iConquer Project Named Top TMA Foundation Champion of Health

Jan. 30, 2016  

AUSTIN -- The Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) presented its top 2016 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award to iConquer Project, a program of It’s Your Life Foundation of Corpus Christi, at 2016 TMA Winter Conference on Jan. 30. The award is TMAF’s highest honor, and it recognizes exceptional projects that address urgent public health threats and further TMAF’s mission to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans. 

“Winning this grant means more than merely the recognition,” said Zehra Surani, executive director of It’s Your Life Foundation. “This grant validates that the work we are doing is valuable, and it means we can help more people in improving their lives and directing them towards a healthier life style.”

The iConquer Project aims to stem the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes by teaching young children to develop healthy food choice habits. There is a great need; more than one in 10 Texans have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Each year since 2013, the iConquer Project has reached 500 to 600 children aged 3 to 7 weekly with creative, fun educational curricula that teach portion control, how exercise can keep someone healthy, and the importance of good hygiene and proper hand washing to curb spread of infectious disease. (The effort has also reached thousands more children at community events.) The project primarily serves children in the Corpus Christi Independent School District and Nueces County head start centers. The iConquer Project collaborates with a dozen community organizations including the school district, Christus Spohn Health System, and the Junior League of Corpus Christi.

This grant will help us in making a tremendous impact in the lives of young children, who in turn continue to inspire us day in and day out with their curiosity, creativity, and drive. With this award we will be able to produce new animation resources and will be able to introduce new educational material, as we continue to guide our future ambassadors how to combat life-threatening diseases and how to develop a path towards healthy living,” said Ms. Surani.

TMAF’s top Champion of Health Award winner receives a $5,000 grant for program enhancement and a specially commissioned bronze statue. The award is named after John P. McGovern, MD, a philanthropist, scholar, and noted allergist who founded the John P. McGovern Foundation in Houston. Dr. McGovern established a permanent endowment at TMAF, which supports this award.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 48,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 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.


Please contact the TMA media relations staff for photos of TMAF leaders presenting the awards to the honorees.

Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; e-mail: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org

Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; e-mail: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org

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March 21, 2018

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