebecca Stacy

Renewing Individual Members: Charlene Burnett, Theresa Rodgers Campbell, Beth Diebold, Elizabeth Elling, Rachael Elmore, Melanie Foltz, Mary Grace Lanese, Susan McLoughlin, Sue Miller, Donna O’Malley, Dorothy Rose Patterson, Kathleen Sanchez, Ashley Stumpenhaus, Mary Sweat.

Renewing Organizational Members- Benefactor Level- Swope Health Services : Lakeisha Davis, Kristina Duran, Angela Hawkins, Ahkeya Howard, Kaitlyn Kolich, Amanda Muth, Ebony Peterson, Janice Vertreese.
Congratulations Corner

Jessica Turner , MCHC intern for the 2018 spring semester, graduated from UMKC in May with a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, under the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies. Jessica helped the staff with many projects during her time here. We wish her all the best as she navigates into a bright future as a health professional. 

Vanessa Meriwether, administrative assistant to MCHC since 2015 has been awarded a scholarship to attend Western Governor’s University, where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree. Vanessa was the first student to be awarded the WGU Missouri’s 5th Anniversary Celebration Scholarship. We are so proud and happy for you, Vanessa! 
Since 1998, a total of 761 children have died of vehicular heatstroke, after getting into or being locked in a hot car. All of these “hot car deaths” were preventable. 
According to the website www.noheatstroke.org as of June 29 there have already been 18 such deaths across the United States. The total for 2017 was 42. 
As the weather heats up around the metro area, Safe Kids reminds you, it can happen to anyone. Please make yourself reminders, like a teddy bear in the front seat, so you don’t forget your child in a hot car: set a reminder on your phone to drop the child off at daycare; keep something you will need in the backseat, etc. Don’t let it happen to you or your loved ones.
Look Before You Lock!
 For more tips visit the Safe Kids web page.
We currently have two positions available at MCHC, one full-time COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER and one part-time FIMR COORDINATOR. The FIMR position requires a degree in nursing. To learn more, visit the Indeed website .

Watch your inbox for a link to a terrific new, updated video about Safe Haven for Newborns that is being finalized right now. Students from Wyandotte County High Schools created the video as part of their summer camp program with Prep-KC, under the auspices of KU Medical Center's School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Details will be forthcoming.
1734 E. 63rd Street Suite 301
Kansas City, MO 64110
Phone: (816) 283-6242
Email: info@mchc.net