Texas Accent:

2012-2013 Annual Report

The Official Newsletter of the Texas Medical Association Alliance 


July 2013                                                                                                                                                         Volume 33 

In this issue... 

AllMed, TMAA’s 95th Annual Convention
County Alliance Award Winners
Message from Linda Swan Adkins
Message from 2013-2014 TMAA President Cheryl Jones
First Tuesdays a Success
TMA Foundation News
TMA Outreach
Ernest and Sarah Butler Science Teacher Award Winners
AMAA Annual Meeting
Calendar of Events 

AllMed Was a Fiesta in San Antonio

AllMed, TMAA’s 95th Annual convention, was quite the fiesta in San Antonio. Hosted by the Bexar County Medical Society Alliance, the event was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Antonio, May 15-18, 2013.

President Linda Adkins and president-elect Cheryl Jones welcomed attendees at the opening reception at the historic Menger Hotel adjacent to the Alamo. TMAA’s ALLMED chair, Lisa Trevino, confirmed that there were indeed ghosts who reside at the Menger. 
Mike Williams, CEO of Community Hospital Corporation, opened up this year’s convention by emphasizing the importance of collaboration in any organization, but especially one such as the Alliance. With the many impending changes in healthcare, it is more important than ever before for Alliance volunteers to work together with their respective medical societies as well as others in the healthcare community at large.

Following Mike’s thought-provoking message, TMAA Director of Programs and Communications Sandy Solis presented the myriad ways county leaders could reach potential members and stakeholders through social media avenues.

During lunch, Watson Arnold, MD, TMA member and immediate past president of the Texas State Historical Association, regaled members with different folk tales of cures from fish oil to chicken soup. If you were unable to attend, here’s a tip: chicken soup, good; fish oil, smelly. 

Thursday evening wrapped up an exciting and fulfilling day by honoring dual June Bratcher Award winners Susan Todd, Fort Worth, and Sonal Bhuchar, Sugarland. The June Bratcher award is given biennially to an alliance member for his or her involvement in a political campaign on behalf of medicine. Both of these amazing volunteers ran hard-fought campaigns of their own. Though ultimately unsuccessful, these women exhibited honesty, integrity, sweat and tears in their fight for medicine. 

On Friday morning, after Linda presented the state of the alliance to TMA’s House of Delegates, attendees enjoyed breakfast with Alliance favorite Robert Earley. Laughter erupted when Mr. Earley shared stories of being a “baby” legislator in Texas. Following breakfast, TMAA’s House of Delegates met to elect the 2013 nominating committee. Chaired by Linda Swan Adkins, immediate past president, the nominating committee comprises the three most recent past state presidents and four members elected from the floor of the house. This important committee has the responsibility of choosing the next slate of officers. Congratulations to the 2013-2014 Nominating Committee: Lori Boies, San Antonio; Jannice Fikar, Fort Worth; Pat Wallis, Austin; Agnes Ward, Tyler; along with Linda Swan Adkins, Houston, chair, and past presidents Bridget McKeever, and Doris Johnson.

Thanks to Lisa Treviño, and Bexar County ALLMED committee, the awards celebration was a huge success! While enjoying a sumptuous lunch, guests enjoyed the festive music of San Antonio – Mariachis! With assistance from Pat Hyer, AMAA president, and Lisa Treviño, ALLMED chair, Linda Swan Adkins presented the annual winners with their awards and honored the county presidents for their service during the year.

The joint installation of TMA and TMAA presidents was celebrated at a reception Friday evening. The installation was held on Saturday during TMA’s House of Delegates. During the ceremony, Linda Swan Adkins administered the oath of office to Cheryl Jones, Temple, while Steve Brotherton, Fort Worth, assumed the TMA Presidency. Both presidents look forward to continuing the tradition of partnership between TMA and TMAA, traveling around the state and visiting county medical societies and alliances. 

Gratitude for another successful annual convention goes to
• Lisa Treviño, ALLMED Chair
• The Bexar County Medical Society Alliance ALLMED Committee
• Mike Williams
• Watson Arnold, MD
• Robert Earley
• Pat Hyer
• Kathy Johns, RN
• Jim Lincoln, photographer
• Texas Medical Association
• Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust
• Grand Hyatt Hotel
• The Menger Hotel

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TMAA 2012-2013 Award Recipients - Congratulations on a job well done! 

Dedication to the Mission Award
Presented to the county with the project that most clearly epitomizes the promotion of the TMAA mission.
Fort Bend Medical Society Alliance
The Fort Bend Medical Society Alliance (FBMSA) has taken its successful health campaign fighting obesity, promoting anti-smoking and healthy choices in another direction in order to reach middle and high school students. In order to take the program, now in its 10th year, into middle and high schools at minimal cost, FBMSA created an award program to implement in the schools. In order to win the cash prize, the school must form a wellness committee, have a family wellness night and have a school-wide wellness activity. This program gives physicians and alliance members, as well as other health-related stakeholders, an avenue to reach this high-risk group.   

