Biographies of the 2002 Laureate Award Honorees

In 2002, the Texas Chapter presented its highest award to two distinguished members -- Joseph C. Dougherty, MD, FACP and Albert F. Hendler, MD, FACP.

The Laureate Award honors Fellows and Masters of the ACP who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research, and in service to their community, the Chapter, and the ACP.


Joseph C. Dougherty, MD, FACP

Doctor Joe Dougherty grew up in Albany, New York. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at their military high school, and at Manhattan College in New York City. He received his medical education from Cornell Medical College. It was in a 4th year elective that his career goals were set. He spent a month with Dr. Albert Ruben in the Cardio-Renal Laboratory at Bellevue Hospital. At that time, Dr. Ruben had the only artificial kidney in New York City. Fluid and electrolytes and dialysis were the cutting edge of modern medicine.

For graduation his wife Kathy, presented him with a son, William, the first of their four children; Suzanne, Timothy, and Laura followed.

For his internship Dr. Dougherty decided to go to Albany Hospital. He stayed for his first year of residency and then returned to the Cardio-Renal Laboratory at Bellevue Hospital with a Mead Johnson Fellowship. It was a rewarding time. He published his first paper and with another fellow, Dr. Kurt Stenzel, did the first peritoneal dialysis at the hospital. He then completed his third year of residency in the Bellevue - Memorial Hospital program.

The idea of research and teaching had been growing in his mind. He obtained a New York Heart Association Fellowship and returned to Cornell Medical School New York Hospital. There he worked with Drs. Milton Hollenberg and Thomas Killip doing both laboratory and clinical research. After two years of fellowship he became an Investigator of the New York Heart Association and returned to Bellevue working with Dr. Frank Veith on the study of renal transplants in dogs. Dr. Dougherty and Dr. Veith moved to Montifiore Hospital-Albert Einstein College of Medicine for access to better laboratories. Their work together was productive and Dr. Dougherty became a Senior Investigator of the New York Heart Association. In addition, he did clinical work in the Renal and Hemodialysis section.

In 1970 he received an invitation to join the faculty at the medical school in San Antonio. He spent the next five years teaching and conducting research on kidney preservation. Clinically he was involved in the organ transplant program. He was named the Director of Hemodialysis at the new Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital. He worked with the Dietetic Association to convert the renal failure diet into an acceptable diet for Hispanic patients.

After five years in San Antonio, the family moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, joining Dr. Ray Lavender. Dr. Dougherty helped develop a Rural Health Center and a community based Internal Medicine Residency Program, the Scranton-Temple Residency Program. He also found time to work with the local Heart Association and was elected President.After accepting an invitation from Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen to become the medical director for the dialysis unit, he joined the Valley Diagnostic Clinic. He continued his Heart Association affiliation becoming President of the local chapter. Dr. Dougherty also served on the American Heart Association Texas Affiliate chapter as a member of the scientific committee, the program committee, which he eventually chaired, and was elected to the Board of Directors. 
Service to the Texas Medical Association included serving on the committee on nursing and three terms on the council on medical education, including one as chairman.

Dr. Dougherty's most recent accomplishment has been the development of the Internal Medicine Residency Program of The University of Texas Science Center at San Antonio - Regional Academic Health Center.

If asked to name the three most meaningful achievements of his life he would respond: election to the All American Small Bore Rifle Team in 1955; being named Clinician of the Year by the Texas Nurses Association in 1968; and being in the top twenty percent of reviewers for the Annuals of Internal Medicine in 2001.

The Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal is proud to name Dr. Joseph Dougherty a Laureate for 2002.


Albert F. Hendler, MD, FACP

Dr. Albert F. Hendler was born in Temple, Texas, and graduated from Temple High School. After finishing his pre-medical studies at The University of Texas at Austin, he graduated from Harvard Medical School with honors and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. His internship and residency at the Boston City Hospital and the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital were interrupted by three years of service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He returned to Texas in 1954 where he spent one year at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital and then went into the private practice of Internal Medicine.

His contributions to the community of medicine have been quite remarkable. He has served on numerous committees at the Dallas County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association (TMA). He served as president of the Dallas County Medical Society in 1978 and chairman of the Dallas County delegation to the TMA from 1980-1982. Dr. Hendler continued to serve in the TMA House of Delegates until last year. He was an alternate delegate to the AMA from 1983 to 1991, when he became a delegate and served in that post until 1998. He was the founding chair of the TMA Hospital Medical Staff Section (HMSS) and vice-chair of the AMA HMSS. He has also served on the Board of TMA's political action committee, TEXPAC. Dr. Hendler has served as president of the medical staff at Doctors Hospital in Dallas and member of the Metropolitan Hospital Authority Board in Dallas.

Dr. Hendler is particularly proud of his role in two Texas projects. He served as chair of the Dallas County Swine Flu Immunization Project, which benefited thousands of patients. In addition, he was the author of the TMA resolution that created the Physicians Advocacy Committee, which molded the original peer review organization, now the Texas Medical Foundation, into an organization that is responsive to the needs of physicians, hospitals, and patients.

Dr. Hendler became a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 1984 and was a member of the Texas Society of Internal Medicine board of directors from 1993 to 1998. He has been committed to medical education by mentoring students for many years and was instrumental in helping to establish the General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program. He was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School from 1970 until his retirement in 1999. He has been a friend and a mentor to his colleagues, always offering wise counsel and working diligently to represent physicians and patients on the county, state, and national level.

Dr. Hendler is a devoted family man having raised eight fine children with his wonderful wife, Polly. They have 18 beloved grandchildren. The tradition of service to medicine has continued through four of his children. Robert S. Hendler is a gastroenterologist and vice-president of medical affairs for Tenet Health Systems in Dallas. Charles F. Hendler is an internist in Dallas. Gloria Hendler is a nurse administrator at a nursing home in Houston, and Polly Anne Pagel is a nurse practitioner at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

The Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is proud to honor Dr. Albert F. Hendler as a Laureate for 2002.