2023 Champions

Michael O’Hara

On January 10, 2023, at age 68, Michael O’Hara debuted in his first feature-length film: “The Haunted History Tour.” He played 3 characters. The film premiered as a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Louisiana – for which Michael volunteers as celebrity spokesperson. 

Michael says that as kids, he and his siblings would entertain each other by acting as characters drawn from the people they observed in their community. He’s always absorbed the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of people around him, arranging them into their own characters in his head. And sometimes, he’d let them out through performance. 

He’s been performing since he was 6 years old. That’s when his parents bought him a piano. He learned to play by ear and, in a matter of weeks he was writing songs and winning competitions. In his 20s he fronted the popular New Orleans band, “The Sheiks.” Later, he wrote music for the film industry and Grammy-nominated songs for famous artists. 

His talent and ability grow out of a mind that’s constantly looking, constantly creating, constantly reordering ideas and observations into new characters and new ways of reaching people. 

When he lived in Dallas, he performed at healthcare facilities – about 60 performances per month — and he found that music could really speak to people who needed comfort, who needed hope. Even more, he found that his performances could connect people across all kinds of differences. 

As he builds his songs, his melodies, his characters in his head, he knows he needs to let them out. That’s where the real magic is. That’s where they do the most good: bringing people together. With a lifetime of experience entertaining, Michael O’Hara is better at creating that magic now than he ever was. And that’s what makes him a Peoples Health Champion.

“I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.”

Michael O'Hara

If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.

A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.