Wednesday, Spetember 26, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 25


Kids' advocates collect accolades

By Hakimeh Saghaye-Biria
Daily Cougar Staff

"United behind the fate of our children in the wake of a national tragedy, we should continue our active advocacy for improving children's lives,"
said Elizabeth Noyes, the keynote speaker at Tuesday's "Accolades 2001" Luncheon in Houston.

Noyes is the associate executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Children at Risk program, a private, non-profit children's advocacy organization founded in Houston in 1989, organized the event.

Noyes, who was awarded the U.S. Surgeon General's Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contribution to the Health and Welfare of
America's Children and Adolescents in 1999, said the Sept. 11 tragedy should not result in hopelessness and helplessness. Children's
advocacy groups should continue to act as a voice for children, she said.

"In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope," Noyes said. "This is not the time to slow down, but to gear up."

Noyes said that although progress has been made on issues such as the provision of health care, other issues (like tobacco, juvenile
incarceration, gun control and television violence) should be placed on the policy-making agenda.

She said the family is becoming an "endangered species" and measures should be taken to strengthen American families.

At the luncheon, four "Voice for Children 2001 Awards" were presented to elected officials for advocacy of policies regarding children's safety
and health.

Mayor Lee Brown was recognized for Houston's After School Achievement Program, which aims to improve the safety and achievement of
children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gov. Rick Perry, State Rep. Garnet Coleman and County Judge Robert Eckels received awards for their leadership roles in the passage of
Medicaid simplification in the Texas legislature. Gov. Perry was unable to attend the event, so his communication director accepted the award
on his behalf.

Two "Accolades 2001 Awards" were presented to Dr. Ralph Feigin and his wife, Judith Feigin, for their lifelong commitment to the health and
education of children.

Feigin, the president and chief executive officer of the Baylor College of Medicine and the physician-in-chief of the Texas Children's Hospital,
has published more than 400 books and has trained more than 1,000 pediatricians.

"(The) 'Accolades 2001' luncheon was to celebrate our solutions and results," said Barbara McCormick, the president of the Children at Risk
program. "Even as we celebrate these victories, challenges loom on the horizon. We've taken the hill; the mountain remains."

For information on the Children At Risk 
organization, visit its Web site at


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