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

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

Heather Harlan sits in a radio booth. She sits at a microphone and wears black-rimmed glasses and a red, velvet blazer.
Jonah McKeown / KBIA

Heather Harlan is prevention specialist and adolescent counselor at Phoenix Health Programs in Columbia. She says addiction to drugs like alcohol and tobacco often stems from childhood trauma, and substance use disorders can make it difficult for those experiencing homelessness, in particular, to get help.

She spoke about the importance of primary prevention for substance use disorders and about the challenges these disorders can create for those experiencing homelessness and their families.

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

This week on Intersection we bring you a special on homelessness 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 and the Vice Chair of the Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness.

Smith was also joined by Teresa and Frankie Graham, the resident manager and a longtime volunteer at Harvest House – a local homeless shelter in Boonville.

They spoke about the state of homelessness in Missouri, how homelessness looks the same and different in rural and urban areas, what is being done to combat the problem and what individuals can do to help.

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

Teresa Graham, left, has long dark hair. She wears a black and red coat. Frankie Graham, right, has short gray hair and a trimmed gray beard. He wears a gray shirt and darker gray jacket.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Teresa and Frankie Graham work with Harvest House, the local homeless shelter in Boonville. Teresa has been the resident manager since May, and Frankie is a longtime volunteer.

They spoke about the sometimes forgotten or overlooked needs of a shelter and what individuals can do to help fight homelessness – sometimes just calling the local homeless shelter to find out exactly what they need.

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

Robert Nickles wears a grey sweatshirt and has a medium gray beard. He also has on a black Mizzou ball cap and looks into the camera.
Jonah McKeown / KBIA

Robert Nickles lives in Columbia. He was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and has undergone numerous medical procedures throughout his life - including a colostomy. But there’s a major barrier standing between Robert and a healthy existence: Robert is homeless.

In his own words, he has lived a life that “most people wouldn’t understand.” Robert spoke with KBIA’s Jonah McKeown about the stigma surrounding homelessness and about the barriers he faces getting healthcare.

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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