John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award

2017 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award Winners 

Top Award Winner: “Seed to Soul” Promise of Peace Gardens, Dallas

The Seed to Soul program supports families in adopting healthy eating habits through weekly gardening and cooking classes held at Bayles Elementary, Dallas, where approximately one in three of the 604 children enrolled go to bed hungry. Sponsored by Promise of Peace (POP) Gardens in partnership with area grocers, chefs and others, the Bayles POP Garden was established in 2016 to serve more than 500 families with fresh produce and programming tailored to the needs of the community. Approximately 600 per month receive seed-to-table education and hands-on experiences where teachers and students integrate the math, science, literacy and health concepts in the context of their garden. POP is a not-for-profit whose mission is to increase healthy lifestyles, school success and positive engagement. Since it was established in 2009, POP has installed seven gardens across North Texas. Read More. 

Secondary Award Winner: “WATCH Champions of Health Award” Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land 

Established in 2012, the WATCH Champions of Health Award has provided more than 20,000 staff and students with education, physical activity and school-based services that encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle. The award accomplishes this by recognizing schools that offer not only state and district requirements, but other health improvement initiatives such as those focused on tobacco prevention, stress prevention and reduction, and staff wellness, nutrition, physical activity, mental health, tobacco prevention, obesity, and community health. WATCH is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare, Fort Bend ISD and Fort Bend Medical Society Alliance. Read More 


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 Fit Worth, 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.

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

2018 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award

Nominations will be accepted for the 2018 Award in August 2017. 

October 31, 2017 

December 2017 

January 27, 2018 
TMA 2018 Winter Conference 
Hyatt Regency Austin

Bronze statue and 
$5,000 program grant