Dozens of Austin-Area Physicians to Start Serving in TMA Leadership Positions

September 9, 2019

Thirty-five Austin-area physicians will begin terms of service in Texas Medical Association (TMA) leadership positions, during this week’s TMA Fall Conference.

TMA leaders appoint or elect TMA physicians and medical students to one of TMA’s 25 boards, councils, and committees. They are responsible for studying health care-related issues and making recommendations on important health care policy affecting Texas patients and their physicians.

Except where noted, all of the physicians are members of the Travis County Medical Society.

Austin

Kimberly Avila Edwards, MD, a pediatrician in practice for 17 years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Child and Adolescent Health. The committee promotes policies to encourage the development of healthy young Texans.

James G. Baker, MD, a child psychiatrist in practice for 33 years, will begin serving a new three-year term on TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health. This council develops TMA policy on critical public health and medical science issues, advances TMA’s leadership in medical science and public health advocacy, and provides physicians timely public health and scientific information on current topics.

Lu Ann Bundrant, MD, an internist in practice for 20 years, will begin serving a one-year term on TMA’s Committee on Continuing Education. The committee monitors and studies trends and issues in continuing medical education and recommends TMA policy on the subject.

Anna Capasso, MD, an oncologist, begins serving as a consultant 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.

Laurence Chu, MD, an otolaryngologist in practice for 16 years, will begin serving a two-year term on TMA’s new Committee on Health Information Technology. The committee promotes the safe and effective use of technology that supports practice efficiency, quality improvement activities, and management of population health; monitors laws, regulations, and programs, and develops association policy related to health technology; collaborates with other organizations and government to resolve health technology issues; and oversees development of technology-related education and resources for physicians.

Scott W. Clitheroe, MD, an internist and hospitalist in practice for 24 years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Membership. The committee guides TMA’s and county medical societies’ membership recruitment and retention programs.

Robert K. Cowan, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist in practice for 24 years, will begin serving a one-year term on TMA’s Council on Legislation. The council monitors and develops strategies regarding pending legislation and initiates legislative policies at the state and national levels to improve our health care system.

Aileen Ebadat, MD, a trauma surgeon in practice for four years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Emergency Medical Services and Trauma. The committee works to create and maintain local and statewide plans for emergency medical services, and educates physicians on providing medical care in disaster situations.

Robert H. Emmick Jr., MD, an emergency physician in practice for 24 years, begins a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Physician Distribution and Health Care Access. The committee analyzes the physician, nursing, and allied health care workforce and its impact on health care access, and promotes careers in medicine and the health professions.

Mark E. Escott, MD, an emergency physician in practice for 10 years, begins a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Emergency Medical Services and Trauma. (Please see Dr. Ebadat’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Robert A. Friedman, MD, a hospice and palliative care physician in practice for 13 years, begins a new three-year term on TMA’s Council on Health Service Organizations. The council studies, makes recommendations, and takes action related to the organization of and services provided by patient-care facilities, including emergency departments; ambulatory surgery centers; hospitals; and skilled nursing, long-term-care, assisted living, hospice, home care, and other treatment facilities.

Vimal T. George, MD, a family physician in practice for 15 years, begins a three-year term on TMA’s Council on Health Care Quality. The council establishes policy on topics surrounding quality improvement, such as performance-based measurements and value-based payment programs, and educates physicians about federal and state incentives to improve patient care. It also advocates for fair and sound quality improvement initiatives.

Ajay K. Gupta, MD, a family physician in practice for 22 years, begins a new two-year term on TMA’s Council on Health Care Quality. (Please see Dr. George’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

James Halgrimson, DO, a psychiatrist in practice for four years, begins a two-year term on TMA’s Committee on Child and Adolescent Health. (Please see Dr. Avila Edwards’ entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Katharina Hathaway, MD, a family physician in practice for 16 years, begins a two-year term on TMA’s new Committee on Health Information Technology. (Please see Dr. Chu’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

John W. Hellerstedt, MD, a pediatrician in practice for 38 years, begins a new term as consultant to TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health. (Please see Dr. Baker’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

Grace L. Honles, MD, a family physician in practice for 21 years, begins a two-year term on TMA’s Patient-Physician Advocacy Committee. The committee evaluates the quality of medical care in Texas and recommends regulatory, legislative, and legal approaches to ensure the highest standard of health care is available for all Texas patients.

