Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
The Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Committee has been under Nurture KC’s umbrella since 2003. This is the case review team that examines infant and fetal deaths through a review of medical records from 10 ZIP codes in Kansas City, MO with the highest rates of infant mortality. FIMR then makes recommendations for action based on their findings. These solutions are sent to the Community Action Team (CAT), which is the second part of the FIMR process and is charged with implementing the solutions proposed by the review team. In September 2021, Nurture KC brought the CAT in house to provide staff support and move on FIMR recommendations with a laser-focus. Our CAT is community-based, drawing from many health, social service and child advocacy sectors of the city for maximum input. 

The first project of the CAT is to encourage safe sleep for babies by helping area hospitals achieve safe sleep certification. With so many issues affecting infant health, why is safe sleep a priority? Because it is such a preventable cause of infant death and disparately impacts Black babies. Between 2015-2020, there were 20 Black infant deaths due to unsafe sleep and 7 deaths for White infants in Kansas City, MO. Unsafe sleep accounted for 24% of all Black infant deaths in Kansas City during that five-year time span. Establishing a culture of safe sleep must begin while parents and caregivers are in the hospital to reinforce the message and practice. Safe sleep certification requires the hospital to have an acceptable policy outlining the mechanics of safe sleep according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), staff training requirements and parent education components. Only two hospitals in the metro currently have safe sleep certification through Cribs for Kids. The CAT will provide technical assistance to metro hospitals so that certification is not an onerous process but one that is beneficial for providers and, of course, new parents. 

While safe sleep is our first priority, there will be many more to come as the CAT seeks to make a real difference in the lives of the families we serve and our work to reduce infant mortality, particularly for Black and Latino families in Kansas City.

Tracy Russell
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Introducing our new Community Action Team focused on safe sleep for baby

Exciting news: Nurture KC has a new Community Action Team (CAT) working on the Cribs for Kids National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative, as Tracy Russell features in her above column. Here are the highlights to know and share with others:

GOAL? Get all KC metro hospitals certified in baby safe sleep practices, so staff can educate parents before they leave for home with their babies.

WHO? The CAT is comprised of doctors, nurses, community advocates, infant loss experts, a mom from our Healthy Start program and a few of our employees, including our FIMR coordinator.

WHAT'S FIMR? Nurture KC implemented the Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program in Kansas City to reduce infant deaths and health care disparities. FIMR is an action-oriented case review team identifying trends in infant losses, along with gaps in the health care system, then recommending actions to improve. Learn more at

Be on the lookout for more details on the progress of this CAT.
Check out the winners of our Safe Sleep Contest

Speaking of safe sleep ...

In honor of Safe Sleep Awareness Month in October, we held a contest among our Healthy Start families to show their babies sleeping safely (alone, on their backs, in a clear crib). Here are our 5 winners: babies Ava, Ma'Raeya, David, Skylynn and Liam. Their families are each receiving a $50 gift card to Walmart, courtesy of Nurture KC and our partner University Health.
2021 Immunization Symposium recap available to members

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual Immunization Symposium: "Vaccination in the Time of COVID-19." It was a day full of valuable insights to improve the health of the Kansas City community.

If you're a Nurture KC member and missed this important event, you can view a recording and presentation materials on our MEMBERS page at

We appreciate all the speakers at our Immunization Symposium, including:

Also, a big thank you to all our symposium sponsors:
  • Home State Health
  • Sunflower Health Plan
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Moderna, Inc.
  • Immunize Kansas Coalition
  • Missouri Immunization Coalition
  • Walgreens
  • Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
  • Sanofi Pasteur

This event would not have been possible without their support!
Introducing the 2021 graduates of Healthy Start

Here is the heart and soul of our mission at Nurture KC - the children in our Healthy Start program. We recently celebrated 96 toddlers graduating from our program. View our graduation video to see lots of sweet faces.

We are so proud of these families! Also, a special thank you to Molly Doroba from the Kansas City Public Library for story time during the virtual celebration. Learn more about Healthy Start at
THANK YOU to Kay Connelly for renewing your membership.
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Kansas City, MO 64111