The Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) has presented this year’s Outstanding Service Award to UNTHSC adjunct instructor Melissa Oden, DHEd, LMSW-IPR, MPH, CHES.
Dr. Oden teaches Behavioral and Community Health courses for the UNTHSC School of Public Health, where she also serves as Public Health Student Practice Experience Liaison.
In presenting the award, TPHA President James Swan, PhD, 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.