April 2021


President's Message

Spring is the time for new beginnings. The flowers and trees have begun to bloom, and the planet is alive again. Perhaps, then, it is a fitting time for medical students to find out to which location they have matched for residency – a new and exciting chapter in their medical journey.

Match day will always be a special memory for Daniel and me. Our first daughter decided to be born early that same morning. I remember waking him up and saying, “Sorry, I know this is a big day,” but we adjusted our plan. My husband sat in the hospital room beaming. He had become a new dad and was matched with his residency program. He would later find out the location in a voice message.

No one can prepare you, as the spouse or partner of a new resident, for the long hours, every-third-night call, and frequent no-shows to planned events. Maybe you and your spouse are just finishing residency or fellowship and starting a new job soon. Once your spouse has started the new job, you find yourself thinking, once again, “I thought it would be easier,” but there are still long hours and lots of calls.

We TMA Alliance members have experienced all of this, and it is what makes us such a powerful source of support. Through our Allies in Medicine program, we provide those vital connections to others for resident and early-career spouses and partners. As spouses/partners of physicians, we have all learned to adapt, and we have the capability to help others through this journey of medicine. I have learned many wonderful ways to adjust and be supportive of my spouse with the help of my alliance mentors. We can connect, support, and have fun, all while serving as ambassadors for the Family of Medicine through community service, advocacy, and fellowship. If you or someone you know is in need of an ally, visit our website and sign up to connect with someone to walk with on this journey.

Martha Vijjeswarapu
TMA Alliance 2020-21 President

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Save the Date: TMAA Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting will take place virtually on Thursday, May 13, 10 am to noon. Use the link below to register for the meeting, and encourage your fellow members to sign up. Remember: All alliance members are welcome – and highly encouraged – to attend the meeting!


Once you’re registered, use the checklist below to prepare for the meeting:
Submit your nominations for the 2021-22 Nominating Committee,
Download and review the Consent Agenda,
Review the suggested revisions to TMAA Bylaws and Standing Rules,
Send the names of deceased members to Sasha for the memorial.

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Register for First Tuesdays

The 2021 Texas legislative session is like no other, but First Tuesdays at the Capitol is still going strong. With virtual meetings, lobbying your legislator has never been easier … or safer. Join TMA and the TMA Alliance on the first Tuesday of each month during the session for a virtual legislative update. TMA’s lobby team will outline issues important to medicine and actions you can take now to make a difference.

Registration is FREE. Sign up below for upcoming First Tuesdays events, and visit the TMA Legislative page for more information.

May 4

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April Enrichment Series

The effects of the pandemic have hit everyone hard, and youth are no exception. In this month’s free virtual webinar on April 15, noon- 1 pm (CT), Maricela Dominguez Gulbronson, MD, FAAP, will discuss how the pandemic has affected the mental health of children and adolescents. This will be a valuable session for anyone with kids or teenagers in your life – sign up today and save your spot.

Thursday, April 15
Noon-1 pm


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Vaccines Defend What Matters Social Media Toolkit

There’s no question vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect your community against harmful and deadly diseases. However, many people still receive mixed messages about the importance and safety of vaccines.

That’s why the Texas Medical Association launched Vaccines Defend What Matters, a multimedia public health education and advocacy campaign aimed at reducing vaccine hesitancy and increasing vaccination rates in Texas.

The campaign features television ads, social media, videos, and graphics designed to help your community understand the benefit of vaccines for people of all ages.

Help send a strong message that choosing to be immunized against infectious diseases safeguards public health, jobs, schools, and the Texas economy.

Access TMA’s Vaccines Defend What Matters Social Media Toolkit for a wide variety of downloadable and shareable materials – available in English and Spanish – to post to your social media channels. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #VaccinesDefendWhatMatters on your posts.

TMA’s Vaccines Defend What Matters is funded in 2021 by the TMA Foundation thanks to major support from H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Cook Children’s Health Care System, and gifts from physicians and their families.

