The American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF) honored David L. Lakey, MD, with the 2021 AMA Foundation Award for Health Education, made possible through the generous support of the John P. McGovern Foundation. This award recognizes the professional or public health education activities of practicing physicians.
Dr. Lakey served as commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2007-2015. In this role, he oversaw the state’s public health services, 11 state hospitals, disaster response, health regulatory services, and more. During this time, he served as a chief health official during public health emergencies such as H1N1, Ebola, West Nile virus, and hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Dolly.
He currently acts as a COVID-19 advisor to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and sits on the state’s COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel. He is also on the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) COVID-19 Task Force, which has taken a leading role in educating and guiding Texas physicians through the ongoing pandemic. “We respect his wisdom and welcome his input regarding every health care-related crisis that has hit Texas for the past 15 years,” TMA Immediate Past President Diana L. Fite, MD, said.
Currently the vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer at The University of Texas System, Dr. Lakey is revered as a physician who works tirelessly to help educate and inform the public, serving as a steadfast leader during times of crisis. “This is a man who seems to work day and night, always present for the media, serving on many statewide panels, always available for the TMA, and virtually never turning down requests to speak at meetings,” said David Henkes, MD. “Dr. Lakey has a wealth of knowledge to share, and he shares it freely to improve the health of all Texans.”
The AMA presented the AMA Foundation Award for Health Education to Dr. Lakey during the 2022 TMA Winter Conference.