March 2023 Update

March marks the second celebration of Community Doula Week, an awareness campaign highlighting the unique role that doulas play in the health of mothers and babies. A doula is a trained professional who supports expecting and new mothers at each stage of pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. Doulas do not deliver babies but do serve as advocates, supporting mothers in developing birthing plans, attending the delivery and following up to monitor mom’s wellbeing. Evidence shows that the involvement of a doula results in lower, unnecessary birth interventions including fewer c-sections.

Nurture KC is offering doula services to 25 mothers in our Healthy Start program, courtesy of a grant from Health Forward Foundation. As we continually seek ways to improve birth outcomes for the families we serve, providing doulas is vital to our mission. Since we began in September, 20 mothers are receiving doula services through two local doulas, one who is English-speaking and one who is Spanish-speaking. The popularity of the program has exceeded our expectations, demonstrating the importance of this integral piece in the birth process.

In addition to direct doula services, Nurture KC seeks to build access so that more women may benefit. To that end, we are investing in training three of our community health workers and two Healthy Start participants as doulas. The foundation that has been laid this year takes the concept of doula awareness and transforms it into a critical tool for serving mothers and babies. 

Tracy Russell

Executive Director, Nurture KC

Introducing Nurture KC's Doulas

Lizet Ansaldo with Esperanza Birth Doula Services (left) and Lydia Robinson of Labored With Love (right).

Celebrating Our First Podcast

Why do non-profits not only have a right, but an obligation, to advocate for public policy? This is what Nurture KC's first podcast explores -- explaining how and why we help shape policy in Kansas and Missouri.

Thank you to our first podcast guests: Reagan Cussimanio with The University of Kansas Health System and Kamera Meaney with University Health KC. Our Executive Director, Tracy Russell, moderated and shared her insights as well.

We will be publishing podcasts on a quarterly basis. Next up: Our Healthy Start program. Learn more at

Lastly, we would love your help in spreading the word about our new podcast. Please feel free to like and share this Facebook post. We appreciate your support.

Partner Highlight: University Health

We appreciate long-time partner, University Health, stepping in and providing fresh produce for our Healthy Start families through their Food FARMacy (formerly Food as Medicine program). Our families receive fresh produce every other week, along with recipes and educational materials related to healthy food. Some of the participating families experience food scarcity or have food allergies that are accommodated through the program. The produce is delivered by University Health’s Mobile Market.

Volunteer Highlight: Overland Park Host Lions Club

Thank you to the OP Lions Club for donating books to children in our Healthy Start program. Parents reading to children daily is one of our program benchmarks to get kids off to a healthy start in life!

Learn more about Healthy Start at

We are looking to hire a Community Health Nurse

This position is responsible for providing medical/health expertise to Nurture KC’s Healthy Start program. This role will work to identify women at high risk for maternal mortality and infant mortality and those with gaps in care in order to assist in navigating them to the care needed to deliver a healthy baby. The Community Health Nurse is also responsible for identifying healthcare obstacles in the community, providing health education and promoting healthy habits to encourage community members to take charge of their own health.

To learn more, click here. To apply, please send your resume to

Membership News


Thank you to Beth Diebold, Lorraine Buchanan and Erica Wilson for renewing their memberships.

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