Press Releases

Rep. Porter Announces Children’s Hospital Chief Psychologist as State of the Union Guest

Congresswoman will host CHOC’s Chief Psychologist Dr. Heather Huszti for the President’s address

Washington, January 30, 2020

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today announced that she will bring Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s (CHOC) Chief Psychologist Dr. Heather Huszti to the State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 4. 

“We have a pediatric mental health crisis in our country—15 million children are struggling with a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder, and appropriate services are scarce,” Congresswoman Porter said. “When I toured their new inpatient center, I saw firsthand how CHOC Children’s is a real leader in providing Orange County children with the care they need. I invited Dr. Hustzi to the State of the Union, because we must do more as a country to end the stigma surrounding mental health and expand access to mental health care.”

CHOC is spearheading a critical initiative to expand mental health services to children. One in five Orange County children reported needing help for mental health problems, and CHOC’s Cherese Mari Laulhere Mental Health Inpatient Center—which opened in April 2018—is the only center in Orange County that can accommodate children under the age of twelve. 

Congresswoman Porter has been a consistent advocate for improving mental health care. Last year, she introduced legislation to protect college students struggling with mental health challenges. She also introduced bipartisan legislation to better enforce federal laws that require that mental health coverage cannot be more restrictive than coverage for other medical care.