Alliance of the Future
Presented to the county that shows the most innovation.
Bexar County Medical Society Alliance
The Bexar County Medical Society Alliance (BCMSA) took customization to an entirely new level with its dream website. BCMSA’s website manages every aspect of the alliance, from membership to event RSVPs, to PayPal integration, meeting agendas and meeting minutes. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything alliance!  

Pat Durham Membership Award
Presented to the county with the best overall membership campaign coupled with an overall increase in TMAA, TMAA/TEXPAC, and/or TMAA/APT membership.
Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance
The Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance (TCMSA), long known for its active and diverse membership, reached out in myriad ways in order to recruit and retain members. The president surveyed the members on preferred communications, which included group text messages for meeting notices, and oversized postcards for events. In addition, a task force was formed to call members who had not renewed to discuss their needs. Many members expressed appreciation for this personal approach.

Mary Ann Homer Award for Legislative and Political Action
Presented to the county with the most outstanding project or event relative to their legislative and/or political action efforts on behalf of medicine.
Travis County Medical Alliance
The Travis County Medical Alliance (TCMA) is always actively involved in legislative activity on behalf of medicine. In conjunction with their county medical society, they came in droves to the First Tuesdays at the Capitol events in Austin, earning awards for attendance. In preparation for the legislative session, they hosted a reception with their legislators, physicians and alliance members. This enabled them to educate their elected officials on the issues most important to the practice of medicine, while establishing a relationship between the legislators and the physicians and alliance members.

Advocates of Health Award
Presented to the county with the most outstanding execution of the current statewide health improvement initiative project, Be Wise – ImmunizeSM.
Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance
If there were a poster child for successful collaboration toward the success of Be Wise – Immunize, the Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance (TCMSA) would be it! Over the past year, nearly 12,000 doses of vaccine were given to more than 4,000 children through a successful collaboration in Tarrant County. TCMSA also funded the initiative with nearly $19,000, and since 2005, the alliance has given a total of $155,580 toward the immunization collaboration.

Joan Timmins Milburn Award for Doctors’ Day
Presented to the county with the best overall recognition of Doctors’ Day.
Smith County Medical Society Alliance
In recognition of not only its doctors, but also its alliance volunteers, the Smith County Medical Society Alliance (SCMSA) joined with its medical society to hold a celebration event for all physicians and alliance members who served their respective organizations and the community for 50 or more years. Nearly 20 physicians and 15 alliance members were honored for their half century of service. 

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AMAA Alliance Hosts Annual Meeting in Chicago

The 2013 AMA Alliance Annual Meeting and Leadership Development Conference commenced at the Hotel Sofitel in Chicago on June 16, 2013, with Texan Pat Hyer presiding. Approximately 150 members from across the nation attended.

Voting members elected the 2013-2014 Board Development Committee, voted on bylaws and policy updates, and placed a stamp of approval on the 2013-2014 slate of officers which included Jo Terry of Tennessee as the new president and Sarah Sanders of Ohio as the president-elect.

Congratulations go to the Travis County Medical Alliance for winning the Legislative Education and Awareness Project (LEAP) Award in the county alliance category for its legislative reception program.  Current Travis Alliance president Loren Gigliotti of Austin was on hand to receive the award.

Highlights of the meeting included guest speaker TMA EVP/CEO Lou Goodman, PhD, who discussed the Texas model of the TMA/TMA Alliance partnership.  Members also heard from speakers on membership, meeting management, effective communication, bullying, and many other topics of interest to the medical family.
Texas was well-represented in Chicago with 21 members and staff, the largest group in the nation. Among those participating were chair Linda Adkins, TMAA President Cheryl Jones, Terri Andrews, Lori Boies, Lisa Breech, Sherry Clarke, Cindy Comfort, Anne Gifford, Loren Gigliotti, Pat Hyer, Rex Hyer, MD, Sheri Miller, Sunshine Moore, Lisa Queralt, Sharon Robinson, Judy Simmons, Benna Timperlake, Martha Vijjeswarapu, Libby White, D’Anna Wick, and TMAA Executive Director Loretto Koepsel.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held in Chicago June 8-10, 2014.

It’s Been a Great Year!
Pat Hyer, 2012-2013 AMAA President

Thank you! I have to say the experience of being AMA Alliance President is one I will treasure the rest of my life.  While we underwent many transitions during my term, I knew every one of our members was behind me 100%.   I can’t thank my Texas state and county alliance members and the AMA Alliance Board of Directors enough for all of your support.  I would like to leave you with one last thought; if you have the opportunity to take a leadership position in your county, state or the national alliance, jump at the chance! You will not regret it! 

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A Message From Linda Swan Adkins, 2012-2013 TMAA President

I’ve had the most wonderful year serving as TMAA president! It would have been impossible for me to have had such an incredible year without the support of the Board of Directors, and the members across the state.  You have all given your time and talents, and I appreciate all of you.  We as an alliance are also extremely fortunate to have an amazing staff: Loretto Koepsel, Judy Julian, Sandy Solis and Amy Wiggins. Thank you for all your support from the bottom of my heart.

