JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Women’s health experts from across the state gathered in Jefferson City on October 25 for the first meeting of the Women’s Health Council. First Lady Sheena Greitens, PhD, welcomed the members. Dr. Rachel Winograd from the Missouri Institute of Mental Health educated the group about the opioid epidemic in Missouri and Marissa Lee from the Drug Enforcement Administration discussed the epidemic as it relates to law enforcement. Dr. Sarah Martin from the Kansas City Health Department addressed the health of Missouri’s women to raise awareness of the challenges many women face.
Department of Health and Senior Services director Dr. Randall Williams appointed the 27 women who speak for communities with specific health care risks, needs and concerns to the advisory group. Through quarterly meetings, the council will provide input and feedback on how best to improve outcomes as the department develops and implements strategies to improve women’s health in Missouri.
“As I traveled throughout the 115 counties in Missouri, I saw firsthand the incredible leadership these women bring to issues that affect so many Missourians, especially our most vulnerable populations. Not only do they lead, but they lead with courage, grace, kindness and passion. We are incredibly appreciative of them taking time to combine their efforts, and I think they will serve as a great force multiplier as we implement programs and policies to help all Missourians,” said Dr. Williams.
“We especially appreciate the First Lady for joining us and her ongoing commitment. The First Lady’s efforts to listen to and understand foster children helped us better understand how changing our processes could make a huge difference in their lives. And it is that type of listening and sharing that will help us better serve all the citizens of Missouri.”
Teri Ackerson, Neuroscience Program Coordinator at Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute in Kansas City, is the Council Chair and Susan Kendig, Women’s Health Integration Specialist with SSM Health – St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, is the Council Vice Chair. A list of all members with full biographies can be found here. Council members are:
- Kathi Arbini – substance abuse prevention advocate
- Paula Baker – President and Chief Executive Officer of Freeman Health System
- Daphne Bascom – Senior Vice President and Medical Director for Community Integrated Health at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City
- Karlyle Christian-Ritter – Director of Cape Neonatology, Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Francis Medical Center
- Patricia Clay – Executive Director of Treatment Communities of America
- Colleen Coble – Chief Executive Officer of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Wendy Doyle – President and CEO of Women’s Foundation
- Karen Edison – Philip C. Anderson Professor and Chairwoman of the Department of Dermatology, Medical Director of the Missouri Telehealth Network & Show-Me ECHO, Director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Missouri
- Danielle Felty – Maternal/Child Director at Liberty Hospital
- Alyson Harder – Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Behavioral Health Services
- Sandra Jackson – Local Recovery Coordinator at John J. Pershing VA Medical Center, Local Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Coordinator
- Eboni January – Physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center and Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers, co-CEO of Pavlov’s Wellness Firm
- Sarah Martin – Division Manager of Community Engagement, Policy and Accountability at the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department
- Katherine Mathews – Research Division Director in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at Saint Louis University
- Sheryl Lynetter “Ms. Sherry” Maxwell – Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Charleston Outreach Center
- Bridget McCandless – President and CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
- Mary McLennan – Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health Chair, Saint Louis University
- K. Gay Purcell – Physician at Mid-America Internal Medicine, Adjunct Clinical Professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Medicine
- Katie Towns – Assistant Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department
- Padma Veligati – Physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mosaic Life Care
- Denise Wilfley – Scott Rudolph University Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychological & Brain Sciences; Director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness at Washington University School of Medicine
- Denise Willers – Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University
- Margaret Wilson – Dean of the A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Rachel Winograd – Research Assistant Professor at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri St. Louis
- Lana Zerrer – Chief of Staff at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
The next meeting of the Women’s Health Council will be February 23, 2018.
A photo of the first meeting can be found here.
About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in promoting, protecting and partnering for health. More information about DHSS can be found athealth.mo.gov.