Sept. 16, 2017
substantial contributions by national physician organizations gave the Texas
Medical Association (TMA) TMA Disaster Relief Program a giant boost today, pushing the total
raised to nearly $1 million. The program aims to
assist thousands of Texas physician practices damaged or destroyed by Hurricane
Harvey recover and reopen to care for patients as quickly as possible.
need is great: A new TMA survey finds nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of
physicians in Texas’ official disaster area counties were forced to close their
practice temporarily, and one-third (35 percent) had to reduce their hours or
from the American Medical Association (AMA) and The
Physicians Foundation presented checks for contributions in the amount of $150,000 and
$500,000, respectively, at 2017 TMA Fall Conference near Bastrop today.
R. Bailey, MD, of Fort Worth, speaker of the AMA House of Delegates, and Russell
W.H. Kridel, MD, of Houston, a member of the AMA Board of Trustees, presented
the $150,000 AMA donation to Leslie H. Secrest, MD, of Dallas, president of the
and other health care workers rushed to help during the storm, but many came
back to practices that had been devastated just like the homes of their friends
and neighbors,” said Dr. Bailey. “The AMA is committed to improving the health
of the nation, which is why we are providing this assistance to get practices
back up and running so patients can once again see their own doctor.”
a practicing physician in Houston, I know firsthand the toll of this storm and
the impact it had — and will continue to have — on our community,” said Dr.
Kridel. “I know several colleagues who lost their homes and had their offices destroyed. We hope this
contribution from the AMA will help TMA’s effort to rebuild doctors’ practices
so we can continue to help patients get the care they need. The rebuilding
process will be massive, but my hope — and the AMA’s hope — is that empowering
Texans to see their own physicians will be an important step toward normalcy
Foundation board members Joe Valenti, MD, of Denton, and Louis J. Goodman, PhD,
TMA’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, then presented a reliefprogram check for $500,000 to Dr. Secrest.
a physician, I understand the concern among practices in the affected areas to
be able to provide quality care amidst this devastation,” said Dr. Valenti. “My
colleagues here at TMA and I are committed to supporting our fellow Texas
physicians so they can get back to what they do best.”
physicians must be able to treat their patients, providing them with a safe and
healthy environment which has unfortunately been compromised by this disaster,”
said Dr. Goodman, a former Physicians Foundation president. “As a dedicated
Texan and physician advocate, I am proud to deliver this grant from The
Physicians Foundation to help get physicians and communities affected by
Hurricane Harvey back on their feet.”
compassion, generosity, and graciousness represented by each gift is amazing!
This will allow medical practices in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to get up and
running, providing the care their patients desperately need,” said Dr. Secrest.
President Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, presided over the presentations. “We wanted
to jump in and help doctors rebuild or relocate as quickly as possible, because
their patients need them; these incredibly generous contributions will go far
in boosting this effort,” he said.
TMA Foundation had raised $257,000 in new and prior donations for physician
relief. Today’s $650,000 infusion springs the total available funds to $907,000.
restarted the program to help physicians reestablish practices destroyed by
Harvey’s winds and floodwaters. For many doctor’s offices throughout southeast
Texas, damage is terrific. Many lost
everything from medical equipment to vaccines to office furniture and
the Disaster Relief Program distributes will help physicians pay for storm loss
expenses their insurance or other sources will not cover. The goal is to raise
at least $1 million.
contributions underscore the support of organized medicine across the nation.
State, national, and specialty medical societies from coast to coast, in
addition to physicians and others across Texas, already have pledged or donated
funds. Many medical societies are urging their in-state physicians to donate to
the TMA program as well.
want nothing more than to care for their patients. They understand how people
rely on access to care when they need it,” said Dr. Cardenas. “So we feel the
pain of our brethren who suddenly find themselves unable to do what they do,
care for their community. That’s why we want to rush to assist as quickly as
possible, and as generously as possible.”
across the south are hurting; they need to get back to normal, and they have
basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. We want them to regain that
access to their hometown doctor.”
philanthropic arm, TMA Foundation, created similar fund
drives after hurricanes Rita and Ike in 2005 and 2008, enabling TMA to grant
between $5,000 and $8,000 to each medical practice in need. TMA received
$700,000 in contributions for the program in 2008. TMA Foundation once again is
overseeing fundraising, and The Physicians Benevolent Fund is administering the TMA
Disaster Relief Program. Any Texas physician whose medical practice in one of the federally-declared disaster counties was damaged by Harvey may apply for assistance from the TMA program.
Please click here to see a brief video of a
TMA physician describing flooding to a Humble, TX medical clinic.
About TMA and the TMA
TMA is the largest state
medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000 physician and
medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county
medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to
improve the health of all Texans. The TMA Foundation
raises funds to support the population health, quality of care, and science
priority initiatives of TMA and the Family of Medicine.
About The Physicians Foundation
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit
501(c)(3) organization that seeks to empower physicians to lead in the delivery
of high-quality, cost-efficient health care. As the U.S. health care system
continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in its
determination to strengthen the patient-physician relationship, support physicians in sustaining
their medical practices, and help practicing physicians navigate the changing
health care system. For more information, visit www.PhysiciansFoundation.org.
The American Medical Association is the
premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower
physicians, residents, and medical students to succeed at every phase of their
medical lives. Physicians have entrusted AMA to advance the art and science of
medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more
than 170 years. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512)
370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
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