Esther Houser was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and raised in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Cedar Hill High School in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1972 from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in 1977 from the University of Texas.
Houser currently serves as the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in the Aging Services Division of the Department of Human Services, where she began in 1979. She has built the program, which provides advocacy services for persons over the age of sixty in long-term care facilities, from a one-person staff to thirty paid staffers and 200-plus volunteers today. Prior to this position, she was employed as a nurse aid in a nursing home, and for the Department of Institutions, Social and Rehabilitative Services, known as DISRIS, she helped get food stamps started in Oklahoma County and worked on a vocational-rehab social work cooperative project. Her work has been published in various publications and manuals related to Ombudsman practice and elderly care.
She was inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003.
(Bio current as of 2011)