In November Dr. Judith Holt, an administrator at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept the George S. Jesien Award from the Association of University Centers on Disability.
It is essentially the organization’s Distinguished Service Award.
It recognizes her pioneering work in bringing better, more integrated health care to children with disabilities in Utah, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and Wyoming.
The work was done quietly, but because of her efforts, children who live in less-populated areas have access to much better care, offered by professionals who have learned to listen better to the needs of their patients and their families.
Dr. Holt said when she entered a doctoral program in special education at the University of Texas, she became captivated by what she called amazing kids with disabilities, and that spurred her decision to become an early childhood special educator.
She once helped a group of activists occupy the office of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and he was persuaded not to make proposed cuts to Medicaid that would have affected the disabled in his state.