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State of Missouri November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Judy Baker

Candidate for
US Representative; District 9

This information is provided by the candidate

Baker was born in Columbia, where her mother, Beverly Briggs Wall, graduated from the MU College of Education and taught at West Boulevard Elementary, and her father, Dr. Norman Wall, from the MU School of Medicine. Shortly after her birth, her father joined the military, a career that took the family through 10 moves in six states. Baker graduated from high school in Chesapeake, Va., and returned to Columbia to attend MU, where she completed a bachelor's degree in educational studies in 1981. She worked for a year at Columbia Regional Hospital before leaving to attend Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where she earned a master's degree in divinity. During and after completing her studies in 1986, she continued to work in health care. She served in administrative roles at two Atlanta health-care facilities before moving back to Columbia in 1998.

Upon arriving back in Missouri, she joined MU's University Physicians practice plan, first serving as director of operations at Capital Region Medical Group in Jefferson City during the University's management of the facility and then as interim executive director of the entire practice plan until 2002. She left the University at that time and found her own consulting firm, now Cura Advantage. In addition to operating her business, she has served as part-time administrative director for ACTS International, a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to building partnerships that benefit the country of Georgia, and as an adjunct professor teaching managerial economics at Columbia College. She formerly served as vice chairman of the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund.

She and her husband, Dr. John D. Baker, are the parents of Sarah, 21, a junior at Mizzou; Lauren, 19, a freshman at Mizzou; and David, 15, a 11th-grade student at Rock Bridge High School.

What Judy has accomplished...

Judy Baker's unique combination of education and professional experience helps make her a creative problem solver. Her maturity, integrity and personal demeanor draw respect and attention from both sides of the aisle in a General Assembly often divided by partisan interests. With three years under her belt in the House of Representatives, Judy Baker is making a difference for the people of the 25th District and for Missouri. Emerging as a strong advocate for education and health-care access, she has sponsored and supported legislation to improve the lives and future of our state's children, as well as protecting the interests of the vulnerable seniors and those with disabilities. These accomplishments helped earn her the recognition of Emerging Health Care Leader from the National Conference of State Legislatures. a Representative

Among Baker's priority projects has been a schools-based mental health initiative, for which a pilot project involving MU College of Education faculty recently received support from the Missouri Foundation for Health. Founder of the Healthy Missourians Caucus, she promotes "literacy" efforts to help Missouri's adults, children and members of the legislature learn about healthy lifestyles. She supports better nutrition practices in schools, as well as physical fitness activities for K-12 classes that follow the Healthy People 2010 guidelines. To help focus attention on the importance of health care, she has proposed the appointment of a state Surgeon General for Missouri and establishment of a Health Professions Workforce Shortage Commission.

Missouri's Ninth District encompasses schools such as the University of Missouri, Truman State and East Central College and Judy is a standard bearer for higher education and the students who along with their families struggle with financing the pursuit of their dreams. Baker has worked to bolster the Bright Flight Scholarship program to benefit high-performing students who choose to stay in-state to attend college. She has pushed to strengthen MU in its position as Missouri's flagship university, including its development as a major player in life sciences research and economic development for the entire state. She is an advocate for making Columbia and the University a focal point for Missouri's developing health and life sciences research corridor. Her Community

Underlining Baker's experience in health care, business and education is a dedication to community. She is involved with local parent-teacher organizations, worked on a Habitat for Humanity project and for a year helped lead a special group of Campfire Girls whose mothers were in prison. The Baker family is active in Boy Scouts, and Judy is involved in many activities, including Sunday school, missions and youth, at First Baptist Church, where her husband, John, is senior pastor. She directed the 2003 iodized salt drive to benefit children in Columbia's sister city of Kutaisi in the country of Georgia.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 29, 2008 18:10
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