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Florene Stewart Poyadue Papers
MSS-2006-09-01  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Florene Stewart Poyadue papers
    Dates: 1967-2005
    Bulk Dates: 1985-2001
    Collection number: MSS-2006-09-01
    Creator: Poyadue, Florene Stewart
    Collection Size: 9 record cartons, 2 boxes, 2 flat boxes 19.5 linear feet
    Repository: San Jose State University. Library.
    San Jose, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: Shortly after her fourth child was diagnosed with Down's syndrome, Florene Stewart Poyadue became involved with Parents Helping Parents (PHP), a Santa Clara Valley based local support network for parents of disabled children. Under her direction, Poyadue transformed PHP from a small local support group to a prototype for parent resource networks. Items in this collection document Poyadue's unwavering commitment to PHP, and highlight how her vision and work impacted the lives of countless families and child health resource providers. Under Poyadue's leadership, PHP became a United Way agency in 1985, and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1990 as the model for parent-to-parent resource centers across the nation.
    Physical location: Vault 1, Range 22B
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to the San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Florene Stewart Poyadue papers, MSS-2006-10-18, San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Biographical History

    Florene Stewart Poyadue was born in 1934, one of 12 children who were raised in a three bedroom house in Lovejoy, Illinois. Immediately following high school, she earned a nursing degree from St. Mary's Infirmary School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri. Around the same time she married Octave Poyadue and started a family. For nearly twenty years Poyadue worked as a nurse in several different cities, moving as Octave's military career necessitated. The family finally settled in the Bay Area after Octave retired from the military. In 1975, Poyadue earned a Bachelor of Vocational Education degree from San Jose State University.
    Prior to graduation, Poyadue gave birth to their fourth son Dean, who was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. The only advice that doctors and hospital staff gave her regarding her son's diagnosis was to "take him home and love him." Frustrated with the lack of support and information available about her son's condition, she reached out to other parents. Poyadue soon after, joined forces with Elayne Bagwe and Gita Dedek, who had recently started a parent resource group called Parents Helping Parents (PHP). Soon after joining them, Poyadue convinced Bagwe and Dedek that she could take the organization further, and she became the acting director, a position she held until retirement in 1998.
    From the moment Poyadue took charge of PHP in 1976, the organization flourished. She left her job to work with PHP full-time and immediately incorporated the organization as a non-profit and wrote its bylaws. In 1979, Georgette Strohm joined PHP as assistant director, and together they expanded the organization's focus from support group to full-service family resource center with an annual symposium, a library, and regular workshops for doctors and family members. Throughout her years with PHP, Poyadue authored several publications and partnered with several health-care providers including Kaiser Permanente.
    Poyadue went on to earn a master's degree in Marriage/Family/Child Counseling from Santa Clara University in 1983. In 1985, PHP was asked to become a United Way Agency, and in 1987 Poyadue accepted the Senator Lloyd Bentsen Award at a conference of the U.S. Surgeon General in Washington, D.C. In 1991 the U.S. Department of Health designated PHP as a national center on parent-direct resources. In 1993 Santa Clara University awarded her an honorary doctorate and invited her to address the graduating class.
    In 1998, Poyadue retired from PHP, with over 20 years of dedicated service. During her tenure with PHP, Poyadue was honored by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Diocese of San Jose. The city of Houston proclaimed June 14, 1987 "Florene Stewart Poyadue Day" and in 1990 she received the Family Achievement Award from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and the Women of Achievement Award from the San Jose Mercury News and the Women's Fund.
    Between 2005 and 2006, PHP provided over 23,000 direct services to children, families and the professionals serving them, over 3,000 attended PHP parent education sessions and/or support events, and over 12,000 individuals attended parent education, information and outreach sessions. Florene Stewart Poyadue's work with PHP remains a national model for family resource centers for children with special needs, and the organization's continued success is a testament to her years of service.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Florene Stewart Poyadue Papers consist of administrative files, publicity and outreach material, photographs, and audiovisual material created by Poyadue and Parents Helping Parents (PHP) during her tenure with the organization. Poyadue's work with PHP transformed the organization from a small local support group to a national and international prototype for parent resource networks. Items in this collection document her contributions to PHP, and highlight how her vision and work impacted the lives of so many. Under Poyadue, PHP became a United Way agency in 1985, and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1990 as the model for parent to parent resource centers across the nation.

    Arrangement

    The Florene Stewart Poyadue Papers are organized into four series: Administrative Files, Audiovisual & Visual Material, Publicity & Outreach Material, and Personal Material.

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Poyadue, Florene Stewart
    Parents of children with disabilities-Services for
    Parents of children with disabilities-Social networks