Meet the 2017-2018 award recipients
Each year, patients and physicians nominate extraordinary family physicians and others working on behalf of family medicine, and these people are honored with a TAFP award. TAFP honors its award recipients at the Business and Awards Lunch held each Annual Session and Primary Care Summit.
The 2017-2018 award recipients were honored during TAFP’s Annual Session in Galveston, Texas, on Nov. 11.
Physician of the Year – Jorge Duchicela, MD
Dr. Duchicela is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He immigrated to Wisconsin at the age of 13 and later earned his Bachelor of Science and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin. He completed his family medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in both surgery and family medicine. He is chief of the medical staff at Columbus Community Hospital and he is the founder and president of the Texas Rural Family Medicine Education Center. He is also the founder and director of Cachamsi, a nonprofit medical immersion institute to help health professionals learn Spanish and learn global and cross-cultural medicine. He served as board director of the Colorado Valley Chapter of the TAFP for 10 years and he currently serves as chair of TAFP’s Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs. For the past 26 years, Dr. Duchicela has taught medical students and residents in conjunction with his residency alma mater, the University of Texas Medical Branch here in Galveston. In 2012 he became the local director of the rural family medicine residency program. Residents who graduated from the program continue to serve small and underserved communities.
Physician Emeritus – Dale Moquist, MD
Dr. Moquist had a long and distinguished career and is now enjoying retirement. He was most recently the geriatric coordinator at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. He has served in numerous positions with both AAFP and TAFP. He moved to Texas after a long career in North Dakota, during which he was active in the North Dakota Academy of Family of Physicians and served on the AAFP Board of Directors. He was a part of AAFP’s delegation to the American Medical Association and served as chair of the delegation for many years. After moving to Texas, he generously shared his vast leadership experience with his new colleagues and assisted TAFP with campaigns to elect AAFP leaders. He served 10 years as TAFP Foundation president. During that time, the Foundation greatly increased its support for research grants and student travel funding. He is a longtime member and past chair of TAFP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development, a frequent speaker for TAFP with a focus on geriatrics, and is one of TAFP’s first SAM workshop facilitators.
Presidential Award of Merit – Barbara Thompson, MD
Dr. Thompson is a family physician professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and currently holds the Sealy Hutchings and Lucille Wright Hutchings Chair. She is also the current chair of the department of family medicine, a position she’s held for 20 years. She has spent more than 40 years caring for her patients, advocating for the specialty of family medicine, and teaching students and residents. Dr. Thompson has received numerous honors and awards for her work as a professor and physician. She’s a recipient of the John P. McGovern Award and Endowment, she’s been recognized as a Texas Super Doctor eight times by Texas Monthly Magazine, and she was recognized by the UTMB School of Medicine Alumni Association with the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award for her outstanding service to the medical profession and humanity.
Patient Advocacy Award – Dan Hinkle
Dan has more than 30 years of government affairs experience and an extensive background in both the engineering and legal fields. In 2008, TAFP CEO Tom Banning knew the upcoming Legislative session would present many difficult challenges. So he reached out to a friend with a long history of advocacy in the State Capitol. Dan became part of TAFP’s lobby team and advocated for you and your patients until his retirement this year.
Public Health Award – Scott Lillibridge, MD
Dr. Lillibridge has more than 30 years of experience in medical and public health preparedness in domestic and international settings. He is the founding director of the CDC Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program and served as special assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services during the 2001 anthrax attacks. He has also contributed to several state and local public health policy forums and was instrumental in bringing clinical trials to South Texas ensuring the populations had access to new investigative drugs. He assisted in the development of the Global Institute for Hispanic Health in Corpus Christi, he brought the first CDC funded Public Health Preparedness Center to Texas, and he served on the Governor’s Task force for Emerging Infectious Disease.
Exemplary Teaching Award (part-time) – Nida (Joy) Emko, MD
Dr. Emko is a part-time clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She also cares for incarcerated teens at the Juvenile Detention Center, teaches family medicine residents at the Family Health Center, and sees patients at the Family Medicine Inpatient Service at University Hospital in association with UTHSCSA. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work as a professor, physician, and scholar, including the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for Faculty, and the Veritas Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. She has also been named among the Best Doctors in San Antonio by Scene Magazine.
Exemplary Teaching Award (full-time) – Marcy Wiemers, MD
Dr. Wiemers is the family medicine residency associate program director and assistant clinical professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In her position as associate program director, she ensures continuous quality improvement for resident curriculum, and as assistant professor, she teaches and participates in outpatient, inpatient, and obstetrics care. She has received several awards for her work as a professor, physician, and scholar. She is a two-time honoree of the Family Medicine Faculty Teaching Award, and a recipient of the Education Development Award from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UTHSCSA.
Special Constituency Leadership Award – Emily Briggs, MD
Dr. Briggs is the founder of Briggs Family Medicine, where she practices full-spectrum family medicine and obstetrics in New Braunfels. She is an active TAFP member who has served on multiple committees and commissions and as the new physician board member for both TAFP and AAFP. She has served as president of her county medical society as well as the Alamo Chapter of TAFP. She has also represented Texas during AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders and she was Resident Delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates. She is currently serving as an At-Large member of the TAFP Board of Directors. She has been actively involved in the Academy since her days as a medical student and has been a vocal advocate, encouraging her peers to get more involved.
TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year – Seth B. Cowan, MD
Dr. Cowan was president of TAFP from 1979-1980 and was President of the TAFP Foundation from 1991 to 1999. Those were the years when our scholarship program was developed. Under his leadership, the assets of the Foundation went from $180,000 to almost $700,000. By the time he finished serving as President, the TAFP Foundation had formed 12 scholarships to benefit medical students. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in organized medicine on all levels, becoming a member of TAFP and the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1958. He was named Texas Family Physician of the Year in 1989 and Physician Emeritus in 2014. He has served on the TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees since 1980. In fact, he was a member of the Board of Trustees before the organization was named the TAFP Foundation. It was known as the Family Medicine Foundation. His length of service is only exceeded by Dr. Edwin Franks, who has been on the Board since 1979! In 1994, Dr. Cowan was instrumental in establishing the Baylor Family Medicine Residency at Garland and this year, he made a generous donation to endow a scholarship to benefit a resident training at that program.
TAFP Political Action Committee Award – Linda Siy, MD
Dr. Siy is a longtime advocate for family medicine, working hard to develop local relationships with her elected officials. She is a tireless advocate for family physicians and their patients. Not only does she serve as a Key Contact, but she is also regarded as an expert in health policy. She’s served as chair of the TAFP Political Action Committee Board of Directors and remains one of the top financial contributors to the PAC over the last decade.She served as president of TAFP from 2007 – 2008 and went on to represent Texas in AAFP’s Congress of Delegates. She is the current president of the TAFP Foundation, she has chaired TAFP’s Nominating Committee and led our Task Force on Governance. She served on AAFP’s Committee on Special Constituencies and represented the Women’s Constituency in the AAFP Congress of Delegates in 2000 and 2001.