Austin Surgeon Becomes TMA President-Elect; Other Leaders Chosen
By Joey Berlin


David C. Fleeger, MD, was unanimously chosen as president-elect of the Texas Medical Association during Saturday morning’s meeting of the House of Delegates at TexMed 2018.

Dr. Fleeger, an Austin colon and rectal surgery specialist, vowed to work to keep the practice of medicine in the hands of doctors. He predicted a bright future for TMA, calling it “the strongest medical association there is.” Dr. Fleeger will succeed Athens family physician Douglas Curran, MD, who assumed the reins as president on Saturday.  

The speaker and vice speaker of the house will remain unchanged for another year. The house reelected Wichita Falls pathologist Susan Strate, MD, to another term as speaker, and chose Houston emergency physician Arlo Weltge, MD, for another one-year term as vice speaker.

The house also elected three new members of the Board of Trustees and reelected two incumbents. Jayesh Shah, MD, of San Antonio; Joseph Valenti, MD, of Denton; and Lindsay Botsford, MD, of Sugar Land became new trustees, with Dr. Botsford selected as the board’s young physician member. Keith Bourgeois, MD, of Houston and Richard Snyder, MD, of Dallas earned reelection. 

The board elected its new officers for the next 12 months. Diana Fite, MD, of Houston is the new chair; Linda Villarreal, MD, of Edinburg is vice chair; Gary Floyd, MD, of Fort Worth is secretary; and Ray Callas, MD, of Beaumont and Dr. Bourgeois round out the executive committee.

Drs. Fleeger and Villarreal also were among 10 incumbent Texas delegates to the American Medical Association (AMA), chosen for another two-year term. The others were: 

  • Michelle Berger, MD; 
  • Brad Butler, MD; 
  • William Fleming III, MD;
  • Asa Lockhart, MD; 
  • Kenneth Mattox, MD; 
  • Kevin McKinney, MD; 
  • Larry Reaves, MD; and
  • Les Secrest, MD.  

Laura Faye Gephart, MD, of McAllen; resident physician Theresa Phan, MD; and medical student Faith Mason were confirmed as new AMA alternate delegates. Seven incumbents, including Drs. Weltge and Callas, earned reelection:

  • Gregory Fuller, MD;
  • William Gilmer, MD;
  • Cynthia Jumper, MD;
  • Elizabeth Torres, MD; and
  • Roxanne Tyroch, MD.

Five members of the Board of Councilors and three vice councilors had their elections confirmed by the house on Saturday. Two former vice councilors were elected as new councilors: Jane Rider, MD, for District 4 and Sheldon Freeberg, MD, for District 11. They joined incumbent councilors Gilbert Handal, MD, for District 1; Vivek Rao, MD, for District 2; and Edward Tuthill, MD, for District 14.

The reelection of incumbent vice councilors James Huston, MD (District 2) and Victor Vines, MD (District 14) also earned house confirmation, as did the election of first-term vice councilor Alisa Marie Berger, MD (District 12).


Last Updated On

May 22, 2018

Related Content


Joey Berlin

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1393

Joey Berlin is associate editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area and attended the University of Kansas. He lives in Austin.

More stories by Joey Berlin