September 2022 Update

September marks the start of the busy season for many of us as kids return to school and resume too many activities to count! The same is true for us at Nurture KC as a number of new initiatives launched this month and we completed our once in a five-year grant cycle Healthy Start site visit with our national project officers. Although I have been at Nurture KC for nearly four years, this was my inaugural site visit.

This was an opportunity to showcase our efforts in Kansas City, receive feedback on processes and results, and view our efforts through an objective lens and national perspective. Under Shannon Williams’ leadership, Healthy Start in Kansas City continues to innovate for greater impact. During the current grant cycle, we have added a nurse dedicated to high-risk moms, counseling support groups available in English and Spanish, transportation to needed visits, a family portal on our web site for easy access to resources, and doula services.

Our emphasis on policy engagement as a critical part of improving the lives of mothers and children garnered attention that our project officers would like to see replicated across the country. Finally, our new “hobby to hustle” highlighting Black entrepreneurs provides economic know how to our families as they strive to improve their circumstances.

As we closed the month with our Healthy Start graduation, a celebration of the children who are 18 months old and are ready for the next steps in their journey, the connection between this accomplishment and the accountability and examination of Healthy Start through the site visit is undeniable. Healthy Start is truly a national and local partnership with a singular goal of improving the lives of families through a solid support system at the earliest and formative point of development. We are honored to be one of 101 Healthy Start programs in the nation. 

Tracy Russell

Executive Director, Nurture KC

Nurture KC adds new staff member

We are excited to welcome our newest Community Health Worker, Maricela Sanchez! Learn more about Maricela at

It’s important for Nurture KC to have staff on board that represent the communities we serve. Maricela is already connecting with our Spanish-speaking moms and making a difference. We think this is especially compelling to share since it's Hispanic Heritage Month.

Our flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinics are in full swing

The Mid America Immunization Coalition (MAIC), a program of Nurture KC, is offering flu and/or COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer doses) at this year’s clinics. All of these clinics are free and open to the public with Walgreens providing the immunizations.

The next clinic in Missouri is Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Cleaver Family YMCA. The next clinic in Kansas is Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Providence YMCA from 4 to 6 p.m. The full schedule throughout October is on Nurture KC’s immunization page. All clinics will accept walk-ups or people can schedule appointments here.

“Many of our vaccine clinics are in underserved communities that we believe have a right to equitable healthcare,” says Ali Hilton, MAIC Program Director. “These clinics help keep our KC community healthy. Along with direct service, MAIC also does a lot of work around advocacy for immunization that makes a positive impact in both Kansas and Missouri.”

Ali talked with KCUR 89.3 (NPR in KC) about our clinics, and the segment aired today. In related news, Nurture KC staffer Marcela Metcalf chatted with Telemundo Kansas City about the importance of immunization and our vaccine clinics open to the public. You can view the clip, in Spanish, here.

Congrats to our Healthy Start graduates

We celebrated 54 toddlers graduating from our Healthy Start Program this month! Thank you to Festejando KC for providing entertainment free-of-charge at the event. Our graduates loved it, and we love giving them a healthy start.


WELCOME to new member Nancy Nicholas.

THANK YOU to these members for renewing your memberships: Amy Marks, Katie Lorand, Christina Wahl, Kathy Mohn and Heather Braum.

THANK YOU to Swope Health for renewing membership at the Benefactor Level.

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