SPH inducts community partner into Delta Omega public health honor society

Carol KlocekThe School of Public Health (SPH) at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) has inducted community partner Carol Klocek, CEO of Center for Transforming Lives (CTL), Tarrant County, as an honorary member into HSC’s chapter of Delta Omega, the national public health honor society.

Founded in 1924, Delta Omega recognizes students, faculty, alumni and professionals who have contributed to the field of public health and made contributions to the health of all people.

Each year, the HSC School of Public Health Delta Omega Chapter inducts new members based on outstanding performance in scholarship, teaching, research and community service. Election of membership into Delta Omega is intended to not only recognize merit but also encourage further excellence in and devotion to public health work. 

Klocek, who was nominated by SPH Assistant Professor Dr. Erika Thompson and inducted at the recent SPH End-of-Year Banquet, has served as CEO for the Center for Transforming Lives since 2009.

CTL works alongside women and their children to disrupt the cycle of poverty by providing comprehensive homeless services, early childhood education and economic mobility services. This vital outreach includes traditional childcare and Early Head Start, family housing, financial stability support and trauma intervention services.

Dr. Thompson has worked together with Klocek and CTL for three years on projects aimed at helping to improve the lives of these Tarrant County families.

“In many ways, Carol embodies the qualities of a public health leader, tirelessly working to address the social determinants of health in Tarrant County,” said Dr. Thompson. “I have had the pleasure of working alongside Carol as she navigates the complex housing system in Tarrant County and advocates for families experiencing homelessness and poverty.”

Under Klocek’s leadership, Dr. Thompson noted, CTL has conducted the first needs assessment of families living in area motels to identify the dire needs and potential solutions to this problem. Klocek also led Tarrant County’s Coalition for Homeless Children to shed light on the magnitude of the problem locally and identify opportunities for cross-sectional collaboration.

“Carol is constantly a systems-thinker, trying to piece together the puzzle for women and children in our community,” Dr. Thompson explained. “She relies on evidence to inform her work and consistently stays abreast of the latest scientific literature on trauma-informed care and evidence-based practices for addressing social determinants of health.”

In 2020, Klocek presented the Blueprint for Ending Family Homelessness in Tarrant County at the Beyond Housing Conference in New York City.

She serves as a board member for Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., is active with HSC’s SPH Academic-Community Partnerships Advisory Board and has served on local and regional boards addressing homelessness, mental health and maternal and child health.

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