First Lady's Priorities
As first lady, Anita Perry has continued her work in women and children's health care. Mrs. Perry focuses on efforts to increase state immunization rates, raise awareness of breast cancer and Alzheimer's and promote the field of nursing. Mrs. Perry is a strong supporter of historic preservation and participates annually in the Main Street First Lady's Tour.
Texas Conference for Women
Now in its 12th year, the conference attracts 7,000 Texas women who come for the extraordinary keynotes, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. It is designed to help women blaze their own unique trail with confidence and successfully navigate the future. The Texas Conference for Women offers practical insights for leadership, career development, finance, small businesses, health and work/life balance. Past keynote speakers include Suze Orman, Isabel Allende, Carly Fiorina, Maya Angelou, Sarah Ferguson, Cherie Blair and Melinda French Gates. This year's annual conference will take place in Houston on November 17, 2011. For more information or to register, please visit: www.txconferenceforwomen.org
Travel, Tourism and Economic Development
As a dedicated representative of Texas tourism and economic development, the First Lady has led tourism missions of Texas delegates to Japan, Germany and New York and was recently honored by the Texas Travel Industry Association with the Silver Spur Award for her support of Texas travel. Mrs. Perry is committed to enhancing Texas’ expansion into international tourism markets and promoting Texas as a prime location for business and trade.
One of the most frustrating challenges Anita Perry faced as a nurse was seeing patients with illnesses that were 100 percent preventable. Mrs. Perry's goal is to create a culture of awareness so that we no longer see unnecessary cases of mumps, pertussis or other preventable illnesses. Mrs. Perry is actively engaged with the March of Dimes' effort to increase education on immunizations, and currently serves as their National Chair for Childhood Immunizations. Perry also works with the Texas Department of Health to increase immunization rates in Texas.
Texas, along with the rest of the nation, has faced a critical nursing shortage in recent years. The future of health care depends on us finding and retaining talented, caring and compassionate nurses. Mrs. Perry actively encourages Texans to pursue careers in nursing, often citing her own seventeen year career in health care. Thanks to other awareness efforts across the state, Texas has seen its vacant nursing positions fall from 11 percent in 2003 to a little over 8 percent today. Mrs.. Perry continues to promote the nursing profession, helping decrease the critical shortage that still remains in Texas.
Each year, the Texas Historical Commission selects up to five cities that are designated Texas Main Street Cities. This program helps communities revitalize their downtown, while maintaining historic preservation. As part of the Texas Main Street Program, the First Lady visits the designated cities and unveils an architectural rendering of the cities first renovation project.
Texas Governor's Mansion
This premier historic home of Texas has served as the official residence of Texas governors and their families since 1856. It is the fourth oldest governor’s residence continuously occupied in the United States and the oldest governor’s mansion west of the Mississippi River. On June 8, 2008, arson devastated the Governor’s Mansion. Even though the Mansion was empty and all its prized contents in storage, significant structural and architectural damage occurred. It will cost millions of dollars to restore the national historic landmark. To learn more, visit www.texasgovernorsmansion.org.