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Children's Coalition Announces New Executive Director

The Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana (CCNELA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of a new Executive Director, Kristie Bardell. Kristie has 20 years of experience serving as a trailblazer developing and implementing health improvement initiatives throughout Louisiana. Over the course of her career, her passion has been to reduce socioeconomic and health inequalities. She has led family health initiatives in both the nonprofit and government sector.  Kristie has extensive experience in building capacity around programming, clinical services, community engagement, health equity and policy change. “I am looking forward to stepping into this next chapter to continue to create thriving communities”, said Kristie. “When we thrive together, we become stronger together. Let our story begin!”    
Kristie brings cross-sector experience to establish practices that promote greater understanding and intersectionality of content, skills, and community.  The leadership she provides emphasizes on reducing disparities within underserved communities from a structural and social determinants of health lens. Prior to joining CCNELA, she worked at Louisiana Public Health Institute to advance strategic direction of the organization by developing national and regional partnerships to influence collective action and further health outcomes. She has also worked with the Louisiana Department of Health to improve maternal, infant, and child mortality and morbidity rates by providing statewide leadership to build public health capacity.  
Kristie has served on numerous boards such as the Louisiana School-Based Health Alliance, Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Community Impact Committee for United Way Southeast Louisiana and City of New Orleans Children and Youth Planning Board: Childhood Trauma Task Force. Some of her successes to date are strategizing on the passage of equitable health policies by working with multi-sector partners (school boards, interfaith leaders, youth, legislators, community leaders and non-profits), in addition to developing thriving communities through resource allocation and programmatic investments. Kristie has been sought out for her expertise as a population health strategist to serve on and/or moderate panels for Rosenblum Healthcare Institute-Touro Infirmary, United Way Worldwide, F-NO Public Health Film Festival and foundations. Kristie holds a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana. As a native of Louisiana and passionate strategist, she continues to carve a pathway to health for all.  
Over the last year, CCNELA has continued to respond to community needs under the leadership and guidance of Interim Executive Director Mark Parrish.  Mark has been involved with CCNELA for over 20 years.  During his leadership, he dedicated time and resources to professional growth for all staff members as the organization adjusted to resuming post pandemic services and activities to ensure vital services resume to full capacity. “I am pleased that over the last year, we have increased our footprint across Region 8. We also invested heavily in our staff, giving them opportunities for professional development that will make them more effective in their efforts to serve the community. I am looking forward to Kristie stepping into this role and continuing the legacy of Children’s Coalition” said Mark. 
Mark has always remained fully committed to the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and was pivotal in allowing the board to conduct an extensive search this past year for a new director that will continue to lead CCNELA in responding to the needs of our children and families in Northeast Louisiana.    
About the Children’s Coalition:  
The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana is dedicated to creating communities where children and families thrive. We address the needs of children and youth ages 0-18 in four main areas: Early Care and Education, Healthy Living, Parent Education and Youth Development. We are located in Downtown Monroe, Louisiana and we serve the northeast region of Louisiana including the following parishes: Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, and West Carroll.  
The Coalition began as a response to the 1997 President’s Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia as Ret. General Colin Powell challenged Americans and communities to come together and make youth and children a top priority. In 1998, Northeast Louisiana began to organize their own efforts to focus on youth and adolescents, and later formally created the Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana as a 501c3 membership based nonprofit. 

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