The Health and Wellness Specialist is the Library’s expert in wellness resources and initiatives in our community. Schedule a one-on-one appointment to get information about a specific health issue, get help to find a healthcare specialist in the area, or find out more about health and wellness resources in the library and the community.
Jeni Starr is the Library’s Health & Wellness Specialist. She holds a Master of Education in Health Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College as well as certification as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Jeni has been a health educator for over 20 years and has worked in university, government, public school, and nonprofit settings. She is passionate about promoting health and wellness practices that meet individual needs and promoting health equity. She can help connect you to health and wellness resources in the community.
When you’re interested in learning more about a health topic there are many sources of information, but they aren’t all accurate. Take a look at these resources that are reliable sources of health information. Whether you want to learn more about a recent diagnosis, get information about a specific medication, or just want to make some health and wellness changes, they are the perfect place to start.
Consumer Health Complete: Health information for patients covering mainstream medicine to holistic and integrated medicine.
Medline Plus: Find information on specific health conditions and general wellness.
Talking with Your Doctor: The average doctor’s appointment lasts about 15 minutes. With such a short amount of time, it’s important to prepare for appointments so that you ask the right questions and share the most critical information. This resource can help you to have better communication with your doctor.
If you are looking for healthcare coverage, these resources will help you to get started.
Cover Missouri: Cover Missouri can help you to learn about health insurance that is available and help you find local experts who can assist you with filing for health coverage.
Healthcare.gov: Healthcare.gov is the Federal website with health insurance information. You can go here to learn more about which plans are available and find local brokers or people to assist you with determining your healthcare eligibility. You’ll also find answers to common questions about health insurance.
Missouri HealthNet: Missouri Health Net is Missouri Medicaid program that covers qualified medical expenses for individuals who meet specific eligibility requirements. This site can help you to learn more about eligibility and find providers who accept Missouri Medicaid.
Medicare: Medicare is the United States Government health insurance for individuals age 65 and over. In order to take advantage of this program, you must enroll in it. Here you can learn more about how to enroll, what Medicare covers, and finding providers.
AtoZDatabases: A to Z Databases can help you search for a specific healthcare professional. You can look up information based on geographic area, specialty, age, gender, and more.
As we progress through life, it is important to have specific information available at a moment’s notice. Preparation is crucial to peace of mind. Sadly, many of us avoid talking about healthcare preferences until after a health crisis happens. Making end of life decisions or managing a chronic disease are very difficult to consider. We can take positive steps to learn how to make better decisions and improve our healthcare journeys.
Do yourself and your loved ones a big favor by exploring these resources. You’ll not only learn what advance care planning is, but also why it matters and how to go about it. The tools can empower you to advocate for yourself. And encourage conversations with friends and family members who may be reluctant to talk about these things. Ensure that the healthcare you want is the healthcare you get.
Center for Practical Bioethics: The Center for Practical Bioethics (CPB) is based in Kansas City and a nationally recognized nonprofit. Their mission is to raise and respond to ethical issues in health and healthcare. They support healthcare providers, patients and families making difficult choices for themselves and loved ones. Learn more from their website about how their work advances the health and dignity of all persons.
National Home Funeral Alliance: The National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA) is a leading resource for after-death care support and education in the U.S. They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating individuals, families, and communities about caring for their dead. You can visit their website to learn more about home funerals.
Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City (FCA-GKS): Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City is a nonprofit organization that offers educational programs to support grief, death and dying. The goal of Funeral Consumers Alliance is to ensure consumers are fully prepared and protected when planning a funeral for themselves or their loved ones. They aim to answer just about any question you might have about funerals, cemeteries, cremation, burial practices, and legalities. They also provide a popular tool called the Price Survey, a collection of general price lists that funeral homes are required by federal law to provide to consumers. This database is the only place where all Kansas City area funeral industry prices are provided in one place. Our local chapter offers to speak at events or with organizations. You can explore their website and past newsletters to learn more general information about these topics.
Heart Land Prairie Cemetery: Heart Land Prairie Cemetery is a local example of a green or natural cemetery. They are a nonprofit organization offering environmentally friendly, simple, affordable burials located on 13 acres near Niles in Central Kansas. You can visit their website to learn more general information about green or natural burials, home funerals, and other alternative approaches to after-death care.
Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association (MHPCA): The Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association (MHPCA) is a nonprofit with the mission to support and strengthen coordinated care for terminally ill Missourians and their families. They provide consumer education resources, helpful guides, and provider directories. They also provide educational and technical assistance to hospice program providers. Their mission is to advance the quality of hospice and palliative care through all these resources. You can explore their website for more information.
Crime Victims' Compensation Program (CVC): In Missouri, the Crime Victims' Compensation Program provides financial assistance to people who sustained traumatic injuries resulting from certain violent crimes. Injuries to physical, emotional and mental well-being would qualify. Allowable expenses may include medical, funeral and counseling expenses, lost wages or loss of support for eligible victims and their family members. Compensation is considered when losses were not covered by other sources. Benefits are not guaranteed. The Missouri Department of Public Safety administers this program for the state of Missouri. You can read more on their website about the fund and apply online. Every state has a Victims’ Compensation Program/ Fund.