TMA Alliance Installs San Antonio Volunteer, Political Advocate as President

May 9, 2024  

Jenny Shepherd of San Antonio is just as comfortable in a lawmaker’s office as she is at a Texas Medical Association (TMA) Alliance meeting, even as she assumes the presidency of TMA’s volunteer advocacy and community service organization. She values her time with both in support of physicians – many of whom are alliance members’ spouses – and patient care.

“I’m passionate about serving medicine, especially in the realm of advocacy,” she said. “I love educating about the importance of a legislative relationship on behalf of medicine.”

The TMA Alliance installed Ms. Shepherd to serve a one-year term as president Saturday during TexMed, the association’s annual conference held this year in Dallas. She is honored and excited to assume this role, and to continue her advocacy work.

“Politicians we talk to, most of them have not a clue what doctors go through, the sacrifices and struggles that most endure during their career. We do,” said Ms. Shepherd, adding spouses understand the effect doctors’ struggles can have on patients.

She feels at home sharing those stories during visits to legislators including as part of TMA’s First Tuesdays at the Capitol lobbying days during Texas legislative sessions. TMA Alliance started the advocacy outreach program more than 20 years ago, and Ms. Shepherd and her husband, San Antonio pediatric anesthesiologist John Shepherd, MD, are regular participants. She chaired TMA’s First Tuesdays effort in 2023 and attended every event.

Ms. Shepherd has been recognized for her political advocacy. She is a two-time recipient of the June Bratcher Award for Political Action, the highest accolade TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee, bestows on an alliance member. Named for its first recipient, TMAA leader and political trailblazer June Bratcher of San Antonio, the award honors a member of the alliance who has shown significant involvement in a political campaign to aid organized medicine.

She looks forward to leading the TMA Alliance in the coming year, focusing on advocacy, encouraging member involvement, and attracting new members to join the alliance.

“To me, it’s about the relationships you form,” she said.

In addition to the alliance members, she said those important relationships include legislators, physicians, lobbyists, and others in the effort on behalf of medicine – which will be a primary focus of Ms. Shepherd’s presidency as Texas kicks off its next legislative session in January 2025.

She also trumpets involvement in TMA/TMA Alliance outreach initiatives including Texas BookShare, which gives books to children and encourages reading to combat illiteracy, and Hard Hats for Little Heads, which gives out bike helmets to children while promoting helmet-wearing for safe cycling and wheeled sports.  

She has supported these initiatives since becoming involved in her hometown Bexar County Medical Society Alliance, which she joined in 2015, working on the scholarship committee and later serving as president.

“We are extremely proud of the alliance’s work on behalf of the Family of Medicine,” Ms. Shepherd said.

In her installation speech, she emphasized the difference just one thing can make: One invitation to join the organization, one relationship with a lawmaker, one new idea, or involvement in just one TMA outreach event.

“We’ve all been inspired here by someone who led us to this organization, who encouraged our path into leadership, who supported our ideas – you all know who you are for me – and now it’s my turn to inspire, encourage and support,” she told conference attendees.

The TMA Alliance is a group of individuals passionate about protecting the future of medicine through community service and legislative advocacy. The TMA Alliance – consisting of physician spouses, physicians, resident physicians, and medical students – provides advocacy, a community of support, mentorship, and lasting friendship in the Family of Medicine.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 57,000 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.


Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email:

Swathi Narayanan (512) 370-1382; cell: (408) 987-1318; email:

Last Updated On

May 09, 2024

Originally Published On

May 09, 2024

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