Kansas MIECHV Newsletter

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood 
Home Visiting Program


Welcome to the MIECHV monthly newsletter. We hope you will find the content informative. Our website is expected to launch Fall 2015.  
In This Issue

Key Contacts 
State MIECHV Lead:
Debbie Richardson, Ph.D.
Program Manager
Maternal & Child Health Home Visiting
Bureau of Family Health
Kansas Department of Health and Environment

MIECHV Benchmark Reporting, Performance Management & Evaluation:
Teri A. Garstka, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Center for Public Partnership & Research
University of Kansas
Kathy Bigelow, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Juniper Gardens Children's Project
University of Kansas

State Level Activities

 The State Home Visiting Leadership Group continues its work to implement the State Home Visiting Strategic plan.  The group is currently working on Goal 5: "Further develop a skilled, knowledgeable, competent and effective professional workforce to deliver home visiting services". The current focus of work is specifically on Objective 5.1: "Identify mutually agreed-upon core competencies for individuals providing home visiting services".  The process has included identification of core competencies and expected knowledge for each competency using examples from other states and MIECHV program models.  Kansas home visitor core competencies and the associated knowledge base will be drafted as a result of this process. Next steps include identifying current training opportunities, needs and gaps.  


 In mid-May, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) conducted a comprehensive site visit of the Kansas MIECHV Program as routine monitoring of our federal grants. The visit was conducted by the HRSA Region VII MIECHV Project Officer, and contracted programmatic and fiscal reviewers.  The site visit was a full three days covering questions in an extensive site assessment tool and providing in-depth information and documentation regarding programmatic, administrative, and financial management and implementation.  In addition to staff from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), numerous MIECHV program partners and contractors also met with the site review team.  At the conclusion of the site visit, feedback and recommendations presented by the reviewers were very positive.  A comprehensive written report will be provided to the state in mid-summer. Kansas was only the second state in the country to undergo this new HRSA site visit protocol.  All MIECHV grantees (state and territories) will undergo this comprehensive review every three years.  The purpose is to ensure accountability, high performance, and quality improvement of all federal MIECHV grant programs.

Home Visitor and Interpreter Workshop Update

 On March 30, KU-CPPR hosted a training, Bridging Linguistic and Cultural Barriers through Interpretation in Kansas City, KS and on June 9, the training was provided in Independence, Kansas.   The day-long event brought together home visitors and interpreters that serve families who speak a language other than English. The training was designed to increase the quality of interpreted home visits and improve family outcomes by providing a better understanding of roles and expectations of both home visitors and interpreters. The training covered best practices when utilizing an interpreter, working collaboratively to communicate with families, and considerations of cultural issues affecting service delivery. 


 In all, 34 participants attended, including interpreters that spoke more than five languages (Spanish, Nepali, Amharic, Swahili, and Vietnamese), dual role interpreter-home visitors, and home visitors from both Wyandotte County and SE Kansas.  Participants agreed or strongly agreed the workshop was applicable to their work and that they learned new information.  Many commented they would implement some of what was learned in their practice. Both home visitors and interpreters expressed a commitment to forming collaborative relationships and improving communication during interpreted meetings. Many home visitors requested additional training with interpreters as well as training on specific cultures (e.g., Burmese). Interpreters requested training on the specifics of home visiting programs and materials. 


 KU-CPPR is developing materials for future workshops that will assist home visiting and other community programs to provide services that are culturally responsive and appropriate to the diverse populations they serve.  For more information, please contact Adam Brazil (brazila@ku.edu) or Stephanie Christenot (sac625@ku.edu). 

Local Program Success

 My name is Samantha Carter.  I have been involved with Parents as Teachers for almost 3 years.  I have found this program both informative and rewarding.  I first started with Kari Palmer when my daughter was three.  I have to say I wasn't quite sure what I was committing to.  However, after my first visit, I realized how much my child as well as I could benefit from the program.  I had more information on where my child should be and how to help with her progress.  Not long after, Mrs. Kari helped me start on getting her into school (the early learning center).  It prepared her for kindergarten and got her used to a school type setting.  After I had my second child, a little boy, everything went on the same.  Every visit we would go over his hand eye coordination, starter words, comprehension, etc. Eventually I expressed my concern that my son didn't seem to be where he should be on speech.  He seemed to have problems with the simplest of words.  Thankfully, Kari brought a hearing test machine and we were able to find out he had a problem hearing.  So she got us in touch with the right doctor's office and we were able to find and fix the problem.  He needed tubes in his ears.  Since then he has been able to speak better and even learn some of his letters.  This program for me has been extremely helpful, and beyond my expectations.  These are only a few ways the program works.  The amount of help they can bring to a home is very extensive and unlimited.  Thank you to Parents as Teachers and especially Mrs. Kari for all the work and dedication to not only my family but all the families you serve.


 Submitted by Sherry Messner, Parents as Teachers program coordinator, USD 445 Coffeyville Public Schools, Montgomery County.  

Data Quality Site Visits

 KU-CPPR begins conducting data quality site visits this week.  Data quality visits will include updated information about benchmark progress and a discussion about family retention.  These visits will continue through July until each MIECHV implementing site receives a visit.  If you have any questions related to these visits, please contact Jared Barton (jaredlee@ku.edu) or Tom Ball (t.ball@ku.edu). 
Upcoming Activities and Dates for MIECHV Partners
June 25th
Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 1:00-4:00pm, Unified Government Public Health Dept., 3rd Floor Op Center, Kansas City, KS.
July 17th
SE Kansas MIECHV Team, 10:00 - 2:00 pm, SEK-CAP, 401 N. Sinnet, Girard, KS
July 20th
State Home Visiting Leadership Group, 1:00-4:00 pm, Curtis Building/KDHE, Topeka, KS.
August 13th
Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 1:00-4:00 pm, Unified Government Public Health Dept., 3rd Floor Op Center, Kansas City, KS.
September 9th
State Home Visiting Leadership Group, 1:00-4:00 pm, Curtis Building/KDHE, Topeka, KS. 
September 11th
SE Kansas MIECHV Team, 10:00-2:00pm, SEK-CAP, Labette Center for Mental Health, 1730 Belmon, Parsons, KS. 

Past MIECHV Newsletters  

Past newsletters have been archived and can be accessed here
Contact Us    
If you have ideas for the newsletter, feedback, questions, comments, concerns, etc. please email kshomevisiting@gmail.com


 This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Development Grant to States (Grant # D89MC25208, $2,847,000).  This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.