Houston-Area Physicians Take TMA Leadership Roles

June 14, 2013 



Several area physicians have accepted new 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. 

Council elections, and council and committee appointments: 


Salil V. Deshpande, MD, and Robert E. Jackson, MD, both internists, were reappointed to TMA’s Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access. The committee analyzes the physician, nursing, and allied health workforce and its impact on health care access, and promotes careers in medicine and the health professions. Dr. Deshpande has been in practice for 11 years, Dr. Jackson for 34 years. 

James Guo, MD, an anesthesiologist for 17 years, was newly elected to TMA’s Council on Health Service Organizations. The council makes recommendations and takes action related to all patient-care facilities, including emergency departments; ambulatory surgery centers; hospitals; and skilled nursing, long-term care, assisted living, and hospice, and  home care facilities. 

C. Mary Healy, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist for five years, was newly appointed to TMA’s Committee on Infectious Diseases. She has served on the committee since 2011. The committee educates physicians and the public about new information regarding infectious diseases including HIV, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Lisa L. Ehrlich, MD, an internist who has practiced for 17 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Council on Health Care Quality. Ronald S. Walters, MD, an oncologist in practice for 34 years, and Charles M. Stienberg, MD, MBA, an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon from Bellaire who has practiced for 29 years, also were reelected 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. 

Jaideep H. Mehta, MD, a practicing anesthesiologist for two years, and Edward R. Rensimer, MD, an infectious disease specialist in practice for 33 years, were reappointed to TMA’s Committee on Patient-Physician Advocacy. 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 Texans. 

Lois M. Ramondetta, MD, a gynecology oncologist practicing for 15 years, was reappointed to 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.  

Meredith A. Reyes, MD, a practicing pathologist for six years, was appointed to TMA’s Committee on Blood and Tissue Usage. The committee monitors transfusion medicine and tissue donation, processing, and transplantation. 

Richard Strax, MD, a diagnostic radiologist in practice for 33 years, and Sherif Z. Zaafran, MD, an anesthesiologist for 14 years, were reelected to TMA’s Council on Health Promotion. The council plans and oversees programs that enable TMA, the TMA Alliance (a volunteer organization of TMA physicians and spouses), and the TMA Foundation (TMA’s philanthropic arm) to improve the health of all Texans. 


Felicia Austin-Tolliver, MD, an internist in practice for 13 years, was newly elected to TMA’s Council on Socioeconomics. The council makes recommendations related to the socioeconomic aspects of medical care and regulations. 

All of the above physicians are members of the Harris County Medical Society. 


Gregory R. Johnson, MD, a practicing hospitalist and family physician in practice for 10 years, was newly elected to TMA’s Council on Practice Management Services. TMA helps physicians and their staffs manage their medical practices, and this council oversees this activity. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Brazoria County Medical Society. 

Missouri City: 

Erika D. Gentry, MD, a family physician practicing for 13 years, was reappointed to TMA’s Committee on Membership. The committee guides TMA’s and county medical societies’ membership recruitment and retention programs. Dr. Gentry is a member of the Fort Bend 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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Contact: Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

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