The Margaret Hudson Program was founded in 1968 by a group of Tulsans in honor of Dr. Margaret Hudson, past director of the Maternal and Child Health Division of Tulsa City-County Health Department. Dr. Hudson was concerned about the difficulties of coping with pregnancy and parenthood being experienced by pregnant adolescents and the poor health status of babies born to these teenagers. She recognized that an important contributing factor experienced by many teen mothers was the cycle of under-education and poverty. Dr. Hudson became a strong advocate for the special needs of teenage parents, including education and access to health care.
With the help of federal Office of Economic Opportunity funding, high school correspondence courses were purchased and volunteers were recruited to provide counseling to assist pregnant girls in continuing their education. Under the sponsorship of Planned Parenthood, this volunteer effort became the Margaret Hudson Program for school-aged parents in 1969. Operational support was received from the Model Cities program, Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa Health Department and other agencies. In 1970, the organization was formally incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization with a Board of Directors composed of representatives of 20 cooperating agencies, students, parents and the community at large.
In the history of the program, MHP has served more than 10,000 pregnant teen girls. MHP is the only multi-disciplinary nonprofit organization in Oklahoma that provides comprehensive academic and social support services to pregnant and parenting teens.
To learn more about Dr. Margaret Hudson, please view this video produced by Janet Hudson Colton, Dr. Hudson’s granddaughter. The Margaret Hudson Program would like to share this video with our supporters, alumnae and partners. We at Margaret Hudson Program would like to give a big Thank You to Janet and Jim Colton for documenting and sharing this video with us! This video is approximately 15 minutes long.
About Dr. Margaret Hudson: Dr. Hudson was a public health service doctor, along with her husband Dr. David Hudson, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Margaret Hudson Program (margarethudson.org) is named in her honor. The program provides education, care and support for teenage mothers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area. In the 47 years since the program was established it has served the needs of over 10,000 young women and their families.
- Recognized in 1980 by the Rand Corporation as one of the most effective programs in the nation at reducing the long-term outcomes of teen pregnancy.
- United States Presidential Point of Light Honoree in 1993
- Child Abuse Prevention Fund Outstanding Project in 1995
- Alisa Bell, a past president of the MHP Board of Directors and program alumna was nationally recognized as the “Outstanding Teen Parent of the Year” in 2001 by the National Association of Adolescent Pregnancy & Parenting Programs (now the Healthy Teen Network).
- Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Medal for Excellence in Alternative Education in 2002
- Top Tulsa Charity by TulsaPeople in 2005
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Champions of Health Children’s Health Award in 2009
- Sun Life Rising Star Award in 2014