News Archives

Katie Plax '85

February 14, 2019

Dr. Katie Plax '85 wrote an article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 2.14.19, discussing how public policy impacts children's health: "Access to food and health care can help us develop workforce: Some decisions in Missouri send us down a path that limits children's futures. 'Pediatricians are the ultimate witnesses to failed policy.' —Dr. Paul Wise. As a pediatrician in St. Louis, I see failed policy every day at the youth center, The Spot, where I work. Last year we served more than 3,000 young people. Many are affected by factors called the social determinants of health — powerful forces on your health and well-being like poverty, access to food, housing, access to health care and education. Science tells us these forces are critical actors on our health way more so than direct medical care. Since our services at The Spot are free of charge, we see many young people without insurance and who are hungry. Food flies out of our cabinets as the teen years are one of the biggest periods of physical growth. Given our health mission, we place a big emphasis on feeding young people who come — including our hot meal Mondays and food in almost every room — including our exam rooms. In the state today, some decisions send us down a path that limits children's futures; these decisions threaten us all." Read the article in its entirety here (requires subscription access).