James to Head New Center for Elimination of Disparities

James to Head New Center for Elimination of Disparities

By Hattie Kelly – President of the Texas Publishers Association

 

 

 

Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs has selected Joyce James to head a new enterprise initiative to ensure equity across all health and human services agencies and programs. “No other state has made this type of commitment toward ensuring equity in health and human services,” James said. “Texas is again a first, and I am truly honored and thankful to be a part of the next chapter of the Texas story.”James, who previously served as deputy commissioner at DFPS, took over as head of the new Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities on Sept. 1.{{more}}“At the heart of all our programs and services, we’re about people,” Suehs said. “And we want to make sure that every person is treated with respect and dignity. Joyce has been a pioneer in helping improve equity in our protective services programs, and we want to put that same focus on all our services.”James has received several awards for her efforts to address disproportionality in the child welfare system in Texas. She also served on several legislatively created task forces, including the Council on Children and Families and the Task Force for Children with Special Needs, and on the executive committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.“This work is so important to me personally and professionally,” James said. “I can honestly say that there is no other work I would rather do, and I feel I owe it to the children, youth, families and other vulnerable clients we serve to be a voice that says in human services there is also equity in services.”DFPS Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein praised James for making Texas a national model for addressing disparities in the child welfare system.“Joyce is recognized nationwide as a pioneer in addressing disproportionality in child welfare and she is very passionate about this work,” Heiligenstein said. “I can think of no one better than Joyce for this important assignment. Though I am saddened that DFPS is losing her, I am thrilled that this important work will be continued and expanded on at the enterprise level.”