Hogg Hosts Policy Luncheon and Forum at Capitol

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On January 15, the Hogg Foundation hosted a mental health policy luncheon at the Texas State Capitol that brought together state legislators and their staffs for an opportunity to break bread and talk about advancing mental health in Texas. Addressing the invited guests, Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s leadership on mental health issues, the foundation’s current initiatives, and offered the foundation’s experts as a resource for the 83rd session. He was followed by state Representative Cindy Burkett, who represents House District 113. The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Gary Foster a noted Hollywood film producer who helmed the 2009 film The Soloist.

That same afternoon, Foster spoke at a Hogg-hosted public forum about his experiences. His experience working on The Soloist drove him to become passionate about mental health. He is also a strong supporter of the World Health Organization’s QualityRights Project, designed to improve the quality of care and human rights conditions in mental health and social care services around the world.

“The policy luncheon presents an excellent opportunity to get our message across to several key members of the Legislature in one sitting,” said Dr. Martinez. “Policy work has a far reach in improving the lives of Texans living with mental health conditions. This is especially true for public policy at the state level.”

Colleen Horton, Hogg policy program officer, agrees. “The 83rd Texas Legislature will be debating a host of issues that have profound ramifications for mental health services and systems, such as Medicaid reform, Rider 71, Money Follows the Person initiatives, and many others,” said Horton. “We hope that through this luncheon as well as the meetings we will be having with legislators and their staffers in the weeks to come, the foundation’s expertise will inform policy making for the good of all Texans with mental health conditions.”

3 thoughts on “Hogg Hosts Policy Luncheon and Forum at Capitol

    Andrea Hinckson Usanga said:
    February 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Keep up the great policy work!

    b34me2013 said:
    February 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Gary Foster was an excellent speaker and down to earth. I was touched by his concern of how nationally; states deal with Mental Health Disparity. I commented to him about the upcoming Central Texas African American Family Support Conference taking place on Feb28-March1. Maybe coming back to Austin is too quick a turnaround. Hopefully, someone else put a bug in his ear about the Conference in hopes that he would find his way back. Austin at this time could utilize stakeholders like Mr. Foster to support and push the Mental Health Initiative forward.
    Yours Truely,
    Rhonda D

    […] team has been extremely busy at the Texas Capitol. The foundation kicked off the session with our policy luncheon for legislators and their staff, which featured Hollywood producer Gary Foster and Representative Cindy Burkett. The luncheon also […]

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