Outreach 101: TMA Programs Help You Give Back
By Tammy Wishard

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Li-Yu Mitchell, MD, and Amanda Green, MD, have a lot on their plates.

Dr. Mitchell, a family physician in Tyler (above right), and Paris hospitalist Dr. Green (below) both work long hours caring for patients in East Texas.

But they also find time to care for their communities beyond their practice walls by participating in the Texas Medical Association’s three flagship outreach programs: Be Wise – Immunize, Hard Hats for Little Heads, and Walk With a Doc Texas.

“These programs bring physicians back to the roots of why we started careers in medicine – they help reignite and strengthen our passion for caring for others,” said Dr. Mitchell, who was named a TMA Health Hero in 2018 for her participation in all three programs.

Whether you’re an outreach newbie or a seasoned veteran like Drs. Mitchell and Green, discover TMA’s ready-made, outreach programs at the TMA Outreach Programs meeting Friday, May 17, during TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The meeting will be from 2 pm to 3 pm in the Westcott Room on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole. 

TMA’s longest-running outreach program, Hard Hats for Little Heads, is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. Hard Hats provides helmets to keep kids safe while staying active on bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters. More than 325,000 Texas kids have received a free helmet and had it properly fitted by TMA member physicians and medical students, and TMA Alliance members.

Be Wise – ImmunizeSM, now in its 15th year, works to improve vaccination rates across Texas by providing educational resources and competitive grant funding to TMA members for local vaccination events. Be Wise has given more than 360,000 shots to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since 2004.

Walk With a Doc Texas, TMA’s newest outreach program at six years old, promotes healthy physical activity through physician-led walks in Texas communities. More than 200 members have been leading walks since 2013, logging more than 100,000 miles with their patients. TMA covers the $3,000 start-up fee for members, which includes liability insurance for all signed-in participants.

Dr. Green, a 2017 TMA Health Hero, said, “I like these programs because they give you a concrete way to help the community and help keep people from getting sick. 

“It’s about seeing the pride in kids’ faces when they receive a helmet or seeing the appreciation when people get a free shot.” Dr. Green, a hospitalist who has practiced for 17 years, said Walk With a Doc probably impacts her the most because she gets to know the people who attend the walks. “Sometimes we visit about medical problems, or sometimes just about life,” she said. 

RSVP for the outreach meeting by Friday, May 10. You also can visit with staff who oversee the programs if you stop by the TMA Foundation booth (Booth #4) in the Expo Hall at TexMed. 

And if you want to keep up with the latest news on the programs, subscribe to TMA Giving Back, a monthly e-newsletter for those interested in improving the health of their communities. 

The TMA Foundation, the charitable arm of the association, raises the funds to financially support these outreach programs. You can help support Hard Hats for Little Heads, Be Wise – Immunize, or Walk With a Doc Texas with a donation to the TMA Foundation. You can designate your tax-deductible contribution to a specific program(s) or make a donation to meet the greatest need.  

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Be Wise – Immunize is funded with support from H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Pfizer Inc., and gifts from physicians and their families. Walk With a Doc Texas is funded with generous support from TMA Insurance Trust, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Prudential.

Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported thanks to TMAF’s Legacy of Caring and General Endowments, and generous gifts from an anonymous physician and spouse and donors to TMAF’s Make-A-Difference and Greatest Need appeals.

Walk With a Doc Texas is funded by a grant from the TMA Foundation with generous support from TMA Insurance Trust, Prudential, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Texas. To learn more, visit the TMA Foundation website.

Last Updated On

April 26, 2019

Tammy Wishard

Outreach Coordinator, Division of Communication

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is TMA’s outreach coordinator. She manages TMA's award-winning Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — Immunize programs, and the Anson Jones, MD, Awards for excellence in health reporting. She has a 20-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, an Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

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