Linda Brees, MS, led child advocacy efforts at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Upstate for 25 years before retiring in August, 2019. Numerous initiatives (such as bike helmet giveaways and infant safety seat inspections) and programs (Safe Kids™ Upstate, Healthy Child Development division and Community Pediatrics team) to decrease or prevent childhood injury were the product of Linda’s actions and leadership. She received a multitude of awards–Order of the Jessamine for Community Leadership, Chamber of Commerce Vanguard Award for Children’s Advocacy, Order of the Palmetto, Child Advocate of the Year Award from the SC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Lifetime Achievement Award for Children’s Advocacy from Children’s Trust of South Carolina–to name a few.
Linda’s ties to ICS date to the organization’s inception in 2010, when she, along with other community leaders, founded the agency and served on its inaugural Board of Directors. She has maintained her board membership throughout ICS’s existence, often attending early childhood conferences and occasionally speaking on behalf of ICS. In addition, Linda has been a staunch supporter of child safety and well-being, and early childhood education, advocating for policies intended to improve the lives of young children and their families. Before becoming an ICS Senior Fellow, Linda served as the Immediate Past Board Chair.