Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
At Nurture KC, our physical work place and processes have temporarily changed but our mission remains the same. Serving families in the Kansas City metro to improve birth outcomes and reduce health disparities. Adapting to the new normal for staff means foregoing in person contact for virtual meetings and finding new ways to serve our participants, albeit from a distance. The coronavirus pandemic crystallizes the two Kansas Cities. While we negotiate new approaches to serve from home, for many of our Healthy Start participants, instant loss of income through job loss is calamitous for our most vulnerable moms and babies. 

While both Missouri and Kansas are taking some extraordinary steps to alleviate the impact, particularly on the underserved, it is an assortment of services at the local level that must deliver continuity of care in maintaining a safety net. Nurture KC is looking at ways in which we may provide extra help in sustaining our families. In the meantime, rest assured that the most basic of services, diaper distribution, will continue. Visits between Community Health Workers and our participants will go on as scheduled via phone and video conferencing. We recognize that maintaining these one on one connections is crucial to family well-being. Finally, as an organization committed to connecting those we serve to community resources, we are providing links to organizations and services that are available and making sure that our participants have help in navigating the resources they need. 

While we may all experience anxiety in this time of uncertainty, at Nurture KC we recognize the magnitude of this situation is vastly different for the underserved. We will strive to be a consistent and reliable partner through these unpredictable times.

Tracy Russell,
Executive Director, Nurture KC
 Nurture KC welcomes first Development Director

We're excited to announce Kathy Mohn a s the first Development Director at Nurture KC. In this role, Kathy will work closely with Executive Director Tracy Russell to develop and implement a strategic plan to raise vital funds to support Nurture KC. She will oversee fundraising efforts, as well as raise money through major gifts, annual fundraising and, in the future, a special event.
“Nothing is more exciting to me than bringing a healthy young life into the world -- a baby who will grow up to be a healthy and vital adult," Kathy says. "Let’s face it, the more money we raise, the more mothers and babies we can help at Nurture KC! I'm committed to working tirelessly to achieve our goals.”

Kathy spent 25 years in the broadcast industry, running television stations for CBS in Wichita, Kansas, Media General in Roanoke, Virginia and Journal World in Lawrence, Kansas. For the past five years, she has been using her sales and management skills to help generate revenue for the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association. Kathy has a degree in Elementary Education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a dedicated focus on helping children challenged with achieving basic reading skills. She is a mother of four married children and a Nana to nine grandchildren, all of whom live in Kansas City. When not spending time with her family, Kathy loves to cook, garden, hike and ride her bicycle.
Meet another new member of our team

We also enthusiastically welcome Nate Girard as Nurture KC's new Strategic Initiatives Coordinator and, therefore, also the Coordinator of our Mid America Immunization Coalition.  Nate’s core responsibility is to expand our preventive health focus through coalition-building and programming with immunization and childhood injury prevention.

"I’m looking forward to using my passion for the well being of all children in a community setting," Nate says. "My overarching goal is to impact metro youth and families in a positive way."

Nate spent a decade in the education realm, first as a Special Education paraeducator, then as a middle school teacher, and as an Assistant Principal. Nate has devoted his career toward whole child health initiatives, including for those with disabilities and mental health struggles. As a graduate of the University of Kansas, he has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education. He also holds a Master’s degree in School Leadership from Baker University. Outside of work, Nate is a dad, husband, reader, writer, cyclist and learner.
The impact of Medicaid expansion

Kansas Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers convened a community conversation in Wyandotte County to discuss the potential impact of Medicaid expansion on pregnant women and children. Nurture KC Executive Director Tracy Russell was invited to participate and weigh in on how expanded access to coverage affects our Healthy Start participants. Russell indicated that adopting this measure would provide an immediate impact for our families. Just as importantly, providing access to care beyond the immediate need of pregnancy will lead to better overall health outcomes for parents and babies.

There were several mothers in attendance who spoke to their real life experiences in a fragmented health care system and the importance of expanded Medicaid. This stop was one of many across the state and these discussions are an opportunity to provide input from those who work with families, and the families who bear the brunt of these policy decisions. While the path to expansion is uncertain, the current health crisis brings into clear focus how important access to care is for our families.
Partner Spotlight: Truman Medical Centers helps our families with Coronavirus education
As we announced last month, Nurture KC recently added a Community Health Program Nurse, Raechel Blades, BSN, RNC–OB, at Truman Medical Centers to help our Healthy Start program participants who need her services.

The partnership between Nurture KC and Truman Medical Centers also is beneficial in other ways. For example, Truman has provided educational resources on the Coronavirus which we are now housing (along with information from the CDC) within our Nurture KC Family Portal . This new Coronavirus Resource section offers fact sheets in English and Spanish on such topics as prevention tips, how to wash your hands and what to do if you feel sick. Other resources will be added as needed.
Have you seen these billboards around KC?

Thanks to funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), three pro-immunization billboards appeared throughout Kansas City in February and March. Two billboard locations recently expired, including one off I-70 by the Legends Outlets and another off I-35 in Johnson County. The below mom and daughter billboard is still running off the 18th St. Expressway in Kansas City, Kansas through April 19. The "check the facts" link -- -- connects to vetted, reliable vaccine information on the Nurture KC web site.
To our members who recently renewed their memberships:
Abigail Burton, Beth Diebold and Wilai Rojjanasrirat
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1111 W. 39th St., Ste 100
Kansas City MO 64111