Winter 2015



Mission Statement

The mission of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians is to promote quality health care for all Texans by strengthening the practice of internal medicine.

President's Message

Maureen Francis, MD, FACP
TXACP President

Dear Texas ACP Chapter Members,

I thank all of you for being a vital part of our organization.

Our chapter has much to celebrate. Over the past year under the leadership of our past president, Dr. Moreno, and our Governors, Dr. Bornstein, Dr. Crawford and Dr. Jackson, the Chapter successfully applied and received funding for the General Internal Medicine Preceptorship Program (GIMSPP). The GIMSPP program matches first and second year medical students with internal medicine preceptors throughout the state for 2 to 4 week rotations, with the aim of attracting them to choose a career in internal medicine. With funding now restored through the Texas Higher Education Board and with a grant at University of Texas Houston, participating medical students will receive a stipend to offset their expenses. Our goal is to match upwards of 250 students with preceptors in 2016. Please consider serving as a preceptor and role model for one of these aspiring medical students! I encourage you to enroll at

Our focus for the upcoming year is to enhance the value of your membership. Our current strategic plan is ambitious, calling for the development of advocacy tools for members focusing on public policy positions that impact patient care and physician education. We will also develop member support strategies to facilitate the transition to value-based payment and to provide practical resources that support new delivery models, such as the medical home. The Chapter will continue to promote careers in internal medicine and primary care with an emphasis on rural and underserved areas by fully utilizing the preceptorship program. Finally, we aim to ensure growth of our Chapter membership by reaching out to residents earlier in their training by creating personal connections through local champions.  

In the upcoming year, the Board of Directors also plans to review our Chapter bylaws to ensure fair and equitable representation of our constituents across the state and to consider the addition of medical student members to the Board.

I highly encourage and invite all of you to become more involved in the Chapter in the upcoming year! Please consider joining a committee, attending the regional resident competitions in the spring, and attending the Texas Chapter Annual Meeting in Houston in the fall 2016.

On behalf of the Texas Chapter, I wish you all a happy holiday season.

Best regards,
Maureen D. Francis, MD, FACP


Governor’s Message

Sue S. Bornstein, MD, FACP
Governor, TX Northern Region

The 2015 Texas ACP Annual Scientific Meeting was a celebration of our organization’s distinguished past and bright future. Capping the ACP’s Centennial year, our meeting featured an inspiring keynote address by Faith Fitzgerald, MD, MACP. There were excellent clinical updates and some new features including a session on the benefits of mindfulness and 2 different clinical tracks on Sunday morning.

One of the highlights was our Business Meeting luncheon on Saturday. In addition to recognizing outgoing and incoming officers, we honored 3 new Texas ACP Laureates for their distinguished contributions to their profession and the ACP. This year’s laureates are Drs. Phillip Cain; Robert Haley and Lysbeth Miller. Drs. Lynne Kirk and Marvin Forland received the ACP Centennial Award for their exemplary service to the ACP throughout their careers. We celebrated Drs. Robert Jackson and Lysbeth Miller, our Chapter’s newest ACP Masters.

Shaoli Chaudhuri, a medical student from UTHSC San Antonio, winner of the Andy Diehl on Being a Doctor essay competition read her inspiring essay at the luncheon. We recognized Dr. Susan Andrew with the first GIMSPP Emerald Award for her 20 year service as a preceptor. This year’s awards for medical student posters were given at the luncheon. For me, one of the most inspiring moments was when about 20 medical students stood facing the audience before receiving their awards. This was a powerful symbol that the future of our profession is indeed bright.

In closing, I give my heartfelt thanks to the 2015 Educational Committee for planning such a stellar program. Dr. Temple Howell-Stampley was the Chair and the members were Drs. Mark Armstrong; Cynthia Peacock and Abey Thomas. Well done!

I look forward to seeing you at the 2016 Texas ACP Scientific Meeting in Houston at the Omni Galleria November 5 - 6th, 2016.

