Rebecca Smith

Health Reporter

Rebecca Smith is a reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. She was born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, and graduated with degrees in Journalism and Chemistry from Truman State University in May 2014. Rebecca comes to KBIA from St. Louis Public Radio, where she worked as the news intern and covered religion, neighborhood growth and the continued unrest in Ferguson, MO.

Ways to Connect

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Rebekah Hasty from Richland, Missouri, traveled nearly four hours to Pere Marquette state park outside Grafton, Illinois. She had brought her partner, Shane Worley, as well as their two grandchildren, Symphony and Jimi, to a regional family meetup for individuals affected by Zellweger Spectrum Disorder.

There were many activities planned that weekend including a river cruise, art projects and simply sitting around and talking about family members who are affected by this rare disorder.   

Laura Goddard, left, wears a gray t-shirt, has long dirty blonde hair and smiles into the camera. Leona Greer, right, wears a blue patterned shirt and a light pink headscarf and smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Leona Greer and Laura Goddard both work at the Randolph County Health Department in Moberly. Leona is the Nutrition, Breastfeeding and WIC Coordinator, and Laura is the lead secretary in the clinic.

They spoke about how programs like the new “Babies at Work” program the health department is piloting could benefit other families and other businesses.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

Laura Goddard, left, wears a gray t-shirt, has long dirty blonde hair and smiles into the camera. Leona Greer, right, wears a blue patterned shirt and a light pink headscarf and smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Leona Greer and Laura Goddard both work at the Randolph County Health Department in Moberly. Leona is the Nutrition, Breastfeeding and WIC Coordinator, and Laura is the lead secretary in the clinic.

Laura has an infant daughter, Anna, that she was able to bring to work with her for the first several months through the new “Babies at Work” program that the health department is piloting.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Grethen Maune, left, wears a bright purple shirt and smiles into the camera. DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, right, wears a brown knit cardigan and smiles.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega and Gretchen Maune, who’s a friend of mine, both live in Columbia and are blind.

They recently spoke about some of their health conditions that exist separately from their blindness and about some of the additional barriers they come up against in the health care system as a result of their disability. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Glen Moritz, left, wears a green-striped polo and black rimmed rectangular glasses. Tamarr Maclin, rights, wears a gray t-shirt, has a close-shaved black beard and wears black rimmed glasses. They smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Glen Moritz and Tamarr Maclin live in Kirksville and run an organization called “AM Housing,” which was named after and inspired by Glen’s son, Andrew, who passed away from cancer.

They are working toward opening a homeless shelter in town and said they have encountered some obstacles while trying to open this shelter.

They spoke about how they are working to spread awareness in their community, and about what they want the shelter to be like once they open their doors.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Glen Moritz, left, wears a green-striped polo and black rimmed rectangular glasses. Tamarr Maclin, rights, wears a gray t-shirt, has a close-shaved black beard and wears black rimmed glasses. They smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Glen Moritz and Tamarr Maclin live in Kirksville and run an organization called “AM Housing,” which is named after Glen's son, Andrew, who died of cancer at 33. They are working toward opening a homeless shelter in town. 

They spoke about the things that have motivated them to work in the field of rural homelessness.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Samantha Dyroff, left, wears a gray sweatshirt and has dark brown hair. Megan Anderson, right, wears a gray, long-sleeved athletic shirt and has light blonde hair. They smile into the camera.
Landon Jones / KBIA

Samantha Dyroff and Megan Anderson are both medical students at the University of Missouri. They both work with MedZou, a student-run health clinic here in town. When we spoke to them, Megan was a second-year student and the transgender health coordinator, and Samantha was a first-year medical student and ran the specialty services for MedZou.

