Research endowment gets new champion fund; Two residents receive Martin Scholarship

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Research endowment gets new champion fund; Two residents receive Martin Scholarship

By Kathy McCarthy
Executive director, TAFP Foundation

The TAFP Foundation had another exciting year, during which the James C. Martin, M.D. Scholarship was awarded for the first time, the David Katerndahl, M.D. Research Fund was created in honor of the longtime Research Committee chair, and the Cassie Murphy-Cullen, Ph.D. Scholarship continues to make good progress toward full funding when it will be used to support resident travel to research conferences.

The first recipient of the Martin Scholarship—Marie Ramas, M.D., from the Conroe Medical Education Foundation—spent two weeks in June studying scope of practice. In August, Travis Bias, D.O., from the Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Houston spent two weeks studying graduate medical education funding. Their research gave them valuable experience in policy development and will help TAFP in the upcoming legislative session. The scholarship was established to honor past TAFP and AAFP President James Martin, M.D., of San Antonio.

Two years ago, the Foundation began building a research endowment to provide ongoing support to practice-based research. Within the endowment, we are developing Research Champion Funds to honor generous donors and leaders in family medicine. This summer, the Foundation Board unanimously voted to allocate $25,000 to establish a David Katerndahl, M.D. fund. Dr. Katerndahl is a member of the Board of Trustees and has served as chair of the TAFP Foundation Research Committee for many years. He has championed the cause of research within the Academy and throughout the state, pushing to not only fund research grants, but build the research infrastructure through training and by providing vehicles to share research with family physicians.

The Foundation funded four research grants this year on topics including health literacy, vitamin D deficiency, and inefficiencies in the health care system. At the medical-school level, we funded activities of the FMIGs and provided travel funding for 51 medical students to attend TAFP and AAFP conferences. The Foundation also funded 42 resident physicians to attend TAFP conferences.

Another way the Foundation supports the specialty is through scholarships for medical students interested in family medicine. Since its creation in 1994, the scholarship program has awarded more than $165,000 to future family physicians. Congratulations to the nine future family physicians who were awarded medical student scholarships this year:

  • Karen Oehler, M.D. (William F. Ross, M.D. Scholarship);
  • Zachary Taylor (Valley Chapter Scholarship);
  • Heather Zidow and Patrick Allen (Harold T. Pruessner, M.D. Scholarship);
  • Sarah Low, M.D. (Norma Porres, M.D. and Felipe Porres, M.D. Scholarship);
  • Michelle Dobbs (Minnie Lee Lancaster, M.D. and Edgar Lancaster, M.D. Scholarship);
  • Cole Zanetti (Arnold N. Krause, M.D. Scholarship);
  • Erica Jarrett, M.D. (S. Perry Post, M.D. Scholarship); and
  • Carmella Caldwell (Glen R. Johnson, M.D. Minority Scholarship).

In addition, Sergio Alvarado, M.D., received the Jim and Karen White Leadership Scholarship to attend AAFP’s National Conference.

Thank you to all who supported the Foundation this year. Your generosity makes the good works of the Foundation possible. For information on donating to the TAFP Foundation, go to, or call Kathy McCarthy at (512) 329-8666 ext. 14.