New president chosen to lead St. Mary’s Center

Deirdre Houtmeyers

The longtime president of St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children on Jones Hill will retire this year. Judy Beckler will be succeeded by Deirdre Houtmeyers, who has worked as a manager at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton for 33 years.

Beckler’s 17-year tenure at St. Mary’s has been a time of sustained growth and success for the non-profit, according to Katherine Hesse, chair of St. Mary’s board of trustees.

“Today, as a result of Judy’s creativity and commitment, St. Mary’s is one of the city’s most vibrant and vital multi-service centers, providing a comprehensive package of counseling, education, employment, housing and after-care programs for more than 600 women and children, annually,” said Hesse.
During Beckler’s tenure, St. Mary’s programs and services have helped guide thousands of women to economic self-sufficiency, Hesse said.

“Judy has developed ground-breaking, innovative programs, mentored staff and guided St. Mary’s with a strong sense of purpose,” said Hesse. “Judy’s contributions to St. Mary’s, and to the field of social service, will be felt for years to come. She leaves St. Mary’s Center well-positioned for its next era of achievement.”

Houtmeyers is presently the Patient Care Director of St. Elizabeth’s Comprehensive Addictions Program (SECAP). Her position at St. Mary’s begins in September. Beckler will remain at St. Mary’s through September to assist with the transition. Hesse said that Houtmeyers brings “extensive experience in risk management, program development, quality improvement and contract and fiscal management” to the leadership role.

“Deidre’s breadth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and dedication to results-oriented, quality programs ensures that St. Mary’s will remain well positioned as it celebrates 20 years of service to the community. We are delighted to welcome Deirdre to the St. Mary’s family at such a pivotal time in our history,” said Hesse.

Located in the former St. Margaret’s Hospital complex, St. Mary’s supports more than 600 women and children annually, with residential, clinical and educational and employment services, housing search to assist families in securing affordable, permanent housing. St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children is a social justice ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston, but is an independent 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization governed by a 21-member Board of Trustees.