Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
As a valued member of Nurture KC, I want to let you know about a new feature available to you. On our web site, there is now a password-protected MEMBERS tab that allows you to access legislative content for both Kansas and Missouri. You will find Nurture KC’s legislative priorities, bills of interest, legislator contact information and hot issues requiring your attention and action. Public policy plays such a critical role in pregnancy and birth outcomes that providing this content is essential to the work of our members and partners. The bill list will be updated every Monday and the links to legislation include the draft language as well as the ability to navigate where the legislation is in the process. 

While the state legislative sessions are only one month old, there are several issues that could profoundly impact our mission. Both states have bills that would expand Medicaid. There are also several bills that would establish new requirements for Medicaid eligibility. Immunization continues to be a hot topic as Kansas and Missouri entertain changes that could curtail the ability to enforce current immunization standards. If you are inclined to let the information lead to action, there will be opportunities on this page to contact decision makers, armed with the resources to make your case. 

Be sure to check out our Kansas Action Alert on immunization, with a hearing scheduled for this Thursday, February 13 at 1:30 p.m. before the House Education Committee. For that and other information, go to . [Note: You must be a member to access. If you wish to become a member for only $25, visit our membership page .]

We hope the new legislative content is the beginning of a resource-rich page that aids your important work. Thank you for your continued commitment to Nurture KC!

Tracy Russell,
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Heart Disease Causes Most Pregnancy-Related Deaths

It’s hard to miss the sea of red that is visible every February as the outward indicator of Heart Health Month. A time to remember that heart disease continues to be the #1 killer of women and the importance of recognizing the warning signs. The same is true for pregnant women. As the United States plateaus in efforts to drive down maternal mortality, it is worth noting that heart disease is the top factor in pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S.

Black women, in particular, suffer disproportionately from heart disease death in pregnancy. The health disparities that continue a dividing line of life and death and race play out in cardiovascular disease, too. The lack of access to care before, during and after pregnancy means that heart health may not even be assessed to indicate risk factors. That is a haunting fact when you consider that two-thirds of pregnancy-related deaths are considered to be preventable.

As February runs its course, let’s continue to work on maternal death in a year-round effort to reverse a regrettable trend. Please join Nurture KC on May 8 for our annual meeting – Addressing Maternal Mortality: Driving Data into Action. Registration details coming soon on

[Data from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.]
Partner Spotlight: Hospitality Staffing Solutions provides jobs & meeting space

Nurture KC is now offering a Product Showcase for Healthy Start participants about once a month. In January, participant Tania presented hair and skincare products she sells through Monat Global to the group. In December, Elizabeth did likewise with Paparazzi Accessories.

“These showcases are an opportunity to share information about resources in our community, network and empower one another,” says Marcela Metcalf, Nurture KC Community Health Worker. “It’s also an excellent opportunity for our participants to practice speaking professionally in front of an audience.”

It’s all made possible by Hospitality Staffing Solutions, a leading provider of contingent staffing support to hotels, resorts and casinos. The company provides space for our Product Showcases and has also connected with several Healthy Start participants to employ them as temporary workers. We appreciate their unique partnership!
Welcome New Nurse, Raechel Blades

With great excitement, Nurture KC welcomes Raechel Blades, BSN, RNC – OB, as our Community Health Program Nurse at Truman Medical Center. Raechel is a seasoned labor and delivery nurse with eight years of experience in high-risk obstetric and infant care. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Emporia State University, and is currently working on her Master’s in Nursing Education at Pittsburg State University. Outside of work, she is an active member of The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) Organization, and enjoys traveling with her husband.

In her new role at Nurture KC, Raechel will identify gaps in prenatal/postpartum/newborn care and assist in providing solutions to overcome barriers. She will also identify families at high risk for infant and maternal mortality, and provide education while navigating them to care.

“I’m most looking forward to establishing a connection within our Kansas City community and providing both pregnancy and newborn education for families who need it most,” Raechel says. “I’m excited about the partnership that this position has established between Truman Medical Centers and Nurture KC.”
Mark Your Calendar

Wednesday, February 12:
PICH Meeting, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center
825 Euclid Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64121

Thursday, February 13:
Medicaid Expansion Rally at 11 a.m.
Kansas State Capitol, 2nd Floor Rotunda
300 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612

Thursday, February 13:
MAIC Steering Committee Meeting, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Nurture KC Office Conference Room
1111 W. 39th Street, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64111

Thursday, February 20:
Safe Haven Meeting, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Nurture KC Office Conference Room
1111 W. 39th Street, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64111

Wednesday, March 4:
MAIC Quarterly Spring Meeting, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
KCMO Health Department
2400 Troost Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64108

Friday, April 3:
Child Safety Initiative Conference, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
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