About the Texas Health Champion Award


The Texas Health Champion Award is presented to public health leaders who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in reducing the burden and/or raising awareness of the obesity epidemic in Texas. Nominees considered for the award may be individuals, organizations, or project teams from community organizations, educational agencies, non-profit organizations, or government offices. 

The 2018 Texas Health Champion Award was presented at the 11th Annual Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony held during Texas Obesity Awareness Week (September 9-15, 2017) in Austin

This year's Texas Health Champions:

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Stephanie Kellam

Student Wellness Coordinator 

Stephanie Kellam currently serves as the student wellness coordinator for UnitedHealthcare and supports several school districts in Texas. She has worked in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years. Stephanie has strong experience in wellness program design and implementation. She has successfully written and secured over $250,000 in grant funding. She prides herself in her strong relationship building skills and is passionate about helping youth live healthier lives. Her previous positions have included health and physical education curriculum coordinator for a large school district in Texas as well as a program coordinator for a research, education, and advocacy non-profit organization. Stephanie has published several research articles focused on childhood obesity in low-income, minority girls as it relates to physical activity and nutrition.

Stephanie holds a MS in Exercise Science from the University of Houston and a BA in Kinesiology from Rice University. She is a certified personal trainer and a certified cycling instructor. Stephanie was born in Canada, grew up in North Carolina but now calls Houston home. In her spare time she can be found exploring one of the many fabulous Houston parks with her husband and two children. She loves to run and just completed her second marathon in January.


CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families)

Non-profit Organization
San Antonio, TX

CHEF is a non-profit organization in San Antonio, Texas that teaches children and families basic nutrition and practical cooking skills, with the long-term goal of driving healthy eating habits in the community. The program model is a highly engaging, community collaborative involving an array of partners offering culinary medicine programming in six CHEF Teaching Kitchens as well as local schools.

CHEF has curated a portfolio of community partners and programming sites that target under-served populations throughout the city. Since CHEF opened the door to its first teaching kitchen in January 2017, there have been more than 35,000 engaging CHEF encounters with children and caregivers eager to learn and adopt healthier eating habits. 

More about the Texas Health Champion Award

Awardees are selected by a committee of academic and professional peers based on: 1) The nominee’s effective inclusion of all essential populations, 2) The nominee’s effort toward sustainability, and 3) The nominee’s overall impact on the burden of obesity.  Award recipients have mobilized community efforts to prevent and reduce obesity and have promoted physical activity and nutritional health through research, practice, policy development, social marketing, behavioral interventions or innovative partnerships.