Dr. Erika Thompson receives first Hope Award from Center for Transforming Lives

By Sally CrockerDr. Erika Thompson

The first Hope Award honoring a volunteer whose extraordinary efforts make a significant difference in advancing the mission of the Center for Transforming Lives (CTL) has been presented to Dr. Erika Thompson at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC).

Dr. Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the HSC School of Public Health and Program Director for the school’s Maternal and Child Health MPH program.

As a researcher, Dr. Thompson works to find public health solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing children and their families. She partners with CTL and other local organizations, including the Health Equity Alliance of Tarrant County, Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County, Birth Equity Collaborative and the Tarrant County Family Homelessness Committee.

CTL provides housing, early childhood education, economic mobility and clinical counseling services to address families’ most critical needs and support mothers in creating long-term sustainability for their families.

“Dr. Thompson has been an invaluable partner in our research and advocacy work in recent years,” said Carol Klocek, CEO, in presenting the award. “She and her team were instrumental in the development of a series of policy briefs in 2019 related to family homelessness that we use to educate and inform local stakeholders and elected officials.”

“Additionally, Dr. Thompson spearheaded a Journey Mapping project during which parents experiencing homelessness were interviewed and shared their personal stories,” she said.

This research has since been published in professional journals and presented at conferences related to both public health and family homelessness.

“Bringing this research to a wider audience elevates the need for critical services across the country and honors the work of CTL. Dr. Thompson truly has a heart for women and children,” Klocek said.

She also noted that Dr. Thompson has been instrumental in developing CTL’s latest project, a survey of families living in motels and hotels in Tarrant County.

“She has forged multiple connections for CTL with other organizations in the community and with her colleagues in public health,” Klocek said. “Her work strengthens our ability to advocate for women and children in Tarrant County and she gives us hope that we can affect positive change for the most vulnerable families in our community.”

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