They spoke about some of misconceptions others have about the patients they work with through the recently opened specialty clinic that offers free and inclusive healthcare to transgender Missourians and about some of the barriers to care that their patients who are transgender can face.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Samantha Dyroff, left, wears a gray sweatshirt and has dark brown hair. Megan Anderson, right, wears a gray, long-sleeved athletic shirt and has light blonde hair. They smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Megan Anderson and Samantha Dyroff are both medical students at the University of Missouri. They both work with MedZou, a student-run health clinic here in town. When we spoke to them, Megan was a second-year student and the transgender health coordinator, and Samantha was a first-year medical student and ran the specialty services for MedZou.

They spoke about a recently opened specialty clinic at MedZou that offers free and inclusive healthcare for transgender Missourians, and about what that clinic has meant to some of their patients. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

Samantha Dyroff, left, wears a gray sweatshirt and has dark brown hair. Megan Anderson, right, wears a gray, long-sleeved athletic shirt and has light blonde hair. They smile into the camera.
Landon Jones / KBIA

Megan Anderson and Samantha Dyroff are both medical students at the University of Missouri. They also both work with MedZou, a student-run health clinic here in town, and hold positions within the organization. They spoke about some of the barriers – including insurance coverage – that their patients face. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Matthew Huffman, left, wears a plaid button-down and round black-rimmed glasses. Virginia Mohammed, right, wears a black shirt and cardigan. She has shoulder length blonde hair. They both smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Virginia Mohammed and Matthew Huffman both work at the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Virginia is the advocacy coordination specialist at the Coalition, and Matthew is the public affairs director.

Virginia works with programs designed for individuals convicted of domestic violence crimes - called Batterer Intervention programs. She and Matthew spoke about their hopes for five years from now - when it comes to the state of domestic and sexual violence in Missouri. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Grethen Maune, left, wears a bright purple shirt and her service dog, Keeper, a Golden Retriever, sits at her feet. DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, right, wears a brown knit cardigan and her service dog, Enzo, a German Shepard, lies at her feet. They all smile
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega and Gretchen Maune, who’s a friend of mine, both live in Columbia and are blind.

They spoke about some of the additional complications and costs that can come along with their adaptive technologies – i.e. their service dogs. For DeAnna, that’s Enzo, a German Shepard, and for Gretchen, Keeper, a Golden Retriever. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Dawn Day stands in front of a bright blue wall. She has long blonde hair, wears a black blouse and a cross necklace. She smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Dawn Day is a sexual assault nurse examiner or SANE nurse and the sexual assault program coordinator at the Mercy hospital in Springfield.

She spoke about the stress it can put on nurses to take care of patients who are victims of sexual assault, and a little bit about how she and others deal with those stressors.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Natalie Maupin stands in front of a bright blue wall. She wears a black sweater and a blue, beaded necklace. She has long blonde hair and smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Natalie Maupin is a sexual assault nurse examiner and the forensic program coordinator at Mosaic Life Care medical center in St. Joseph.

She spoke about some of the work she does with victims of assault, and about ways others can be more aware of the traumatic events these victims have experienced.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week on Intersection, we bring you a special from Missouri Health Talks. Health reporter Rebecca Smith spoke with Jennifer Carter Dochler, the Public Policy Director for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) and one of the facilitators of the MO-SART, or Missouri Sexual Assault Response Team.

Grethen Maune, left, wears a bright purple shirt and her service dog, Keeper, a Golden Retriever, sits at her feet. DeAnna Quietwater Noriega, right, wears a brown knit cardigan and her service dog, Enzo, a German Shepard, lies at her feet. They all smile
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Gretchen Maune and DeAnna Quietwater Noriega are friends who live here in Columbia, and Gretchen’s actually been a friend of mine for several years.  

Gretchen and Deanna are both blind, and they spoke about the first time they met – now many years ago - at a support group. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

Devin Hursey, left, wears a patterned gray sweater, has a light beard and smiles into the camera. Jannis Evans, right, wears a floral-patterned top, large silver earrings and has short, white hair. She also smiles into the camera.
Landon Jones / KBIA

Jannis Evans and Devin Hursey both work in the HIV treatment and prevention field and have served on committees advocating for people with HIV in Missouri and across the country.

