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October 25, 2007

Unsung Local Hero Receives Annual Community Health Leadership Award for Dedication to Underserved Children
La Casa de Esperanza de Los Niños Awarded $50K from St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities

HOUSTON - St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities announced William “Bill” D. Jones, co-founder and associate director of the non-profit Casa de Esperanza de Los Niños, Inc. (Casa), as the recipient of the Third Annual Community Health Leadership Award. As part of the award, a gift of $50,000 was presented at The Bishop’s Leadership Council Dinner October 24, 2007 to Casa, a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for abused, neglected, abandoned and medically fragile infants and young children.

With only a foster home license and a $500 donation, Bill Jones co-founded Casa in 1982. In 1986, Bill co-founded the first house in the nation to provide services to children with HIV, which is currently the country’s longest-standing residential service provider for these children. Today, Casa provides assistance to children through foster care, adoption, aftercare and psychological services in nine agency family-based care foster homes.

“This is my first time to ever have any kind of recognition. I was astounded because I really don’t think I do anything different than other people in this community,” said Bill Jones. “Casa will use the money to make sure food, clothing, and medical costs are covered for our children, and to ensure they will get the kind of care anyone would want their own child to have.”

Established in 2005, the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities Community Leadership Award recognizes community health leaders from non-profit organizations who have not been fully recognized for charitable work. Each recipient demonstrates outstanding leadership and collaboration in advancing community health for the underserved.

“St. Luke’s is proud to honor Bill Jones for his unwavering dedication to ensuring the development of children in need,” said The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, Bishop Suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and board chair for St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities. “Through his work with Casa, Bill represents a perfect example of what this award embodies: advancing community health through body, mind and spirit.”

For the first time, five additional grant recipients have been selected this year as “Ambassadors” and will receive $10,000 for the non-profit agency of their choice, bringing the total award amount to $100,000:

  • Heather Callaway Moore, MD, Children’s Clinic, Northwest Assistance Ministries
  • Stacie Cokinos, San Jose Clinic
  • Celia Beth Neavel, MD, Center for Adolescent Health at the People’s Community Clinic
  • Mark Nichols, DDS, Bering Omega Community Services
  • Carolyn Rebecca "Becky" Risinger, MD, The Luke Society, Inc. of Galveston

“This year we faced the insurmountable task of choosing one winner among many exceptional nominees,” said Bishop Harrison. “In order to better serve the needs of the community, we decided to award five more community leaders as Ambassadors because of their personal accomplishments and extraordinary community health leadership.”

St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities was founded in 1997 as a separate component of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. In partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the community, The Charities strives to increase opportunities for health enhancement and disease prevention, especially among the underserved, and makes possible measurable improvement in community health status and individual well-being.

More information about the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities is available at


St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System comprises the flagship St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s Community Medical Center–The Woodlands; St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and Kelsey-Seybold Management, LLP, overseeing 18 area clinic locations. St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital is under construction, scheduled to open in 2008. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, St. Luke’s serves as the primary adult teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine. St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and the Health System has been recognized by FORTUNE as among“100 Best Companies to Work For” and by Houston Business Journal as a top employer in Houston.

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