Dallas Physician Named TMA 2018 Young at Heart Award Recipient

May 18, 2018  

Dallas surgeon Don R. Read, MD, is the 2018 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Young at Heart Award recipient. Doctors from the TMA Young Physician Section (YPS) presented the award to him during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, today in San Antonio.  

The YPS, a group of TMA physicians under the age of 40 or in their first eight years of medical practice, chose Dr. Read for his commitment to helping young physicians become tomorrow’s leaders in the association, and for inspiring them to speak out for the health of all Texans.

“I am very humbled to be receiving the TMA Young at Heart Award,” said Dr. Read. “As I got involved in Texas Medical Association activities and learned how TMA policy is made, I realized how great the potential for good was. I have tried to encourage all medical students, residents, and young physicians to get involved in policymaking and political action with the legislature.”

A colon and rectal surgeon for more than 40 years, Dr. Read practices at Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists in Dallas. Previously he served as clinical instructor in surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, director of surgical education at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and president of the medical staff and a member of the Board of Directors at Medical City Dallas.

Dr. Read is the immediate past-president of TMA.

“Dr. Read has been a champion for patients and their physicians for decades as a leader in Texas medicine,” said Dallas nephrologist Gates Colbert, MD, a YPS member. “He continues to advocate for making Texas a great place to practice medicine and ensure patients receive the highest level of care.”

Dr. Read’s role as a patient advocate grew after he contracted neuro-invasive West Nile virus in 2005 and had to fight for his life. After surviving the deadly illness, he founded a West Nile Support Group in Dallas in 2006 to discuss managing West Nile symptoms, as well as effects of other mosquito-borne illnesses, like the Zika virus. He also volunteers his time helping and supporting patients diagnosed with West Nile.

Dr. Read is well-versed in leadership. As president of TMA in 2016-2017, he saw the organization grow to more than 50,000 members. He also chaired TMA's Patient-Physician Advocacy Committee and the TMA Board of Trustees, TMA’s governing body.

Locally, Dr. Read was a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) as well as the society’s president, and served on several other medical society committees over the years. While DCMS president, he and the medical society launched Project Access Dallas, a program that provided free health care to uninsured people in the community. For his dedication and commitment to his community and organized medicine, colleagues awarded Dr. Read DCMS’s 2010 Charles Max Cole, MD, Leadership Award.

“Dr. Read inspires young physicians like myself to press forward on the improvement of health care in Texas,” added Dr. Colbert. “His local and statewide involvement in advocacy is inspiring the next generation of great doctors and he is well deserving of the Young at Heart Award.”

Dr. Read received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed his internship at Northwestern University’s Passavant Hospital in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Navy as a physician with the First Marine Division in Vietnam, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is board certified in colon and rectal surgery and general surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Texas Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.     

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 51,000 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.

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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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February 14, 2020