Rebecca Smith | KBIA

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

Jack Ramsey, left, wears a navy sweater and kneels next to his wife, Evelyn Ramsey, right, who is seated and wears a gray sweatshirt.
Will Robinson / KBIA

Evelyn and Jack Ramsey live in rural Lincoln County. About half an hour from Troy, Missouri, which has a population of about 12,500 people.

Evelyn used to work as a nurse and Jack in avionics at McDonnell Douglas. They spoke about some of the struggles with access to emergency health care that exist in rural Missouri.

Derek Landes, left, wears glasses and a yellow plaid shirt. Cale Mitchell, right, wears clear-framed glasses and a yellow plaid shirt.
Veronica Mohesky / KBIA

Derek Landes and Cale Mitchell both work at Spectrum Health Care here in Columbia. Derek is a prevention educator and health services coordinator and Cale is the executive director.

They spoke about antibiotic resistant STIs and what simple steps people can take to keep themselves and their partners safe. These STIs have not been found in Missouri, but have been seen in some areas around the United States. 

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

Janet Saidi / KBIA

Kelly Slater, Casey Smith and Matthew Huffman were all guests in October on KBIA's Intersection. You can here that longer interview hosted by KBIA reporter Kassidy Arena – here.

Kelly and Casey are both college students – Kelly is an online student at Arizona State University and Casey is a student at the University of Missouri, and Matthew is with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

They spoke about resilience after sexual assault and how to rebuild oneself after experiencing trauma.

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

Derek Landes, left, wears glasses and a yellow plaid shirt. Cale Mitchell, right, wears clear-framed glasses and a yellow plaid shirt.
Veronica Mohesky / KBIA

Derek Landes and Cale Mitchell both work at Spectrum Health Care here in Columbia. Derek is a prevention educator and health services coordinator and Cale is the executive director.

They spoke about the rise of STIs in Columbia and how people can work to reduce those numbers.

Deanna Terrien, left, has short brown hair and large gold hoop earrings. Wanda Kelley, right, has long dark brown hair and freckles.
Olivia Love / KBIA

Deanna Terrien and Wanda Kelley are sisters who live in Jackson, Missouri. Several years ago, Deanna was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

They spoke about some of the different ways the disease has impacted her body, and about how exhausting it was to get a diagnosis in the first place.

This piece was reported and produced by Olivia Love.

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

Jannis Evans, left, wears a gray sweatshirt and bright. Red lipstick. Lynne Meyerkord, right, wears a floral blouse and glasses. They stand in front of a large “Empower Missouri” banner.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Jannis Evans and Lynne Meyerkord both work in HIV advocacy. Jannis is the longtime advocate for people living with HIV and used to work in the field, and Lynne is the Executive Director at the AIDS Project of the Ozarks in Springfield.

I met up with them at the Jefferson City office of Empower Missouri.

They spoke about medications that have changed the way HIV is treated and about some of the people who could most benefit – specifically African American women.

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

Denicia Dwarica, left, wears a gray blouse and has long, dark hair. Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi, right, wears a black turtleneck covered in gold flowers.
Veronica Mohesky / KBIA

Denicia Dwarica is a urogynecologist and Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi is a pediatric urologist at the University of Missouri’s Women’s and Children’s hospital.

They spoke about some of the common myths and misconceptions about urinary tract infections, or UTIs, during November – which happens to be Bladder Health Month.

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

Jessica Trussell, left, has long, dark hair and is wearing a black and white checkered shirt. Amy Bartells, right, wears glasses and a bright yellow blouse.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week’s Missouri Health Talks is a collaboration with Vox Magazine.

Jessica Trussell and Amy Bartels are both human development and family science specialists with the University of Missouri Extension. Jessica in Livingston County – Chillicothe – and Amy in Camden County.

They both teach a class called mental health first aid – essentially a training that gives adults tools to use to help identify mental health crises and connect others with resources. Amy focuses on teaching people who work with youth in schools.

Dr. Val Farmer, left, has gray hair and wears a dark brown polo shirt. Jason Medows, right, wears a ballcap and a red and blue checkered button-down shirt.
Will Robinson / KBIA

Dr. Val Farmer is a clinical psychologist in Wildwood that specializes in rural mental health, and Jason Medows is a pharmacist and cattle rancher in Rolla.

They spoke about the stigma surrounding mental health in rural communities and some of the ways that all people – not just mental health professionals – are breaking down stigma and promoting good mental health.

