Leadership Program Welcomes New Class of Child Health Advocates

Posted July 10, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Improving the health outcomes of children improve overall well-being and support lifelong development.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion, the David and Lucile Packard Foun­da­tion and the Atlantic Phil­an­thropies have announced the next cohort of Children’s Health Lead­er­ship Net­work participants.

This rig­or­ous 12-month lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­gram will help teams from the South — specif­i­cal­ly Geor­gia, Ken­tucky, Louisiana and Texas — improve the health and well-being of kids and fam­i­lies in their states. The program’s geo­graph­ic focus is inten­tion­al, as chil­dren from the South con­tin­u­al­ly fall behind their peers nation­al­ly in meet­ing key health milestones.

The 20182019 class includes ana­lysts, pro­gram direc­tors and non­prof­it child advo­cates who are posi­tioned to shape pol­i­cy deci­sions and imple­ment effec­tive strate­gies for last­ing change. These mem­bers will work togeth­er — often across agen­cies and sec­tors — and employ a Results Count™ approach to improve health outcomes.

This pro­gram is about equip­ping lead­ers with the nec­es­sary con­fi­dence, skills and rela­tion­ships to take their work in health pol­i­cy to the next lev­el and become cat­a­lysts for real and sus­tained progress for chil­dren and fam­i­lies,” says Bar­bara Squires, direc­tor of Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment at Casey. We are excit­ed about this class of pro­fes­sion­als who have already demon­strat­ed a com­mit­ment to reduc­ing health inequities and improv­ing the lives of chil­dren and fam­i­lies and who now want to do more to affect poli­cies that broad­ly impact children’s health in their states.”

In July 2018, par­tic­i­pants will begin a six-sem­i­nar series designed to build skills in the areas of child health pol­i­cy, child advo­ca­cy and Results Count. Tar­get­ed coach­ing, site vis­its and learn­ing plans will sup­ple­ment the course­work, and teams will work to apply their new skills in their home orga­ni­za­tions and sys­tems. Beyond receiv­ing tech­ni­cal assis­tance and expo­sure to child health pol­i­cy con­tent from the George­town Uni­ver­si­ty Cen­ter for Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies, each team will also devel­op and exe­cute a pol­i­cy agen­da with defined tar­gets to improve state-lev­el child health outcomes.

I’m thrilled to see such a cre­ative, ener­gized group of lead­ers join the Children’s Health Lead­er­ship Net­work,” says Dr. Kather­ine Beck­mann, a pro­gram offi­cer in the Chil­dren, Fam­i­lies and Com­mu­ni­ties Pro­gram at the David and Lucile Packard Foun­da­tion. Advo­cates like these are cru­cial to ensure that all young chil­dren have access to qual­i­ty health care and arrive to school healthy and ready to learn.”

201819 Children’s Health Lead­er­ship Net­work Participants


  • Elise Blasingame, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Healthy Moth­ers, Healthy Babies Coali­tion of Georgia
  • Lau­ra Col­bert, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Geor­gians for a Healthy Future
  • Lisa Hayes, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Chatham Coun­ty Safe­ty Net Plan­ning Council
  • LaShun Wright, Direc­tor of Train­ing and Tech­ni­cal Assis­tance, Geor­gia Pri­ma­ry Care Association


  • Emi­ly Beau­re­gard, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Ken­tucky Voic­es for Health
  • Adri­enne Bush, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Home­less and Hous­ing Coali­tion of Kentucky
  • Dustin Pugel, Pol­i­cy Ana­lyst, Ken­tucky Cen­ter for Eco­nom­ic Policy
  • Cara Stew­art, Health Pol­i­cy Fel­low, Ken­tucky Equal Jus­tice Center


  • Rae­gan Carter, Senior Man­ag­er, Louisiana Pub­lic Health Institute
  • Jeanie Dono­van, Pol­i­cy Direc­tor, Louisiana Bud­get Project
  • Susan Nel­son, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Louisiana Part­ner­ship for Chil­dren and Families
  • Alma Stew­art, Founder and Direc­tor, Louisiana Cen­ter for Health Equity/​Campaign for Health Care for Everyone


  • Jen­ny Eyer, Direc­tor for Child Health Research and Pol­i­cy, CHIL­DREN AT RISK
  • Lau­ra Guer­ra-Car­dus, Deputy Direc­tor, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas
  • Adri­ana Kohler, Senior Health Pol­i­cy Asso­ciate, Tex­ans Care for Children
  • Stacey Pogue, Senior Pol­i­cy Ana­lyst, Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Priorities

About the Children’s Health Lead­er­ship Network

Launched in 2016, the Children’s Health Lead­er­ship Net­work is a lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­gram designed to strength­en the field of state-based advo­cates for children’s health policy

With fund­ing from the Casey Foun­da­tion, the David and Lucile Packard Foun­da­tion and the Atlantic Phil­an­thropies, the net­work will devel­op a pool of near­ly 100 health advo­cates in lead­er­ship posi­tions who are dri­ving change and forg­ing part­ner­ships with­in their com­mu­ni­ties. Its first cohort of 16 advo­cates helped shape the pol­i­cy land­scape to improve health out­comes for children.

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