2004 MARY HARRIMAN AWARD winner
The Junior League of St. Louis
Causes/Issue Area(s): Women's Health
Honors/Achievements: Missouri State Senator
Senator Elizabeth "Betty" Sims was honored with The League's prestigious Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual Junior League. Senator Sims has been a member of the Junior League of St. Louis for more than 48 years and has contributed to the St. Louis community as a volunteer, businesswoman, and state legislator. As the longest standing board member of the Junior League of St. Louis, she has had an enormous impact on the organization.
During Senator Sims's presidential term, the St. Louis League celebrated its 60th Anniversary and expanded its impact through initiatives such as the Mobile Hearing and Speech Unit and the Junior Kindergarten, which served as a model for the national Head Start program. Today, she continues to be a vital force in the League, working tirelessly to train new members, inspire the League's Public Affairs Committee, and raise funds.
Outside of the League, Senator Sims has lent her expertise to numerous organizations, including the nation's largest Girl Scout Council, the local United Way, the Salvation Army, the Arts and Education Council, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the Repertory Theater. She was President and founder of the St. Louis unit of Girls Inc. and the first woman Vice-President of the local United Way.
As a State Senator, Sims has consistently championed initiatives in support of women's health and well-being, including the Governor's Women's Health Initiative, the creation of the Office on Women's Health, and the MC+ for Kids Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). She is the Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Aging, Families and Mental Health Committee. She also serves as co-chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence. She is a member of the Senate Committees on Public Health and Welfare, Transportation, and Appropriations. She was appointed chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Health Care in September 2001.