HOUSTON – Dr. Quianta Moore, MD, JD, a nationally renowned expert in research and policies to improve the health and well-being of children and the communities in which they reside, has been named Executive Director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health, the regional center of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute dedicated to the people of Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast.
Dr. Moore has served as the Huffington Fellow in Child Health Policy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University for the past seven years. She will assume the Executive Director position at The Hackett Center on November 1, 2021, moving from her previous position as a Senior Fellow for Health Equity with the Meadows Institute, which she has held since 2018. Dr. Moore succeeds Dr. Gary Blau, PhD, who will become Executive Director Emeritus and a Senior Fellow for Children’s Mental Health focused on extending the pediatric health policy work of The Hackett Center and Meadows Institute nationally.
“As an action-oriented researcher, my work at the Baker Institute partnered with communities to co-create a research agenda that not only identified challenges, but also actionable solutions to effectuate change. My work has collaboratively impacted communities here in the region and joining the Meadows Institute provides an even greater opportunity to improve the mental health and well-being of people and communities across the Gulf Coast region by leveraging regional, state, and national-level policy,” Dr. Moore said. “The creation of The Hackett Center as a regional center of Meadows was visionary and strategically leverages the strengths of the Meadows Institute to advance the interests of the Gulf Coast region. I am tremendously honored to join my new colleagues at The Hackett Center to support, expand, and integrate our work to transform mental health care and ultimately improve mental health and well-being within the Gulf Coast Region.”
“Through The Hackett Center, we are laying the foundation for the Gulf Coast Region to become the national leader in children’s mental health research, expertise, and practice,” said Hackett Center Founder Maureen Hackett.
“Dr. Moore’s addition to The Hackett Center is a pivotal step in expanding our ability to influence research, policies, and programs that will forever transform mental health care in America.”
– Maureen Hackett
“Dr. Moore is a brilliant, profoundly accomplished researcher and well-respected national thought leader who carries the well-earned trust of communities across the Gulf Coast Region and beyond,” said Andy Keller, President, and CEO of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. “We are incredibly fortunate to have her join The Hackett Center and take the lead of the organization, particularly at a time when individuals and communities are grappling with growing mental health needs driven by the pandemic.”
Dr. Moore is known for the community-oriented approach she takes to her research to help funders and community stakeholders work collaboratively to develop interventions, policies, and strategies to support more equitable futures for their children and their communities, an approach that can also help ground and deepen the impact of The Hackett Center’s program and policy work. “Communities possess a rich, in-depth understanding of the complexities of both challenges and opportunities for solutions that, if respected and included in decision-making, can exponentially increase impact. I am looking forward to continuing to work with communities and stakeholders to achieve our collective goals of improving mental health.”
Dr. Moore received an MD from Baylor College of Medicine, a JD from the University of Houston Law Center, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cornell University. She was also recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as an Interdisciplinary Research Leader, and she was honored in 2018 by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who proclaimed “Dr. Quianta Moore Day” in acknowledgment of her work’s impact.
Dr. Moore’s leadership team at The Hackett Center includes Marcellina Melvin, a widely respected expert in children’s mental health who has been with the Meadows Institute since 2018 and has been elevated to Deputy Director of The Hackett Center.
Dr. Blau, the former Chief of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will shift his focus back to national work on behalf of the mental health of children, youth, and families. “I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments of The Hackett Center over the last two years, and we could not have found a better, more qualified person to take over as Executive Director,” Dr. Blau said. “She’s the right person at the right time.”
The Gulf Coast’s rich diversity in demographics, geography, and socio-economic factors can replicate most any conditions across the country, making it an ideal location to pilot new programs. Successful programs pioneered in the region can be effectively scaled and utilized in communities across the state, the nation, and even the world.
“Houston is home to more children than some entire states,” Dr. Moore said. “With such diversity, it’s a perfect place and time to collaborate as broadly as possible to align this region’s talent and expertise laser-focused on improving mental health.”
About The Hackett Center for Mental Health
Through the generosity of the Maureen and Jim Hackett Family, The Hackett Center for Mental Health was established in January 2018 as the inaugural regional center of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Leveraging the participation of exceptionally skilled researchers, community leaders, and health care providers, The Hackett Center’s purpose is to transform systems and influence policy through unprecedented collaboration.
About Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Launched in 2014, the Meadows Institute helps legislators, state officials, members of the judiciary, and local, state, and national leaders identify equitable systemic solutions to mental health needs and has become Texas’s most trusted source for data-driven mental health policy. The Meadows Institute is making a significant impact in multiple areas, helping Texas and national leaders shift the focus of new investments toward early intervention, addressing the mental health crisis in our jails and emergency rooms, and helping all people with mental health needs recover and be well. Learn more at https://mmhpi.org.
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