December 13, 2019
St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children Appoints New President

Deirdre Houtmeyers
July 9, 2013 — St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, an anit-poverty agency based in the Dorchester section of Boston, announced that it has named Deirdre Houtmeyers, as its new president, succeeding Judy Beckler, who served in the post for 17 years.

Houtmeyers, executive director and patient care director of St. Elizabeth Comprehensive Addictions Program (SECAP) at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Boston, will assume her new responsibilities in September. Beckler, who advised members of the St. Mary’s board of trustees of her retirement plans in the fall of 2012, will remain at St. Mary’s through September to assist with the transition.

Katherine Hesse, board chair of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, said Houtmeyers’ clinical knowledge, profound commitment to social justice and advocacy, and understanding of the unique challenges facing women and children will serve her well as president of the Center.

“Deidre’s breadth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and dedication to results-oriented, quality programs ensures that St. Mary's will remain well positioned as it celebrates 20 years of service to the community. We are delighted to welcome Deirdre to the St. Mary’s family at such a pivotal time in our history,” said Hesse.

During her 33 years at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Boston, Houtmeyers has led a large, diverse, multi-disciplined staff providing inpatient, outpatient, day treatment, diversion, and after-care programs to youth, adults and families with significant substance abuse and mental health problems.

Houtmeyers also brings extensive experience in risk management, program development, quality improvement, and contract and fiscal management to her leadership role at St. Mary’s.

During her tenure, Beckler played a key role developing the Center’s integrated services which are designed to help at-risk women and their children living in poverty change their lives through academic and emotional support and job training.

“Today, as a result of Judy’s creativity and commitment, St. Mary’s is one of the city’s most vibrant and vital multi-service centers, providing a comprehensive package of counseling, education, employment, housing, and after-care programs for more than 600 women and children, annually,” said Hesse.

She added, “Judy’s contributions to St. Mary’s, and to the field of social service, will be felt for years to come. She leaves St. Mary’s Center well-positioned for its next era of achievement.”

St. Mary's supports more than 600 women and children annually, with residential, clinical and educational and employment services, housing search to assist families in securing affordable, permanent housing. A 120,000-square-foot facility, St. Mary’s re-developed the former St. Margaret's Hospital in 1993 when the hospital services moved to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

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