For the first time in its 68-year history, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has hired two liaisons to bring the voices of consumers of mental health services and their families to the foundation's strategic planning, grant making, programs and policy activities.
The roles are unique among philanthropic organizations and gained national attention when the foundation posted the positions in June. The foundation received applications from more than 150 people across the United States, from as far away as New York and California.
Both liaisons have extensive skills, knowledge and experience with mental health policies, services and issues. They will help engage consumers and family members in the work of the foundation and other mental health organizations while also bringing attention to mental health concerns in Texas.
Stephany Bryan of Austin joined the foundation Nov. 10. She has spent the past 14 years advocating for improvements to federal, state and local mental health policies and services. She also has served as a leader, mentor and adviser to consumers, family members, government agencies, policy makers and advocacy groups.
Bryan's work in mental health began in 1994 as a family representative on the Austin Travis County Community Management Team and the Community Action Network. In 1998 she became the parent coordinator for The Children's Partnership in Travis County, the first federally funded local program in Texas to implement systems of care for children and youth with mental health needs and their families. Since 2005 she has worked with the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health and the American Institutes for Research to advise communities and states across the U.S. implementing similar systems of care.
Bryan is a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Integrated Funding Initiative and the Texas Transformation Workgroup and chairwoman of the Parent Collaboration Group with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She previously was a member of the National Council of Coordination and Collaboration and a peer mentor for the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health. She has a certificate in finance from the American Institute of Banking and completed coursework in music at Texas State University.
Tammy Heinz of Arlington, Texas, begins her new position in January. For more than 15 years she has worked in the state and local mental health arenas providing psychiatric care, consumer training and workshops, employment coaching and job development, stigma reduction and advocacy services.
Heinz is the outreach program director for the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas, where she oversees mental health advocacy, education, information and referral, peer support, supported employment and veterans programs. Before joining the association in 2000, she worked for several organizations supervising and delivering mental health services, training, facilitation, advocacy, crisis response, and education and awareness activities.
Heinz also has experience in strategic planning, policy work, grant writing, public speaking, community outreach and coalition building. She has a master of science degree in community mental health from Trinity College in Burlington, Vt., and a bachelor of science degree in psychology from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
"Stephany and Tammy bring unique perspectives and invaluable insights about what's needed to improve mental health services and systems in Texas," said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr., executive director of the foundation. "Their knowledge and experiences with mental health consumers and family members, systems of care, policies and issues will benefit the foundation's work and the state as a whole."
The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by Miss Ima Hogg, daughter of former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg, to promote improved mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation's grants and programs support mental health consumer services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas.