The Family Advisory Council members, back row, from left, Caroline Rogers, April Nesin, Morgan Oostra, Mequitta Owens, Mary Jane Thomas, Chrystal Murphy, Alyssa Darmody, and Cindy Parker. Front row, from left, Lisa Spurlock and Kathy Corley.
Siskin Children’s Institute Family Voices of Tennessee Southeast Partnership selected 17 individuals to serve on the inaugural Family Advisory Council. This group of parents, alongside representatives of community partners, will focus on bringing awareness and changes in areas of importance to families caring for children with chronic illness, special health care needs, and disabilities.
“We are happy to bring together parents caring for children with special needs as well as those who have grown children to work alongside our community partners to advocate for changes in our community,” said Lisa Spurlock, coordinator of the Family Voices of Tennessee program at Siskin Children’s Institute. “Together we can provide vital connections for families and serve as a vehicle of communication and collaboration between family leaders and community leaders working to reach common goals through family-centered care, inclusion, advocacy."
Family Advisory Council members were appointed after all candidates underwent an interview process to gauge their ability to advocate on behalf of the children with special needs and their families, share their own experiences openly and effectively, and build an active and engaged community of parents.
Those selected for the Family Advisory Council are Kathy Corley, Alyssa Darmody, Chrystal Murphy, April Nesin, Morgan Oostra, Mequitta Owens, Cindy Parker, Caroline Rogers, Sara Scott, and Mary Jane Thomas.
The following individuals represent community partners selected to serve: Ashley Allen, Erlanger Medical Center, Family Advisory Council Leader; Roddy Coe, Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities; Elaine Adams Gossett, city of Chattanooga, Therapeutic Recreation; Valerie Rutledge, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies; Kristi Tankersley, Orange Grove Center, Tennessee Family Support Program; and April Wilson, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, College of Social Work.
The Helen Siskin Pregulman Family Voices of Tennessee Southeast Partnership offers resources, support, and guidance to parents as they care for children with special healthcare needs, chronic illnesses, or disabilities.
For more information about the Helen Siskin Pregulman Family Voices of Tennessee Southeast Partnership at Siskin Children’s Institute, visit siskin.org/familyvoices.
For more information about Siskin Children’s Institute, visit siskin.org.