News Archive May/June 2014

Libby Watson, left, and Myrtle McMahan recognized for achievements

Watson, McMahan honored


In May, WPF member, Libby Watson, was the recipient of two well-deserved awards. On Thursday, May 15, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Girl Scouts Texas Oklahoma Plains Council at their Women of Distinction event held at Ridglea Country Club. This honor recognized her long-time significant contributions to Girl Scouting and the community at large.


On Saturday, May 17, Libby was the first community member to receive an honorary membership to the University of North Texas School of Public Health Delta Omega Chapter for her work with UNTHSC and her commitment, dedication and time devoted to the public health of the Fort Worth community. This honor was presented to Libby during the UNTHSC graduation ceremony.


Myrtle McMahan was recently named Hospital Volunteer of the Year by JPS Health Network.


It’s been anything but an easy year for Myrtle. She advised and assisted as the JPS Auxiliary decided to dissolve. Myrtle helped volunteer department staff in sorting through years of Auxiliary history and in finding good homes for supplies they no longer need.


She transitioned her husband to a residential memory facility and, to top it off, even endured a flooded apartment - twice! But, as outstanding volunteers are wont to do, Myrtle has continued her work at JPS, currently as a Pastoral volunteer.


Her service to JPS spans over 20 years, 15,000 service hours and countless positions. Myrtle contributed her listening skills, her organizational skills and her determination - whatever the job required. She also shares herself and her time with the League of Women Voters, Girl Scouts and her church.



Texas Overcomes Challenges to Enroll More Than 700,000 Uninsured through ACA

A trio of speakers explained the past, present and future of the Affordable Care Act in Texas at the regular membership luncheon of the Women’s Policy Forum on May 14.


Tim McKinney, CEO/President of United Way of Tarrant County, introduced the main speaker, Marjorie McColl Petty, Department of Health and Human Services Region VI Administrator, with whom he has worked closely throughout the rollout of the ACA in Texas.


McKinney explained the role of the United Way of Tarrant County as the lead agency in the effort to enroll Texas residents and the largest recipient of grant funds to develop programs to educate and inform the public. “I’m proud to say the United Way of Tarrant County received an award from the federal government for the best Navigator organization,” he said. The United Way in Tarrant County collaborates with 16 other organizations to coordinate enrollment efforts.


Petty, a native of Midland leads the largest region in the HHS organization serving five states. She characterizes herself as a “switchboard operator” who communicates the federal government’s rules to the region she supervises. Petty touted the Texas enrollment of more than 700,000 residents as an indication of how successful the United Way and its partner agencies have been at explaining the program. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation at 6 million residents.


“A lot has changed and more innovations will continue to happen,” Petty said. She noted that Houston, the largest city in Texas with the largest uninsured population, implemented several innovative programs. The city employed Six Sigma reporting to measure its progress, which she said “should be a model nationally.”


Two of the biggest obstacles to signing up residents were the misinformation surrounding the ACA and the lack of bilingual navigators to assist with communication. Amanda Arizola, Consumer Health insurance Marketplace Enrollment Services manager, said every applicant needed at least two hours of explanation to fully understand his or her options. “The time needed and the lack of access to technology hampered our efforts,” she said. She credits creative approaches by partner organizations, including libraries that offered computers to those who needed online access, for helping Texas close in on its goals.


“We have met 65 percent of our goal and continue to sign up those who have life-changing experiences who are eligible to enroll through Aug. 15,” said Arizola. “We also are preparing for the next enrollment period which begins in the fall.” 


For Immediate Release
May 13, 2014
Contact: Kris Mewherter (214-965-8413)




Fort Worth - As the 25th anniversary of a bloody populist uprising in China arrives, veteran Beijing-based National Public Radio reporter Louisa Lim has written an insightful book examining the government's method of handling that event and its aftermath: The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited. The book describes how the Chinese government has suppressed national memories of the populist uprising in June 1989.


Lim will discuss China and the Tiananmen challenge, as well as the status of women in China, in a special luncheon program and book signing at noon on Wednesday, June 18, at the Colonial Country Club. The event is presented by the Women's Policy Forum of Fort Worth and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Tickets for the luncheon are $30 for members of the Council and the Forum; non-member tickets are $45. For tickets, see (The author will make an appearance at 7 that evening at a Council program and book-signing at Visit Addison, a Town of Addison venue at 5100 Belt Line Road in far north Dallas. That event is presented in partnership with the Crow Collection of Asian Art.)


Lim has covered China for years, first with the BBC and for nearly a decade with National Public Radio. She opened NPR's Shanghai bureau in 2006 and was part of NPR teams that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, a Peabody Award and two Edward R. Murrow awards for coverage of 2008 events, the Sichuan earthquake and Beijing Olympics. She also received a Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award.

For more information, contact World Affairs Council Vice President for Marketing and Interactive Media Kris Mewherter at 214-965-8413 or


World Affairs Council
Since its founding in 1951, the mission of the nonprofit, nonpartisan World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth has been to promote international awareness and understanding. Visit


Women’s Policy Forum

The Women’s Policy Forum is an organization of influential women who investigate and support policies and initiatives that will effect positive change for Tarrant County women and our community. Members are elected officials and women in leadership positions in government, business, nonprofit agencies and volunteer organizations. The Forum was founded in 1987 to bring together strong women leaders who could harness the vast power of women leaders in the home, professions, government service and nonprofits. For more information on the Women’s Policy Forum, go to





Louisa Lim, NPR Beijing-based foreign correspondent, to keynote special June 18 membership meeting

Louisa Lim, NPR Beijing-based foreign correspondent,to keynote special June 18 membership meeting In June, the Women’s Policy Forum and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth are partnering to present Louisa Lim, National Public Radio’s China correspondent, who will address the Forum membership on “The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited” , emphasizing the role of women in China and the effect of the uprising on them. 


To make reservations and to learn more about Louisa Lim, register today. Lim is a distinguished journalist who opened NPR’s Shanghai bureau in February 2006. She has won multiple national awards as part of NPR reporting teams and has worked throughout Asia for various news organizations. Follow Lim on Twitter at @limlouisa where you can catch up with her commentary on the missing Malaysian airliner and other topical issues.




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WOMEN’S POLICY FORUM   |      P.O. Box 11246   Fort Worth, Texas 76110