Houston Treasures for 2020
Photo by: Gittings
Dr. Peggy B. Smith and her husband E. Ashley Smith have worked as a team for the Houston community. Peggy has focused her efforts on improving the health of inner city youth, and over the last 48 years has founded community resources for nine comprehensive county-wide Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics.
As a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, and as CEO of the Clinics, she has successfully collaborated with Harris Health, Houston Independent School District, Harris County Commissioners, and the Texas Legislature to design and implement health policies and associated medical programs to reduce health disparities among youth. These clinics play a significant role in our community in integrating health care and research at little or no cost for adolescents and young adults 13 to 24 years of age. These efforts also include innovative initiatives such as tele-health counseling programs, clinics as portals for employment in allied health professions, and comprehensive primary care to reduce health risks in this group. Over the years, Peggy has also worked with four Texas Governors who asked her to make recommendations on how best to improve the health of Texas youth.
Ashley has dedicated his legal and professional career to both the public and private sectors. Serving seven terms as member of the Texas House of Representatives, as chairperson of four key standing committees, and subsequently as senior advisor to the Governor, he passed significant legislation on behalf of the Houston community. Over the years he has been the Board Chair for several organizations (corporate, nonprofit, and governmental) and has served in a leadership role in a variety of institutions.
In the business community he has been the Executive Vice President, CLO of Stewart Information Services Corp., and in the medical community he was President and CEO/Chief Administrative Officer of TIRR (The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation). He has also delivered leadership in education: at the University of Texas Systems, he was Vice Chancellor for Governmental Affairs and Policy, and currently he is Vice-Chancellor and General Counsel for Houston Community College System. Peggy and Ashley are truly a team committed to Houston and to the welfare of its citizens.