They sat down at this month’s Legislative Advocacy Day sponsored by the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition where they both were advocating for changes to Missouri’s HIV criminal laws, and they spoke about some of the reasons HIV impacts communities of color at a higher rate.  

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Kimberly Ruiz, left, stands over a head lower than her partner, Lonnie Kessler, right. She wears dark, black-rimmed glasses, they both wear bright green NORML shirts and smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Lonnie Kessler and Kimberly Ruiz are a couple who live in Moberly, Missouri. Lonnie has intractable epilepsy and Kimberly is a disabled vet, and they both advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.

They sat down at the Little Dixie Regional Library in Moberly and spoke about what motivates them to be advocates. 

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

Matthew Huffman, left, wears round, black-rimmed glasses and a flannel shirt. Gail Reynoso, right, wears a pastel-colored patterned blouse and a light pink cardigan. They both stand in front of a bright blue background and smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Gail Reynoso and Matthew Huffman both work at the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Gail has worked with numerous refugee and immigrant women throughout her career.

They spoke about the additional barriers to care that exist for these immigrant and refugee survivors of violence.

This conversation does cover some tough subjects and a racial slur is included in the audio. It may not be appropriate for everyone.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Kimberly Ruiz, left, stands over a head lower than her partner, Lonnie Kessler, right. She wears dark, black-rimmed glasses, they both wear bright green NORML shirts and smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Lonnie Kessler and Kimberly Ruiz are a couple that lives in Moberly. Lonnie has intractable epilepsy and Kimberly is a disabled vet – and they both advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.

They sat down at the Little Dixie Regional Library in Moberly, and spoke about their relationship and about how both of them having disabilities has influenced and strengthened their relationship.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Debbie Vance, left, smiles into the camera and wears a green MOMOM shirt and an orange vest. Her husband, David Vance, also wears a green MOMOM shirt and smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Debbie and David Vance have both been volunteering at the annual MOMOM, or Missouri Mission of Mercy, for years. MOMOM is a once a year, two-day dental clinic providing free care for anyone who’s willing to wait in line. It’s in a different place every year, and this year’s 6th annual event was held in Joplin, Missouri.

They spoke about their experiences volunteering at the events and about the importance of educating their patients about oral health care’s effect on overall health.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Chuck Graham, left, wears a gray shirt and smiles into the camera. His brother, Drew Graham, right, wears a blue shirt and sits in a bright blue power scooter. He also smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Brothers Drew and Chuck Graham live in Columbia. Chuck has been paraplegic since an accident in his youth, and Drew has been quadriplegic for nearly as long. They spoke about their issues with physical access in the Columbia community and about some of the tough decisions they are forced to make.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Bill Gordon lives in Sedalia, Missouri. He spoke at the “Breaking it Down: Homelessness in Missouri” event that KBIA and Missouri Heath Talks hosted at Café Berlin on December 6.

Bill shared his personal experiences with homelessness – having been homeless in Columbia in the 90s and being a graduate of Welcome Home, a group that assists homeless veterans here in town.

Here he reflects on how his time being homeless changed him.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Jennifer Simmons, right, wears an orange jacket. She sits behind her son, Hunter, who wears a green shirt. They both have the same blonde hair and are smiling.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Casey and Jennifer Simmons live in Devil’s Elbow, a tiny unincorporated town in Pulaski County. Their son Hunter has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

They shared their favorite Hunter stories and spoke about why you should never let others put limits on what your child can accomplish.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Jim Jantz looks into the camera. He has a goatee, wears glasses and a multi-colored sweater.
Jonah McKeown / KBIA

The cold winter months can be especially hard for people experiencing homelessness, but the faith communities in Columbia have collaborated to provide an emergency winter shelter since 2008, hosted at various churches around the city – called Room at the Inn.

Jim Jantz and Rockie Alden, who both work with Room at the Inn, spoke about the health issues their guests most often face, as well as the importance of treating everyone with dignity.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

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