NET Health honors public officials past and present for COVID-19 pandemic leadership

From left: Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, NET Health CEO George Roberts and Tyler Mayor...
From left: Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, NET Health CEO George Roberts and Tyler Mayor Don Warren. Moran and Warren were honored by NET Health with the Doc Ballard Award for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.(City of Tyler)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 3:02 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Two Tyler mayors and a Smith County judge were honored for their roles in helping to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in Smith County.

Tyler Mayor Don Warren, former Mayor Martin Heines and Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, along with the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, were recognized by the Northeast Public Health District (NET Health) with the  W. T. “Doc” Ballard Award for Excellence in Public Health on Thursday.

Each year, the NET Health presents the W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award for Excellence in Public Health to an individual or organization exemplifying the concept of public health and distinguished by his or her dedication to the goal of protecting and promoting the health of the community. The award is NET Health’s highest accolade for outstanding service to public health.

“Our elected officials provided vital logistics, resources, and encouragement during this unprecedented crisis,” said NET Health CEO George Roberts. “They were critical to our life-saving efforts.”

As elected officials for the City of Tyler and Smith County, Heines, Moran and Warren provided critical leadership and support to the Joint Emergency Operation Center (EOC) established by the City, Smith County, and NET Health to ensure first responders and medical staff had the proper funding, resources, and facilities available to fight the pandemic.

“We are honored to receive this award and to have been a part of such a tremendous group effort to keep our community safe,” said Mayor Warren during the award presentation. “This is a testament to the strength of our relationship and the resilience of our entire community.”

Judge Moran agreed.

“I am deeply appreciative of this honor, but know that it is really an honor for the whole community,” he said. “You never really know the character of any organization or a community until the unexpected moments come to that test every fiber of our being. The pandemic did just that. And, the community — including the city and county as organizations — responded with such incredible character and resolve. I could not be more proud of Tyler and Smith County and the strong partnership that we have.”

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