The Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative (KCHSI) served as host for the 2017 Healthy Start Regional Meeting June 8 and 9 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center in Kansas City.  The Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start project, located in Sikeston, MO served as co-host.

Coordination and planning of this two-day meeting was provided under the leadership of the Healthy Start grantor’s Project Officer, and staff of the EPIC Center.  Generous sponsorship for the conference included Missouri Care and March of Dimes.  Attendees represented Healthy Start staff from Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and of course Missouri. Councilman Harold Johnson, representing the Mayor’s office in Kansas City, KS, provided a warm welcome to the attendees.

With a focus on reducing infant mortality, Healthy Start projects provide care coordination and case management services to pregnant women and families with children under the age of 2.  This annual meeting is convened to allow Healthy Start program staff in Region VII, representing five of 100 Healthy Start programs across the United States, to share strategies, participate in skill building activities and learn about tools that will enhance the services of the projects in their communities.

A concurrent session was held for participants enrolled in the Healthy Start program. A panel of speakers presented information to the participants on oral health, the importance of including fathers in a child’s life, and Wyandotte County’s WIC program. Additionally, Ebony Peterson shared her personal experiences as a former program participant and current Community Health Worker for KCHSI, and Jose Quiroz shared information regarding the benefits of Missouri Care membership. The Evaluation Team created a very informative poster to showcase the successes and activities of the KCHSI program: HS_Poster_Conference_2017_5.27.2017

Approximately 125 people attended over the 2-day period. Feedback received from those in attendance indicated they’d had a valuable learning experience.

Submitted by:
Jean Craig, PhD
Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative Program Director
(816) 283-6242 ext. 225
jcraig@mchc.net