Click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Governor-Elect Announcement

John "Jack" Myers, MD, FACP
TXACP Governor-Elect, Northern Texas

Dr. Myers nominated as Governor-Elect, Texas Northern

Congratulations to the Texas Northern Chapter Governor-Elect Designee, John “Jack” D. Myers, MD, FACP. Our new Governor-elect Designee (GED) will do a year of training as a Governor-elect and then will start his four-year term as Governor in the Spring of 2017. As Governor, Dr. Myers will serve as the official representative of the College for the Texas Northern Chapter, providing a link between members at the local level and leadership at the national level. In the meantime, Dr. Myers will be working closely with Dr. Bornstein (the current Governor) and College staff to learn about the College and his duties as Governor.


Chapter Elects New Officers and Directors

Physicians from around the state and from varied practice settings were elected to represent the membership as volunteer leaders on the TXACP and TXACP Services board of directors during the annual awards and business meeting luncheon in Dallas.

Directors serve a three-year term. The president-elect advances to president in November 2016.

New Officers:
TXACP President
Maureen Francis, MD, FACP

TXACP President-Elect
Curtis Mirkes, DO, FACP

TXACPServices President
Koko Aung, MD, FACP

TXACPServices President-Elect
Steven R. Hays, MD, FACP

New Regional Directors:
Kara Prescott, MD, FACP, Dallas - Northeast Director
Natalie Smith, MD, Dallas - Northeast Director
Cynthia Peacock, MD, FACP, Houston - Southeast Director
Cynthia Jumper, MD, MPH, FACP, Lubbock - At-Large-Director


Chapter Honors Members

Fifteen distinguished members were honored with the Texas Chapter highest awards during the November 2015 Annual Chapter Scientific Meeting in Dallas.

2015 Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor Award
Shaoli Chaudhuri

Early Career Physician Leader of the Year Award
Lianne Marks, MD, PhD, FACP

TXACP Chapter Volunteerism and Community Service Award
Gordon (Bert) Strom Jr, MD, FACP

GIMSPP Decade of Service Award
Ben J. Barnett, MD, FACP
Pamela Dugano-Daphnis, MD
Lonzetta L. Newman, MD, FACP
Stuart Pickell, MD, MDIV, FAAP, FACP
Khanh D.Vu,MD, FACP

GIMSPP Emerald Award
Susan Andrew, MD

TXACP Services 2015 Snyder/Chumley Advocate of the Year Award
Ildefonso Ismael Rodriguez, MD

Laureate Award
Phillip T. Cain, MD, FACP
Robert Haley, MD, FACP
Lysbeth (Beth) W. Miller, MD, MACP

ACP Chapter Centennial Legacy Award
Marvin Forland, MD, MACP
Lynne Kirk, MD, MACP

Click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Medical Students Shine at Chapter Annual Meeting

Five student members presented their clinical vignettes in conjunction with the annual meeting on Saturday morning. Outstanding presentations were made by Joseph Allencherril, Baylor College of Medicine; Jasmine Gowarty, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Krishna Pabba, Texas Tech University School of Medicine; Erin Fluke, University of Texas Medical Branch; Chris Yan, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Chris Yan won first place in the competition with his vignette, “Fishing for the Source: A Rare GI Infection." Chris will automatically advance to Washington, DC to compete at the national level during the ACP Internal Medicine 2016. Congratulations to all of our winners and presenters in the competition.

29 students competed in the student poster competition. Taking first place in the medical student's poster competition was Omer Mirza, UTHSCSA, with his poster, "It Takes A Village: A Multidisciplinary Approach To A Rare Diagnosis.” Due to the outstanding quality of the posters this year, we are awarding two second-place winners. John DeMis, from UTHSCSA, placed second in the competition with poster, “Chew on this diagnosis: Gradenigos syndrome,” as did Natalie Uy, from BCM with the poster titled, “Immunoglobulin G4-related Disease: A Clinical Puzzle.” Congratulations to all of our winners and presenters in the competition.

Special thanks goes to Karen Szauter, MD, FACP, and Eugene Stokes, MD, FACP who serve as committee chairs and organize all of the student's competitions for the annual meeting.

