Sebastián Martínez Valdivia
Sebastián Martínez Valdivia is a health reporter and documentary filmmaker who focuses on access to care in rural and immigrant communities. A native Spanish speaker and lifelong Missouri resident, Sebastián is interested in the often overlooked and under-covered world of immigrant life in the rural midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in documentary journalism at the same institution. Aside from public health, his other interests include conservation, climate change and ecology.
Missouri Republicans are trying to avoid funding an expansion that would give 275,000 people health insurance. Democrats argue they are pushing ideology over the will of the people.
Last year, Missouri voters added Medicaid expansion to the state constitution through a ballot measure. But there's a major hiccup: the GOP-controlled legislature refuses to fund expanded coverage.
Rural Carthage, Mo., is home to a growing community of Latin American immigrants. Language barriers and economic stress have made it harder to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Latinx communities have been disproportionately hit by the coronavirus. But helping recent immigrants understand how to protect themselves is complicated, especially in rural areas.