Drenda Williams Witt Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


Drenda Williams Witt, Director of Collaborative Network Marketing at JPS Health Network, received the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Frank J. Weaver Lifetime Achievement award at the PRSA National Conference on October 22 in Philadelphia.

The Frank J. Weaver Lifetime Achievement award recognizes an individual who, during the course of his or her career, has made outstanding contributions to the field of health care public relations and changed the practice of public relations in America. Nominees must have a minimum of 25 years' experience as a public relations practitioner in the health care sector.  The awards are judged by a nominating committee that includes former Lifetime Achievement recipients.

Witt has been instrumental in changing the face of health care public relations for more than 35 years. She began her career at The Fort Worth Press as the editor of the lifestyle section. Several years later, she delved into health care public relations at Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services of Tarrant County as the Public Information Officer. After that, she served as the Director of Communications/Public Information Officer for the Fort Worth State School and later moved to JPS Health Network where she has worked for 25 years as the Director of Public Relations and Marketing and the Director of Collaborative Network Marketing.

While Witt is involved in many professional and community organizations, it is important to note that she is considered the "mother of health care public relations" in Texas and most recently, Witt’s leadership as the chair of the Texas Hospital Association's Strategic Communications Constituency Council has led to legislative changes and helped establish state-wide quality initiatives.