People of AC - Cathy Lazarus

Cathy is a member of the Advocacy Center of Louisiana Board of Directors.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from St. Louis, MO although I did most of my growing up in Chicago, IL. My husband and I moved to New Orleans in 1994. I am a physician (general internal medicine) and over my career have worked at several different medical schools teaching, seeing patients, and in administration. Currently I am the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at LSU New Orleans School of Medicine and the Chief Academic Officer for University Medical Center. I am passionate about caring for and mentoring others and find that the greatest privilege.

How did you come to know the Advocacy Center of Louisiana?

I first found out about the Advocacy Center shortly after moving to New Orleans in the 1990’s. I have a son with autism who is also very gifted and we were struggling to find him appropriate schooling. The Advocacy Center wrote a letter on his behalf that helped to open some doors. Since then, now that my son is grown, has several graduate degrees and is full time employed (yeah!), the Advocacy Center has helped with the Ticket to Work program (Client Advocacy) and with benefits counseling for social security.    

What compelled you to become a member of the Board?

I attended the Advocacy Center's Friendraising Luncheon a few years ago at the invitation of a former board member, and realized the scope and importance of the work that the Advocacy Center does. When (former Executive Director) Lois Simpson approached me about joining the board a couple of years later, I was honored to be a part of this great organization.    

What part of AC's work are you most passionate about?

Improving opportunities for those with disabilities to live a full and meaningful life. 

What has been your proudest achievement as a member of the Board?

Being part of the recruitment of new CEO Kim Jones. 

What do you hope for the Board to achieve in the coming year?

Our current political climate is very challenging. We can never stop speaking up on behalf of those who need our help. Those with disabilities and seniors may face threatened cuts to services and supports. I hope that we can be a voice that helps to preserve the essential protections (including legal) that are needed for achieving a full and meaningful life.    


Article published: April 5, 2017, 3:50 p.m.