One of my favorite things about being president was traveling around our great state and visiting county alliances.  I visited 21 counties and learned about the projects, challenges and the uniqueness of each county alliance.  Besides TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise-ImmunizeSM programs, many counties sponsor unique activities like making baby blankets for newborns, providing lunch for the volunteers and staff of the local hospice, and collaborating with many other community organizations for anti-obesity programs. Everywhere I visited I found enthusiasm and dedication to helping the family of medicine. 

In addition to visiting the counties, I attended the TMAA Regional Meeting in Tyler in September.  Members of the Smith County Alliance proved to be gracious hosts and even gave us a tour of a member’s winery!  Plus, we learned a lot about membership, social media, and what it’s really like to run for public office. 

Being the political junkie that many of you know me to be, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you the political activities where I represented you this past year.  In December, I attended the TMA Advocacy Retreat, where we learned about the issues that would be facing medicine during the 2013 legislative session.  In February, I attended the AMA National Advisory Conference in Washington, D.C.  We heard outstanding speakers on medical issues and visited with most of the Texas Congressional delegation and both senators. 

First Tuesdays at the Capitol, the premier grassroots program in the country, was back in full force in February.  This year, more than 1,000 people attended First Tuesdays. With each session, its importance and its attendance have grown.

I was honored to be present when TEXPAC presented the June Bratcher Award for Political Activity to two outstanding alliance members: Sonal Bhuchar from Fort Bend County and Susan Todd from Tarrant County.  Both of these outstanding women have been involved in medical politics for years, and both did what we ask all physicians and alliance members to do:  they ran for public office.  Although the outcome wasn’t to our liking, they stood up for medicine and our values, at great personal sacrifice. 

I will take with me many new friends, and a lifetime of memories.  Thanks to all of you who made this possible.  I leave you in excellent hands with Cheryl Jones and the rest of the 2013-2014 TMAA Board of Directors.  With this group of leaders, I know the coming year cannot help but be successful.

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2013-2014 President’s Message

A Message from Cheryl Jones
Thank you for the honor of serving as TMAA's 96th president. These are interesting times for medicine. As physicians navigate the precarious environment of practicing medicine today, it is incumbent upon all of us - physicians, alliance members, and medical students – to step up to the plate and do our part to keep the practice of medicine strong and secure for the patients of Texas.

The medical family shares many of the same stresses and challenges in today’s society that every other family faces. What distinguishes us from others is the fact that our physicians are on the front lines providing care to sick, injured, and dying patients. It is a noble profession, one that merits our admiration and our protection. 

When TMAA was founded in 1918, its focus was social. As the organization has grown, it became much more than that. TMAA members quickly became involved in public health outreach by helping educate the public about tuberculosis and polio. Later, we began working for a Drug-Free America and promoting organ donation. We are now engaged in outreach efforts to ensure greater immunization rates through the Be Wise—ImmunizeSM program and to provide helmets to Texas children through TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads campaign.

Of course, the alliance is also heavily involved in TMA’s legislative and political advocacy endeavors. We block walk and volunteer in political campaigns to elect medicine-friendly candidates. Some of us run for political office ourselves!

It will be an honor to join TMA's 2013-2014 President, Steve Brotherton, MD, as we lead our respective organizations. My medical family, in both the very personal and in the broader sense, is my priority, and I pledge to do my best to serve our alliance and TMA during the coming year. 

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TMAA Elects Angela Donahue President-Elect

Congratulations to Angela (Angie) Donahue, Fort Worth, on becoming TMAA’s president-elect. Angie, a nurse by trade, will serve as president-elect one year, after which she will become TMAA president. She is married to David Donahue, MD, a TMA member and Fort Worth pediatric neurosurgeon.

“TMA Alliance’s strong collaboration with TMA and the TMA Foundation really makes it a family of medicine in Texas,” says Angie. “By working together, we are able to make a huge impact on the health and well-being of Texans statewide.”

She champions the collaborative projects of TMAA, TMA, and the TMA Foundation — Be Wise — ImmunizeSM, a program dedicated to improving Texas’ immunization rates, and the Hard Hats for Little Heads bicycle helmet giveaway program. Texas children have received more than 234,000 vaccinations and 145,000 bike helmets through these programs.

Mrs. Donahue’s passion for helping others is evident in her leadership and volunteer roles. She has served as vice president of the TMAA councils on Community Health, Membership, and Communications. Mrs. Donahue has represented the alliance on TMA’s Council on Public Health, Council on Health Promotions, and Membership Committee.

Mrs. Donahue became involved with her local alliance more than 30 years ago when her husband was a resident in neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Since then, she has served on the alliance boards in Memphis and Fort Worth. She is a member of the Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance and has served as its president.