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Vaccines Defend What Matters: COVID-19 Just the Facts Flyer

The Texas Medical Association has created a fact sheet you can print and use as a poster in your community or share on your social media accounts.

The fact sheet, part of TMA’s Vaccine Defend What Matters campaign, addresses many common concerns people in your community may have by explaining, for example, that:

  • Vaccines do not give you COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not alter your DNA; and
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any microchips, implants, tracking devices, or other questionable substances.

TMA’s Vaccines Defend What Matters is funded in 2021 by the TMA Foundation thanks to major support from H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Cook Children’s Health Care System, and gifts from physicians and their families.

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TMAF Gala: Virtually All the Fun From Previous Events

Although the Texas Medical Association Foundation’s annual gala will take place as a virtual event this year, it will still feature much of the fun and excitement as the in-person events from years past.

This year’s gala will feature a silent auction, special messages to the health care superheroes in Texas, and entertainment from outstanding Austin musicians. It is set for 7 to 8:15 pm (CT) Friday, May 14, with a preshow from 6:30 to 7 pm.

One of the big prizes at this year’s silent auction is a six-day stay for you and seven guests at an exclusive villa outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where you can indulge in on-premises amenities such as a pool, swim-up bar, gym, tennis courts, and more. The silent auction also will feature jewelry, artwork, and weekend vacation stays around Texas. Bidding opens May 7.

The theme for this year’s gala is Superheroes: Meeting the Challenge in honor of Medicine’s trusted leadership, which has truly shined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your ticket purchase or table sponsorship will help show your pride in your colleagues as well as all medical professionals who have answered the call during the pandemic.

In addition, the gala helps make TMA’s population health, science, and quality of care programs possible. Already this year, TMAF has supported several initiatives around the state that provide free health screenings in medically disadvantaged neighborhoods, vaccinate underserved individuals, educate students with science-based learning materials, and more.

Individuals may sponsor a table at the gala starting at $2,500.

Find more information and purchase tickets or a sponsorship on the TMAF website, or contact TMAF at (800) 880-1330, ext. 1664, or (512) 370-1664.

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Can Our Rear-View Mirror Offer Solutions?

According to the spring issue of the TMA Foundation’s (TMAF’s) newsletter, SOLUTIONS, the answer is yes.

TMAF President Susan Pike, MD, says, “The New Year is looking brighter thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines. But having just passed the one-year mark, a look in our rear-view mirror reminds us of the toll the pandemic has taken. Many of the programs TMA Foundation has recently funded address the negative health impacts that misinformation and anti-science bias can cause. Part of the COVID toll has been on the health and well-being of physicians who have delivered the best care possible while lacking PPE and battling practices that spread the virus rather than contain it. To address this strain, TMAF awarded grants to seven county medical societies to start or enhance their physician health and wellness programs.”

Read more in SOLUTIONS, published biannually by TMAF, the 501 (c)(3) charitable arm of TMA, and emailed to all donors and friends of medicine. The spring edition is underwritten by TMA Insurance Trust and Frost. Support hope for better health in 2021 at https://tmaf.ejoinme.org/donate.

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Upcoming Events

In addition to the events below, please be sure to check out our calendar, where you can sort events by county. If your chapter has an upcoming event you would like featured, email details (date, time, location, ticket prices, description) to Sasha.

April 15, Noon-1 pm (CT)
Online Enrichment Series

Pandemic Impact on Mental Health in Our Youth and Adolescents
Maricela Dominguez Gulbronson, MD, FAAP

May 13, 10 am-Noon (CT)
TMAA Annual Business Meeting

May 20, Noon-1 pm (CT)
Online Enrichment Series

June 17, Noon-1 pm (CT)
Online Enrichment Series
Foods for Thought: Understanding the Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Mental Health
Jason Pawloski, RDN

Have an event in your county that you would like advertised? Send details to sasha.khalifeh@texmed.org!

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