Message from the Chair

April 2018 Dear friends of MCHC, I can’t believe this is my last letter to you as chair of the board. Time has really flown, and I am going to miss getting to bang the gavel and call meetings to order! As many of you know, I (like many women across the world) am extremely busy. Juggling a full-time-plus position with the city, keeping my three kids fed and getting them to the right place at the right (fingers crossed) time, being a loving and patient partner and carving out time for my health… there was really no good reason for me to take on a board position for MCHC and add to my list of personal and professional obligations. And yet, the stakes have always seemed too high to pass up the opportunity to serve MCHC and the mothers and babies of our region. Premature birth, low birth weight and infant and maternal mortality continue to be predicted by skin color; the medical community is slow to evolve and serve vulnerable families with cultural humility; mistruths and fake news about vaccine safety continues to lead to outbreaks of preventable diseases. These are the things that keep us all up at night. These are the reasons we do what we do, and these are the reasons that MCHC and its leadership must continue to constantly self-reflect and ask whether the goals of the organization are aligned with the needs of our highest-risk communities. I am confident that the board and the staff of MCHC are committed to a culture of improvement, and I look forward to working alongside them as they evolve. The next board is in very capable hands. I am grateful to my fellow board members and the staff of MCHC for making my tenure as chair so fulfilling. We have made some real progress and had some tough conversations along the way. A special thanks goes to Susan McLoughlin, who always took my commitment to moving meetings along quickly and getting done early in stride. I will continue to keep pushing, alongside MCHC and its partner organizations, until every baby is born healthy, to a healthy mother, going home together to a healthy neighborhood. Whether board chair or not, the mission doesn’t change. If all of us continue to focus on a future where health equity is possible, and continue to question the status quo and...

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Thousands of Kansas Citians joined together in wearing blue on Friday, April 6, Wear Blue Day to help spread awareness about child abuse. Abuse and neglect can have devastating effects — especially in the early years when children’s young brains are developing the most rapidly. You can prevent abuse and neglect by helping others understand child development and by sharing the child abuse reporting hotline information. In Missouri call 1-800-392-3738. In Kansas call 1-800-922-5330. People all over the metro sent in photos for the Wear Blue Day context. The photo with the most likes has won tickets to an upcoming show at Sprint Center.  Visit the Prevent Child Abuse KC Facebook page  to learn the winner. Here are some resources: CAPM_facts_2017 CAPM-flier-2017 MCHC Staff Left to Right: Anne Biswell, Jean Craig, Cristina Sanchez, Susan McLoughlin and Vanessa...

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TODAY IS SAFE HAVEN FOR NEWBORNS DAY

Safe Haven for Newborns Coalition of Greater Kansas City 3 mins ·  Today is Safe Haven for Newborns Day and this year, the governors of both MISSOURI and KANSAS have issued proclamations! Thanks, Governor Eric Greitens (MO) and Jeff Colyer (KS)! In addition, the cities of Kansas City, Missouri, Independence, Missouriand Shawnee, Kansas also proclaimed today, April 5, 2018 as Safe Haven for Newborns Day. Thanks for helping to spread the word about this life-saving law, and giving desperate, young parents another safe alternative to abandonment. Here is the one from Kansas City, MO and Mayor Sly...

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JOB POSTING: Coalition Coordinator Full-Time Position Now Open

