TMA Honors Two Outstanding Programs for Helping Patients

TMA Foundation Announces 2013 John P. McGovern
Champion of Health Award and Secondary Award Honorees

The Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) has presented its 2013 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award and Secondary Award to two Texas programs creating a “Healthy Now” and a “Healthy Future,” reflecting TMAF’s two key overarching initiatives. The TMAF award recognizes exceptional projects that address urgent public health threats and further TMAF’s mission to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans. 

John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award Winner 

TMAF presented the 2013 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award to Hope Medical Clinic of Austin.

Hope Medical Clinic, part of the “Get Up Project,” provides health services and medications at no cost to local uninsured patients, including international refugees. (The Get Up Project is a non-profit organization providing health care and advocacy to the underserved population in and around Austin.)  The clinic’s goal is to help patients better manage their health through education, continuity of care, and assistance in overcoming barriers, such as lack of transportation.

The clinic’s on-site translators help educate patients about managing their health conditions and medications. The clinic is operated solely through the volunteer efforts of physicians, physician assistants, mid-level providers, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, nutritionists, pharmacists, and non-medical volunteers. To meet demand, the clinic recently increased its hours from two to three days per month.  

John Morrow, MD, Austin, had the vision to create this free clinic in 2005 to serve the homeless in East Austin. He first worked with pharmacists to buy, store and dispense medications to clinic patients. He went on to collaborate with local labs and radiology services to obtain additional free services.

In 2010, a joint venture extended medical services to the thousands of refugees in the Austin area resulting from the United Nations Resettlement Program. In October 2012, the first dental clinic, operated by volunteer dentists, served 16 patients. Future plans call for increased dental services, conversion to total electronic medical records, improved patient education in multiple languages, and more. 

TMAF Champion of Health Award honorees receive $5,000 and a specially commissioned bronze statue. The award is named after John P. McGovern, MD, who founded the John P. McGovern Foundation in Houston. Dr. McGovern established a permanent endowment at TMAF, which supports this award.



 Secondary Award Honoree 

Pediatric Obesity Symposium Receives Secondary Honors  

TMAF also awarded a John P. McGovern Champion of Health $2,500 grant to the Pediatric Obesity Symposium in Central Texas. The medical educational forum is designed to empower communities in Comal and Guadalupe counties to address health issues related to diabetes and obesity. It brings together lecturers from medical education, active medical practice, allied health, and the community to share information, approaches, and intervention strategies. Founded by Awilda Ramos, MD, of New Braunfels, the fifth annual summit in 2012 attracted more than 1,000 physicians, allied health professionals, concerned citizens, students, and organizations.

 “This is an important endeavor that requires a community effort not just locally but countywide, statewide, and perhaps nationally,” said Dr. Ramos. “It is my hope that we as a community can come together and ignite enough interest so our efforts make a difference in our children’s lives and their future.” 

As a result of the symposium, New Braunfels pediatricians adopted guidelines for lab evaluation, appropriate community referral, and more aggressive lifestyle intervention. Future goals of the Pediatric Obesity Symposium include advocacy for more accessible, safe outdoor exercise and increased physician participation on school health advisory committees. Future lectures will address techniques for appetite control, recognition of sleep apnea, and more. 

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 45,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. TMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association and raises funds to support the health improvement and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.



Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320


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