Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
It seems fitting that shortly after Nurture KC’s Annual Meeting, Identifying the Problems, Practices and Partnerships to Improve Maternal Morbidity concluded, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously reversed a lower court decision and affirmed Missouri voters’ will to expand access to Medicaid. One of the key calls to action at our meeting and in our newly released Maternal Morbidity Report, is to enact expanded Medicaid as a way to improve both maternal and infant health. The saga began when the Missouri legislature failed to provide the funding necessary to implement the newly approved health coverage for 275,000 Missourians who qualify under the increased income threshold. That lack of action triggered a lawsuit by expansion supporters seeking implementation as required. Before expansion, Missouri had the third lowest income eligibility level in the nation.

What does this mean for pregnant women and their children? At a minimum, we should see a reduction in postpartum women losing access to health coverage 60 days after delivery. The expansion should also spur an increase in the number of women who can obtain health coverage before pregnancy. This is an important first step in improving overall health and recognizing that women’s health should not just be a priority during pregnancy. While it is not our preference to have health coverage treated as a political football, it is nice to see movement in the right direction. As we discussed solutions at the Annual Meeting to reduce maternal morbidity and improve Missouri’s dismal 44th place in maternal mortality, we recognize that key to reversing these trends is implementation of Medicaid expansion. Without policy change, we are nibbling around the edges of a problem that must be addressed at a policy level to bring about collective change for Missouri mothers and their children. 

Tracy Russell
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Access Our Maternal Morbidity Report

What is maternal morbidity? Health complications or near-miss death experiences for moms during pregnancy, delivery or postpartum. A few of these complications include kidney failure, heart attacks sepsis, and aneurysms. The majority of these incidents are considered preventable.

Nurture KC is proud to release this Maternal Morbidity Report -- now available to our current members. In it, you will learn about:
  • Two local mothers' traumatic birth experiences
  • Mental health during pregnancy
  • Why women of color are impacted twice as much, and how we can level the playing field for minority moms
  • Incidents of maternal morbidity in Kansas and Missouri
  • Proposed solutions at the local, state and federal levels + a systematic solution

Many experts in the field also weigh in on how we can improve and keep moms healthier. Our goal is to use this report as a starting point in achieving the cultural change that must happen if we are to reverse the far too common occurrence of maternal morbidity in Kansas and Missouri.
Educating the Public on Maternal Disparities

Steve Kraske with KCUR 89.3 (NPR in KC) interviewed Nurture KC's Executive Director, Tracy Russell, about improving local maternal outcomes and addressing racial disparities in health care. The interview was a result from our Annual Meeting and newly released Maternal Morbidity Report. Listen here. You will be glad you did!
In other news ...
Nurture KC's Healthy Start program is featured in a special report by the Missouri Hospital Association covering initiatives that positively impact health outcomes of mothers and infants. Check it out at
Nurture KC Appreciates Your Support

Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting on how to improve maternal outcomes. We appreciate Daysha Lewis (pictured with her kids) sharing her personal traumatic birth story and all our other speakers, including:

You can access the meeting presentation on our MEMBERS page. Together, we can help more moms be safe through their pregnancies, deliveries and postpartum periods.

WELCOME ... To new members Corrie Courtney,
Brooke Klingensmith, Carrie Shipp, Kathy Bond, Pat Carrington, Angela Bannwarth, Doris Egli, Seabrin Jensen, Amy Blunt, Mariah Chrans, Candace Cheatem, Emily Fox, Donna O’Malley, Charlene Burnet, Dawn Cox, Megan McClure and Denise Wicker.

THANK YOU ... To Linda Stinnett, Amy Marks, Kelley Johnson and Theresa Rodgers Campbell 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