May 5, 2020
President-Elect Jennifer Hailey Lewis
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has elected two San Antonio residents as its president and president-elect. President Martha Vijjeswarapu and President-Elect Jennifer Hailey Lewis began their one-year terms Friday. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising physicians and their spouses and partners.
Both women have served their communities as members of the Bexar County Medical Society Alliance and other organizations. Most recently, they have been involved in local efforts to obtain personal protective equipment for physicians and health professionals to care for patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
As president, Ms. Vijjeswarapu aims to help TMA and the TMA Alliance grow their grassroots advocacy efforts across the state. “I want to highlight how our medical families impact health care in our communities and at the State Capitol, and engage our members in these activities,” she said.
For years, both women have exemplified the importance of advocacy as participants in TMA’s and TMAA’s First Tuesdays at the Capitol, in which physicians, alliance members, and medical students visit lawmakers at the Capitol on each first Tuesday of the months during a legislative session. TMAA recently launched First Tuesdays in the Districts to visit legislators in their districts when the Texas Legislature isn’t in session.
As president-elect, Ms. Lewis said her goal is to provide TMA Alliance members with essential and educational leadership development opportunities. “I believe great leaders make great community and patient ambassadors, which are needed in these challenging times,” she said.
Both women also established a long history of leadership in their local alliances, including stints as president, and on the board of TMAA. Ms. Vijjeswarapu also serves on the board of directors of TMA’s political action committee, TEXPAC.
Before relocating to San Antonio recently, Ms. Vijjeswarapu made a difference in Corpus Christi as an active member of the Nueces County Medical Society Alliance, and managing her husband’s pediatric practice.
Ms. Vijjeswarapu attended college at the Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas and then did missionary work for seven years in Hong Kong, Africa, India, and other places around the world. She is married to Daniel Vijjeswarapu, MD, a TMA member who works at Centromed. They have two grown daughters, Rebecca, of San Antonio, and Christy, of Houston. They also have a new son-in-law, Trey, of Houston.
Ms. Lewis received a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, speech-language pathology, at The University of Texas Austin, and has worked in the field off and on for almost two decades. Most recently, she has specialized in feeding therapy in the neonatal ICU. She is married to Cannon Lewis, MD, a colorectal surgeon and member of the TMA House of Delegates policymaking body. The couple has called San Antonio home for eight years since he fulfilled his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. They have four young adult children: Cannon II, Aubrey, Olivia, and Tabitha.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 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.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320
Marcus Cooper(512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336
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