John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award


2016 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award

Nominate a health program in your town or city that promotes healthy lives and healthy communities by October 31. The 2015 TMA Foundation John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award focuses on exceptional projects that address urgent threats to the public’s health and those projects that further TMAF’s mission… “to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans.”

Download the nomination form.

October 30, 2015

December 2015

January 30, 2016 
TMA 2016 Winter Conference
Hyatt Regency Austin

Bronze statue and
$5,000 program grant 

About the Award

 The Champion of Health Award focuses on exceptional projects that address urgent threats to the public's health, address TMA science and public health priorities, and further TMAF's mission: to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans. Established in 1995, the award has recognized local and statewide programs including Hope Medical Clinic, the Mission of Mercy Mobile Medical Clinics, Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, Children Nutrition Program of the Texas Department of Agriculture, Healthy High/Healthy Choices by Schulenburg Weimar in Focus Together, The Cancer and Chronic Disease Consortium of El Paso, and Julie Rogers "Gift of Life" Program. The top winner receives a $5,000 award to be used towards the winning program and the secondary winner receives a $2,500 grant.  See a full list of past winning programs.

2015 Top Winner: “FitWorth – Healthy City Initiative” Foundation for Wellness, Texas

FitWorth was launched by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in September 2012 to address the fact that more than 50 percent of the children in Fort Worth ISD (FWISD) were overweight or obese. Designed as a grassroots strategic campaign, FitWorth focuses on positive behaviors and wide-spread informed awareness of healthy choices. It has three major components: Fuel (nutrition), Play (physical activity) and Work (workplace wellness). The result is that FitWorth is creating a citywide culture that values health by providing opportunities such as: community-wide challenges for tracking physical activity and nutrition in community centers, schools, and the workplace, an annual healthy Culinary Competition, and programs to support low-income children and schools participating in existing community-based physical activities. FitWorth also partners to promote and engage the community in the mayor's rolling town halls, Tour de Fort Worth, and Mayor's Triathlon. Each of FitWorth's partnerships and programs is focused on inclusivity, accessibility, sustainability, and measurable impact.

FitWorth incorporates behavior change theory into its activities, which recognizes that individuals have to understand the risk of poor health in a personal way and then believe in their ability to take effective action. The program educates about the dangers of poor nutrition and physical inactivity in a non-judgmental way and then provides opportunities to take immediate action with proven results, compelling the community to truly change. By engaging more than 20,000 children in educational and participation-based programs to improve nutrition and physical activity, this project will directly address the fact that children and adolescents who are obese are twice as likely to be obese as adults, and are therefore more at risk for significant adult health problems.

Quantitative data to measure this effort is collected through three community-based wellness tracking challenges. Between 2013 and 2014, 25,000 individuals participated in team-based health tracking challenges, which increased behavioral awareness through actively monitoring activity and nutrition, alongside weekly education and supported access to healthy choices. This includes 22,100 FWISD students (27% total student population) and 1,093 Camp Fort Worth participants.

About John P. McGovern, MD (1922-2007)

TMA Foundation celebrates the legacy of John P. McGovern, MD, Houston, which includes his generous support of this program. The award incorporates many of the ideals Dr. McGovern valued including high impact, innovative programs that improve the health of all Texans and that are “champions” of good health in their communities. A noted allergist, scholar, philanthropist, long-time donor to TMA Foundation, and “Champion of Health,” John P. McGovern, MD endowed the foundation’s prestigious Champion of Health Award in 2004 to recognize outstanding community-based programs that promote good health through partnerships and measurable results. Dr. McGovern was passionately interested in the history and the philosophy of medicine and helped to found the American Osler Society, which honors medicine’s important historical figures and stresses a physician’s need to be ethical, charitable and intellectually resourceful. He received dozens of awards for his research, service and philanthropy including The Private Sector Initiative Commendation from former President Ronald Reagan and The Surgeon General’s Medallion awarded by C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD. TMA Foundation is proud to honor his memory by presenting this award.

For more information please contact TMA Foundation at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664. Or email


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