The Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) has presented this year’s Outstanding Service Award to Dr. Melissa Oden from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) School of Public Health.
Dr. Oden teaches in the school’s department of behavioral and community health and also serves as Public Health Student Practice Experience Liaison.
In presenting the award, Dr. James Swan, TPHA president, recognized Dr. Oden’s work with local coalitions across Texas in application for Plan4Health national grant funding.
The grants –coordinated in partnership through the American Public Health Association (APHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Planning Association (APA) – were created to support local coalitions’ efforts in reducing chronic disease across the U.S. through community-based strategies for built environments focused on equitable health care access, nutrition, physical activity, and reduced tobacco exposure.
Grants of $100,000 to $150,000 were available for up to two projects per state. Within two months, Dr. Oden helped facilitate 11 proposals from Texas, with one grant recently awarded to an Austin coalition.
Dr. Oden currently serves as TPHA president-elect.