May 2023 Update

How appropriate is it that we end May with a special gift for mothers – passage of extended postpartum Medicaid in Missouri from 60 days to one year. This has been a two-year effort with a broad coalition of partners coming together in prioritizing extended health coverage as a lynchpin in improving maternal health in Missouri. It is expected that 4,500 Missouri mothers will benefit from this coverage. Over half of maternal deaths occur between 43 days postpartum and one year. Many of these are mental health-related. The overwhelmingly bipartisan support for this initiative is a great first step in acknowledging the importance of women’s health and taking tangible action to reduce Missouri’s dismal maternal mortality rates, particularly for Black women.

Our focus on moms this month continues through our services and educational offerings. Marcela Metcalf, lead Community Health Worker at Nurture KC, was shadowed by Noah Taborda, KCUR, for a piece highlighting organizations like ours striving to close the gap in access to services. You can hear about Marcela’s day in the life in the article that follows.

Finally, Nurture KC is gearing up for our Annual Meeting. This year’s topic is Maternal R&R: Reproductive Rights. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insight into the reproductive health landscape in both Kansas and Missouri, along with presentations and panel discussions on new and exciting projects!

Policy, direct service and education. All three components are vital to improving and sustaining mothers. Thank you for partnering with us to drive down maternal mortality and improve the lives of women.

Tracy Russell

Executive Director, Nurture KC

Joins us for our Annual Meeting

“Maternal R&R: Reproductive Rights”

June 21, 2023

8:30 a.m. to noon

Registration and continental breakfast is at 8 a.m.

This educational event is free for Nurture KC members and $25 for all others. Register to become a member or renew your annual membership.

Register to attend our Annual Meeting here.

Join Nurture KC as we learn the collective impact efforts to fight for access to care through Medicaid expansion for pregnant women in both Kansas and Missouri.

Keynote presentation by:

Ashley All, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom

• Michelle Trupiano, Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. 

Ashley All has spent two decades working in Kansas politics and public policy. She served as communications director for the Kansas attorney general and later as communication director for Gov. Laura Kelly.

Most recently, Ashley served as spokesperson for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom – the coalition that secured a landslide victory for reproductive rights in August 2022. She is a sixth-generation Kansan and lives in Lawrence with her husband and five children.

Michelle Trupiano serves as the Executive Director of Missouri Family Health Council, Inc., where she leads the administration of the Title X federal family planning program and The Right Time, a state-based contraceptive equity initiative. She has over twenty years of experience in health advocacy, holds a Master of Social Work, and sits on the Boards of Directors for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and the Family Planning Councils of America. When she isn’t fiercely advocating for change, Michelle loves camping, hiking and the great outdoors.

Our view: Extending Medicaid coverage in Missouri

A majority of pregnancy-related deaths in Missouri occur between 43 days and one year postpartum. How does extending Medicaid coverage in Missouri help improve maternal outcomes?

“I think it’s going to have a profound impact,” says Tracy Russell, Executive Director of Nurture KC. “So much of what our community health workers try to do is cover the gaps that exist in the current system. We’ve always believed that that direct service piece is so important, but so is the policy in terms of having the broadest impact and bringing about cultural change when it comes to these issues.”

Russell is quoted in this article by The Kansas City Beacon titled "Missouri politicians make bipartisan stand for moms at rish of pregnancy-related death." Please read and share!

Seeking Contractor to Coordinate Our Flu Clinics

Do you have event planning experience? Or know someone who does and would be a good fit for our non-profit. Nurture KC is seeking an independent contractor to coordinate and implement fall flu vaccination clinics for our Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC). The project begins June 15 and runs through November 30.

Some of the duties include:

  • Communicate with partner sites to establish logistics of participation
  • Serve as the liaison with the flu shot provider
  • Develop communication materials for use by partner sites and Nurture KC to market events, including content for web site and social media channels, in collaboration with Communications Director
  • Recruit volunteers to assist during clinics
  • Attend and lead each clinic, providing all logistical support before, during and after the event

To see more details, preferred qualifications and pay, click here.

Nurture KC Talks with KCUR 89.3 (NPR in KC)

Don't miss this compelling news story: "When the health care system fails women, Kansas City community workers try to bridge the gap." It features our Lead Community Health Worker, Marcela Metcalf.

Here's a snippet ...

Standing outside the Nurture KC office in Westport, Marcela Metcalf is preparing to greet 25 families with newborn babies.

She and fellow Kansas City community health workers have bags of produce and some diapers prepared for each family as part of a temporary collaboration between University Health and Nurture KC, a non-profit focused on improving the health of mothers and children. Metcalf is a lead community health worker for Nurture KC.

As a mother parks her car and approaches the back entrance to the office, carrying her newborn daughter, Metcalf closes the distance to greet the mom and meet the baby. The bag includes mangos, strawberries, and baby carrots this time.

Metcalf said she was always drawn to working with mothers. After studying social work in Ecuador, Metcalf worked as a medical interpreter and bilingual family support in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Almost six years ago, Metcalf relocated to join Nurture KC.

She immediately noticed expecting or new mothers and their babies face many barriers.

“The big, big problem I see is transportation to go to appointments,” she said. “I also see a lack of healthcare. People are really, really struggling to get healthcare right now, especially women that come from other countries.”

Read more or listen

Membership News


Welcome new members:

Laney Abraham and Brittany Cline

Thank you to everyone who renewed their memberships this past month:

Kylene Yelton

Katie Lorand

Megan Trerice

Mary Vaughan

Theresa Rodgers Campbell

Ashley Stumpenhaus

JOIN US and help support families

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