Northeast Texas Public Health District Announces 2017 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award Recipient
April 28, 2017
The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 W. T. “Doc” Ballard Award for Excellence in Public Health. This award is the District’s highest accolade for outstanding service contributing significantly to the enhancement of public health.
Doc Ballard, a registered professional engineer for the Texas Department of Health and mentor to NET Health, was a leader in protecting the health of the public. His expertise and administrative skills ensured the environmental controls crucial to the quality and safety of public drinking water and public food service; the proper disposal of wastewater and solid waste; and the monitoring of radiation.
For the 2017 W. T. “Doc” Ballard Award, the Northeast Texas Public Health District recognizes Dr. David Lakey, who has demonstrated a true commitment to protect and promote the health of the public. Dr. Lakey served as the local health authority for Smith County from 2003 through 2006, until he was named as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2007 until 2015.
Dr. Lakey concurrently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health and the Chief Medical Officer for the University of Texas System, as well as Dean of the School of Community Health and Health Professions and the Senior Vice President for Population Health at UT Health Northeast.
As a public health leader for the City of Tyler, for Smith County, the East Texas region and the entire State of Texas, Dr. David Lakey is truly a public health visionary for the future of public health in East Texas.
For 70 years, UT Health Northeast has provided excellent patient care to the citizens of Texas and beyond. Signature programs include cancer, chest diseases, primary care, behavioral health, and public and community health, along with over 25 additional medical specialties. As the only university medical center in Northeast Texas, its mission also includes education and research. Graduate medical education residencies are in family medicine, rural family medicine, internal medicine, occupational medicine, and psychiatry with many newly trained physicians electing to stay in Northeast Texas, a medically underserved region of the state. Graduate degrees include biotechnology and public health. In addition, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research have been awarded more than $137 million in competitive funding since 2004. With an annual operating budget of over $200 million, UT Health Northeast is a major economic engine for the region.