15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Larry J. Hebert, M.D.
Louisiana Children's Trust Fund
A consistent and strong child advocate, Dr. Larry Hebert spoke about the prevention of child abuse and neglect long before it became a program focus. Many times a lone voice, he often faced considerable opposition but held to his advocacy position. Dr. Hebert, a pioneer for the future of primary prevention programs, educated the State of Louisiana about the need for legislation and funding for primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. Initially, he served as the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Louisiana Child Protection Plan. As his efforts proved the single greatest catalyst for the formation of the Louisiana Children's Trust Fund, he led the Fund as founding chair from 1984 to 1992 and now serves as Vice Chair. For the 1979 to 1989 decade, Dr. Hebert also held the position of Medical Director for Louisiana Child Protection Programs.
Dr. Hebert did more than speak out to promote primary prevention. He took action, hosting and serving as executive producer of a live parenting television show on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. Following this show's success, he hosted a television news magazine. His shows, the first of their kind, focused on educating and reinforcing parenting skills, that is, primary child abuse prevention. Dr. Hebert has received numerous awards, including: 1979 Lagniappe Award, Louisiana Public Broadcasting; 1985 Excellence in Medical Journalism and the Louisiana State Medical Society; 1980 Friend of Children, Louisiana Association of Children Under Six; and 1982 Baton Rouge Pediatric Society Appreciation Award in recognition and appreciation of work on behalf of abused and neglected children in Louisiana.
Currently, Dr. Hebert serves as Director and Chief Health Officer for the State of Louisiana. The majority of Dr. Hebert's time and service to child abuse prevention is voluntary. In lieu of reimbursements or honorariums, he asks that organizations make donations to child abuse prevention programs. Dr. Hebert's groundbreaking work on behalf of child abuse prevention in the State of Louisiana has been recognized throughout the United States as well as internationally. His address at the First International Congress of Child Abuse and Neglect in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1975 proved to be only the beginning of numerous presentations and publications advocating the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Thankfully, Dr. Hebert persists in his advocacy role.