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Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute Receives $20 Million Gift from Maureen and Jim Hackett

Funding will Establish The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston

/EIN News/ --

Austin, Jan. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Maureen and Jim Hackett have made a transformative gift of $20 million to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), dedicated to making Harris County and the broader Gulf Coast region the national leader in treating people with mental health needs. In honor of the Hacketts, MMHPI will establish The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston, a permanent operating program of MMHPI with an initial primary focus on Hurricane Harvey recovery.


Jim and Maureen Hackett



“This extraordinary gift will allow us to establish a lasting presence in Houston focused on translating policy into practice in partnership with the region’s leading health systems,” said Dr. Andy Keller, President and CEO of MMHPI. “The Hackett Center for Mental Health will be a catalyst for advancements by better aligning public and private sector policies to improve mental health care delivery – expanding brain health research, strengthening academic-public-private partnerships and improving the quality and availability of care in one of our nation’s largest metropolitan areas.”


The Hackett Center for Mental Health is based on the premise that health system transformation requires a continuous focus on local system collaboration and capacity enhancement, sustained by system-level policy reforms. The center will engage local and state leaders to improve the region’s institutional capacity for mental health policy and program research and technical assistance to implement state-of-the-art best practices. The new center will maintain the Institute’s progress at a state and regional level for children, veterans and adults in the criminal justice system, and will continue to place an emphasis on the necessary synergy between state policy and local system transformation needed to achieve better outcomes.


Given its focus as serving as a catalyst for improving mental health care across the region’s health systems, The Hackett Center for Mental Health will locate in the Texas Medical Center and will be an active partner in the vision of collaboration and innovation at the heart of TMC3.


The Institute is also proud to announce that Susan Fordice will serve as executive director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health. She previously served as President and CEO of Mental Health America of Greater Houston, and brings decades of service to the community in many of the region’s leading health and academic institutions, as well as an unparalleled knowledge of the mental health landscape in Houston and the region.


Maureen Hackett said her family believes in the mission and the expertise of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.


“Our family is dedicated to serving the interests that make up the heart of every strong community: faith, family, health and education. Mental health care is a cause so dear to my family, the community, this great state and the entire nation,” said Maureen Hackett.  “This gift is an investment in quality, research-driven work that will prove to be a systemic game-changer.”  


“The Hackett family has long held a vision of Houston as a home for world-renowned brain health research and innovation, as well as a model of effective access to mental health care,” said Jim Hackett. “Through this gift, we can put policies into practice to help realize that dream.”


Three in four Texans have a friend or family member who has experienced a mental health issue, and an estimated 310,000 children and youth in Harris County have mental health needs each year.


“Mental health, just like physical health, affects the lives of all Texans,” said Tom Luce, board member and founding CEO of MMHPI. “The Hacketts’ generous philanthropy and profound dedication to expanding access to mental health care will have a sustained, positive impact for generations of future Texans.”


“The Hackett family has put Houston on the national stage in addressing how mental health services are delivered,” said Lyndon Olson, MMHPI Board Chair.  “Behavioral health is one of the most significant medical, public policy, and perception challenges of our time, and this gift positions The Hackett Center to be a driving force in creating the path forward.”


The Hacketts are passionate agents of change in the realm of behavioral and mental health. Maureen Hackett has served in local, state and national leadership roles in mental health for over 30 years. She is a founding board member of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and serves on the advisory boards of the Texas Medical Center, the Behavioral and Developmental Collaborative at Texas Children’s Hospital and The Mental Health Channel. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, a director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, and an Honorary Lifetime Board Member of Mental Health America of Greater Houston. She is past chair of The Menninger Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine.


Jim Hackett is the former Executive Chairman of the Board and former CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. He is currently a Partner in Riverstone Holdings and CEO of Silver Run II, an energy investment fund. He cares passionately about mental health parity and has testified before the U.S. Congress about the need for mental health coverage by employers. He previously led efforts to encourage other Houston business leaders to review their insurance coverage regarding mental health care.


A major early focus of the center will be addressing the myriad of mental health needs left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. “Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have long-term harmful effects on the mental health of children, youth and adults,” said Dr. Keller. “The Hackett Center for Mental Health will work with existing agencies and organizations to more efficiently and effectively build capacity and provide care to heal the emotional wounds left by this storm.”


Since its public launch in 2014, MMHPI has helped Texas legislators, state officials, members of the judiciary, and local leaders identify systemic mental health needs and solutions, quickly becoming Texas’s most trusted source for data-driven mental health policy. In three short years, the Institute has begun to make significant impact in multiple areas, helping Texas leaders expand the mental health workforce, improve access to care for veterans and their families, shift the focus of new investments toward early intervention, and address the mental health crisis in our jails and emergency rooms.

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute