- Drs. Tom Garcia and Doug Curran were reelected to the Board of Trustees. David Fleeger, MD, of Austin, and Linda Villarreal, MD, of Edinburg, won new seats on the board. The new resident trustee is Vinh Nguyen, MD, a family practice resident at Memorial Hospital in Houston. The new student trustee is Blair Cushing of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
- Cliff Moy, MD, and Susan Strate, MD, were reelected speaker and vice speaker of the house.
- Newly elected alternate delegates to the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association are Drs. Greg Fuller, of Fort Worth, and Bill Gilmer, of Houston.
- The Board of Trustees elected Carlos Cardenas, MD, as chair; Don Read, MD, as vice-chair; Dr. Villarreal as secretary; and Drs. David Henkes and Lewis Foxhall to the Executive Committee.
Monday, May 20, 2013
In the first three-way race for the top that any of us can recall, the TMA House of Delegates chose Abilene otolaryngologist Austin King, MD, as president-elect. Dr. King will take office at TexMed 2014 in Fort Worth. All three candidates ran excellent, competitive races. We also had an unprecedented eight outstanding candidates seeking four seats on the TMA Board of Trustees. I see this as a great sign of the vibrancy and strength of our organization. Election results include:
I don’t have enough space this week to spell out all the great steps our legislative agenda is taking. In summary, our delegated-practice bill cleared the House, and our Medicaid fraud due-process bill won preliminary House approval. Several of our red-tape cutters and immunization bills moved forward as well. The budget still looks very good, especially for mental health and women’s health services. Thanks to Robin Watson, MD, of Round Rock; Sara Austin, MD, of Austin; and Cynthia Jumper, MD, of Lubbock, for testifying for TMA in the session’s penultimate week.
A new business model that will help physicians exercise the option to remain independent if they choose won the unanimous approval of the TMA Board of Trustees. Our Management Services Organization project will work with county medical societies and technology companies to give physician practices the tools they need to succeed in today’s tumultuous health care marketplace. “This is the most important thing TMA has done since tort reform,” Dr. Read said before the vote.
Congratulations to Fort Worth’s Steve Brotherton, MD, and Cheryl Jones, of Temple, the new presidents, respectively, of TMA and the TMA Alliance. They took the oath of office before the House of Delegates. In his installation address, Dr. Brotherton used some familiar nursery rhymes to lay out his presidential agenda. He asked, for example, if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, “Where were the king’s surgeons?” He also stressed the need to maintain strong county medical societies. In other action, delegates:
Retired otolaryngologist but still very active Austin philanthropist Ernest Butler, MD, received this year’s TMA Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Butler is a tremendous supporter of the TMA Foundation. With his wife, Sarah, he has underwritten our Excellence in Science Teaching Awards. Dr. Butler is a great example for physicians who want to give back to their communities. Other awards bestowed during the House of Delegates sessions include:
- Houston trauma surgeon Ken Mattox, MD, received the first-ever Platinum Award, the top honor in TMA’s Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine.
- The Young Physician Section gave its Young at Heart Award to Austin’s Bruce Malone, MD.
- The Resident and Fellow Section’s J.T. “Lamar” McNew, MD, Award went to Troy Fiesinger, MD, of Sugar Land.
- Men named “Berk” seemed to have an advantage in the Medical Student Section awards. The C. Frank Webber, MD, Award went to Steven Berk, MD, Lubbock; and the Student of the Year was his son, Justin Berk, of Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock. The students’ Chapter of the Year is the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine chapter.
Gov. Rick Perry made eight new appointments to the Texas Medical Board (TMB). All six of the physicians appointed are TMA members: psychiatrist Michael Arambula, MD; thoracic surgeon Devinder Bhatia, MD; anesthesiologist Scott Holliday, DO; pediatrician Margaret McNeese, MD; emergency medicine physician Robert Simonson, DO; and neurosurgeon Karl Swann, MD
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Fanning across the Capitol to help kill bad bills and promote good ones, more than 100 physicians, medical students, and TMA Alliance members gave a resounding finish to 2013’s First Tuesdays at the Capitol. They witnessed House passage of our bill to regulate silent PPOs, which is just one short procedural move away from Gov. Rick Perry’s desk. Two of our key bills are already there:
- Senate Bill 166 by Sen. Bob Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), and Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) allows physicians to check in patients using the electronic strip on their Texas driver license.
- Senate Bill 945 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) requires physicians and nonphysicians to wear photo ID badges clearly stating their name; hospital department; title; and status as a student, intern, trainee, or resident.