In her community, she has served on the boards of the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, CASA of Fort Worth, Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Texas, the Woman’s Board of Cook Children’s Medical Center, and Jewel Charity, which provides Cook Children’s Medical Center with funding for uncompensated care.

Mrs. Donahue believes in the power of community: “The spirit of community unites us with others who share common interests and passions that inspire the collective group to share ideas, find solutions, and make change.” 

Mrs. Donahue graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of science in nursing. She and her husband have three sons: Benjamin, his wife, Amy, and son Brooks; Kevin and his wife, Allison; and Wyatt. They enjoy spending time with their family and traveling.

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Fort Worth Physician Elected President of TMA

Stephen L. Brotherton, MD, of Fort Worth, took office as the Texas Medical Association's (TMA's) 148th president on May 18 during the association's annual meeting in San Antonio. TMA's House of Delegates, the association's policymaking body, elected Dr. Brotherton TMA president-elect last year.

“I am honored to represent the largest and greatest state medical society, and the patients we treat,” said Dr. Brotherton, an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Brotherton lists three top priorities for his term as president: Supporting and shoring up primary care for patients, ensuring patient safety, and strengthening TMA’s local county medical societies (CMSs).

“Primary care is the essence of medicine,” Dr. Brotherton said, “and it is ailing in Texas.” 
He plans to work to strengthen primary care across the state by supporting loan repayment programs and reducing red tape that can hinder caring for patients who are on Medicaid and Medicare. He says this is important because studies have shown patients who have a primary care physician, or a “medical home,” are healthier, live longer, and engage in less risky behaviors.

Dr. Brotherton will work to ensure patient safety by advocating for health care teams led by physicians. Dr. Brotherton said physicians, because of their extensive medical training, are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat patients. “Without a physician to guide the health care team, patient safety is at risk.”

Finally, Dr. Brotherton says we need a strong TMA membership to advocate for patients and physicians effectively. He hopes to reenergize nonactive CMSs and increase TMA membership to ensure statewide support for the association’s programs and initiatives.

A past president of the Tarrant County Medical Society, Dr. Brotherton served as the speaker of TMA’s House of Delegates for four years and vice speaker for three years. Dr. Brotherton also has served on the TMA Board of Trustees since 2005 and chaired the TMA Council on Health Service Organizations. He was a Texas delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates for 11 years before resigning in 2009 to accept an appointment to AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

In addition to his passion for organized medicine, Dr. Brotherton pursues other interests in his community. He is the senior orthopedic consultant for his undergraduate alma mater, Texas Christian University (TCU), and is a loyal Horned Frogs fan. He also is the company physician for two ballet companies, and medical director of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. He operated a clinic at a homeless shelter for 12 years, and now spends his free time volunteering at a free medical clinic at Cornerstone Community Center in Fort Worth.

Dr. Brotherton received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Emory University and Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta in 1987. He has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years.
He is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and teaches at TCU, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Affiliated Hospitals Orthopedic Residency Program.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recognized Dr. Brotherton in 2002 for his teaching, and the JPS Health Network orthopedic residency program in Fort Worth named him Educator of the Year in 2004.

He and his wife, Peggy, have been married 29 years and have three grown sons, John, Ben, and Sam, all college graduates, the youngest having graduated in May.

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2013-2014 TMAA Board of Directors

President:    Cheryl Jones, Temple  
President-Elect:   Angie Donahue, Fort Worth
President’s Special Advisors:  D’Anna Wick, Tyler
                                                Patrick Hearn, Wichita Falls
VP of Membership:  Libby White, Lubbock
VP-Elect of Membership: Lydia Soldano, Austin
VP of Community Health: Debbie Pitts, Tyler
VP of Communication:  Lee Robin, San Antonio
VP of Legislation and Political Action:  Patty Loose, Austin
VP of Future Planning: Zoe Rascoe, Temple
VP of Fiscal Affairs:  Rhonda Reuter, Tyler
Recording Secretary:  Sunshine Moore, Corpus Christi
Parliamentarian:  Mary Grace Hume, Houston
APT Representative:   Lori Boies, San Antonio 

The TMAA Board of Directors also includes the district directors and the advisory committee, which comprises the three most recent past presidents.
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Another Successful Session for Medicine

The Texas Medical Association has long beat the drum for bolstering graduate medical education (GME), cutting red tape that hinders patient care, promoting transparent insurance markets, and preventing unqualified health professionals from delivering care outside their expertise. This was the year those and other messages got through to lawmakers and paid off in long-sought, even precedent-setting victories at the conclusion of the 2013 Texas Legislature.

As this article was prepared, all of TMA's priority bills either became law or were on their way to Gov. Rick Perry's desk for signature following House and Senate approval.

