Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
October marks Safe Sleep Awareness Month. Nurture KC will shine a spotlight on this important practice via a social media campaign with Cradle KC throughout the month. However, an emphasis on safe sleep does not end when the calendar rolls to November. Safe sleep is woven through our programs, products, services and messaging.
In the Healthy Start program, our Community Health Workers train and educate our families on the importance of safe sleep by demonstrating the practice in a one-on-one setting. We also provide all of our families with a crib to ensure they have the most important resource to enable a safe sleep environment. This is one of the benchmarks of the Healthy Start program and nationally, Healthy Start families are more likely to practice safe sleep in comparison to the population as a whole. Nurture KC also serves as an important link for underserved families by connecting them to crib providers across the metro. Sometimes, the barrier to practicing safe sleep is as simple as not knowing where to go to for a crib and education. Collaboration among partner agencies/entities is an effective way to reach those in need. Nurture KC coordinates the Safe Sleep Task Force to promote cross-sector collaboration across Kansas City so we are meeting the immediate needs of the community we serve and promoting broad awareness of the importance of safe sleep. The Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) case review team has designated safe sleep as one of two key priorities for the year, believing this is an issue that demands attention and action.

According to the Kansas City Health Department, there were 29 deaths from safe sleep-related causes out of 228 total deaths from 2015-2019. Of these 29 deaths, 20 were Black babies, a rate that is nearly triple that of white babies. This disparity must be addressed through communication that is culturally-relevant, accompanied by the resources that make safe sleep possible in the home. With unsafe sleep related to 13% of infant deaths in Kansas City, Nurture KC will continue to prioritize safe sleep as a key prevention to infant death for all twelve months of the year. You can find safe sleep resources and read about best practices here:

Tracy Russell,
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Fall flu clinics offer drive-through vaccines

Nurture KC and the Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC) have once again coordinated a comprehensive flu clinic schedule, which kicks off today, to serve families throughout Kansas City.

Due to COVID-19, the clinics are all drive-through service and vaccines are offered on a first come, first served basis. Walgreen's is providing the free vaccines and Truman Medical Centers is also a partner for most of our Missouri sites. Here is the full schedule ...
How race impacts infant mortality:
Nurture KC on KCTV-5 News

Infant mortality rates have declined, but racial disparities still exist. The latest data from Nurture KC for the Kansas City metro area shows for every 1,000 black babies born, 9.8 will die before their first birthday. That’s compared to 4.1 white babies who will die in the same time span.

Tracy Russell, of Nurture KC, and Dr. Traci Johnson, of Truman Medical Centers, share how to bridge that gap in this story by KCTV-5 News.

The story also cites a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences, with data from close to 2 million hospital births in Florida during two decades. The study found that if Black babies were cared for by Black doctors, they are twice as likely to survive than if cared for by a white doctor.
Partner Spotlight on Phyllis Larimore

We are keeping babies safe on the road by partnering with Children's Mercy. One service we provide through our Healthy Start program is car seat education and free car seats for our participants.

This is made possible through our long-time, trusted partner -- Phyllis Larimore, Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor with Children's Mercy -- who trains our staff. Thank you, Phyllis, for all you do to help our staff and, in turn, our families. You are valued and appreciated!
Congrats to the Diaz family!

We are proud to have the Diaz family in our Healthy Start program. Each family forms a special bond with our Community Health Workers and this case is no exception. We are thrilled they finally got to welcome home baby Oliver after an extended stay in the NICU. Both mom, Elaine, and baby (born early at 29 weeks) are warriors and doing well!

Along with receiving a crib and car seat, Elaine learned about car safety and safe sleep for baby through Nurture KC's Healthy Start program. We look forward to baby Oliver growing and thriving!

To our new member: Heather Braum; and renewed member: Kylene Yelton
To these organizations ...

Benefactor Level ($1,000):
Saint Luke's Health System
Wyandotte County Health Department
UMKC Institute for Human Development

Patron Level ($500):
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center

Donor Level ($250):
Mid-America Regional Council
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