Thomas J. Kim, MD, a psychiatrist in practice for nine years, begins a one-year term as a consultant to TMA’s new Committee on Health Information Technology. (Please see Dr. Chu’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Gurneet Singh Kohli, MD, an internist in practice for six years, begins a three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Medical Home and Primary Care. The committee promotes the medical home and integration of primary care, community care, and public health.

Hector Miranda-Grajales, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation (pain management) physician in practice for four years, begins a three-year term on TMA’s Council on Practice Management Services. The council oversees all association practice-management services provided directly to physicians and their staff.

Maria C. Monge, MD, a pediatric adolescent medicine specialist in practice for six years, begins a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Child and Adolescent Health. (Please see Dr. Avila Edwards’ entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Donald K. Murphey, MD, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist in practice for 30 years, begins a new three-year term on TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health. (Please see Dr. Baker’s entry above for the council’s charge.) Dr. Murphey also begins serving as a consultant to TMA’s Committee on Child and Adolescent Health. (Please see Dr. Avila Edwards’ entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Manish M. Naik, MD, an internist in practice for 23 years, begins a one-year term on TMA’s new Committee on Health Information Technology. (Please see Dr. Chu’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Debra A. Patt, MD, an oncologist in practice for 16 years, was appointed chair of TMA’s Council on Legislation. Dr. Patt also begins a new three-year term on the council. (Please see Dr. Cowan’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

Tina J. Philip, DO, a family physician in practice for 10 years, will begin serving a one-year term on TMA’s Council on Socioeconomics. The council makes recommendations related to the socioeconomic aspects of medical care and regulations that affect physicians and their patients.   

Fara Ranjbaran, MD, an internist in practice for nine years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Reproductive, Women's, and Perinatal Health. The committee studies and addresses issues, laws, and regulations related to reproductive, women’s, and perinatal health in Texas, and provides advice and makes policy recommendations concerning these issues.  

Mary Ann Rodriguez, MD, an internist in practice for six years, will begin serving a one-year term on TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health. (Please see Dr. Baker’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

Dana Sprute, MD, a family physician in practice for 23 years, will begin serving a new three-year term on TMA’s Council on Medical Education. The council coordinates TMA’s medical education activities, studies Texas’ physician workforce trends, accredits continuing medical education programs, and monitors physician licensure and credentialing.

Brian W. Temple, MD, a pediatrician in practice for seven years, will begin serving a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Reproductive, Women's, and Perinatal Health. (Please see Dr. Ranjbaran’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Athira Unnikrishnan, MD, an internist in practice for five years, will begin serving a one-year term on TMA’s Committee on Cancer. (Please see Dr. Capasso’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Vani S. Vallabhaneni, MD, a sleep medicine specialist and internist in practice for 16 years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Council on Health Service Organizations. (Please see Dr. Friedman’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

M. Yvette Williams-Brown, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and gynecological oncologist in practice for 11 years, will begin serving a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Cancer. (Please see Dr. Capasso’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Belda Zamora, MD, a family physician in practice for 21 years, will begin serving a three-year term on TMA’s Council on Medical Education. (Please see Dr. Sprute’s entry above for the council’s charge.)

Round Rock

Rebecca L. Teng, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist in practice for six years, will begin serving a new three-year term on TMA’s Committee on Reproductive, Women's, and Perinatal Health. (Please see Dr. Ranjbaran’s entry above for the committee’s charge.)

Georgetown

Susan M. Pike, MD, a plastic surgeon in practice for 16 years, will begin serving a one-year term as a consultant to TMA’s Council on Health Promotion. The council plans and oversees community outreach programs that enable TMA, the TMA Alliance (a volunteer advocacy organization of TMA physicians and spouses), and the TMA Foundation (TMA’s philanthropic arm) to improve the health of all Texans. Dr. Pike is a member of the Williamson County Medical Society.  

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 53,000 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

Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336

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Last Updated On

September 09, 2019

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