Rebecca Smith

Health Reporter, KBIA

Rebecca Smith is a reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk and Side Effects Public Media. 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, Missouri. Aside from her work, she is partial to long runs, good books and nerdy television shows.

Ways to Connect

Rebecca Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

In August, the Pulaski County, Missouri, police captain Johnny Burgess ran his team through a new kind of training exercise. Divided into pairs, each officer practiced plunging a nasal atomizer into the nostril of the other. Burgess cautioned them not to push too hard: “You’re not digging for gold.”  

They were learning to dose a potential victim with intranasal naloxone, or Narcan, a drug that can instantly reverse an opioid overdose. The training was the culmination of months of effort by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s department to overcome logistical hurdles and outfit its officers with the overdose antidote.


Rebecca Smith / Side Effects Public Media

When the University of Missouri temporarily canceled graduate student health insurance subsidies earlier this month, it highlighted a troublesome unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act that may affect universities around the country.


Nursing students at Crowder College's Jane campus practice on medical dummies.
McDonald County Instructional Center

McDonald County, in the rural far southwest corner of Missouri, ranked last in the 2014 County Health Rankings for clinical care compared to other Missouri counties, a measure which includes access to doctors, dentists, number of residents who are uninsured, and a few other factors.


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Lucia Sebastian is the Language Assistant at the Head Start in Noel, Missouri. She works with the numerous immigrant children who have limited English skills and need help to communicate.

She has a four-year old daughter enrolled at Head Start, but she recounted an incident where Head Start was instrumental in helping her older son, Victor.

When her son was eleven years old, he was playing baseball with a friend in the yard and got hit in the mouth with the bat. The blow knocked out several teeth, but Sebastian was unsure she could afford the costs of taking Victor to the hospital.


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