Eugene Cashman Honored for Service to Children

Eugene Cashman, president and chief executive officer of The Urban Child Institute, has received the University of Tennessee College of Social Work's highest honor, recognizing him for his work to improve the lives of children in the Memphis area.

Cashman is the recipient of the Sen. Douglas Henry  Award for Service to Children and Families at Risk, an honor created in 2008 to spotlight individuals or oganizations with an exemplary record to service to children and families, according to Karen Sowers, dean of the University of Tennessee Cllege of Social Work.

Sowers said Cashman was honored for "his leadership and vision in making The Urban Child Institute a vital force in improving the lives of children and the well-being of the Memphis community through its research and programs."

Cashman is the former president and chief executive officer of LeBonheur Children's Medical Center and LeBonheur Health Sysytems, Inc. for 27 years. He remained president and chief executive officer when the organization became The Urban Child Intitute in 2004.

"I am pleased to accept this on behalf of The Urban Child Institute, which works every day to conduct research and to spread the message that optimal brain development is critical for children under the age of three in order for them to have the best start in life," Cashman said. There are about 43,000 children in the Memphis area under the age of three. The Urban Child Institute focuses on research, commentaries and programs on these children "because 80% of our brain is formed by our third birthday," he said.

The Senator Douglas Henry Award is named in honor of the Tennesse senator from Nashville, who is known as "the patron saint of children and social workers" for his sponserhsip of legislation that supports the safety and well-being of children and fmailies.

The recent award ceremony was attended by Crissy Haslam, wife of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

The Urban Child Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being and health of children from conception to three years old in Memphis and Shelby County. The institute's staff of child advocacy experts works to turn their research into the kind of action that will impove the lives of children. For more infomation, call 385-4242.

Originally appeared in The Commercial Appeal at