Ten Women Forging a Path for Equity and Well-being in Rural Texas

March is Women’s History Month.  It’s a good time to pause and think about how far women have come in their fight for equality and to acknowledge women who stand on the frontlines. Daily, these brave women are working in their communities to confront issues of inequality for all people — especially those who are marginalized and have been historically excluded. 

As we all know, in the last 12 months we have experienced a global pandemic, racial tension, political unrest, as well as weather-related disasters that ricocheted around the world, seemingly simultaneously. The effects of these unprecedented global events not only compounded hardships in our country, but the remnants threaten how we live now and in the future. And we’re only beginning to understand the disproportionate impact that these events have on populations in rural communities.    

This Month, Alliance is pleased to salute 10 women leading the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s Collaborative Approaches to Well-being in Rural Communities (WRC) in five rural Texas counties: Bastrop, Brooks, Morris, Nacogdoches, and Victoria. 

The initiative aims to support the transformation of rural environments where people live, learn, work, play and pray, bringing a population health approach to support resilience, mental health and well-being. Alliance for Greater Works currently serves as coordinator of the initiative, which includes building the capacity of the community leaders to create equitable communities. Tammy Heinz, Senior Program Manager, is leading this Hogg Foundation funded initiative. We salute Tammy on her commitment to removing mental health barriers and promoting a future in which rural communities have the health equity resources needed to not only survive but thrive. 

“We are honored to acknowledge these 10 women for their leadership, commitment, and vision to improve the well-being of all people in their counties,” says Sherrye Willis, founding president & CEO of Alliance for Greater Works. “We salute the women for their hard work over the last three years to engage all voices in their collaborative work.”  Please join Alliance in Celebrating Her:  April Anzaldua (Brooks County), Debbie Bresette (Bastrop County), Krystal Grimes (Bastrop County), Kayla Gutierrez (Victoria County),Mrs. Margine Mims (Morris County), Emmerentie Oliphant (Nacogdoches County), Delilah Perez (Victoria County), Jodi Sandoval (Victoria County), and Erica Woodruff (Brooks County). The WRC initiative grew out of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health’s strategic direction to address the root causes of poor mental health at the community and systems level. The foundation recognizes that community-based approaches are necessary to make a lasting transformation in mental health and well-being. The project serves five Texas counties, each with a population of 250,000 people or less.

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