John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award


2015 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 31, 2014

December 2014

January 31, 2015 
TMA 2015 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.

2014 Champion of Health

   2014 Top Winner: H.O.M.E.S. Clinic


HOMES (Houston Outreach Medicine, Education, and Social Services Clinic) Clinic was founded in 1999 by David Buck, MD and medical students from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine to alleviate disparities in healthcare access by providing quality medical and social services to Houston's homeless population at no charge. The clinic's mission is to provide accessible and quality healthcare to all area homeless residents in a learning environment that promotes the dignity of all participants. Overseen by Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston (HHH), HOMES Clinic operates on Sunday year-round, providing access to care when most other non-emergency health facilities are closed. Recent surveys found that Houston has a homeless population of more than 6,300 persons who are disproportionately affected by chronic health conditions, violence, poor mental health and substance abuse. It is operated by medical preceptors and students from Houston's two medical schools and the University of Houston's College of Pharmacy and College of Social Work. Students not only become familiar with the homeless healthcare system, but are trained to provide quality, compassionate care for patients experiencing poverty, chronic pain, substance abuse, and low social and intellectual function. The clinic also initiates meetings with other organizations that serve the homeless and provides students opportunities to shadow a physician in practicing street medicine outreach at a local shelter. 

In 2012, volunteers cared for 278 homeless patients, donated more than 3,354 hours and provided 260 social service encounters with important referrals to shelters, day centers and other needed services. HHH measures outcomes through a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement plan, as well as through surveys of the students. 

The clinic recently adopted an electronic medical records system and is partnering with Project Access, a free transportation service for homeless riders to travel to essential services such as healthcare, meals and shelter.  

 2014 Secondary Winner: Medical Case Management

 Refugee Services of Texas, Inc. (RST), a not-for-profit social service agency, helps resettle approximately 400 refugees a year in Austin and provides culturally-competent services in seven distinct areas including Medical Case Management (MCM), within the first 90 days of a refugees' arrival. RST was founded in the Dallas-metro area in 1978 and RST Austin opened in 2003. 

This program provides intensive case management to help refugees with complex medical needs attain the appropriate care through advocacy and educates and empowers them to manage care independently. The expected outcome is increased health literacy, monitored by a list of quantified expectations at 180 days after resettlement. MCM accomplishes this while addressing the top three barriers most refugees face - language, transportation and literacy.

Much of the population comes from refugee camps with very rudimentary health care. Thus each client with high medical needs has a medical case manager who is present at appointments. This aids physician-patient communication and results in greater adherence to doctor instructions and makes preventive versus reactive care a possibility. All clients face special medical conditions including disabilities, untreated chronic conditions, urgent needs (e.g. seizures) or mental health conditions (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder or major depressive disorder). 

Program partners include physicians, CommUnity Care clinics, Seton Healthcare Network, the City of Austin Refugee Health Screening Clinic, the Travis County Integral Care and Center for Survivors of Torture, Austin Independent School district and others. In addition to meeting immediate health care needs of 40 clients a year, RST provides refugees temporary cash assistance and housing, transportation to appointments, and needed surgeries (including plastic surgeries for reconstruction due to violence they have experienced). They also receive assistance with special education, as well as support securing health insurance coverage and navigating public assistance programs. These clients are then able to assist family members and the wider refugee community. The key strengths of this program are improved health literacy rates, increased patient adherence and fewer emergency room visits.

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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