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.

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Rebecca Smith / KBIA

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic will retain its license to operate an abortion facility until at least late December.

Following the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) on Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled Wednesday to extend the temporary restraining order until a preliminary injunction hearing could be held.

This ruling prevents the Department from revoking the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic’s license to operate an abortion facility.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

A federal judge, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey, has blocked the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services from revoking the abortion facility license of the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic.

According to the Associated Press, the temporary restraining order will expire Wednesday after another hearing. 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic could potentially lose its license to provide abortion services at midnight on Monday, November 30.

The University of Missouri Health Care System announced in September its “refer and follow” privileges would be discontinued. This category of privileges had been granted to the doctor working with the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, and had allowed the clinic to renew abortion services for the first time since 2012.  

Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

Some University of Missouri students are expressing frustration with the campus chancellor after a Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic stopped performing abortions.

Mizzou for Planned Parenthood organizer Dina van der Zalm said a Wednesday meeting with interim Chancellor Hank Foley to talk about how the school could help the clinic was canceled.

Laura McQuade, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said they received a call Tuesday night informing them that interim Chancellor Foley had no time for the Wednesday meeting.

Bram Sable-Smith/KBIA

Monday, after the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and the announcement that MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin would be stepping down at the end of the year, a video appeared that shows an altercation between members of the press and a group of activists gathered on Carnahan Quadrangle – near the Concerned Student 1950 campsite.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

The University of Missouri Board of Curators has announced that Mike Middleton, an MU deputy chancellor emeritus, will be the interim president for the UM System. 

Middleton replaces Tim Wolfe as UM System President, after Wolfe resigned his position on Monday following calls from students for his resignation and a football team strike. 

Middleton says he hopes he can help the system move forward.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

  On the same day the University of Missouri System president resigned, the chancellor of the Columbia campus has also announced he will be stepping down at the end of the year.

Just hours after UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said he will also be stepping down. 

tim wolfe
Janet Saidi / KBIA

In response to recent protests and controversies, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned from office in a public statement made at the University of Missouri Board of Curators' special meeting Monday morning. 

Prior to the resignation, on Sunday afternoon, a statement from President Wolfe was released by his office, but he did not make an in-person appearance.

tim wolfe
Janet Saidi / KBIA

There was a rush of local and national media attention Sunday after the students of color on the Mizzou Tigers Football team’s Saturday announcement that they would not take part in any “football related activities” until University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed from office due to his “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

On Sunday afternoon, a statement from President Wolfe was released by his office, but he did not make an in-person appearance.

KBIA

Athletes of color on the University of Missouri's football team will no longer be participating in any “football related activities” until the President of the University of Missouri system, Tim Wolfe, either resigns or is removed from office “due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Imagine going to a doctor’s appointment and not knowing how to get to the office, not understanding the complicated health care system and not speaking the language of the health care provider you were seeing.

Well, this can be the case for many new refugees settling in the US, and one Columbia agency, Refugee and Immigration Services, has partnered with senior nursing students from the Sinclair School of Nursing for the past few years, to help bridge those gaps. The Health Navigation Program helps new refugees learn how to efficiently and effectively navigate the health care system.


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

In rural communities, finding transportation to basic health care services can be difficult. So what if instead of making people come to health care – the health care came to them?

Well, the Mobile Mammography Van through Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is working to do just that - bringing preventative mammogram screenings to rural communities.


American Psychiatric Association

The Missouri Health Home program will be receiving a Gold Achievement Award for community-based services on Thursday from the American Psychiatric Association. This is one of four awards given out by the American Psychiatric Association every year to outstanding mental health programs.

Teens may not be the first demographic to come to mind when thinking about solving the problem of domestic and sexual violence, but for Becky Vermeire, who runs a domestic violence agency in rural Missouri, they are key.

“The way that we are going to prevent [domestic violence] is working with our kids,” Vermeire said. “If we are really going to make a dent in what we are doing for the future, it’s that prevention piece.”


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Family Health Center opened back in 1992, and is Columbia’s federally qualified health center, which gets federal funding to assist low-income and medically underserved populations.

Over the years it has expanded to include not just medical services, but also mental health and dental services. And then, more recently, has opened two satellite clinics in rural Missouri – Salisbury and Marceline.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

On the heels of a decision made last Thursday that could leave Columbia - once again - without a doctor able to perform abortions, about 1000 people gathered on the University of Missouri campus Tuesday to voice their support of Planned Parenthood.

Speakers at the event ranged from a religious leader, to politicians, to MU graduate students and Planned Parenthood leadership. This event was a part of a national “Pink Out Day” and similar events were being held around the country.


Talking Politics - Planned Parenthood

Sep 29, 2015
Attorney General's Office

Last Thursday, the University of Missouri Health Care System announced it would be eliminating "refer and follow" privileges.

On the heels of this decision, Attorney General Chris Koster announced Monday the results of his office's investigation into the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic and its handling of fetal tissue.  

Marshall Griffin has the story.


Michaela Tucker / KBIA

The medical abortion services at the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic have been available since August – for the first time since 2012 – but following an announcement made by the University of Missouri Health Care system on Thursday, this may not be the case for much longer.

MU Health Care announced they would be eliminating the “refer and follow” privileges that had been granted to the doctor at Columbia’s Planned Parenthood clinic and one other provider. This decision will be effective December 1, 2015.


Association of American Universities

Nearly 31 percent of University of Missouri female undergraduate students reported being victims of nonconsensual sexual contact involving physical force or incapacitation. This ranges from unwanted kissing to assault.

This was one of the many findings that were released Monday by the Association of American Universities and the University of Missouri. The results were from the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct the AAU conducted last April.

2014-2015 Annual Report / MU Title IX Offfice

During the last 18 months, the University of Missouri has made changes in an effort to protect students from sex-based discrimination. This included opening a Title IX office and hiring staff, requiring all staff and faculty to act as mandatory reporters, as well as the entire University of Missouri system revising its policies in regards to sex-based discrimination.

columbiamo.va.gov

Two local agencies will be receiving more than $400,000 to continue programs that work to prevent homelessness in the veteran populations of Mid-Missouri. Phoenix Health Programs is one of the programs and has been awarded more than $200,000, while Welcome Home, Inc. has been awarded more than $190,000.  

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Heroin continues to be a serious problem throughout the county. The Centers for Disease Control released data earlier this month that showed heroin use increasing among nearly every group – age, income, gender, etc. And according to the CDC’s report, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths heave nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.

The White House announced earlier this month that it was determined to do something about this problem. It introduced the Heroin Response Strategy, which works to promote public health and public safety partnerships through a 15-state area. This new project aims to focus more on treating heroin addicts than on punishing them.


Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

More than a 1000 graduate students and their allies – faculty, staff, undergraduate students and families – gathered at noon Wednesday in support of graduate students and their demands.

Some graduate students also took part in an all-day walk-out to illuminate the role they play in the education of undergraduate students and in research.

The rally and walk-out were planned as a response to the health insurance subsidy issue that has been taking place over the last two weeks. 

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