To recognize Kansas leaders working to improve the health and well-being of Kansans and to honor the visionary leadership of our founding president, in 2018 we began presenting an annual award – the Kim Moore Visionary Leadership Award – to an individual demonstrating exceptional leadership and dedication in one of our strategic funding areas. For 2020, we selected the field of early childhood development.
In Kansas, we’re fortunate to have many visionary leaders working to ensure our children enjoy the best possible start in life and have every chance to grow up happy, healthy, and equipped for success in school and life. The number of nominations we received is a testament to the great work and strong leadership Kansas enjoys in the early childhood field, and made it difficult to choose just one for this year’s award.
On behalf of the directors and team at the Health Fund we are excited to honor Deanna Berry, Executive Director of Russell Child Development Center, as the 2020 Kim Moore Visionary Leadership Award recipient for her work to advance the field of early childhood development in Kansas.
Ms. Berry has been advancing early intervention and education for more than 20 years, leading early childhood initiatives with a strong vision and voice informed by her comprehensive understanding of multiple communities and complex local, state, and national systems as well as current research and emerging trends in early childhood. Throughout her career, Deanna has continually and consistently looked for ways to meet the needs of children and families of all backgrounds and abilities so that young children can thrive.
Through Deanna’s leadership, Russell Child Development Center (RCDC) has become a tremendous resource for Kansas children and families, delivering multiple quality early childhood programs throughout rural and frontier counties encompassing nearly 16,000 square miles and serving as a trusted voice in the field, sharing knowledge and experience with the rest of the state for the benefit of all.
RCDC provides tiny-k (Part C Special Education) services in thirteen southwest Kansas counties, and is the recipient of Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) funds enabling programs such as Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), Growing Together, and Learn & Play groups to be provided in 19 Kansas counties. RCDC also provides ABC (Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up), Child and Adult Food Program, and Targeted Case Management. Deanna oversees all of these programs.
Thanks to Deanna’s leadership, vision, and work, many families in southwest Kansas have become stronger, many children have received the appropriate services they needed to become successful, and all of this will ensure a brighter future in Kansas.Back to All News