Photo: First Lady Rosalynn Carter with Community Health Center advocates.
As we head into the holiday weekend, we reflect with gratitude on the legacy of First Lady, Rosalynn Carter. Carter’s humanitarian work and her lifelong advocacy to help people suffering from sickness and poverty throughout the world touched countless lives. The Carters share a connection to the Community Health Center Movement and welcomed Community Health Center advocates to the White House. Rosalynn’s husband, President Jimmy Carter, called for the first major expansion of health centers as part of his Rural Health Initiative in 1977.
As America’s First Lady during the years of the Carter Administration, Carter boldly engaged in the national conversation on mental health and served as chair of the first Presidential Commission on Mental Health. Her advocacy and testimony before Congress advanced legislation and calls for reforms in mental health treatment and care. Following their years in the White House, the Carters co-founded The Carter Center to promote human rights, freedom and democracy, and improve health among marginalized populations.
“Widely recognized as a leading advocate for mental health and caregiving, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was actively devoted to building a more caring society. She did so much to shape a healthier country by increasing awareness of mental health and advancing mental health equity. It was an honor and a privilege to work with her through the Carter Center”NACHC President and CEO Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP
Carter worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the issues disadvantaged individuals face, advocating for equal access to health care and resources for all. She created and chaired the Carter Center’s Mental Health Task Force. In addition, until her retirement, she served as president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, which was established in 1987 at Georgia Southwestern State University — her alma mater.
Rosalynn Carter leaves a legacy of accomplishment and contribution. Her example and compassion for all humankind will long be remembered and inspire future generations to serve the public good. The NACHC family joins in expressing deepest condolences to President Carter and family and the people of Plains, Georgia.