Key milestones include:
• First regulation of so-called "silent PPOs" that share physician-contracted discounts without doctors' knowledge or consent; 
• A new model for physician-led, team-based care, and for future legislative scope-of-practice discussions;
• Wide-ranging reductions in practice red tape, including development of uniform prior-authorization forms for medications and health care services;
• Due process protections in Medicaid fraud investigations;
• Increased access to immunizations;
• More money for GME, mental health, and women's health; and
• Preservation of tort reforms and a strong Texas Medical Board.

Medicine's success this session was due largely to seeds TMA planted early on, says Darren Whitehurst, TMA's vice president for advocacy.

"We took a very good preventive approach," he said. "We did a good job educating legislators back in their districts before the session. We had a good game plan in the political cycle in getting elected people who look to their doctors to understand medicine's issues. And that paid dividends in the legislature."

Even though not all of TMA's bills made it to the finish line, medicine did not lose any ground, TMA leaders add.

Additional money to boost Medicaid physician payment rates never materialized, but rates were not reduced. Reforms to the Texas Medical Board and medical liability laws stayed intact. Heated debates halted compromise end-of-life legislation put forth by prominent pro-life and religious groups in Texas in collaboration with TMA, hospitals, and disability groups. But physicians still have access to existing safe harbors under the Texas Advance Directives Act for resolving conflicts out of court without being forced to violate their moral beliefs and professional ethics.

Read more online at www.texmed.org. The August issue of Texas Medicine  will have details of TMA's 2013 legislative victories.

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Minority Medical Students Receive Scholarships from TMA

Nine minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). Students were recognized for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and deep desire to care for Texas’ increasingly diverse population at TMA’s annual conference in San Antonio.

The TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee chose winners from a competitive field of promising future physicians.

TMA created the Minority Scholarship Program to help diversify the physician workforce to fulfill the needs of Texas’ diverse population. The scholarship encourages minority students to enter medicine by lightening their financial burden of medical school. Since 1999, TMA has awarded 83 scholarships totaling $415,000.

2013 TMA Minority Scholarship Recipients  

Clayton Allison of Conroe graduated from the University of Notre Dame and will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock. He plans to become a psychiatrist. The Nueces, Midland, and Hidalgo-Starr county medical societies (CMSs) and physicians and their families contributed to Mr. Allison’s scholarship. 

Daniel Ayala of McAllen graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston with a degree in nursing and will attend The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He will study to become an anesthesiologist and a public health expert. His scholarship is provided by Drs. Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy of San Antonio and H-E-B.

Elizabeth De La Rosa of San Antonio graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word and plans to attend The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. As a primary care and preventative medicine physician, her main objective will be to improve medical access to low socioeconomic regions in south Texas. Betty and Mark Kubala, MD, Beaumont; Harris CMS/Houston Academy of Medicine; and physicians and their families funded Ms. De La Rosa’s scholarship.

Roy Espinosa of San Benito graduated from Schreiner University and will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso. As a pediatrician, he will discourage smoking and unhealthy eating habits. His scholarship is funded with gifts from Rose Jackson, Palestine, in memory of J. Don Jackson Sr., MD; Sukie and Andre Desire, MD, Wichita Falls, in honor of Wichita-Archer-Baylor-Clay-Knox CMS board members; Travis and El Paso CMSs; and physicians and their families.

Valerie Peicher of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a graduate of Rice University. She will attend Baylor College of Medicine, Houston to become a pediatrician. During her medical career she hopes to establish mobile clinics and bring physicians to less populated communities that may lack access to medical care. Ms. Peicher’s scholarship is provided by donations from Wendell Daniels, MD, Longview, in memory of Fay Jean Daniels; the Khushalani Foundation, in honor of Mahatma Gandhi; McLennan CMS; and physicians and their families.

Monique Rodriguez of Brownsville graduated from Texas A&M University and plans to attend the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Bryan-College Station, to study obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. and Mrs. Jim and Charlie Rohack, Bryan; Susan Pike, MD; Harry T. Papaconstantinou, MD, Georgetown; and Dallas CMS contributed to Ms. Rodriquez’s scholarship.

Mauro Silva of El Paso graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. He will attend The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to become a pediatrician. His scholarship is funded by Gregory R. Johnson, MD, of Manvel and H-E-B.

Melissa Vasquez of El Paso graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and will attend the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She plans on specializing in family medicine. Irvin Robinson, MD, Fort Worth, in memory of Gordon Kelly, MD, and in honor of Justin Martin, MD; Dana and Jaime Ronderos, MD, Frisco; Tarrant CMS; and physicians and their families are all contributors to Ms. Vasquez’s scholarship.

Carolina White of Friendswood graduated from Rice University and will attend The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to become a primary care physician. Her scholarship was funded with gifts from Diane and Clifford Moy, MD, of Frisco, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

The TMA Minority Scholarship program is supported by the TMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of TMA, thanks to generous major supporters and gifts from physicians and their families.

