Members of the Texas Medical Association, TMA Foundation (TMAF), and TMA Alliance (TMAA) elected new leaders during TexMed 2019 in Dallas over the weekend.
Austin colon and rectal surgeon David C. Fleeger, MD, was installed as TMA’s 154th president. His long-standing involvement in organized medicine includes chair positions on TMA’s Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access, and the Council on Practice Management Services, as well as vice-chair of TMA’s Board of Trustees.
Houston emergency physician Diana L. Fite, MD, was elected TMA’s president-elect, a role she will hold for one year before assuming the TMA presidency next year.
"It is my honor to serve as president-elect of TMA, the largest state medical association in the nation,” she said. “I feel like God has given me the opportunity to be in the position of president-elect and then president for a reason, and I accept the challenge to work to make a positive difference to help physicians take care of our patients as we were trained to do.”
Houston emergency physician Arlo F. Weltge, MD, (Left) was elected speaker of the House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body.
Dr. Weltge previously served four years as vice speaker of the House alongside former TMA Speaker Susan Strate, MD. He previously served as speaker and vice speaker for the American College of Emergency Physicians from 2007 to 2011.
Waco otolaryngologist Bradford W. Holland, MD, was elected vice speaker of the House.
In addition, four members were elected to serve on TMA’s Board of Trustees, the association’s governing body:
- Dallas internist Sue S. Bornstein, MD;
- Lubbock pulmonologist Cynthia A. Jumper, MD;
- Kayla Riggs, MD, a resident physician in internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas; and
- Ankita Brahmaroutu, a medical student entering her fourth year at the Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Sixteen physicians and one medical student were elected to represent Texas doctors in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) House of Delegates, the national organization’s policymaking body:
- Dr. Fite, delegate;
- Keller pediatrician Gary W. Floyd, MD, delegate;
- Dallas orthopedic surgeon John T. Gill, MD, delegate;
- Dallas obstetrician-gynecologist Robert T. Gunby Jr., MD, delegate;
- San Antonio pathologist David N. Henkes, MD, delegate;
- San Antonio undersea and hyperbaric medicine specialist Jayesh B. Shah, MD, delegate; and
- Dallas ophthalmologist Lyle S. Thorstenson, MD, delegate.
- Dallas public health and general preventive medicine specialist John T. Carlo, MD, alternate delegate;
- Austin emergency physician Robert H. Emmick Jr., MD, alternate delegate;
- Little Elm internist John G. Flores, MD, alternate delegate;
- Dallas nephrologist Steven R. Hays, MD, alternate delegate;
- Frisco internist Bryan G. Johnson, MD, alternate delegate;
- San Antonio pathologist Jennifer R. Rushton, MD, alternate delegate;
- San Antonio radiologist Ezequiel Silva III, MD, alternate delegate; and
- Houston anesthesiologist Sherif Zaafran, MD, alternate delegate.
- The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston student Faith C. Mason, alternate delegate;
- Austin family physician resident Myphuong T. (Theresa) Phan, MD, alternate delegate;
The TMAF elected Houston- and Austin-area physicians and a Fort Worth civic leader as its new officers to lead the foundation’s board for the next two years.
Susan M. Pike, MD, a plastic and cosmetic surgeon based in Round Rock, was elected president. Previously vice president of the TMAF Board of Trustees, she has been a member of the board since 2012. She and her husband Harry Papaconstantinou, MD, are major donors at TMAF and past TMAF gala co-chairs.
“All Texans deserve access to quality care,” said Dr. Pike. “TMA and the TMA Foundation do a great service in fulfilling that mission, and I am honored to continue striving for a healthier Texas as the foundation’s new president.”
Michael E. Speer, MD, a neonatologist in Houston, was elected vice president. He just completed a two-year term as the foundation’s treasurer. He is a TMA past president and a member of the TMAF Leadership Society.
Angela Donahue of Fort Worth was elected secretary. She currently serves as an advisor on the TMAA Board of Directors and is a TMAA past president.
Gregory R. Johnson, MD, a hospitalist and family physician in Houston, was elected treasurer.
The TMAA installed Lisa Queralt, a Fort Worth registered nurse and philanthropist, as its 102nd president. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the TMA, comprising physicians, and their spouses and partners. Ms. Queralt is married to John A. Queralt, MD, a Fort Worth radiologist and TMA member.
“I am excited to travel across the state to meet my colleagues and learn about what they are doing to make a difference in their communities,” said Ms. Queralt, who loves the diversity of Texas and TMAA membership. One of her goals as incoming president is to increase the organization’s membership through greater engagement, community outreach, and advocacy.
Martha Vijjeswarapu, a Corpus Christi businesswoman, was elected the Alliance’s president-elect.
Ms. Vijjeswarapu will serve as TMAA president-elect for one year, then become the TMAA president in 2020. She is married to Daniel V. Vijjeswarapu, MD, a Corpus Christi pediatrician and TMA member. For the past 15 years, Ms. Vijjeswarapu has helped run Dr. Vijjeswarapu’s medical practice.