Doctor joins pediatrics team at Family Circle of Care
Dr. Jeffrey Smith has joined the pediatrics team at Family Circle of Care. He sees patients at the health center, located at 214 E Houston St in Tyler.
“I am very excited to welcome Dr. Smith to Family Circle of Care,” said Kristen Harris, Family Circle of Care chief executive officer. “He has been practicing medicine in Tyler for over two decades and has cared for many East Texas families from birth to adulthood.”
Smith is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. He loves pediatric medicine and enjoys helping families grow with healthy lifestyles. He especially stresses safety, nutrition and physical activity. To make an appointment with Dr. Smith, call 903-535-9041.
Family Circle of Care is a system of six community-based clinics providing affordable health care to East Texas families. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Family Circle of Care increases access to quality health care for all individuals regardless of income and insurance status. Medical services include family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, internal medicine and behavioral health.
Tyler woman reappointed to state committee
Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Laura Koenig Young of Tyler to the Governor’s Commission for Women. She’s one of four women who were appointed and 10 women who were reappointed to the commission.
Young is president at Brighton Collectibles. She is a board member for the Cancer Foundation for Life and a former board member of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, the East Texas Communities Foundation, and Southern Methodist University Alumni Association. Additionally, Young is a Visionary Member of the Women’s Fund of Smith County and a Sustainer Member of the Junior League of Tyler. Young has been active in many philanthropic and community initiatives throughout Texas. She was recognized at the 2011 Women in Tyler Day with the Women Mean Business honor. Young received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from SMU and is a graduate of the Owner President Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Abbott is charging the commission with developing a strategy and implementation plan to help make Texas the number one state for women-owned businesses and to address the issue of human trafficking. Housed within the Office of the Governor, the Governor’s Commission for Women specializes in outreach, education, research and referral services.
Buckner government relations director named
Veteran child-rights advocate Andrea Sparks will serve as the director of government relations for nonprofit Buckner International, effective immediately. Sparks comes to Buckner from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, where she led the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team for five and a half years. In her new role with Buckner, Sparks will work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to improve public policies and investments to protect children, strengthen families and serve seniors.
“Andrea Sparks has an impressive record fighting to protect Texas children, and we are excited to have her join the Buckner team,” said Buckner International President and CEO Albert Reyes. “Andrea’s guidance and leadership will help us work together with our elected officials to transform the lives of our most vulnerable people.”
As the founding director of the Texas Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, Sparks led her team and stakeholders to develop local multi-disciplinary care coordination teams and regional continua of care for young survivors, as well as new laws, policies and strategies for prevention and identification of trafficking and for holding exploiters accountable.
Sparks also served as the executive director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Texas Regional Office, the director of public affairs for Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and as a solo practitioner representing children and families in child protection, juvenile justice and adoption cases.
Sparks received a degree in political science/international relations and French at Tulane University and a law degree at the University of Texas School of Law, with honors at both. During her career, Sparks founded and served on multiple nonprofit boards serving children and families and has won awards for her work on behalf of the same.
“I’ve spent most of my career building teams, systems, services, and advocacy programs for young survivors traumatized by abuse, neglect, exploitation and/or trafficking,” Sparks said. “It is an honor and a true blessing to join Buckner, where our focus is on prevention of harm by strengthening and empowering youth and families. I look forward to sharing the incredible hope that Buckner brings with stakeholders across Texas and beyond.”