Marissa Evans Health and Human Services Reporter

Marissa Evans reports on health and human service policy issues for the Tribune and has been in Austin since October 2016. Before the Tribune she reported for CQ Roll Call in D.C. where she covered state legislatures and health care issues. Her reporting has appeared in Civil Eats, NBC BLK, Cosmo for Latinas, Kaiser Health News, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Star Tribune and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. She is a 2013 alumna of Marquette University in Milwaukee. When not reporting, she is teaching herself how to code, re-perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe, searching for food spots that rival her mother’s cooking, exploring museums, catching up on books and watching documentaries.

Recent Contributions

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott asks religious groups to help foster families

First Lady Cecilia Abbott with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush at a Texas Alliance for Life rally on Jan. 24, 2015, at the Texas Capitol.
First Lady Cecilia Abbott with Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush at a Texas Alliance for Life rally on Jan. 24, 2015, at the Texas Capitol.

In a joint letter released Thursday, Abbott and the Department of Family and Protective Services urged congregations to rally a “network of nurture” to support foster families with donations and other activities. 

News of Rep. Dawnna Dukes' change in plans fuels questions for potential successors

Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.
Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.

As a news report came out Saturday that state Rep. Dawnna Dukes no longer plans to leave office, the hopefuls looking to succeed her in House District 46 were left wondering whether there was still a campaign left to be run.

Federal judge again delays Texas' fetal remains rule

Protesters on both sides of the issue face off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, March 2, 2016. The case is focused on Texas law HB2, which if enforced would result in the closure of more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state.
Protesters on both sides of the issue face off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, March 2, 2016. The case is focused on Texas law HB2, which if enforced would result in the closure of more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks announced Wednesday that he was delaying the start date of the state's fetal remains burial rule for another three weeks. State officials had originally scheduled the rule to go into effect on Dec. 19.

Trump, women's health, child welfare top Texas news in 2016

Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013. With Donald Trump's election to the White House, the health law faces an uncertain future.
Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013. With Donald Trump's election to the White House, the health law faces an uncertain future.

Here’s a look at the top health and human services storylines The Texas Tribune tracked this year.

U.S. officials warn of further disability provider closures in Texas

Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.
Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.

As Texas seeks to implement a $350 million cut to the Medicaid budget for children’s therapy services, Texas health officials are scrambling to maintain a robust network of providers.

Judge delays Texas' fetal remains rule until Jan. 6

Protesters on both sides of the issue face off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, March 2, 2016. The case is focused on Texas law HB2, which if enforced would result in the closure of more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state.
Protesters on both sides of the issue face off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, March 2, 2016. The case is focused on Texas law HB2, which if enforced would result in the closure of more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state.

Judge Sam Sparks ruled Thursday afternoon that the Texas Department of State Health Services would have to push back its start date requiring health providers to bury or cremate aborted fetuses.