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
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