Beth E. Quill named new Texas Director

Beth E. Quill named new Texas Director

Quill brings years of senior management experience, lifelong commitment to children and families to Children's Defense Fund

Houston (November 8, 2010) – Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Texas announces the appointment of Beth E. Quill R.N, P.N.P, M.P.H, as the new executive director effective January 2011. In this role, Quill will be responsible for the executive management of state office operations, programming, and fundraising, and will continue to build CDF's statewide presence as a strong voice for poor and vulnerable children.

"In the past 10 years, CDF-Texas has made significant strides for Texas children," said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund. "But there is much work to be done. Every 11 seconds of every school day a high school student drops out of school; every 32 seconds a baby is born into poverty; and every 42 seconds a baby is born without health insurance. Beth Quill has maintained a lifelong commitment to changing the odds for vulnerable women and children and will be a powerful and effective voice for the children of Texas who cannot speak, vote or lobby for themselves."

Quill joins CDF-Texas from the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Healthin Houston where, for the last 14 years, she has served as associate professor of management, policy and community health. In this role, she has been responsible for educating master's and doctoral public health students on management and policy sciences, administration, public health and advanced leadership. She currently coordinates three academic programs: the MSN/ MPH dual program; community health practice and leadership studies program, and provides national leadership on public health and academic issues through the Association of Schools of Public Health.

Previously, Quill served for 11 years in three director-level positions in Rhode Island's Health Department, after which she administered the Northeast District Department of Health in Connecticut. Quill directed agencies and programs at local, state and regional levels; provided expertise on maternal and child health policy issues at the state level; directed programs for children, adolescents, and families at risk in rural and urban settings; and provided clinical care to children and adolescents as a pediatric nurse practitioner in private practice, hospitals, community health centers and homes.

An American Leadership Forum senior fellow, Quill has served on numerous advisory committees, councils, and boards including the Texas Advisory Committee on Health Disparities, the National Public Health Leadership Development Network of St. Louis., and the Children's Commission of Connecticut.

Quill said, "In this difficult time, securing a prosperous future for Texan children will be a challenge. I look forward to joining those at CDF-Texas and in the community who are working tirelessly to create the promise of a safe and healthy life for our children."

Lan Bentsen, chairman of the Children's Defense Fund-Texas Advisory Board and national CDF board vice-chair praised Quill's appointment. "Despite great strides in the past few years, Texas remains at or near the bottom of virtually every measure of children's health and education. Beth Quill is uniquely prepared to continue our mission of preparing the at-risk youth of Texas to achieve their potential as contributing citizens."

Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus, who stepped up to serve as both interim executive director and policy director for the past year and a half, has been promoted to Texas associate director. She will work closely with Quill to implement CDF priorities in Texas and maintain strong relationships with key statewide and regional community partners. Dr. Guerra-Cardus provided exemplary service over the last year and a half in managing CDF’s statewide presence, executive, financial, and legislative operations during the toughest economic climate in decades.

Quill replaces Barbara Best, former CDF-Texas executive director, who left Texas in 2009 to obtain her master's degree in public administration at Harvard University"s Kennedy School of Government. She now serves as director of foundation relations and special projects with the CDF national office, and is based in Boston. For 10 years, Best was instrumental in the development and growth of CDF-Texas, now one of the state's most well-respected advocacy organizations for children. In recent years, CDF-Texas has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally as a leader in developing innovative and successful outreach strategies to link uninsured children with affordable health care coverage through schools and communities. Texas has the highest rate of uninsured children in the nation with one in every five children lacking coverage.

About the Children's Defense Fund

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a national non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for over 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

CDF's Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

Since 1999, CDF's Texas office has worked collaboratively with partners across Texas to ensure every child a Healthy Start in life and access to affordable health coverage. CDF-Texas has led statewide efforts to secure health coverage for more than 670,000 uninsured Texas children through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children's Medicaid. For more information, visit