June 14, 2013
Several Austin-area physicians have accepted leadership positions within the Texas Medical Association (TMA). TMA physicians and medical students who are appointed or elected to one of TMA’s 30 boards, councils, and committees are responsible for studying and recommending action on important issues affecting Texas patients and health care policy.
Anthony Aventa, MD, an internist in practice for 13 years, was elected to TMA’s Council on Socioeconomics. The council makes recommendations related to the socioeconomic aspects of medical care and regulations.
Travis Bias, DO, a family physician in practice for two years, was appointed to TMA’s Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access. This committee analyzes the physician, nursing, and allied health workforce and its impact on patients’ ability to receive health care, and promotes careers in medicine and the health professions..
Maya B. Bledsoe, MD, an endocrinologist in practice for 21 years, was reelected to TMA’s Council on Health Care Quality. Ghassan F. Salman, MD, MPH, an internist in practice for 10 years, also was elected to the council. The Council on Health Care Quality establishes policy to improve and measure health care quality and patient safety. This includes educating physicians about opportunities to use federal and state incentives to improve their patient outcomes, and advocating before the government for sound quality improvement initiatives.
Dawn C. Buckingham, MD, an ophthalmologist in practice for 12 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Council on Legislation. The council develops and implements legislative policies at both the state and national level to improve medicine and patient care.
Kimberly Carter, MD, MPP, an obstetrician-gynecologist in practice for 11 years, was reelected to TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health. This council develops policy on high-priority public health and medical science issues, provides physicians evidence based on public health and scientific information, and communicates TMA policy on these issues.
R.Y. Declan Fleming, MD, a surgical oncologist and general surgeon in practice for 16 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Committee on Cancer. The committee supervises TMA’s cancer-related activities, educates physicians and patients about cancer, and works with other groups on cancer-related care and issues.
Chris Garrison, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in practice for 17 years, was elected to the Council on Medical Education. The council coordinates TMA’s medical education activities, studies the physician workforce, accredits continuing medical education activities, and monitors physician licensure and credentialing.
Thomas Kim, MD, a psychiatrist and internist, and Sarah I. Smiley, DO, a hospitalist, were elected to TMA’s Council on Health Service Organizations. The council makes recommendations and takes action relative to all patient-care facilities, including emergency departments; ambulatory surgery centers; hospitals; and skilled nursing, long-term-care, assisted living, hospice, home care, and other treatment facilities. Dr. Kim has been in practice for three years, Dr. Smiley for 19 years.
Mikeal Love, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and Alan Moore, MD, a pathologist, were appointed to TMA’s Committee on Continuing Education. The committee monitors and studies trends and issues in continuing medical education and recommends TMA policy on the subject. Dr. Love has been in practice for 21 years, Dr. Moore for 33 years.
James Merryman, DO, a family physician in practice for 25 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Council on Practice Management Services. John F. Villacis, MD, an allergist and immunologist in practice for 10 years, was elected to the council. The Council on Practice Management Services oversees all association practice-management services provided directly to physicians and their staff.
Stephen Pont, MD, a pediatrician in practice for nine years, was appointed to TMA’s Committee on Child and Adolescent Health. The committee promotes policies to encourage the development of healthy young Texans.
Theodore J. Spinks, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon in practice for four years, was reelected to TMA’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws. The council serves as an advisory body on matters pertaining to the TMA Constitution and Bylaws, and handles long-range organizational planning.
All of these physicians are members of the Travis County Medical Society.
Tina J. Philip, DO, a family physician for four years, was appointed to the Committee on Membership. The committee guides TMA’s and county medical societies’ membership recruitment and retention programs. Dr. Philip is a member of the Travis County Medical Society.
Susan M. Pike, MD, a plastic surgeon for 10 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Patient-Physician Advocacy Committee. The committee assesses the quality of medical care in Texas and recommends regulatory, legislative, and legal approaches to ensure the highest standard of quality medical care is available for all Texan patients. Dr. Pike is a member of the Williamson County Medical Society.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
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Contact: Pam Udall
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