Lifetime Advocate for SBHCs: Sue Catchings

By Anna Burns, Outreach and Engagement Associate, School-Based Health Alliance

AM15_SueJohnSince the School-Based Health Alliance first convened in Washington, DC over 20 years ago, Sue Catchings of Louisiana hasn’t missed a single annual meeting. Though our field changed quite a bit over those years, Sue’s dedication to the cause never wavered.

Sue Catchings is Chief Executive Officer of Heath Centers in Schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her organization serves 42,000 students on 97 campuses and strategically partners with schools, community physicians, and hospitals. Sue has built a comprehensive, integrated, and first-class school health care program across the entire East Baton Rouge Parish school system and influenced the growth of the model across all of Louisiana.

Sue fights annually for her state’s investment in school-based health centers. But her advocacy isn’t limited to Baton Rouge. She has lobbied the halls of Congress with great fervor, time and time again. As School-Based Health Alliance President John Schlitt likes to say, “She picks up the phone and barks demands of her elected representatives with gentility and Southern charm. And they thank her for the pleasure.”

While her Baton Rouge school-based health program serves as a model for what communities can accomplish with vision and cooperation, her enthusiastic spirit serves as a model for anyone who is passionate about redefining health for kids and teens. She is a true advocate, a trusted resource, and a highly-valued member of the School-Based Health Alliance.

Sue’s passion for children’s access to health is an inspiration to us all. It was for these and many other reasons that John Schlitt awarded her the School-Based Health Alliance’s Lifetime Advocate Award at a 20th Anniversary Reception on February 25, 2015.

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