Meet the 2013 award recipients

Tags: awards, munoz, lambert, echols, huang, gimpel, nelson, realini, pillow, zenner, sulaiman

Meet the 2013-2014 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 Scientific Assembly.

The 2013-2014 award recipients were honored during TAFP’s Annual Session in Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 3.

Physician of the Year – Jasmine Sulaiman, M.D.
Dr. Sulaiman is the medical director of the Health Center of Southeast Texas, a federally qualified health center, and associate medical director of Compassionate Care Hospice, both in Cleveland, Texas. After completing her education in India and Saudi Arabia, she completed her residency and post graduate training in New York and North Carolina. She is known for her work with refugee and immigrant populations and is active in TAFP ‘giving back’ opportunities such as Tar Wars and Hard Hats for Little Heads. She is regarded as a compassionate physician and a good listener, always taking time to get to know her patients.

Physician Emeritus – George Zenner, M.D.
Dr. Zenner served as director of the Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program from 1978 to 1985, and again from 1996 to 2001. He was also the director of the Continuing Medical Education Committee at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. He has received multiple awards during his time as a physician, including a 1995-96 Teaching Excellence Award and as an Outstanding Family Practice Physician in Houston in 2000. He is an active life member of TAFP, previously as a Board of Directors member among other committee appointments.

Physician Emeritus – David Pillow, M.D.
Dr. Pillow is a former director of the Family Medicine Residency program at John Peter Smith Hospital and is an icon in the Tarrant County community. He was ranked first in his class at the George Washington University School of Medicine and is a co-founder of two of the largest family medicine groups in Northeast Tarrant County. As an active member of his community, he served as physician for the Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth and has a senior clinic at North Hills Hospital and a local park named after him.

Presidential Award of Merit – Janet Realini, M.D.
Dr. Realini played a significant role in the creation of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition last fall and quickly became the organization’s chair. She worked with the other coalition members during the session to educate state senators and representatives on topics pertaining to women’s health. With the help of the coalition’s hard work at the Capitol, the 83rd Legislature restored funding to the DSHS Family Planning Program and the Texas Women’s Health Program, and budgeted for a $100 million primary health care expansion for the biennium.

Patient Advocacy Award – Senator Jane Nelson
Senator Jane Nelson has represented parts of Denton and Tarrant counties, Texas Senate District 12, for more than 10 years. She is currently chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, a position she has held longer than any other senator, and a member of the Senate Finance Committee. During the 83rd Texas Legislature, Nelson authored Senate Bill 143 which addressed the physician workforce shortage in the state by increasing residency slots and creating incentives for medical schools promoting primary care. The legislation was added on to another bill and passed into law.

Public Health Award – Nora Gimpel, M.D.
Dr. Gimpel is an assistant professor of family and community medicine and the chief of the Community Medicine Division in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern. Originally from Argentina, she has significant experience teaching evidence-based medicine, working with underserved communities and teaching and performing community-based participatory research. She is the director of Community Action Research Experience, a program to train family medicine residents in community action research and equip them to care for the underserved populations in their communities.

Exemplary Teaching Award – William Huang, M.D.
Dr. Huang is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has received a multitude of teaching awards, including the Fulbright and Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award in various categories in 2002, 2003, and 2005. He is known as one of the most respected and approachable physicians in the Baylor program and is looked at as a role model by many.

Special Constituency Leadership Award – Bruce Echols, M.D.
Dr. Echols is a faculty member at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Family and Community Medicine. He is a strong advocate and representative for all special constituencies and an outstanding leader in TAFP and in his community. He has served as chair of the TAFP Section on Special Constituencies since 2011 and attended AAFP’s National Conference of Special Constituencies on numerous occasions as an official representative of TAFP. This year he served as a co-convener at NCSC.

TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year – C. Tim Lambert, M.D.
Dr. Lambert has served more than 20 years on TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees, 10 of those as Vice President. In addition, he served on the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees. Tim and his wife, Nancy, have been generous financial donors but they have also given of their time and energy. He is a lifelong Texan and has been involved in organized medicine since his first year as a medical student at UTMB Galveston. He served as President of TAFP and was Alternate and Delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates for many years. His passion for our specialty and the work of the Foundation is obvious and highly contagious.

TAFP Political Action Committee Award – Xavier Muñoz, D.O.
Dr. Muñoz has become a force in El Paso by fostering relationships with his elected officials on matters that greatly impact his practice, patients, and his local community. He is a resource to his state senator, congressional delegation, and members of the Texas House of Representatives on important issues dealing with health care. He is an excellent advocate for family medicine and works hard to advance the specialty's interests at the state Capitol.