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How Your Dollars Make Miracles 

The Pediatrics Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center is proud to be the local CMN Hospital in the Greater Kansas City area. The funds raised through CMN events go directly to fund pediatric research initiatives taking place exclusively at KU Medical Center. In addition, funds help sick and injured children being treated at the University of Kansas Health System. These dollars are used to pay for charitable care, equipment, supplies and educational programs.

Meet Ashley Dugan, Director of Mental and Behavioral Health Operations

Ashley DuganChildren’s Miracle Network is proud to partner with Ashely Dugan and the wonderful staff at Marillac to fund important pediatric mental healthcare initiatives. Ashley has a servant's heart and a passion for spreading the message of the importance of mental and behavioral health.

Originally from Wichita, Ashley began her journey in the mental health field after working at a local mental health center with children over a summer while in college. After starting that job, she switched her major from marketing to social work at Pittsburg State University and has continued to work in the pediatric mental health space ever since. She attended The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She obtained a master’s degree in social work in 2014 and is currently working on completing a Master of Health Services Administration from KU Medical Center.

Ashley joined Marillac in 2014 as a Mental and Behavioral Health Admissions and Assessment Manager and as of January, has been promoted to the Director of Mental and Behavioral Health Operations at both The University of Kansas Health System Marillac and Strawberry Hill campuses. The Strawberry Hill campus provides adults with inpatient behavioral health hospitalization while the Marillac campus focuses on inpatient mental health care for children ages 4 to 17.

Every day at Marillac, Ashley sees firsthand the toll that mental illnesses and behavioral challenges have on pediatric patients and their families. These patients are admitted in a time of crisis and because of the amazing continuum of care they receive along with the support of dedicated medical staff, Ashely sees firsthand the transformation of patients who leave as she states, “with a smile on their face and a heart filled with hope.” To Ashley, this is not only the very best feeling but the most rewarding part of her job. She also works hard to ensure that equitable care can be accessed at a rate that is affordable for everyone. Although it is a challenge, it is one she will never stop fighting for.

Children’s Miracle Network has funded a variety of projects at the Marillac campus, including a guitar lab to help patients express themselves through music, iPads to aid in communication and engagement in treatments as well as a staff relaxation room to give staff some time to rejuvenate. Ashley is always willing and ready to share the work of Marillac with our CMN partners and show them firsthand the difference their fundraising is making in the lives of every child who walks through their doors.

In her free time, Ashley loves spending time with her parents in Toronto, Kansas. Together, they enjoy boating, gardening, tending to their chickens, and harvesting pecans from their 100-year-old pecan orchard. She has the privilege and joy of being an aunt to her best friend’s girls, Violet and Rose. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and 4-year-old Mega Mutt named Maverick who is full of personality.

Thank you, Ashley, for being such an amazing CMN advocate!

Dr Katie PicChildren’s Miracle Network Helps Fund Local Down Syndrome Research

Each year, the funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network campaigns and programs helps to fund patient care services for families treated at The University of Kansas Health System and ground-breaking research projects taking place on the KU Medical Center campus.  Beginning in late 2023, Children’s Miracle Network funding will be supporting cutting-edge research specifically focused on Trisomy 21, “Down Syndrome.”

This innovative and collaborative laboratory at KU Medical Center is led by Dr. Katie Waugh, Ph.D.  Dr. Waugh currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at KU Medical Center and head of an innovative and collaborative research laboratory on campus. She earned her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Colorado – School of Medicine at National Jewish Health.   

Her motivation to research Down Syndrome specifically came when she was writing her thesis and their apartment was condemned for mold.  The symptoms she and her husband experienced were very different from what her brother-in-law, who was living with them at the time and diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was experiencing.  So, she began looking for information about how to best help him.  Disappointed that she could find nothing she was comfortable using, she decided to do something about it, which led to a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. 

Dr. Waugh and her husband are excited to be back in the Kansas City area, surrounded by extended family, including her brother-in-law, Randy, to continue her research initiatives that could significantly improve the lives of people born with Down Syndrome.  

Thank You Sarpino’s

SarpinosOur friends from Sarpino’s in Westport have been making special monthly pizza deliveries to the Pediatric Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the NICU at The University of Kansas Health System for almost 5 years!  For Sarpino’s, it is a way to give back and provide patients, families, and medical staff a treat to look forward to each month.

“Sarpino’s pizza donations to our patients and families are fueling comfort and support to them.  There are opportunities where families may meet and greet each other during this time, feeling a sense of community in a stressful and vulnerable time” shared Kaylee Boyle, Nurse Manager for the Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. As she’s seen firsthand, there is just something about pizza that always fuels excitement and fun for everyone on the unit, and for that outcome, we couldn’t be more grateful to Sarpino’s for their continued generosity and kindness.

Fundraising Corner

CMN Has Grateful Hearts

Children’s Miracle Network was honored to be named as one of four beneficiaries for the 2023 and 2024 Parade of Hearts. We are thrilled to be a part of this amazing community event and eager to see the incredible work of HEARTS showcased throughout our city. For more information, please visit:


Ampersand ShirtsWe are excited to once again partner with Ampersand Design Studio to celebrate the miracles we make at CMN, this year for a Children’s Miracle Network Apparel Collection! The mini-collection will include soft-style, light-weight tees and sweatshirts, in a range of colors to choose from. Check our website and social media for the launch of the collection coming soon!

All Partner Rally

In April, we hosted our inaugural CMN All Partner Rally to celebrate all the fundraising accomplishments of our local corporate partners and programs that host campaigns and events throughout the year to fundraise for KU Medical Center. Over 200 guests gathered to hear about the impact that their dollars are making, share fundraising tips and tricks with other partners, and hear stories from hospital representatives and Miracle Kids treated at KUMC!

Congratulations to our 2023 award winners presented at the All Partner Rally:

Change Maker Award – Verne Zugenbuler and Leo Sebus, You Are the Bomb Award – Shaun Ashley & Jonathan Epps, Team of the Year Award – Walmart Neighborhood Market #6500 (state the location so people know), Partner of the Year Award – Love’s Travel Stops, Innovator Award – Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Westlake Ace Hardware Store Support Center, Top Fundraising Location Award – 1st Place: RE/MAX Heritage, 2nd Place: Costco Wholesale #349, 3rd Place: Costco Wholesale #369, Top Fundraising Partner Award – 1st Place: Walmart & Sam’s Club ($445,580), 2nd Place: Westlake Ace Hardware ($229,887), 3rd Place: Costco Wholesale Corp. ($205,178), Lifetime Fundraising Awards – Paul Post, Roofers Local #20  ($32,609), Shaun Ashley, RE/MAX Heritage ($17,780), Leo Sebus, RE/MAX Heritage ($25,170), Carie Averill, RE/MAX Heritage ($18,900)

Congratulations to our Extra Life participants winning Lifetime Fundraising Achievement Levels:

Level 4: Jessie Bledsoe ($116,939), Level 3: JT Galloway ($83,678), Level 2: Dan Ryckert ($42,222), Lora Williams ($39,409), Michael Oliver ($31,573), Level 1: Eric Skeeballiello ($24,623), Andrew Cook ($19,583), Hunter Smith ($15,993), Holly Miller ($12,182), Brie Clemens ($10,620)

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Children's Miracle Network KC Heartland

Children’s Miracle Network KC Heartland
P.O. Box 3245
Kansas City, KS 66103
Phone: 913-588-9100
Fax: 913-588-9101