Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother and Child Health Coalition
Nurture KC is kicking off the summer with our Annual Meeting entitled Family First: Expanding Our Approach to Wellness. Slated for Wednesday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Loretto, the in-person gathering promises something of interest for everyone as we delve into a number of health topics from those in the know and direct actions to support Kansas City families. 

With so many competing commitments in a day, we want to make sure that the information we provide enhances your work and stokes your enthusiasm. This agenda promises to be well worth the time away from the day to day. We take our role seriously as a community convener, recognizing the collective impact that results when we come together on common goals.

You won’t want to miss our keynote speaker, Pamela Merritt, Med Students for Choice. We can’t ignore the threat to reproductive freedom and the impact on maternal and infant health. Pamela will set the tone for the unique times in which we are living. Other sessions include:
  • Expanding Access: Postpartum Medicaid Extension Panel
  • Nurturing Safe Sleep: Hospital Certification Project Federal Medical Emergency ending
  • Tenants’ Rights and the Impact on Vulnerable Families
  • Medicaid Eligibility and the End of the Federal Health Emergency 

There has been no shortage of action this year on the maze of issues that impact families. Please join us as we navigate these hot topics and leave hopeful that much of the action in Kansas City is moving toward improvements in maternal and infant health.

Tracy Russell
Executive Director, Nurture KC
Providence Medical Center awarded first ‘Nurturing Safe Sleep Champion’ status

Nurture KC is facilitating a new certification for local hospitals to adopt a safe sleep policy for babies, train staff accordingly and provide corresponding education to parents. Providence Medical Center is the first hospital to complete this certification process and be recognized as a “Nurturing Safe Sleep Champion.”

“Practicing safe sleep for babies is one of the most simple and effective tools in preventing infant death. In Kansas City, unsafe sleep accounts for 16 percent of all infant deaths, and 24 percent of Black infant deaths. These deaths are preventable,” says Tracy Russell, Executive Director of Nurture KC. “Our goal is for every area hospital to complete this certification and, ultimately, save lives.”

Nurture KC’s mission is to reduce infant and maternal mortality and improve family health. One of the organization’s programs is Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) which identifies trends in fetal and infant loses, along with gaps in the health care system, and recommends actions to improve. Focusing on safe sleep practices is a critical step to improve infant health.

“Providence is proud to be the first ‘Nurturing Safe Sleep Champion,’” says Seabrin Jensen, Director of Women’s Services at Providence Medical Center. “We know hospitals serve as a first point of contact for new families. As a trusted source of information, we want to ensure our families are fully equipped to care for their newborns. Teaming with Nurture KC on this certification was a no-brainer.”

Nurture KC’s initiative also stems from only two area hospitals, Children’s Mercy and University Health, having safe sleep credentials. Those credentials are from Cribs for Kids, the national model on this type of training and the program Nurture KC is implementing with local hospitals. Currently, several more hospitals are in the process of completing this certification.
Nurture KC is now partnering with KC CARE Health Center

We are proud to announce we now have Community Health Workers at KC CARE Health Center as part of our Healthy Start program. We look forward to this partnership, and providing you with news and updates from this location.
Introducing our new in-house nurse

Welcome, Samantha Menghini, RN, BSN! She will work closely with Nurture KC's Community Health Workers to improve birth outcomes for our Healthy Start program participants with high-risk pregnancies.

“I’m passionate about creating system change to reduce health disparities in our community and improve maternal and infant health,” Menghini says. “Empowering mothers to advocate for their health is critical.”

Samantha comes to Nurture KC from University Health, where she was a nurse in the high-risk obstetrics unit. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Avila University. 

Learn more about Samantha at
We talk Roe vs. Wade with local news

Nurture KC's Healthy Start Program Director, Shannon Williams, talks with KSHB-41 News about Roe versus Wade potentially being overturned.

Unintended pregnancy often impacts "moms who are experiencing food insecurity, housing instability, homelessness and domestic violence," Williams says. "If Roe versus Wade is overturned, it will exacerbate a system that's already broken."

WELCOME new members:
Kaitlyn Long, Mayra Thomas-Romero and Samantha Menghini.

THANK YOU to current members:
Danielle Havens, Tricia Rausch and Megan Trerice
for renewing your membership to Nurture KC.
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Kansas City, MO 64111