Texas HHSC Honors NET Health Director with WIC Shining Star Award

News Release
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
Jennifer Ruffcorn 512-424-6951

TYLER — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission presented the Shining Star Award to Tyler-based WIC Director Tecora Smith. This award is the first of its kind and recognizes exceptional leadership, service and dedication to the children and families served by Texas WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

“WIC is a vital resource for our state, and the support we offer Texas families would not be possible without phenomenal staff and leaders like Tecora,” said Edgar Curtis, director of Texas WIC. “We’re excited to recognize her with the first-ever Shining Star Award as she is truly an exceptional individual and represents all that WIC strives to be.”

Smith is the WIC director for the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) in Tyler. NET Health operates 21 WIC clinics in 23 counties (mostly rural) across East Texas and serves approximately 25,000 residents with low income.

A true trailblazer, Smith regularly spearheads initiatives to improve the WIC program and connect it with key stakeholders to improve early childhood nutrition, and she truly understands and conveys the needs of the people WIC serves. Smith is a National WIC Association board member and co-chair of the Local Agency Committee. She is a former board president of the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors. Other local WIC agencies often turn to her for leadership and guidance.

Texas WIC provides mothers and families with resources, education and nutrition support. Maternal, infant and early childhood malnutrition can result in pregnancy complications, developmental delays, impaired cognition and increased risk of chronic diseases. Texas WIC helps prevent those outcomes by providing individuals with nutrient-rich diets during key developmental life stages. WIC’s dedicated staff makes this important work possible.

About Texas WIC

WIC is a federal nutrition program for pregnant women, breastfeeding women and families with children younger than 5. Texas WIC, administered by the Health and Human Services Commission, helps improve the diets of infants and children as well as pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women by providing monthly healthy food packages, nutrition counseling, education and breastfeeding support. For more information on WIC benefits and eligibility, visit TexasWIC.org.