Danielle is a healthcare executive and children’s advocate with nearly twenty years of experience developing health and wellness programs and speaking out on behalf of children and adults across the Kansas City metro area.
Previously Danielle served as vice president of quality development at ReDiscover, a community mental health agency with a staff of 600 healthcare professionals who serve 10,000 clients annually. In this role, she created and managed cross-system collaborations among community organizations and secured funds to sustain programming. The scope of her work at ReDiscover involved Kansas City area children’s services, health departments, service agencies, school districts, health clinics and support service agencies.
Earlier in her career, Danielle served as associate director at Resource Development Institute and as a case manager at Cornerstones of Care’s Gillis Campus. She held a clinical instructor appointment at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, for 12 years.
Danielle holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Black Hills State University.
“KC Healthy Kids’ board, staff and volunteers work hard to identify opportunities for improving the health and quality of life for our youth. I’m proud to lead an agency that works so consistently to make sure all kids have access to healthy food and safe places to play,” says Danielle.
Vice President, Policy
Beth leads efforts to shape policies in government, schools and businesses so that everyone has opportunities to make healthy choices wherever they are. She works closely with community leaders, political officials and many other organizations to improve the regional food system and built environment in the Kansas City metro area.
Beth came on board in 2010 to serve as the Greater KC Food Policy Coalition’s director. In that role, she is responsible for advancing the coalition’s policy agenda and creating a presence for the coalition through regional food system activities.
“First and foremost, I’m an advocate for increased opportunities for everyone,” Beth says.
Advocacy and policy have always been at the heart of Beth’s work, whether she was serving the Missouri Pro Vote as a community organizer, Hope House as a social worker or her constituents as an elected official.
During her three terms as a Missouri State Representative (January 2005- January 2011) she served on several committees and earned a number of Outstanding Legislator awards from the Missouri Bar Association, Missouri Judicial Conference, Heartland Multiple Sclerosis Society and Partnership for Children. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, as well as numerous other civic and community organizations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Missouri.
Lucinda Noches Talbert
Vice President, Operations
Lucinda oversees the day-to-day workings of KC Healthy Kids, including general office operations, financial management, human resources, IT support and fund development. She started at KC Healthy Kids in 2013 to lay the foundation and secure grant funding for programs like Champions for Health, Healthy Communities Initiative and Farm to School Academy.
She has nearly 20 years of management experience in program planning, grant writing and fund development at government and non-profit organizations in Kansas and Missouri. She has served as treasurer of Riverview Health Clinic and currently serves on the Board of the Nettleton Foundation.
Lucinda continually strives to provide excellence in leadership. She is a 2014 graduate of the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City Leadership Academy and a 2011 graduate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership Program. In 2018, she received a volunteer of the year award from United Way of Wyandotte County.
Lucinda holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is originally from Topeka, Kansas and has lived in the Kansas City metropolitan area for 15 years.
“I believe health is a human right, not a privilege. At KC Healthy Kids, I can align that belief and apply my skills toward our efforts to create a more equitable system and healthier society overall,” Lucinda says.
Committees and Affiliations
Nettleton Foundation Board of Directors, Since 2012
Upsilon Rho Omega Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Since 2016
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership Program, 2011
Riverview Health Services Board of Directors, 2012-2018
Director, Youth Initiatives
Michelle joined the KC Healthy Kids team in 2014. In her role as the Youth Initiatives Director, she creates resources for schools and community organizations to empower students to speak out for healthy schools and communities. As a classroom teacher for 6 years, she is intimately familiar with the challenges facing teachers, students and schools when it comes to promoting a healthy lifestyle.
In her current role, Michelle oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of the Champions for Health and Walking detective programs as well as serving as the event chair for the annual youth summit.
Michelle received both her Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University where upon graduation, she received the Outstanding Educator Award, which is presented to the graduate student in secondary education with the most outstanding professional promise. She is currently an active member of the and CoRPs, Commodore Recruitment Program, alumni volunteer.
“KC Healthy Kids’ approach to youth initiatives allows me translate my teaching experience into programs, services and products that can help everyone in the school community speak out for what they need,” Michelle says.
As creative director, Heather oversees communications for KC Healthy Kids. She also builds strategic partnerships with artists and arts organizations to encourage broader civic and community involvement around our policy and programmatic priorities. Heather’s big-picture thinking paired with a strategic focus and collaborative approach allow her to effectively work across channels and with diverse partners to advance the organization’s mission.
