Texas Family Physician Receives Public Health Award at American Academy of Family Physicians Annual Meeting

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

PHILADELPHIA — Philip Huang, MD, MPH, a family physician from Austin, Texas, was awarded the 2012 Public Health Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians at its annual meeting in Philadelphia. The AAFP’s Public Health Award recognizes individuals who have made or are making extraordinary contributions to the health of the American public. The award was one of seven presented for exceptional achievement in the field of family medicine at the AAFP’s Scientific Assembly, one of the largest gatherings of primary care providers in the country.

Throughout his career, Huang has shown extraordinary dedication to improving the health of the public through his coordination and implementation of a number of programs that have sought to reduce tobacco use and treat chronic disease.

Huang serves as medical director and health authority for the Austin/Travis County Health Department. In this capacity, he oversees communicable disease control, epidemiology and surveillance, emergency preparedness, immunizations and chronic disease prevention.

After identifying tobacco use as the leading actual cause of death in Travis County in 2007 — more than alcohol, drugs, suicide, car accidents, HIV/AIDS, homicide and fire combined — Huang began actively pursuing funding for a comprehensive community tobacco cessation program.

In 2010, the Austin/Travis County Health Department was awarded a $7.5-million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement comprehensive community changes to reduce tobacco use.

Huang oversaw a campaign that promoted free community tobacco cessation resources, discouraged youth access to smoking products, and called for tobacco-free campus policies at area worksites, colleges and other public settings. This campaign has become a model for other communities across Texas and throughout the nation.

Huang’s commitment to tobacco use prevention and cessation began in medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he organized a student chapter of Doctors Ought to Care and presented the AAFP’s Tar Wars youth tobacco use prevention program at area schools. He even convinced a local advertising company to donate billboard signage to display their poster contest winner’s artwork, spreading Tar Wars’ tobacco-free message to countless commuters.

And while earning his Masters of Public Health at Harvard University, he successfully led a movement to have the school divest of its tobacco stocks.

Dr. Huang currently serves on the CDC’s Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the board of directors for C-Change, a coalition of nation's key cancer leaders from government, business and nonprofit sectors.

His tobacco use prevention efforts earned Huang the C. Frank Webber Family Practice Award for Excellence in Oncology from MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Tobacco-Free Texas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Center for Safe Communities and Schools. Huang was also awarded with the Outstanding Leadership in Tobacco Cessation and Control Achievement Award from the American Cancer Society – Texas Division.

Huang is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

Huang received his undergraduate degree from Rice University in Houston; his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and completed his residency in family medicine at Brackenridge Hospital Family Medicine Residency in Austin. He received his masters of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

# # #

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).