About the Texas Health Champion Award

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

The Texas Health Champion Awards were presented at the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony held during Texas Obesity Awareness Week in Austin. Due to organizational changes within our research center, we are currently re-evaluating the Texas Health Champion Awards. We hope to be able to include this program in future activities held at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living in upcoming years.

More about the Texas Health Champion Award

Past awardees were 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.

Texas Health Champion Awardees:

2019 Champions:

Baker Harrell

HealthStart Foundation, Inc.
Non-profit organization

2018 Champions:

Stephanie Kellam

Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF)
Non-profit organization

2017 Champions:

Stephen J. Pont, MD, MPH FAAP
Department of State Health Services

Harris County Public Health
Texas public health office

2016 Champions:

Michelle Smith
State Coordinator, Texas Action for Healthy Kids

Brighter Bites
Texas-Based Nonprofit

2015 Champions:

Peter Cribb, M.Ed.
CATCH Program Director, CATCH Global Foundation

Tu Salud ¡Sí Cuenta!
Brownsville-based community collaborative

2014 Champions:

Alice Kirk, MPH
Child Health and Wellness Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Recipe for Success Foundation
Houston-based nonprofit

2013 Champions:

William G. (Bill) Squires, Jr. PhD, FACSM
Professor of Biology and Kinesiology, Texas Lutheran University

Texas-based grocery store

2012 Champion:

Kay Morris
Founder and Former Executive Director, Marathon Kids

2011 Champions:

Barbara Storz, MS
Extension educator for horticulture with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, part of Texas A&M University system

Sustainable Food Center
Non-profit organization

2010 Champion:

Dr. Richard Middleton
Former Superintendent of Schools, North East Independent School District

2009 Champions:

Partnership for a Healthy Texas
The Partnership was formed in 2006 with the mission of promoting obesity prevention and reduction policies in Texas.

Texas Health Institute
Texas Health Institute provides leadership in development of health care solutions to shape the Texas health care landscape.

2008 Champions:

The Honorable Robert Nichols

Texas Senate

The Honorable Patrick Rose
Texas House of Representatives

The Honorable Susan King
Texas House of Representatives

2008 Outstanding Leadership in Public Health Awards:
The Honorable Jane Nelson
Texas Senate

Kenneth Shine, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, The University of Texas System