Dear Friends:

We have passed through an unpleasant election season which left many people apprehensive about the impact of inevitable changes. We then heard messages about the need for unity and finding common ground. I have found comfort and hope reflecting on the gifts of time, talent and support from all our community partners who find common ground in the Mother & Child Health Coalition’s mission and vision that: Every child deserves a healthy start. My heartfelt thanks go out to all who contribute to that vital network of support for families struggling to overcome many challenges in realizing this vision.

It is a blessing that MCHC has been able to maintain programs and initiatives which support families aiming to guide their precious children toward healthier, happier, and more productive lives. I am grateful for and humbled by the efforts of dedicated leaders on our MCHC board and the hard work of our staff who constantly exceed requirements of their roles.

New census data from 2015, released in September, showed higher household incomes, lower levels of poverty, and higher rates of health insurance coverage than in the previous year, and we are relieved to finally see a trend in this direction. However, 13.5 percent of people still lived in poverty, 14.5 million of them children, and of these people, 4.2 million were under the age of 5. Poor children often lack access to opportunities and environments that support optimal development. I ask for your continued gifts investing in improved conditions for these children in our communities. MCHC will continue to seek out new relationships and consider new initiatives which can further our goal to promote wellness and advocate excellence in health care for families.

I hope that during these shorter, dark days of winter you find joy and renewal in traditions and celebrations of the season with those dear to you. I encourage time devoted to nurturing your own inner light so that you may continue to find the strength to help others.  Many thanks for all you do for our babies, our hope for the future, and for the greatest gift of yourself. – Theresa Rodgers Campbell, MCHC Chairperson 2016-2017