St. Patrick Center board
St. Patrick Center recently welcomed four new members to its board of directors. They are Mary Jane DeLuca, credit portfolio consultant at Wells Fargo Advisors and a member of the Board of Ambassadors who is the event chair for the St. Patrick Center Veterans Day 5K Run/Walk; Carmen Gamble, data and analytics division chief at the Department of Veterans Affairs and an experienced mentor and advocate for veterans who is passionate about revitalizing North St. Louis City; Steve Heck, vice president of Equitable Advisors, a founding member of the St. Patrick Center Young Friends Development Board and the immediate past chair of St. Patrick Center’s Board of Ambassadors; George ‘GW’ Slaughter, director of business development at Hot Lava Media and executive director of Midwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce who has been volunteering and supporting St. Patrick Center veterans programs for many years. St. Patrick Center — a Catholic Charities agency that assists people with sustainable housing, employment and health care, following the compassion of Jesus — also thanked Rusty Keeley for his nine years of service and leadership to St. Patrick Center’s board, agency and mission and departing directors James Smylie III and James Williams, Jr.
Mo. Supreme Court rules for Medicaid expansion
In a unanimous decision, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a ballot initiative expanding Medicaid in Missouri. Judge Jon Beteem, a Cole County Circuit judge, had ruled several weeks ago that the initiative was constitutionally flawed because it failed to include a tax or other means of paying for the new enrollees. The Supreme Court rejected that analysis and ruled that those newly eligible must be permitted to enroll. The court ruled that the legislature still has the discretion to appropriate funds for Medicaid and other programs. “Nothing in article IV, section 36(c) deprives the General Assembly of its discretion and requires it to appropriate a specified amount for MO HealthNet services and benefits,” the court stated. The new eligibility requirements are valid and now in effect, the court stated, and those now eligible are entitled to receive benefits under the program. It is up to the General Assembly to determine what amounts need to be appropriated to pay for the additional enrollees. Congress made additional Medicaid funds available through the most recent COVID relief bill for states that expand Medicaid, so those funds should be available once the state submits plans for the expansion population. Experts expect an additional 275,000 Missourians will now qualify for Medicaid coverage. The Missouri Catholic Conference supported expanding eligibility for the health care program because of the unmet healthcare needs of the working poor and the importance of Medicaid for the delivery of healthcare in Missouri.
SSM Health filmmakers visited hospitals, homes and a PPE supply center across Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Missouri to capture stories of the COVID-19 pandemic as they unfolded in the lives of patients and front-line hospital caregivers and staff. The result is Behind the Mask, a look at a historic event in ways largely unseen by the public. The documentary honors the COVID-19 experiences of frontline staff and some of the patients and their families. View the video at
“Surviving and Thriving in Turbulent Times” is the theme of an annual When Mental Illness Hits Home conference to help those journeying with people with mental illness. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive in Belleville, Illinois. Bart Andrews, chief clinical officer at Behavioral Health Response and the chair of Missouri’s Suicide Prevention Network, will present keynote addresses on “Making the Pieces Fit: Understanding Suicide from a Socio-Cultural Lens” and “Social Media and Suicide: the Danger of Getting Scientific Information from the News.” Bette Meyer of the Shrine staff said that “these topics are pertinent especially because of the isolation people have encountered during the pandemic.” The conference ends with a presentation on finding hope, ending the day on a positive note, Meyer added. The registration cost of $40 includes lunch. An additional fee is charged for continuing education units. For more information, contact (618) 394-6281 or email
[email protected]. Register at snows.org/illness.
Fontbonne University recently named Heather French vice president for student affairs. French joins Fontbonne from the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy (formerly St. Louis College of Pharmacy), where she served as vice president for student affairs from 2018-21 leading institutional efforts to increase student satisfaction and retention. In her role at Fontbonne, French will oversee student support services, including residential life, counseling and wellness, the LACE Center (orientation and student engagement, multicultural services, campus ministry) and public safety. Additionally, she will provide support to Title IX, student conduct and student retention efforts. Fontbonne University is a private, Catholic liberal arts university in St. Louis.