Betty Mekdeci, Executive Director of the Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC), will address the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA) at the annual luncheon, to be held Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville-Riverfront, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Said AVVA President Nancy Switzer, “We are honored that Betty Mekdeci will be joining us, and we look forward to hearing about all of the work she has done in research regarding our children who have been affected by Vietnam Veteran’s parent being exposed to Dioxins.”
Since 1986, when the first Agent Orange Class Assistance Programs were funded, Betty has been working with families of Vietnam veterans with birth defects and functional disabilities. Although BDRC did not have AOCAP funding, Mekdeci worked with the University of South Carolina in case work that involved counseling with veterans’ families and in creating a series of fact sheets on the disabilities they were reporting in their children. During this time BDRC, with the help of the New Jersey Agent Orange Commission, began the first initiative to set up the National Birth Defect Registry, partly to collect the information being reported by the veterans.
Betty is married to Dr. Michael Mekdeci, retired Assoc. VP of Stetson University, and they have two children, Kristy, a high school art teacher, and David, who is the Associate Director for BDRC.