Position Title:   Coalition Coordinator, Mother & Child Health Coalition Position Summary: The Coalition Coordinator is responsible for day-to-day coordination of activities for Mother & Child Health Coalition (MCHC) committees and task forces.  This position works with committees, programs, and staff to fulfill MCHC’s mission and to enhance the organization’s collective impact by engaging the greater community in activities.  Reports To:  Executive Director, Mother & Child Health Coalition Duties and Responsibilities: Support Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative and Coalition community planning efforts Provide staff support for the Board and all MCHC standing committee meetings Coordinate activities and meeting arrangements for committees, task forces, and work groups Assist the Pregnancy, Infant and Child Health Committee to establish a common agenda Help support the Community Action Network to develop and implement a community action plan Help to recruit and nurture committee members Maintain clear and concise communication with members Assist chairpersons in the facilitation of meetings Assist committees in creating SMART goals, SWOT analyses and other strategic direction documents Assist in research and preparation of grant applications to support program sustainability Prepare and maintain files of materials that address committee activities, including reports, agendas, minutes, etc. Assist with maintenance of membership rosters and e-mail lists in Outlook and Exceed database Demonstrate positive attitude and represent MCHC well to the public Other duties as assigned  Required Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree preferably in Health, Social Sciences, Education, Business, or English Experience in coordinating multiple projects Excellent oral and written communication skills; comfortable with public speaking Strong facilitation skills Efficient implementation of time management and organizational skills Computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access and Power Point) and simple desk-top publishing software (such as Publisher) Proficient with Data Base management Knowledge and/or experience of the legislative advocacy process Working knowledge of program development and evaluation Capability to collect and evaluate health-related data Positive attitude, high energy, and proven ability to relate well with a diverse population Preferred Qualifications Experience in the non-profit field Knowledge/experience with Collective Impact and Social Determinants of Health Experience with grant-funded projects Bi-lingual (Spanish) TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION Go to www.Indeed.com and apply online (preferred) or send your résumé and a letter of interest to info@mchc.net PLEASE NOTE: applications received without a cover letter will not be considered. MCHC is an Equal-Opportunity Employer. This is a FULL-TIME position with great benefits. For information about MCHC, please visit...

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PREVENT CHILD ABUSE: Friday, April 6 is Wear Blue Day

Wearing BLUE in Kansas City for child abuse prevention – Friday, April 6! April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and child advocacy groups are gearing up for lots of special events during the month. The Kansas City Star will publish a calendar of all these events on Saturday, March 26th. Buy and paper and support our loyal partner, the KC Star. Please show your commitment to Child Abuse Prevention Month and our shared responsibility to keep kids safe by registering to wear BLUE in the form HERE.  It is not just about wearing BLUE, but even more importantly, it’s about telling people WHY you are wearing BLUE on Friday, April 6. This is a simple way we all can make a difference, educating one person at a time. It only takes a few minutes to register your name and it doesn’t cost a cent! Wear Blue Day 6th Annual Photo Contest Take a photo of yourself or your group in blue and send it to wearbluekc@gmail.com. The photo with the most LIKES will win tickets to an upcoming show at Sprint Center. Prize will be announced on Monday, April, 10th. Why Blue? In the spring of 1989, a grandmother from Virginia began the BLUE ribbon campaign as a tribute to her grandson, a three-year-old who died at the hands of his mother’s abusive boyfriend. Since that time, concerned citizens all over the country have worn BLUE as a symbol of the need to prevent child abuse.  We are asking all citizens who care about children and their safety to pledge to wear BLUE on Friday, April 6 – Wear Blue...

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Prepare Your Family for Severe Weather – Tips from Safe Kids

Safe Kids Kansas Offers Safety Tips for Severe Weather Awareness Week  Topeka — While the threat of severe weather in Kansas is year-round, March 5-9 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas, and a good opportunity to discuss the importance of emergency preparedness with your family. In 2017, the National Weather Service reported about 60 tornadoes statewide. Kansas also experiences numerous other high impact weather events, including blizzards, severe thunderstorms, and floods. “When severe weather strikes you often have only a few minutes to respond and seek shelter. It is essential for you and your family to be prepared in an emergency,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. Safe Kids Kansas recommends becoming familiar with the type of weather you may encounter, prepare an emergency disaster kit, and practice your emergency plan frequently with your entire family. Many people do not understand the difference between a watch and a warning. When conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH is issued. Information from weather radar, spotters, and other sources is used to issue severe thunderstorm and tornado WARNINGS for areas where severe weather is imminent. Severe weather warnings are passed to local radio and television stations, and broadcast over weather alert radios. These warnings are also relayed to local emergency management and public safety officials who then activate the local warning systems to alert communities. Remember, thunderstorms are very dangerous and can become tornadic quickly, so shelter is advised for those warnings as well.  Getting to a safe shelter in advance of a storm is especially important for families with children or individuals with a disability. Safe Kids Kansas recommends assembling an emergency disaster kit in advance. If you determine you need to take shelter, be sure every family member puts on hard-soled footwear and take your emergency disaster kit with you. An emergency disaster kit should contain: non-perishable food items and water; a manual can opener if your kit contains canned food; blankets or sleeping bags; a change of clothing for each family member; a first-aid kit; prescription medications; sun block; a flashlight and batteries; a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio; a set of car and house keys; a whistle to signal for help; a highway map that marks the counties to follow the storm; identification and a credit card or cash; and, any specific items you may need...

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