Member News - Spring 2017

Tags: Curran TMA president-elect, nccl, aclf, Mario E. Ramirez, MD, member news

Member News

Curran wins TMA president-elect
On may 6, Douglas W. Curran, MD, of Athens was elected president-elect of the Texas Medical Association at their annual conference, TexMed. Curran, a former president of TAFP and the 1999 Texas Family Physician of the Year Award recipient, will become the 153rd president of the organization on May 19, 2018.

“I feel very humbled by this opportunity to serve the patients of Texas physicians as well as protect and preserve the integrity of our profession,” Curran said in a TMA press release. “The opportunity to serve as president-elect and ultimately president of this great organization will allow me to speak from the heart about the profession I love and the commitment to improve the health care of all Texans.”

A longtime advocate for both Texas patients and physicians, Curran has had a direct hand in some of the most groundbreaking health care legislation in Texas, including the medical liability reforms in 2003, improving the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid, and stopping attempts of non-physician practitioners to expand their scope of practice. He has also served as board chair on TMA’s Board of Trustees for the past two years. Curran has given decades of service to TAFP and has served as a delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates. With 38 years of medical practice and a history of successful advocacy efforts, his presidency is sure to be a success.


Texas members attend NCCL, ACLF
A total of 17 TAFP members attended AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders and the Annual Chapter Leader Forum, held together April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Seven of those were first-time attendees. Mary Nguyen, MD, of Castroville served as co-convener for NCCL, a position she was elected to at last year’s conference. She assisted in the organization and planning of this year’s meeting. Gerald Banks, MD, of Corpus Christi was elected co-convener for the International Medical Graduates constituency. He also won the election to be an alternate delegate to the Congress of Delegates this fall. Banks is currently participating in TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience.


In memoriam: Mario E. Ramirez, MD
Former TAFP President Mario E. Ramirez, MD, passed away on May 22, 2017. He was 91 years old.

Ramirez was born in 1926 to Efren and Maria del Carmen Ramirez in Roma, Texas. He completed high school at the age of 16 and went on to attend college at the University of Texas at Austin. While still in pursuit of his undergraduate degree, he was accepted to medical school at the University of Tennessee. Continuing his spectacular journey, he graduated medical school at the age of 22 and began his residency in the general practice of medicine at Shreveport Charity Hospital. During his residency, he met a student nurse, Sarah Aycock, who would become the love of his life. After completing residency Ramirez and Aycock returned to Roma, married, began their family, and started a medical practice, which they ran for more than 50 years.

Ramirez spent five years practicing in Roma before enlisting in the United State Air Force, where he served two years and then returned home. Upon his return, he got down to the business of improving access to health care in the Rio Grande Valley and over the next 50 years, he established the Manuel Ramirez Memorial Hospital, served as a Starr County Judge, created the Starr County Hospital, mentored medical students and residents, and founded the Med-Ed Program, which encouraged Rio Grande Valley high school students to pursue careers in medicine.

In addition to those achievements, he served as TAFP president from 1975 to 1976. He was awarded the Bicentennial Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service by the American Medical Association. He was named the 1978 Family Physician of the Year by AAFP, an award which was presented to him at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin. Ramirez left a rich legacy as one of the founders of public health care in the Valley and is revered by physicians and patients across the country.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife Sarah. They are survived by their five children: Judge Mario E. Ramirez, Patricia A. Kittleman, Dr. Norman Ramirez, Dr. Jaime Ramirez, and Roberto L. Ramirez. He is also survived by two siblings, Roel and Carmensa, and was preceded in death by younger brother Efren, Jr.