Click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Residents Energize Chapter Annual Meeting

The Residents clinical vignette competition featured five residents who were selected in their regional competitions to compete at the statewide meeting. Outstanding presentations were made by Lara Gross, MD, Baylor University Medical Center -Dallas; Ryan Mack, MD, Scott & White–Temple; Ena Sharma, MD, Texas Tech Internal Medicine–Odessa; Anusha Thomas, MD, Methodist Hospital–Dallas, and Miraie Wardi, MD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center–El Paso.

Anusha Thomas, MD won first place in the competition with her vignette, “Acyclovir Resistant Herpes Simplex Virus”.  Dr. Thomas will automatically advance to Washington, DC to compete at the national level during the ACP Annual Session in April. Miraie Wardi, MD won second place with her vignette, “Calcium: It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson."

NEW this year: TXACP will be sending TWO winning teams to the national Doctor’s Dilemma Competition in conjunction with IM2016 in Washington next spring. The winning team for Texas North and Texas South will both advance in an effort to secure the championship title for Texas. The team from Scott & White Temple won for Texas Northern. Congratulations to the Scott & White Temple team members Lauren Sisco, MD; Tasnim Lat, MD; and Kirill Lipatov, MD. Baylor Houston won first place for Texas Southern. Congratulations to the Baylor Houston team members Rohit Maini, MD; David Wong, MD; and Harsha Mudrakola, MD. The both teams will represent the Texas Chapter in the Doctor’s Dilemma competition at the ACP Annual Session in Washington, DC this May.
Second place went to William Beaumont Army. Congratulations to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso team members Michael Switzer, MD; Ryan Burkhart, MD; Pratik Naik, MD.

Special thanks goes to Suma Pokala, MD, FACP who serves as Chair of the Residents committee and organized all of the Residents’ competitions for the Annual Meeting.  A big thank you also goes out to George Crawford, MD, MACP for organizing the Doctor’s Dilemma Competition year after year.  A special thank you to Drs. Hari Raja, MD, FACP, Amy LaViolette, MD, FACP, M. Qasim Hasan, MBBS and Abey K. Thomas, MD for their assistance with the competition.

Of the 136 abstracts that were submitted for the competition, 40 were chosen to participate in the Residents’ Poster Competition. The submissions came from twelve residency programs.

Thanks to the work of dedicated TXACP volunteers who judges the posters.  The competition would not be possible without your help.  The following winners were announced at the meeting:

Resident Poster Winners by Category:

1st Place – Susan Seago, MD – Baylor Scott & White
2nd Place – Chhaya Patel, MD – Baylor Scott and White

1st Place - Eugene Chaung, MD – UTMB
2nd Place – Nattamol Hosiriluk, MD – Texas Tech University HSC

Quality Improvement
1st – Ryan Babcock, DO – SAUSHEC
2nd – Bismah Siddiqui, MD – UT Dell Medical School

We would like to congratulate all the winning Residents and those who participated in the annual meeting! 

Click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Thank You Reviewers and Judges!


Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor Award 2015: Winning Entry

Shaoli Chaudhuri is a third-year medical student enrolled at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. She grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border--in El Paso, Texas--and graduated from college in 2012 with a degree in English and Global Health.

As winner of the 2015 Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor essay competition, Ms. Chaudhuri presented her essay during the Texas Chapter Annual Meeting. 

"Valeria’s Team"

At 5 AM, Valeria wakes, heart thumping against her chest. It’s been two days since the surgery for her cancer—the one that
began in her kidney, then threw its satellite tumors into her left leg, her columna, her right arm.

A petite girl in a short white coat stands in her doorway.

“Ms. Ramos? Good morning! I’m Jean, and I’m a student on your medical team. How are you feeling this morning?”

Her medical team. Valeria’s Team. Sometimes she dreams her team is a troupe of superheroes who might whisk away the
cancer, bring her back the stolen weeks of hospital stays, of nights away from her children. Valeria smiles at the girl, timid but
eager to please, allows her to examine her wound, listen to the steady but racing lub-dub of her heart, the labored respirations.

“Do what you need to do, linda,” she says kindly.

