Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

Congratulations to State Senator Liz Mathis who received the Orchard Place 2015 Voice for Children Award.

null

Congratulations to State Senator Liz Mathis who received the Orchard Place 2015 Voice for Children Award.

null

Senator Liz Mathis represents the people of Robins, Marion, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Bertram, Ely, and southern Linn County in the Iowa State Senate. She was presented the 2015 Voice for Children award at the November Orchard Place Thanksgiving Luncheon.

State Senator Liz Mathis was born in DeWitt, Iowa.  After graduating from the University of Iowa, she joined Waterloo TV station KWWL.  Soon after joining the station, she moved to Waterloo to become an evening co-anchor alongside Ron Steele at the age of 23. 

Taking a break from broadcasting, in August 1996 she joined the faculty of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where she taught electronic media. In 1998 she became a news anchor, reporter and producer at KCRG-TV, where she remained for nine years. 

In July 2007, she retired from broadcasting to become vice president for community relations for Horizons-A Family Service Alliance, a non-profit counseling and assistance agency in Cedar Rapids. She later became chief community officer for Four Oaks.

In 2011, Liz was first elected to the Iowa Senate in a special election, and she was re-elected in 2012.  From 2013-2014, she chaired the Administration and Regulation Appropriations subcommittee.  In 2015, she became the chair of the Senate Human Resources Committee, which plays an important role in setting policy impacting mental health care for children and adults in Iowa.

In the Senate, Liz has been a leading advocate for the use of trauma informed care by state and private providers of services to Iowa's children. She also championed creation of the Children's Mental Health and Well-Being Workgroup, which has brought together a large network of providers who impact the lives of children to focus on how to improve how those services are delivered.

Pictured are Senator Liz Mathis and Orchard Place CEO Anne Starr