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PBF Helps Physician Families of All Ages

“Thank you very much for your generous assistance in our time of need.  Your kindness came as a welcome touch of warmth and caring.”  --PBF Recipient

For over 50-years the TMA Physicians Benevolent Fund (PBF) has provided assistance to Texas physicians and their families who need support as a consequence of poverty, infirmity, disability, accident, or other adversity. With your help, PBF will continue to take care of the family of medicine.

The fund helps recipients with rent or mortgage, utilities, health insurance, medical bills, clothing, and food.  Some recipients are elderly and not practicing medicine, some are disabled or ill, and some are widowed and raising families.

More than $3.4 million has been given in assistance payments to more than 680 physicians and their families since the fund was established in 1961 with a $2,500 donation from the late May Owen, MD, a Fort Worth pathologist and past president of TMA. This year alone the PBF program has helped eight families.

PBF remains alive today because of the generosity of TMA members willing to share with less fortunate colleagues and families. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law, and may be in the form of honoraria or memorials.

Contributions may be made online at pbf.texmed.org or send your check to:
                Physicians Benevolent Fund
                Texas Medical Association
                401 W. 15th Street
                Austin, TX 78701-1680
Each spring and fall, the Physicians Benevolent Fund Committee reviews applications for assistance; however, emergency cases are assessed as required. All applicants must complete a confidential questionnaire to be considered. Policies state that recipients cannot hold in liquid assets more than the Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines for income for the current year.

If you are a physician in need, or know of a physician or his/her family in need, please contact PBF today.

PBF is in a position to provide more aid throughout the state and continues to spread word to members of our availability.  For more information on contributions or benefits, contact Chris Johnson at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1602, or (512) 370-1602, or chris.johnson@texmed.org.

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TMA Alliance Razzle Dazzles at TMAF Gala

On May 17, nearly 500 physicians, alliance members and guests, statewide community leaders and corporate sponsors enjoyed a festive celebration at Texas Medical Association Foundation’s Roaring Twentieth Anniversary Gala held in conjunction with TMA’s TexMed. Gala Co-chairs, Drs. Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy and Dr. Bernard T. and Mrs. Kathy Swift, all of San Antonio, mixed and mingled with guests and sponsors alike during the pre-dinner guest receptions while perusing the foundation’s two-tiered silent auction.

TMA Alliance members helped make this special anniversary gala a smashing success by donating items and gifts in support of the silent auction, which raised more than $40,000. Many county medical societies and alliance chapters donated to the silent auction effort to ensure its success. The contributing alliance chapters include:

  • Bexar County Medical Society Alliance
  • Dallas County Medical Society Alliance and Foundation
  • Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance and Foundation
  • Travis County Medical Alliance
  • Victoria-Goliad-Jackson County Medical Society Alliance
  • Williamson County Medical Society Alliance

Specialcontributions to the silent auction were facilitated by many TMAA members, including Fredye Factor, Dallas; Alma Garcia, Houston; Cheryl Kridel, Houston; Kathy Swift, San Antonio; and Susan Leshnower, Odessa.

After a rousing live auction and Make A Difference drive, which raised more than $30,000 for TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads, Oh So Good kept the dance floor jumping until the doors closed!

Proceeds benefit TMA Foundation and the TMA and TMA Alliance programs it supports that champion great health including: Be Wise - ImmunizeSM, Hard Hats for Little Heads, Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching, and TMA's Minority Scholarship Program. Final gala results will be released later this summer.

Be Wise - Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association 

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Grants to Local Alliance Chapters

Each year TMAF accepts applications from county medical societies, alliance or medical student chapters for community health improvement programs. Society and alliance chapters may apply for up to $7,500 in matching funds from the TMAF Medical Community Grant Program. Congratulations to Tarrant and Fort Bend County Alliance chapters for winning 2012-2013 grants.

Immunization Project; Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance Foundation, Inc.: The Tarrant County Medical Society Alliance Foundation partners with the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County to provide funding, volunteers and leadership in collaboration with agencies and organizations, public and private, committed to the systematic eradication of childhood, vaccine-preventable diseases in Tarrant County since 1991. Goals for 2013 include increasing immunization rates for children from birth to age two in three designated zip code projects and serving 5,000 children in two back to school immunization events.
Combating Obesity by Promoting Active Play in Schools; Fort Bend County Medical Society Alliance: Maximizing opportunities for activity through organized play at recess is the goal of the alliance’s WATCH Award team. WATCH stands for Weight, Activity, Tobacco, Cholesterol and Hypertension. This pilot in Fort Bend Independent School District will utilize Playworks, a nationally recognized program, to train staff and teachers to improve health, behavior and general well-being among students. A campus survey will assess results with the goal of expanding the program district wide.
Applications for 2013-2014 are being accepted now. Deadline is July 31, 2013, for grant funding in fall 2013. A second deadline of December 31, 2013, is for funding to be awarded winter 2014. Learn more at www.tmaf.org.

