Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
As the Kansas and Missouri legislatures head to a May adjournment, the activity has been fast and furious in April. Lawmakers are making their priorities known through both action and inaction on key issues. Here’s a synopsis of key legislation:


Medicaid Expansion Funding: The House stripped funding for Medicaid expansion earlier in the session, pinning our hopes on the Senate Appropriations Committee to reinstate the money before bringing it to the floor. Unfortunately, the amendment to do just that failed on a tie vote. While there could be an attempt to add the funding on the Senate floor, the prospect of passage is unlikely. 

SB 1 FRA – Health Care Provider Tax: The provider tax legislation is necessary to remain in compliance with federal law so that federal Medicaid matching funds can be secured. An amendment has been added which jeopardizes compliance. Missouri risks more than $4 billion in MO HealthNet funding, which would have a devastating effect on the entire state budget. The amendment in question would prohibit using Medicaid funds for certain types of contraception. 

HB 37 and HB 682 – Anti-Vaccination: These bills eliminate vaccination requirements for private school children and vastly expand the ability to obtain a vaccination exemption. There are several problematic provisions, all of which threaten herd immunity in Missouri. The legislation is expected to be debated on the House floor this week.


SB 212 – Anti-Vaccination: An amendment was attempted on the floor of the Kansas Senate to add the contents of SB 212 to an unrelated bill. The amendment would have removed the authority of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to add vaccines to the schedule, and replaced it with legislative approval. Nurture KC opposed this change as an infringement on an evidence-based process and transforming it into a political one. The amendment failed to be adopted, but serves as a warning that anti-vaccination legislation moves further through the legislative process each year.

Medicaid Expansion: Other than the introduction of legislation, there has been no movement on Medicaid expansion in Kansas, despite strong public opinion in support of the policy.

To access legislation of interest and read our action alerts, visit the Nurture KC Members’ Only page for the latest information.

Tracy Russell
Executive Director, Nurture KC
MAIC hosts COVID vaccine clinics

Hundreds were vaccinated this month at our COVID vaccine clinics, sponsored by Walgreens. The Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC), a program of Nurture KC, held its first clinic at El Centro (a long-time partner) on April 9 and 10The clinic received extensive news coverage, across major KC networks, for going to the heart of the Latino community which has been underserved so far. Check out one of the stories in this Fox 4 news segment. The second clinic was held at El Verbo de Dio, a church, on April 23 and 24 -- also reaching the Latino community.

“When we talk about access, it’s more than vaccine availability,” said Tracy Russell, Executive Director of Nurture KC. “It’s making sure we are at a location where people can get to, and we're with a community partner that’s trusted. We have bilingual speakers there. So that’s the access we’re talking about. It’s going to people in need rather than expecting them to come to a clinical setting.”

MAIC will be hosting more COVID vaccine clinics, so keep an eye out on the news and on our social media channels -- Facebook and Twitter!
Nurture KC in the news

In addition to being on KMBC 9 News, KSHB 41 Action News and Fox 4 News for our COVID vaccine clinics (see above story), Nurture KC also made headlines this month educating the public on:

“There’s power in sharing our birth experiences. It helps to learn we are not alone. We can support and learn from one another. We can spur change and, in turn, improve the health of pregnant and new moms in our minority communities,” says Ebony Peterson, former Health Start participant. Ebony now supports other moms as a Community Healthy Worker for Healthy Start.

"It's important that the baby is alone, on their back and in their crib," says Shannon Williams, Healthy Start Program Director.

This story was in response to sleep-related infants deaths so far this year. The latest annual data from the Missouri Child Fatality review program in 2018 shows Missouri had 89 such infant deaths and Kansas had 43.

What does all this news coverage mean? Nurture KC has become a trusted source for health equity and public policy -- sharing tangible programs and services making a positive difference for our Kansas City community.
Announcing new staff member

Nurture KC is thrilled to welcome Erica Wilson as our Administrative Assistant. Her background includes administrative experience in education and healthcare. Erica is already hitting the ground running!

"I am excited to join Nurture KC because I have a heart to serve our community," she says. "This organization does so much substantial work to lift up moms and babies who need it most … it’s inspiring! I enjoy the advocacy and research our staff works together on to push for health equity for families in the heart of KC. You'll find me at our front desk, keeping things running smoothly, and serving as a liaison with our Board of Directors."

Erica has an Associate of Arts degree from Johnson County Community College. Her hobbies include photography, volunteering and doing yoga. Also, Erica enjoys going on adventures with her family and dogs.
You can now order this onesie on our web site

Sweet baby Victor is sporting our trademarked "EAT AT MOM’S®" onesie - touting the benefits of breastfeeding. Order the onesie and check out breastfeeding resources at
To new members Abigail Burton and Erica Wilson.

To Healther Keitges, Beth Diebold and Edna Perez
for renewing their memberships.
JOIN US and help support families
Join or renew your membership today.
Thank you for your support!
Donations in any amount will help us continue our work of improving the lives of KC metro area families. For detailed information about our programs, CLICK HERE.
1111 W. 39th Street, Ste 100
Kansas City, MO 64111