Before coming to KC Healthy Kids, Heather worked for the American School Health Association, the Missouri Coordinated School Health Coalition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, and other health-focused organizations. She also spent 10 years developing product at Hallmark Cards, where she led creative teams in the development of gift and stationery products, music collections, and seasonal cards, including licensed products like Harry Potter, American Girl and classics like Peanuts, Winnie the Pooh and Mattel characters. She also established Hallmark’s grassroots EcoTeam, which is now supported by the company’s social responsibility department.
“As a longtime advocate for local food, I’m thrilled to be putting my creative communications skills to work for KC Healthy Kids’ mission. Our staff and partners are doing amazing work and they make it easy to share the results of their talent and hard work with our communities,” Heather said.
2019 Philly Awards, Marketing Campaign, Gold
2017 Philly Awards, Media Relations, Silver
2016 Philly Awards, with Dazium Design, Award of Distinction
Director, Kansas Alliance for Wellness
As director of Kansas Alliance for Wellness, Miranda supports local food policy councils and alliance partners across the state in order to help them increase access to healthy affordable food and build robust local food economies in Kansas communities.
Miranda comes to us from The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, based in the Washington DC area. There, she managed and directed significant community-based research initiatives in communities across the US and abroad. Miranda holds an MS in health and social policy from University College Cork-Ireland and an MA in communications and public engagement from Kansas State University. As Kansas’ first US-Ireland Alliance Mitchell Scholar, her research focused on SNAP policy and local responses to food insecurity.
While at K State, Miranda worked for the Center for Engagement and Community Development, chaired the Junction City Food Policy Council and co-founded Live Well Geary County. She draws upon these firsthand experiences as she supports Kansas councils in leading community-driven food systems change.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a team of brilliant people with the knowledge and drive necessary to create sustainable change at the local and state levels. I’m honored to put my experience with coalitions and local food systems to work here at KC Healthy Kids in order to create a more healthy and equitable Kansas,” Miranda says.
Affiliations & Awards
Kansas Healthy Food Initiative Advisory Board Member
George J. Mitchell Scholar
South Central Nebraska YWCA Tribute! Woman, 2015.
Rachael McGinnis Millsap
Director, Farm to Institution
As director of the farm to institution programming, Rachael works with local growers, distributors and schools districts to make fresh, locally grown foods more available to students. She also builds crucial partnerships and provides training to empower districts to overcome barriers to serving local food.
She helped found the Johnson County Food Policy Council and has served as vice chair since 2017. She also chairs the council’s Local Food Development Work Group.
Rachael has a long career of bringing about social change through agriculture. She spent nine years as nutrition and gardening educator for the University of Missouri Extension and was director of the Eating from the Garden program in Jackson County, which taught gardening and nutrition concepts to elementary students. Through KC Healthy Kids’ partnership with Community Housing of Wyandotte County, Rachael operates Splitlog Farm and Orchard, which is owned by the housing agency.
“Schools and communities have a huge potential to address health disparities by reinventing themselves as places that promote healthy eating and active living and educate families about healthy food,” she says.
Rachael graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors in Plant Science and received her Masters in social work from UMKC. She stays active in that field by facilitating direct intervention and group counseling at a local medical center on a part time basis.
She holds a certificate from Community Development Academy, a series of intensive, experiential courses offered by the University of Missouri Extension Community Development Program.
Other Committees & Appointments
National Farm to School Network Kansas Core Partner, 2017-2019
Farm to School Consultant, Lawrence Public Schools, Since 2017
Dr. Nancy Osborn
Contact Dr. Osborn
Dr. Nancy Osborn is the in-house psychologist for KC Healthy Kids. For more than two decades, she has provided individual and family therapy to thousands of youth and their families who are managing issues associated with trauma or who meet the criteria of autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, or mood disorder.
A trainer in mental health first aid, youth mental health first aid and trauma-informed care, Dr. Osborn is frequently the featured speaker at educational workshops and in-service trainings for health providers, educators, hospital and residential treatment professionals, criminal justice personnel, social service specialists, faith-based organizations and families across the Midwest.
Skilled at providing a variety of trauma-based interventions including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy, Dr. Osborn holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas.
Director of Grants and Quality Improvement
As our resident data analyst, Gina works to embed evaluative thinking across programs. She has nearly a decade of evaluation expertise, with specific skills in design, implementation and analysis. Gina also provides critical support to staff in preparing grant proposals and reports.
