Lacrica S. Olson, MPA serves as the Chief of Staff for External Affairs and works closely with the Executive Vice President for External Affairs and Chief Communications Officer to provide strategic support and planning for the External Affairs team. She is also a key coordinator of the Institute’s statewide Engage & Excel Conference. Lacrica joined the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute in June 2016 and has served in a variety of roles since then.
Prior to joining the Meadows Institute, Ms. Olson was the Community Impact Director for Health and Mental Health Initiatives at United Way of Denton County. There she was responsible for management and facilitation of a 34-member Behavioral Health Leadership Team, which formed in 2015 to guide system level change in Denton County. She had the unique opportunity to collaborate with diverse partnerships/stakeholders to guide and implement local policy change as well as to provide consultation, technical assistance, training, and leadership to develop and improve mental health services through evidence-based programs and practices. Before moving to Texas, she worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Health as the Accreditation Coordinator for Cleveland and McClain County Health Departments, where she was responsible for public health accreditation and quality improvement. Previous positions include Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Aquaculture, Florida Department of Health, and Buffalo County Community Health Partners in Kearney, Nebraska.
Ms. Olson received her Master’s in Public Administration and her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Florida State University and has significant experience in the public and nonprofit sector. She resides in Denton County with her daughter and serves on the Denton County Public Health Advisory Committee.