As we wrap up the year, it is important to take a look back to inform our decisions for the upcoming year. Healthy Start is our flagship program at Nurture KC (and above are a few of the babies in our program). A national program, Healthy Start is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year while Nurture KC has been a partner for 18 years as a local grantee. Healthy Start is that unique program that combines a compassionate community health worker model with data collection that drives our efforts and holds us accountable. So, how did Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative (KCHSI) do this year in making a difference?
Through October 2021, KCHSI served 675 total participants. This includes 195 pregnant women, 156 inter-conception women, 285 children up to 18 months old and 39 men. Participation speaks to the quantity served but not to the quality of the programming. To capture program efficacy, there are 18 objectives included as part of our grant agreement. Each year of the five-year grant cycle requires us to get a step closer in compliance. These objectives address maternal health, infant health and family cohesion through male involvement. KCHSI is meeting or surpassing the objective goals in year three of the grant cycle in nearly every area with the exception of male program participation and participant participation in our Community Action Network (CAN). We have recently partnered with Total Man Community Development Corporation to refer male partners to their parenting program. We are restructuring our CAN to include our families in a way that isn’t burdensome for them.
2021 saw the launch of our group counseling sessions to address perinatal mood disorders. We will continue that service under a new name, called Mother’s Voice, in 2022 and expand the offering to our Spanish-speaking mothers with Voz de la Madre. There will be additional services that we will announce throughout the year as we continually seek to improve health and wellness for the families we serve. Under the leadership of Shannon Williams and her community health worker team, we will build on this year’s success and use it as a starting point to improve maternal and infant health in Kansas City during the next year and beyond. As you read about our fundraising efforts over the last month in the articles that follow, know that we pursue these campaigns to continue to serve the KCHSI families in the ways that matter most to them.
Executive Director, Nurture KC