Two Deseret News writers are Western region winners in a Journalism Awards of Excellence competition sponsored by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Medical writer JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and education editor Twila Van Leer won $250 each plus framed certificates for their coverage last year of Rocky Mountain Interplast's team of Utah physicians who went to Chile to perform surgery on 45 disfigured children.Jacobsen-Wells and Van Leer traveled to Chile with the doctors and assisted the medical teams to research their stories. Dr. James L. Parkin, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the University of Utah, will present the awards to them.

Jacobsen-Wells and Van Leer were also awarded a first-place prize in the Associated Press Utah-Idaho-Spokane region for serious features for the same package of stories.