Health Reporter, Missouri Health Talks and KBIA
JT Thomas is a senior at the University of Missouri and is studying biology and business. We met at an event called “The Art of the Scar” that was hosted by the Missouri Kidney Program in September.
JT was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 20, and he spoke about how his experiences with kidney failure and his time in dialysis has changed his outlook on life.
He is now four years post-transplant.
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.
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.
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 6th.
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.
Kelley Thorson lives in Pulaski County with her husband, Donald, and their three sons. I have known Kelley for years, as my Dad was her son Kyle’s teacher.
Her youngest son Kyle has a very rare, severe disability called Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. According to the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation, there are at least 1,400 cases worldwide.
Kyle is now a fully-grown, 24-year-old man and is also non-verbal, so Kelley spoke with me about the anxiety she is experiencing now that Kyle has reached adulthood.
Jon Reagan is a dentist in Neosho, Mo., who has been practicing for almost 20 years. We met as he volunteered at the sixth annual Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM). This 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 the event was held in Joplin.
Nine years ago, Jon began visiting North Belize as a medical missionary, helping people with extractions and oral health care education. He spoke about the similarities he sees between the oral health issues in rural communities in Missouri and in Belize, as well as his passion for volunteering at MOMOM.
Terri Rose is an RN from Webb City, Missouri. We met as she worked the medical triage at the sixth annual MOMOM. This 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 the event was held in Joplin.
Terri is currently on disability benefits, but says she wanted to come volunteer her time as a nurse and help at the event. We caught up about her experience working MOMOM and about an unexpected takeway from the weekend as workers began breaking down on Saturday evening.
Brenda Nichols lost her father in the 2011 tornado that decimated Joplin, Missouri, but she says this is far from the only hardship she has faced in her 68 years. She is a 20 year survivor of breast cancer and has struggled to get oral health care in the past few years.
We met as she waited in line to receive care at the sixth annual MOMOM, which 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 the event was held in Joplin.
Brenda, who lives in Carl Junction, Missouri, seems to always be smiling and remains optimistic, but says she “never dreamed” she and her husband would struggle this much as they got older, and she spoke about some of the difficulties she and her husband face getting care.
Jack Gouverneur is an 86-year-old Korean War veteran who lives in Carthage, Missouri. Last month, over the course of a weekend, he waited in line for hours to get free dental care at the sixth annual MOMOM or Missouri Mission of Mercy.
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 the event was held in Joplin, Missouri.
Jack does have dental insurance, but said MOMOM happened at the "right time," and allowed him to get three teeth extracted without having to pay his insurance co-pays. He reflected on the dental care he has received throughout his 86 years.
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