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Leadership Team

The UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) began in the 1970’s as the Institute for Community Studies, establishing Missouri’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) in 1977. Close to a decade later, our name evolved to its present form, but our overall purpose remained constant: identifying and addressing individual, family and community needs with a focus on building long-term capacity.


UMKC IHD has now offered more than four decades of sustained leadership and support for the university’s urban-serving mission. We work with a wide variety of partners across all levels – local, state, regional, and national – tackling persistent challenges people and families face throughout the life span, from infancy to late adulthood. We focus on community inclusion and social belonging for all, striving to improve overall quality of life.

Danielle Chiang

Director of Maternal and Child Health

Danielle Chiang (Ph.D.) is the Director of the Maternal and Child Health Program at UMKC – Institute for Human Development, and oversees several federally, state, and locally funded grants. She has a broad background in applied research, with specific training and expertise in quantitative methods, psychometric evaluation, and research design in psychological and social science.

Her work at IHD focuses on overseeing effective program evaluation, including measures to utilize, effective data collecting procedures, data storage and management, data analysis, generating statistical conclusions, and making proper inferences for data-driven decision-making. She has also been actively involved in facilitating collaboration and partnership, fostering co-learning and capacity building among partners, and leading to a long-term process and commitment to sustainability.

A few of her long-standing projects include the Team for Infants Exposed to Substance Use Project partnering with Children’s Mercy Hospital, the Kansas City Healthy Start Initiative with Nurture KC, the Maternal Health Action Network with Missouri MCH Title V, the Maternal Health Access Project with Department of Mental Health, advancing MCH oral health project with CareQuest, and the health careers pipeline project with UMKC-School of Medicine.

Bryce Starr

Project Coordinator

Bryce Starr (M.S.) is the Project Coordinator for the Missouri Maternal Health Action Network at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Institute for Human Development. He received his Master of Science in Sport Medicine and Exercise Physiology from Western Michigan University (WMU) in 2018.

Bryce has an Associate of Arts in Nursing, Associate of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science – Human Performance. Bryce is also a Certified Wellness Practitioner through the National Wellness Institute.

Bryce is the former Coordinator for Fitness and Wellness at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), and most recently the Research and Project Coordinator for Internal Medicine at the University of Texas: Health Science Center of Houston (UTHealth), McGovern Medical School.

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