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    Texas School Health Program
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    Austin, TX 78714-9347
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    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7279
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    SchoolHealth@dshs.texas.gov

Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health

The Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health is an awards program led by the School Health Program.  It gives Texas schools and school districts cash prizes for their school health projects that improve the lifelong physical, mental, and social well-being of their students, staff, and school community.   The deadline to submit an application for the 2017 Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health was Monday, September 11, 2017.  

 Awards for Excellence Logo


2017 Reaching for Excellence Award - 4 awards at $1,200 each
Reaching for Excellence Award General Information

Sponsored by the Texas Health Institute
For any Texas school or school district that would like to begin a new health project or has started a new health project that has been in place less than a full school year.  Winners would use the award money as start-up seed funding to put the project into action. 


2017 Discovery Award - 3 awards at $1,500 each
Discovery Award General Information

Sponsored by the Texas Health Institute
For any Texas school or school district with current health project that has been in place for at least one full school year and has final results.  Winners would use the award money to sustain or expand the health project.  Health projects that have won a Reaching for Excellence (RFE) award should apply for this award after the project has been in place a full school year and there are final results.  For example, a health project wins a 2015 RFE award.  After the first school year it has been in place, there are plans to expand. The school district should apply for a Discovery award during the 2017 Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health.

2017 Vanguard Award - 1 award at $1,000 
Vanguard Award General Information

Sponsored by the Texas Health Institute
This is for health projects that have won a Discovery award.  The Discovery award winning project must still be in place and show how it has grown since the last time it won.  Winners would use the award money to continue and grow the health project.  Health projects that have won a RFE and Discovery awards should apply for this award within two years of receiving their Discovery award.  For example, a health project wins a 2015 RFE award and a 2017 Discovery award.  There are plans to continue the project and grow it more.  The school district should apply for a Vanguard award in either the 2018 or 2019 Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health. 

Award of Achievement in Obesity Prevention - 3 awards at $1000 each
Sponsored by the Texas Pediatric Society Foundation
There is not a separate application for this award.  This is for health projects that apply for a Discovery or Vanguard award.  These health projects must show success in decreasing obesity in adolescence by promoting nutrition and physical activity. Texas schools or school districts should check the box on the Discovery or Vanguard application.  By doing so, the health project will be put forward for the Awards of Achievement in Obesity Prevention.

                                                               Picture of Dr. Bernstein
Robert Bernstein, M.D., Special Recognition Award  
Sponsored by the Texas Health Institute
There is not a separate application for this award.  The school health program is honored to present the Robert Bernstein, M.D., Special Recognition Award in memory of Dr. Robert Bernstein.  Dr. Bernstein was a former commissioner of the Texas Department of Health and Chairman of the Board/executive committee member of the Texas Health Foundation (now the Texas Health Institute).  He dedicated his life to public service through public health work.  Dr. Bernstein was a champion in giving back to his country, state, and community in both his professional and personal life.  To win this award, a school or district must win the Reaching for Excellence and Discovery awards consecutively with an implementation year in between, and then win the Vanguard award within two years – all with the same program. This progressive, four-step process is a way to build, support, and maintain a new or emerging program as it grows each year to its full potential.  Once these steps are completed, the school or district is automatically eligible for the Robert Bernstein Special Recognition Award.  Schools or districts that complete the steps will receive recognition at the annual Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health Banquet and Awards Ceremony, be given a Robert Bernstein, M.D., Special Recognition Award plaque, and their school’s name will be permanently displayed in the lobby of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Bernstein Building.


Button for Awards for Excellence Winners



Last updated November 15, 2017