The next member of Valeria’s Team, a nurse named Ana, arrives with ice chips and green jello. Valeria has never been so
happy to see the neon gelatinous goop before. “I’ve been so hungry,” she confides to the nurse, who smiles and draws some
blood before Valeria began to eat.

At 7 AM, her doctor and sidekicks (or so they see to Valeria), come by to talk to Valeria about plans, the goals of getting her to
walk around, the goal of watching her blood levels in case her quick heartbeat is from anemia or a bleed. Her chemo treatment
for later on. Shyly, Valeria asks if she can be out of the hospital by the end of the week.

“I have a family event this weekend,” she explains quietly. Her Eduardo is graduating high school and she would move heaven
and earth to be there, though she hesitates to say this to the imposing woman with her rectangular glasses. But the face framed
by the glasses softens.

“Ms. Ramos, your goals are our goals. You need to go to that graduation--that’s a special day. Our team is going to make sure
you can do what you want to do.”

Valeria lips turn up gratefully. In the way back of her mind, she wonders if any physician would be as lenient and kind with a
woman who has more than a September to live.

At 9 AM, the physical therapy people come, slowly walking her around the room like their delicate china doll. Her bones are
fragile, she knows. She wonders if her Team has any flying capes or carpets that might overcome her breakable bones.

At 11 AM, Valeria is distraught with pain. 10/10 pain in her arm, crushing, radiating, throbbing like the cancer wants to erupt
from her bone. She stifles a cry and rings Ana into the room, trying not to beg for Dilaudid, but begging for Dilaudid nevertheless.

At 12 PM, Valeria does not eat. The pain is consuming her, not the other way around.

At 1 PM, she asks to see the hospital chaplain. The pain is fading, an unpleasant pulse in her arm, but her head hurts now from
her anxieties. He enters her hospital room and pulls up a teal chair. He is a soft-spoken old man who lets her just talk about the
worries she has—about what will happen to her children when she is gone, the doubts she has about a religion that would give
her such trials, about her need for answers. About the wall of despair she encounters from time to time.

At 3 PM, the chaplain leaves and Valeria pulls the bed covers close around her and faces away from the door. She loves her
team, but she needs to cry right now.

At 3:30 PM, the most important members of Valeria’s team arrive. “Mamá, you dropped jello on your gown!” Priscilla laughs,
greeting her mother with a hug. Valeria’s only grandchild sits restfully in Priscilla’s belly, swelling it up each and every day like
a balloon. Valeria rubs her daughter’s abdomen for luck. Eduardo looks at his mother over his glasses . “Y tu, porque no estas
en la escuela?” she demands.

“Ma, I got out of school early today, chill!” So Valeria chills; but not before affectionately tugging on her son’s ear. When their
father left so many years ago, Valeria didn’t know if she could raise two children on her own. Well, here was her proof, one
with a college degree and a baby, the other about to graduate high school. I’d say I did pretty well, Valeria thinks to herself.

At 5 PM, Jean the medical student returns to check on Valeria. She makes perfect small-talk, of new restaurants in San Antonio,
of the beautiful flowers Valeria’s family has sent.

“How are you doing overall, Ms. Ramos?” Jean asks again.

“I’m okay. I’m okay,” Valeria repeats. “I’m going to fight this thing,” she whispers, half to Jean, half to herself. Jean places a
hand on her non-tender arm. And wishes she could be on her team for a little while longer.


Thank You to the 2015 Supporters

The annual meeting would not be possible without the help of the companies that continue to support our organization. The Texas Chapter of the ACP would like to thank the Texas Health Resources for their generous educational grant at this year’s meeting.  The following companies provided financial support as well for the meeting. Our chapter is extremely grateful for all of their assistance and for every company that contributed to this year’s meetings success!

Exhibitor Support
Baylor Scott & White  
Clinics of North Texas
Doctors Connection
DSHS - Immunization Branch
DSHS - TB/HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Prevention & Care Branch
TXACP Foundation
Genotox Laboratories
Houston Methodist Hospital USA Patient Services
Juice Plus
LDR Spine
Nacogdoches Transcription Solutions
Pfizer Vaccines
Texas Health Resources Physician Recruitment Department
Texas Medicaid Wellness Program
Texas Medical Liability Trust
The Doctors Company
Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc
Whitaker Medical


Help Shape the Future of Internal Medicine: GIMSPP Call for Volunteer Preceptors

The General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program (GIMSPP) places students with internists across the state for two to four-week preceptorships during the student's summer break. Most are first and second year students.

