Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
The legislative sessions have started off with a bang in both Kansas and Missouri. There have been a combined 2,600 bills introduced and Nurture KC is following a significantly higher number of them than in previous years and it is still very early in the sessions. So what is driving this flurry of legislation? If you view our bill list on the Nurture KC MEMBERS page, you will see several bills are aimed at curtailing the ability of government and the private sector to enact COVID-19 mitigation measures. Two years into a pandemic that has affected everyone and continues to claim many lives, evidence of COVID-19 prevention has been replaced by political consideration as the policy driver. I count myself among those who hoped the pandemic would lead to renewed appreciation and trust of vaccines and the critical role they have played in prevention of disease. It appears the opposite has occurred for many. Expanding beyond COVID-19 policy, there are already attempts to undermine the routine vaccine schedules long accepted as necessary public health measures.

On the upside, there is recognition in both Kansas and Missouri of the importance of maternal health and the intertwining connection to infant health. Senators Gannon and Schupp introduced legislation that extends MO HealthNet coverage for postpartum women to one year. This is a bipartisan effort that gives me hope that partisan differences can be set aside in the interests of mothers and children. SB 639 and SB 698 have already received a committee hearing, a promising sign that this important policy may become a reality in Missouri. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, proposed the same extension of coverage in her budget plan. Also in Kansas, SB 42, spearheaded by Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, would collect data on maternal deaths by race and consider the occurrence through a social determinants of health lens. Looking beyond the narrow clinical outcome and considering other factors contributing to maternal death, particularly for Black mothers, is a critical step in reversing the trend.

While the issues above fall under the umbrella of public health, there is another connection. As we develop our legislative priorities, our positions are grounded in the evidence for best practices and outcomes. This foundation is essential to improving family health and withstanding the prevailing political winds that favor emotion over fact and individualism over common good.  

With Gratitude,
Tracy Russell
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Our Legislative Priorities for 2022:

Extend Medicaid Postpartum Coverage to One Year

The above column gives a positive update on this priority. In short, there is already activity in the Kansas and Missouri state houses to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage as an important step in improving women’s health. To learn more, read Tracy Russell's testimony supporting these bills.

Protect and Prioritize Immunization

Nurture KC continues to remain a driving force for immunization through the Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC). In fact, we have a new MAIC Director who is off and running to lead our efforts. We continue to add relevant, meaningful content to the Nurture KC IMMUNIZATION page. For example, check out Crista Bosley's story titled "I got immunized against COVID while pregnant" and our new COVID-19 Vaccine Updates section.

Stay Involved in Emerging Issues Impacting Our Families

Nurture KC fights for equity for the families we serve through the Healthy Start program. Some current issues our organization is championing include the:
  • Food Tax Elimination in Kansas
  • Right to Counsel Ordinance in KC, MO
This ordinance ensures tenants facing eviction have a right to an attorney at no cost.
Please welcome our new MAIC Director

We are thrilled to introduce Ali Hilton, new Director of the Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC). Ali brings a wealth of experience and excitement to her new role.

Learn more about her at
Do you have a passion for improving infant and maternal health?

If so, consider joining the Board of Directors at Nurture KC! The Board meets quarterly, provides strategic input for the organization, monitors finances and program performance, helps develop policies and procedures, and acts as a positive spokesperson for our mission whenever possible.

To learn more and apply, access this Prospective Board of Directors Packet. We thank you for your time and consideration.

Questions? Email Erica Wilson at
Happy 2022 from Nurture KC

We all know 2021 had its challenges, but we kept our programs running full-speed ahead and continued to serve more than 300 families (675 total participants) who depend on Nurture KC.

Thank you to all our partners for their continued support. See our partners at

Also, you can get the new year started off right by accessing the Nurture KC
RESOURCE page. From child-proofing your home, to quitting smoking, to breastfeeding support, we cover a wide range of topics. Please feel free to share this page with other organizations, groups or individuals you think may find it helpful. Education empowers us all!

THANK YOU to these organizations for renewing memberships:
Children's Mercy -- Sustainer Level
Wyandotte County Health Department -- Benefactor Level
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) -- Patron Level
Infant Loss Resources -- Donor Level

WELCOME to new member Frank Enfield.
THANK YOU to Jovanna Rohs, Gina Hopkins, Anne Biswell and Tracy Russell for renewing your 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