Nurture KC

This month’s UPDATE includes the below news and more:

• Will offer doula services, thanks to funding by the Health Forward Foundation

• Named to the Impact 100 by the United Way of Greater Kansas City

• Presented on Maternal Health Webinar by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

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Big news! Nurture KC is proud to be an inaugural Impact 100 organization by the United Way of Greater Kansas City. United Way launched Impact 100 to provide funding to 100 organizations addressing vital health and human service needs in our community. Nurture KC will use the funding to continue to improve maternal and infant health in Kansas City.

“This grant will help the moms and babies in our Healthy Start program. It will go right to the heart of where it’s needed most,” says Tracy Russell, Executive Director, Nurture KC. “We are honored to be named to United Way’s Impact 100.”

From the United Way: Every Impact 100 organization maintains a high bar of organizational accountability and effectiveness in terms of finances, governance and impact in the community. Our rubric included a variety of factors, and ultimately led to this initial Impact 100 being very diverse – in terms of geographic regions served, organizations led by people of color, focus areas and more. This year’s impact 100 organizations cover the following domains: child welfare, healthcare access, food security, housing and financial stability, positive youth development and early childhood development. 

To learn more, go to unitedwaygkc.org/impact-100.

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Nurture KC shared insights at this week’s Maternal Health Webinar hosted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). What a huge turnout!

The take-away shared by Shannon Williams, Healthy Start Program Director, and Tracy Russell, Executive Director — Our Healthy Start program improves the health of families through our Community Health Worker (CHW) model. Each family has a dedicated CHW who have a bond with our moms that is unbreakable and makes a positive impact. This connection helps our moms overcome barriers and navigate life.


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June was one of our busiest months yet!
• Hosted Nurture KC’s Annual Event
• Shared solutions to combat maternal mortality at a Town Hall hosted by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver
• Unveiled a new video on our Nurturing Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program
• Participated in Juneteenth KC’s Heritage Festival as a Health Expo vendor
• Co-sponsored 7th Annual “Celebrating Fathers: Strong Family Event”
• Shared how our families are affected by Roe vs. Wade being overturned on KSHB-41 News

Access our June Monthly Update to learn more.

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An Action Alert from Tracy Russell, Executive Director of Nurture KC

During my three and a half years at Nurture KC, I have preached the importance of politics and policy as a key driver of maternal and infant health, necessitating our advocacy. Today, with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, this reality is driven home in the most painful of ways, with women losing bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom in an instant after 50 years of settled law.

As an organization that aids pregnant women in navigating the system and circumstances to ensure healthy births, you might question our involvement in the right to choose abortion. It is precisely because of what we see daily – and the connection between reproductive freedom and maternal and infant health – that drives our belief that a great injustice has been done to women and families. The mothers we serve live in the ZIP codes of Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS with the highest rates of infant mortality in the metro. They are often the poorest of the poor, facing barriers in daily living that most of us take for granted. While this is a universal issue, the brunt of this decision will be borne by those least-advantaged, particularly Black families. Shannon Williams, Healthy Start Program Director, was interviewed by KSHB-41 News on this topic, which can be viewed here.

Kansas will be the first state to vote on the question of maintaining reproductive freedom and protecting women’s health. On August 2, there is a ballot initiative that would place the authority to restrict/ban abortion with the legislature, reversing a Kansas Supreme Court decision that reinforced the constitutional right to privacy and abortion two years ago. A “no” vote on August 2 protects a woman’s right to choose while a “yes” vote allows what is anticipated to be a ban through legislative action next session. While many of us resent the fact that women’s health is a political issue, please vote! A woman’s life may depend on it.

Missouri already ranks a dismal 44th nationally in maternal mortality, with a rate for Black mothers three times that of White mothers. Missouri is also one of the states that has a “trigger” law that essentially banned abortion as soon as the Supreme Court decision was released. This is against the backdrop of a legislative session in which lawmakers defeated an effort to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year, a policy that would truly value the lives of Missouri mothers and their children.

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Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting — “Families First: Expanding our Approach to Wellness.” We also appreciate all of the meaningful content shared by our presenters from The University of Kansas Health System, Children’s Mercy, Providence Medical Center, Medical Students for Choice, Kids Win Missouri, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, City of Kansas City, Mo. Government and Nurture KC.

For more details, members can check out our members-only web page at www.nurturekc.org/members. If you’re a member and have forgotten the password, please email Erica Wilson at ewilson@nurturekc.org.

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