The Texas Medical Association’s Council on Health Promotion oversees a broad array of community outreach programs and activities to improve the health of all Texans. That includes honoring journalists whose diligent and relevant work furthers that aim.
The council recently honored the winners of TMA’s 65th Anson Jones, MD, Awards competition, which features honorees in numerous print publication, online news, and broadcast news categories. The council oversees the annual competition.
“As expected, COVID-19 once again was the dominant theme in this year’s entries,” said Li-Yu Mitchell, MD, chair of the Council on Health Promotion. “As the pandemic moved through new stages, winning stories focused on new angles like the long-term mental health impact, and resources available to those who need help.”
A family physician in Tyler, Dr. Mitchell has had the opportunity to present awards to outstanding journalists in her city over the years.
“I enjoy recognizing journalists for their efforts and celebrating their work. It also gives me the chance to make personal connections with journalists covering important health stories in our community,” she said.
This time around, the top honor in the Anson Jones awards – Texas Health Journalist of the Year – went to Texas Tribune reporter Karen Brooks Harper for a series of stories last year on the pandemic and vaccinations. (Ms. Brooks Harper is pictured above left, with Moss Hampton, MD, of the Council on Health Promotion.) Other winners covered the opioid epidemic and shortage of medical resources in some of Texas’ rural areas.
In one of her stories, Ms. Brooks Harper explored how Mount Pleasant, a small town in Northeast Texas, increased its COVID-19 vaccination rate with the help of local churches and nonprofits, bucking trends. In the article she wrote, “As the state sees declining numbers of new vaccine recipients each week, the rate in Mount Pleasant has jumped since local efforts have begun to include walk-in vaccination clinics, church events and word-of-mouth campaigns.”
See the full list of winners in all categories in this year’s competition featuring stories they broadcast or published during 2021.
TMA will start accepting entries for the 66th Anson Jones awards in December. Details of the award categories will be posted on the Anson Jones webpage.