Gina’s background is in health and social services, specifically in assessment of locally-funded non-profit initiatives. This includes evaluating advocacy and policy efforts as well as social justice programming.
She has served as a grants and advocacy administrator, preparing local and state grant proposals for children’s services, mental health, education and substance use services. She designs programs and works to secure the funding to sustain them. She actively engages funders, elected officials, media, stakeholders and the general public in policy issues.
Gina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She completed the Grantsmanship Training Program in 2017 and plans to continue her education in public health to strengthen her skills from a community-based perspective.
“I am dedicated to finding ways to help people improve the health and wellbeing in their communities. My role at KC Healthy Kids is challenging and incredibly rewarding in that aspect,” Gina says.
Policy & Planning Manager
Andrea is dedicated to creating healthy, sustainable and equitable communities through research, advocacy and planning. As a member of the policy team and former KCHK intern, her work addresses the connections between access to healthy food, safe places to play and the built environment.
She found her way to urban planning through social and cultural studies, which continue to shape her understanding of cities and the communities within them. She has extensive research experience and training in human-centered design. Her graduate degrees are in Urban Planning, American Studies and Sociology.
“I love taking academic or professional research and translating it into resources and tools people can use to plan and build their own communities.”
American Planning Association Food Systems Division Member, Since 2020
AICP Candidate, Since 2017
As case manager, Luis conducts bi-annual child/family mental health screenings, connects families to resources and services in their communities, helps teachers and families build upon their strengths, and supports early care and education centers to increase the quality of their programs
Prior to joining KC Healthy Kids, Luis was a case manager at Sheffield Place. There, he provided trauma counseling to homeless mothers and their children and connected them with resources they needed to become self-sufficient.
Luis has also been a case manager in south Florida, where he helped youth and families with complex needs achieve a better life through coordinated plans based on their strengths, cultures and preferences. He was successful in promoting the safety, wellbeing and permanency of children in the Child Welfare System who had been identified as unsafe through classroom and field based assessments.
Luis holds a bachelor’s degree in social science & criminology with a minor in Spanish from Kansas State University.
“Throughout my career, I’ve worked with kids and their families to promote safety and wellbeing. KC Healthy Kids allows me to leverage my background and expertise and demonstrate my commitment to helping others,” Luis says.
Educator, Farm to Institution
As farm to institution educator, Ashly provides resources and peer-to-peer support to help schools and early childhood education centers implement farm to school curricula and increase local food purchases.
She also manages Splitlog Farm and Orchard and helps restaurants, catering businesses, hospital and worksite cafeterias, farmers, producers and other stakeholders increase local food purchases while operating sustainable kitchens and using best practices for local food purchasing.
Ashly holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications from Park University and is trained in regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming practices. Through her experience in the service industry she gained first-hand knowledge of the mechanisms needed to put local food into local restaurants and built relationships with chefs and restaurant owners throughout Kansas City.
“After partnering with KC Healthy Kids at Splitlog Farm in 2019, I realized this organization had a mission very much aligned with my own passions for local food and educational outreach,” Ashly says.
Affiliations and Certifications
KCK Farmers Market Board of Directors
Permaculture Design Certification, 2019
Food Safety Modernization Act Certification, 2020
Executive Administrative Assistant
As executive administrative assistant, Markesia supports all aspects of KC Healthy Kids’ work by organizing internal activities as well as external meetings and events. She also maintains accounts payable/receivable and provides key support to our fund development team.
Markesia has 8 years’ experience in child care and a strong desire to serve her community. She has managed a successful freelance career in makeup artistry since 2008 and is active in a local food pantry ministry.
“I feel impassioned and inspired by what we do here,” Markesia says. “As someone who grew up in Wyandotte County, I know what it’s like to live in a place where healthy food isn’t available to everyone,” Markesia says.
Recurrent Meningitis Association Board of Directors, Since 2018
David P. Ross
Consultant, Business & Fund Development
David Ross has been with KC Healthy Kids since the very beginning. His main responsibility is raising funds to support KC Healthy Kids’ efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
David has been instrumental in acquiring the organization’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding, hiring core staff in the organization and developing school-based programs.
Before joining the organization, David spent 38 years with Bank of America. In that time he managed the bank’s charitable trust department.