Plan a Be Wise Clinic on Influenza Awareness Day

Join with Texas Medical Association’s Be Wise — ImmunizeSM to help fight the flu on Influenza Awareness Day. The Texas Legislature declared Oct. 1 as Influenza Awareness Day to raise awareness of the health risks of influenza, or flu, and to help reduce exposure to the illness.

Be Wise — Immunize wants to blanket the state with flu clinics on Oct. 1. Pull together your local medical family — physicians, medical students, TMA Alliance members, and county medical societies — to sponsor a shot clinic.

An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone older than six months of age. Every year, as many as 20 percent of the population — people of all ages — get the flu. The flu can be especially harmful for older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions. Some 200,000 people are hospitalized each year from flu-related illness, such as pneumonia; some even die.

TMA has tools to help you plan your event, including the Be Wise — Immunize Quick Start Manual: A Step-by-Step Vaccination Outreach Guide.  For more information, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA’s outreach coordinator, at tammy.wishard@texmed.org or (512) 370-1470.

Be Wise — Immunize is a joint initiative led by TMA physicians and the TMA Alliance, funded by TMA Foundation through generous grants from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute.

The Hard Hats and Be Wise programs are funded through generous grants from TMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Association. To keep the programs growing, you can make a donation to TMAF.

To donate to TMAF, call (800) 880-1300, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664. Or visit the foundation’s secure webpage.

Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.

Money Available for Be Wise — Immunize Vaccination Events

If it’s money you need for a Be Wise — ImmunizeSM event, the Texas Medical Association can help. The Be Wise Local-Impact Grants Program offers grants of $500 to $2,000 to TMA member-physician practices/clinics, county medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, and medical student chapters to help improve the health of your community.

Grants can fund new or expanded shot clinics to immunize underserved and uninsured children, adolescents, and/or adults. Applications are due Oct. 1. To help plan your free or low-cost vaccination event, check out the Be Wise — Immunize Quick Start Manual: A Step-by-Step Vaccination Outreach Guide or contact Tammy Wishard, TMA’s outreach coordinator, at (512) 370-1470.

Be Wise — Immunize is a joint initiative led by TMA physicians and the TMA Alliance. Funding for Be Wise —Immunize is provided by the TMA Foundation thanks to generous support from HEB, TMF Health Quality Institute, and gifts from physicians and their families. 

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Nominate a Local Journalist for Outstanding Health Reporting

Have you read, heard, or seen a great health news story this year? If so, take a moment now to nominate it for a TMA Anson Jones, MD, Award.

This is the first time members of the TMA family can nominate journalists for the Anson Jones awards, which recognize excellence in health journalism in Texas. Nominating one or two of your local journalists is a great way to enhance your relationship with the media and encourage continued health news coverage.

The Anson Jones competition recognizes print, broadcast (television and radio), and online media, plus a Texas Health Journalist of the Year award. Physician-reporters also are recognized with the Physician Excellence in Reporting category.

It’s easy to nominate your local journalist: 
1. Email your nomination to ansonjones@texmed.org. All we need is the reporter’s name, name of article (if available), date of broadcast/publication, and the media outlet. Please try to include a web address (URL).
2. TMA will send the reporter a postcard with a hand-written note. We’ll let the reporter know you nominated him/her and for which story/broadcast. The postcard encourages reporters to go to the Anson Jones webpage to complete the nomination.
3. Repeat throughout 2013. There is no limit to the number of stories you can nominate this year. The official entry deadline is Jan. 15, 2014.

If you have questions, call Tammy Wishard, TMA Outreach Coordinator, at (800) 880-1300 ext. 1470, or (512) 370-1470. Or email ansonjones@texmed.org.

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TMA Physicians Award Teachers Who Inspire Students’ Love of Science

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) awarded six Texas science teachers with the 2013 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. First-place prizes were awarded today to elementary, middle, and high school teachers at the association’s annual conference in San Antonio. These educators help create tomorrow’s physicians by inspiring students in the field of science.

Martha McLeod of Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport, Mary Jean Tykoski of Cooper Junior High School in Wylie, and Jodie Deinhammer of Coppell High School in Coppell are this year’s elementary, middle, and high school winners in the competition. TMA awards each recipient a $5,000 cash prize, and their school receives a $2,000 resource grant towards its science programs.

Second-place winners are Liberty Heise of The Girls’ School of Austin in Austin, Dana Clark of Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas, and Anna Loonam of Bellaire High School in Bellaire. Schools of the second-place winners’ receive a $500 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning.

According to the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 report, only 29 percent of Texas eighth-graders and 29 percent of fourth-graders have achieved proficiency in science. The TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching can help improve these numbers by recognizing innovative teachers and providing them resources to continue motivating students.

Applicants went through a two-stage evaluation process. First, finalists were determined by a 12-member team of science professionals from The University of Texas Charles A. Dana Center who volunteered their time and curriculum expertise to the program. The second stage of judging was conducted by a panel of physicians serving on the TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee.

The TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching are supported by the TMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of TMA, thanks to an endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Butler of Austin; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, which has generously supported this program for nine years; Dr. Gerard and Mrs. Carrie Ventura of Nacogdoches, who have supported the program for two years; and the Potter Randall County Medical Society in Amarillo.  

Meet the 2013 Winners! 

Martha McLeod — Elementary School Winner
Mrs. McLeod teaches fourth and fifth grade students at the Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport. She earned her bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University and her post-graduate teacher certification specializing in biology from West Texas State University. “Mrs.McLeod truly is the dedicated, creative, and hard-working teacher that all teachers should strive to be,” said Jeremy Saegert, principal of Fulton 4-5 Learning Center. “I embrace teaching as an opportunity to inspire and empower students to feel personally changed by the experience of learning,” said Mrs. McLeod. Her students look forward to taking care of a wide variety of class pets such as hedgehogs and snakes and  take pride in joining her competitive birding team or volunteering for the local aquarium. The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) inducted Mrs. McLeod into its NTHF Class of 2013. Each year only five teachers across the country are selected for the honor.

Mary Jean Tykoski — Middle School Winner
Mrs. Tykoski teaches eighth grade science at Cooper Junior High School in Wylie. She earned her bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Michigan. Her love of science was influenced at very early age by her father, and she constantly read science books while other kids were playing. Her students’ parents and colleagues describe her as a great motivator and say she is always preparing her students for their future. Principal Tami Nauyokas of Cooper Junior High School said, “Her positive attitude and love of science and children are reflected in the outstanding quality of science instruction that she has worked to develop and promote in her classroom.”  

Jodie Deinhammer — High School Winner
Mrs. Deinhammer teaches 11th- and 12th-grade anatomy and physiology classes at Coppell High School. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Texas and is working towards her master’s of science in education at Texas Christian University. “She is a master at guiding her pupils through their learning journey in biology,” said Jeff Turner, superintendent of Coppell Independent School District. Mrs. Deinhammer said, “For me motivating a student to want to learn is much more powerful than watching them memorize basic facts that they won’t recall in a week anyway.” Her students agree that she is a great motivator and mentor, and creates a smooth transition from high school to college through her teaching. 

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Help TMA reward outstanding Texas Science Teachers!


One elementary school, one middle school, and one high school science teacher will receive $5,000 and an expense-paid trip to TexMed, TMA's annual conference in Fort Worth for the presentation in May 2014! The winners’ schools each will receive a $2,000 award for its science curriculum, and three additional science teachers each will receive $500 each for their schools’ science departments!

The Texas Medical Association's Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching honor teachers who share their energy and enthusiasm for science through creative and innovative methods. TMA created the award in 1990 to reward excellent science teaching in order to encourage young students to become physicians.

In 2014 TMA will once again reward more outstanding teachers, but first we need to know who they are. Please help us identify excellence in any area of science by nominating teachers or self-nominating if you are a teacher. Nominations are open through Oct. 19, 2013. All nominees will be contacted by TMA and asked to complete an application by Dec. 28, 2013.

All Texas state-certified, full-time public and private school science teachers with a minimum of two years' classroom experience who will return to teach in a Texas classroom during the 2014-2015 school-year may apply.

An award will be given to one teacher in each of the following categories: elementary, middle, and high school.

Awards will be presented on May 2, 2014, during TexMed in Fort Worth.

For more information about the award and application process, visit www.texmed.org/teachers, or contact Gail Schatte at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1600, or (512) 370-1600, gail.schatte@texmed.org.

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TMAA Regional Meeting, Houston
September 24-25
Join your TMAA leadership and county alliance members from across the state for TMAA’s Regional Meeting. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to meet with members to exchange ideas and learn skills to help you with your alliance goals. TMAA leaders will facilitate sessions on membership, program offerings and other relevant topics! So mark your calendars and plan to join us in Houston September 24-25!
For more information, contact TMAA VP of Membership: Libby White, (806) 698-8276, or libbywhite98@gmail.com.

AllMed, TMAA's 96th Annual Convention, Fort Worth
April 30 – May 3, 2014
Mark your calendar now for AllMed, TMAA’s 96th Annual Convention, in Fort Worth at the Omni Hotel. AllMed is an excellent opportunity to celebrate your county alliance’s achievements, mingle with colleagues and gather new ideas for the coming year! There’s something for everyone from the alliance leader to the brand new member, so make plans now to join us in Fort Worth! 
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Calendar of Events

September 24-25 2013

 TMAA Regional Meeting, Houston

October 17-18, 2013

TMAA’s Fall Conference (Governance Meetings), Austin

December 6-7, 2013 TMA's Legislative Retreat, Austin
December 16, 2013

District Reports Due 

January 30-31, 2014

TMAA Board Orientation and Winter Board Meeting, Austin

March 3, 2014

County Award Applications Due

April 30 - May 3, 2014 AllMed, Fort Worth

*Date tentative

Member Editor: Lee Robin  

Staff Editor: Sandy Godwin Solís 

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