The award honors Smith's dedication to improving the health of teenagers and providing both primary and reproductive care to them through seven clinics.
Smith, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry and behavioral medicine at BCM, oversees operations at the Ben Taub Teen Clinic, Cavalcade Clinic, Chavez High School Clinic, Cullen Clinic, LBJ Clinic, Lawn Clinic and Lee High Clinic. Her involvement began in 1972 and has continued through current day. Her leadership and commitment to helping pregnant teens and adolescents has continued, including programs to improve the health of pregnant teens and their babies, provide parenting skills training and involve young men in the lives of their children. She has been an advocate for swift treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing and treatment.
Her main message to young pregnant mothers is that they can go forth and succeed – for themselves and their families.
The other 11 nominees for the award included:
- Christi Bowe of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center/Casa El Buen Samaritano.
- Dr. Jenny Chang of Baylor College of Medicine's Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center.
- Loubel Cruz of the Pink Ribbons Project.
- Dr. Furjen Deng of the Light and Salt Association of Houston, which provides support to breast cancer survivors in the local Chinese community.
- Melissa Farrel of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas.
- Dorothy Gibbons of The Rose, which provides mammography screening, diagnosis, access to treatment and support to all women regardless of ability to pay.
- Carolyn Hamilton of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Metropolitan Houston.
- Karen Love of the Harris County Healthcare Alliance.
- Carol Paret of the Community Benefit Corporation of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.
- Mary Parnham of Mental Health America.
- Dr. Kathryn Peek of the University of Houston.
- Dr. Kathleen M. Schmeler of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
- Viji Raman/Lakshmy Parameswaran of DAYA, which promotes health family relationships in the South-Asian community of Houston.