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

Lily Kraxberger, left, wears a bright striped T-shirt. Dr. Jennifer Su, right, has on a sleeveless black top.
Veronica Mohesky / KBIA

Dr. Jennifer Su is an OB/GYN in Jefferson City and Lily Kraxberger is a student at the University of Missouri. Lily uses an online service to prescribe and mail her monthly birth control pills.

They spoke about how services like Pill Club and Nurx change the accessibility of birth control.

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

Tagnan Ribaudo, left, is much taller than his mother and holds his arm around her. Michelle Ribaudo, right, wears a T-shirt that says “Advocate like a Mother.”
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Tagnan and Michelle Ribaudo are a mother and son in Columbia. Tagnan is currently in high school and also has high functioning autism. They spoke about some of the struggles Michelle faced when trying to get Tagnan diagnosed with autism as a child.

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

Tagnan Ribaudo, left, is much taller than his mother and holds his arm around her. Michelle Ribaudo, right, wears a T-shirt that says “Advocate like a Mother.”
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Tagnan and Michelle Ribaudo are a mother and son in Columbia. Tagnan is currently in high school and also has high functioning autism. This past spring he spoke to Missouri state legislators about the importance of therapies for people with disabilities.

Dr. John Dane, left, wears a light blue polo and glasses. Gary Harbison, right, wears a dark blue button up and glasses.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week on Intersection we bring you a special on oral health from Missouri Health Talks. KBIA’s Rebecca Smith spoke with Dr. John Dane, the State Dental Director, and Gary Harbison, the Executive Director for the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health.

They followed up on their conversation with Smith in August 2017. They spoke about the current status of oral health care in Missouri, advances that have been made in oral health policy and struggles Missourians still face when it comes to accessing quality, affordable dental care.


Dr. John Dane, left, wears a light blue polo and glasses. Gary Harbison, right, wears a dark blue button up and glasses.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

This week we hear a selection from an interview with Dr. John Dane, the state dental director, and Gary Harbison, the Director of the Missouri Oral Health Coalition. They were guests on KBIA’s Intersection – you can hear that longer interview here.

They spoke about some of the ways that oral health is impacting Missourians and about the relationship between physical and oral health.

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

I have always been a nerd about comic books. I can remember reading issues of X-Men and Teen Titans and whatever I could get my hands on, as a kid. So when I walked into the Univerity of Missouri's Special Collections and Rare Books at Ellis Library and saw four ten-foot tables covered in comics and comic art – I kind of freaked out.

Christina Ingoglia, left, wears a black and red blouse and has bright red hair. Michelle Ribaudo, right, wears a striped shirt, black cardigan and glasses.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Christina Ingoglia and Michelle Ribaudo are both board members for the Missouri Disability Empowerment Foundation, or MoDE Foundation, in Columbia. Christina is the current President and Michelle is the current Vice President of this organization that works to advocate for people with disabilities and promote inclusion. 

They spoke about the use of restraint and seclusion rooms for students with special needs and about the potentially dangerous ramifications of such policies.

Christina Ingoglia, left, wears a black and red blouse and has bright red hair. Michelle Ribaudo, right, wears a striped shirt, black cardigan and glasses.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Christina Ingoglia and Michelle Ribaudo are both board members for the Missouri Disability Empowerment Foundation, or MoDE Foundation, in Columbia. Christina is the current President and Michelle is the current Vice President of this organization that works to advocate for people with disabilities and promote inclusion.

Rebecca / KBIA

An outbreak of Hepatitis A continues to spread across portions of southeast Missouri and is starting to make its way to more populated areas.

The outbreak was first identified in September 2017, but as of July 23, 2019, there have been 378 confirmed cases throughout 33 Missouri Counties. Some of the hardest hit include Butler, Howell and, more recently, Franklin counties.  


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Laurie Hines is the director of the Missouri Kidney Program and a living kidney donor for her partner, Ted.

She spoke at an event hosted by KBIA and Missouri Health Talks at Café Berlin this past winter a little bit about how being involved with a paired kidney transplant has impacted her and her advocacy.

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

Libby Brockman-Knight, left, wears a bright red blazer and smiles into the camera. Gaurav Kulkarni, right, wears a black shirt and multi-colored tie and looks into the camera.
Trevor Hook / KBIA

Libby Brockman-Knight and Gaurav Kulkarni both work at Compass Health Network in Columbia. Brockman- Knight is the Deputy Chief clinical officer of substance use disorder services and Kulkarni is a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction.

Brockman-Knight spoke with Kulkarni about treatment for substance use disorders - specifically alcohol addiction and the numerous barriers that can exist for their patients.

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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