ST. LOUIS (March 9, 2022) – Rebeccah Bennett and Missouri State Senator Bill White have spent their personal and professional lives working to improve children’s lives through community improvement, education and legislation. In recognition of these important efforts, they will receive St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s 2021 Advocacy Awards.
Rebeccah Bennett is the founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom and its subsidiary, InPower Institute. Through these organizations, Bennett has helped tens of thousands of people and countless organizations effect positive change. Her work has touched many facets of the community, including economic development, racial equity, women’s empowerment, and public health and safety. Bennett helped organize and launch Prepare STL, a communications and outreach campaign focused on the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. PrepareSTL provided vital information and resources to marginalized populations and neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, helping these communities stop the spread of the coronavirus and survive its adverse impacts.
Bennett has played a key role in numerous strategic planning workgroups at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She assisted in the creation of the hospital’s Community and Faith Advisory Board, facilitated community listening sessions, and brought the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation together with Black community leaders around inclusivity in philanthropy. Most recently, Bennett was a key advisor in the development of BJC HealthCare‘s plan for community health improvement.
Missouri State Senator Bill White (R-MO District 32) has served as a state lawmaker for more than a decade. During his time in both the Missouri House of Representatives and the Senate, Sen. White has had a hand in passing legislation that advocates for and protects some of Missouri’s most vulnerable populations.
Last year Sen. White sponsored House Bill 432, which addressed several complicated pediatric issues. House Bill 432 included provisions to refer teenage sexual assault victims to a safe care provider who is specially trained to assist them. Previously, the law required victims to have forensic exams at a community hospital. House Bill 432 also included a provision for hospitals, including St. Louis Children’s, to be reimbursed for boarding children who are in custody of the state.
Sen. White also chaired the committee that recommended Missouri extend full-benefit Medicaid coverage for postpartum women from 60 days to a full year. As chairman of the Seniors, Families, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, he called a hearing on the issue as soon as the legislature was in session this year. His committee has already approved the bill.
“We are profoundly grateful to Rebeccah and Sen. White for their work to care for and protect children within our region and across our state,” said Trish Lollo, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Their collaboration, leadership, and shared commitment to doing what’s right for kids have helped us tackle important challenges and made our communities better for kids and their families.”
Established in 1994 by St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Advocacy Award recognizes local and state leaders who leverage their positions, resources, and influence to do what’s right for kids. Other recipients have included Dr. Art McCoy, Missouri State Representative David Wood, Dr. Reverend Starsky Wilson, Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt, Dr. Kelvin Adams, Rep. Rodney Davis, and Michael McMillan.
ABOUT ST. LOUIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
For more than 140 years, St. Louis Children's Hospital has provided exceptional care for children in all 50 states and 80 countries around the world. With its academic partner, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. A member of BJC HealthCare, St. Louis Children’s follows one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies, and compassionate care. St. Louis Children’s relies on generous donations to deliver specialized care for families in need, extend health care services to the community, and pursue research that promises to transform pediatric medicine. To find out more, visit StLouisChildrens.org, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.