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Beth Cartwright: Youth Home Inc., Little Rock.

As more mental illnesses and emotionally rooted behavior problems are recognized and therapies are developed, the number of children who need treatment increases as well.

Space available to treat the youngest members of society has increased at Youth Home Inc. in Little Rock to accommodate this growing need, thanks largely to the nonprofit's executive director, Beth Cartwright.

"You have the most precious commodity when you you're taking care of children, and you need to keep that at the forefront of everything you do," she said.

Cartwright's vision and enthusiasm have helped grow the organization's annual budget from $500,000 when she joined Youth Home as a clinical therapist in 1980 to nearly $8.5 million in 2003.

But she's quick to cast the praise on those who work under her.

"Youth Home would not exist had it not been for our volunteers throughout the years," she said.

In the 10 years Cartwright has been executive director, Youth Home centralized its operations on a 33 acre-campus off Col. Glenn Road in west Little Rock and became accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Youth Home also began a day-treatment program for students unable to function in traditional school settings due to emotional problems.

"These aren't just bad kids," she said.

Youth Home also now works with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to upgrade its psychiatric services and provide a training site for physicians completing their residencies in psychiatry.

Youth Home recently purchased 12 acres adjoining the campus that will contain additional housing units, a nurses' station, an expanded school program and more group therapy counseling centers.

But finding the funding remains a challenge.

"We're always looking for ways to survive," Cartwright said.
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Title Annotation:2003 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards: nonprofit executive of the year
Comment:Beth Cartwright: Youth Home Inc., Little Rock.(2003 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards: nonprofit executive of the year)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Feb 16, 2004
Words:291
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