How we Got Here: Oklahoma and its Children – Anne Roberts

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“How We Got Here: Oklahoma and its Children”

Over the past 40 years, Oklahoma has been sued twice to force improvements in how the state treats children in its care.  Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about the impact of trauma on vulnerable children, and changed our approach to caring for them.



Anne Roberts is the Director of Legislative Affairs for INTEGRIS Health, Oklahoma’s largest health care system. As such, she works with policy makers and other stakeholders to promote positive community and patient health. In 2017, her successful efforts to create state licensure for the music therapists at INTEGRIS inspired the American Music Therapy Association to recognize her with their National Advocacy Award.

Roberts currently serves as Board President for the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, and was a founding board member of Women Lead Oklahoma. She also served on the Board of the Downtown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City. She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, and received their Distinguished Graduate Award in 2010. That same year, she was named one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs by the Journal Record.

For 20 years, Roberts was the CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, where she honed her leadership abilities in non-profit management and organizational growth. When she joined the organization, it was a one-person shop with a $50,000 annual budget, which she grew into a $1.5 million budget and a staff of 20 professionals. In 2000, she was named National Child Advocate of the Year by Voices for America’s Children.

Roberts has been a gubernatorial and legislative appointee to a variety of statewide advisory councils dealing with health and children’s issues, having served on the Boards of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which honored her in 2008 with the Defender of Health Award. Nationally, she has served on the Board of the National Association of Child Advocates, and the Kids Count Advisory Committee for the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Roberts received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma, and studied opera in Europe. She has enjoyed a long and diverse career as an accomplished singer of opera, musical theatre, jazz and oratorio, most recently with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Canterbury Voices.

In addition to her work at INTEGRIS, Roberts is on adjunct faculty at Oklahoma City University teaching “Advocacy for Social Change” to graduate students. She is also a yoga instructor and avid hiker. She resides in Norman.

Chair of the Day

Connie Schlittler is Executive Director of OKC Metro Alliance in Oklahoma City. She has been at OKC Metro Alliance for two years. The nonprofit provides substance abuse services through Firstep Residential Recovery Program and the Public Inebriate Alternative. Both provide alternatives to incarceration.

Connie graduated with an undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 and later completed graduated degrees in social work and Public Administration, also from OU. She serves on the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers. She is married with two children, Brennan a Senior at Edmond Memorial High School and Carson, a junior at OU

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