Preceptorships are meant to be hands-on experiences that will get the students interested in pursuing Internal Medicine upon graduation.  On average, 30% of students who participate in the GIMSPP plan to pursue Internal Medicine after medical school.  Even if the student does not pursue IM, the experience is still a valid and important one in helping them make their decision.

The GIMSPP is supported by a grant through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and our volunteer preceptors who generously devote their time to these students.  We are asking you to please consider giving your time next summer to assist us in recruiting students for Internal Medicine.

The preceptor availability form is now active and can be accessed here:

This year, 95 students from all 9 medical schools were matched through our program. We have received as many as 200 applications for preceptorships in the past. We need you to help us accommodate these students and give them an experience that will stay with them for their entire careers. To learn more about the outcome of this year’s program, view the GIMSPP Final Report.


Behavioral Health Screening | Physician Opportunity (From Texas Medical Association)

TMA has pledged to help TMF with enrollment in their quality innovative networks. They especially need more practices to meet their goal with the behavioral health network.

We want to make you aware of a program that TMF Health Quality Institute is doing through their Quality Innovation Network. CMS is trying to increase screening rates for depression and alcohol use.  In many cases, CMS pays extra for this screening ($36 average) which take 5 to 10 minutes to complete.  It does not have to be a physician conducting the screening (there are questionnaires available). It also helps meet PQRS and CQM measures and serves as a no-cost way for practices to get started in a program that will have financial implications short- and long-term as physicians meet quality metrics.  

TMF is actively recruiting physicians to join the Behavioral Health Network, which provides free assistance and questionnaire resources for physicians trying to conduct these screenings for their Medicare population.   The program enrollment must be complete by Dec. 31 (though the assessments take place in 2016). The enrollment process is simple, and there is no cost.  If you think this is an area where you can help your patients, we encourage you to enroll.   

To get started, download and complete this form and email it to Vanessa Andow, the TMF QIN-QIO quality improvement consultant, or fax it to 512-334-1775, Attn: Participation Agreement.  Specific questions about the program can be directed to Vanessa through email or by calling 512-334-1462. 


Member News

German Hernandez, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine and adjunct associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology, and Hasan Salameh, MD, assistant professor of medicine and program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, will lead the research effort in Texas Tech El Paso’s Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. Read press release here.

Congratulations to Texas Chapter ACP Members, Drs. Suba Asad, Oscar Garza, Lianne Marks and Brenda Vozza-Zeid who graduated from the Texas Medical Association's Accountable Care Leadership Program. Read press release here.

Internal medicine/pediatric physician Anita Shankar, MD, has joined Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) Kingwood Town Center. Read press release here.

Sakthiraj Subramanian, MD, FACP, Joins Lone Star Medical Group. Read press release here.

Roberto C De la Cruz, MD, FACP, has been named Parkland Health & Hospital System’s Permanent Chief Medical Officer. Read press release here.

Send news of your accomplishments, or that of a colleague, to: Becca Lawson, TXACP Staff, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701; fax to (512) 370-1635; or e-mail to Becca Lawson.


Congratulations to our Newest Fellows

Fellowship recognizes personal integrity, superior competence in internal medicine, professional accomplishment, and demonstrated scholarship.

Yasir Ahmed, MD FACP, Odessa
Onyema E Amakiri, DO FACP, El Paso
Cristina Bocirnea, MD FACP, Houston
Kimberley B Bryant, DO FACP, Tyler
Roberto C De la Cruz, MD FACP, Dallas
Daniel S Dube, BMBch FACP, San Angelo
Bagi RP Jana, MD FACP, League City
Tul Kalayanamit, MD FACP, Frisco
Anita Kusnoor, MD FACP, Bellaire
Amy Lang, MD FACP, San Antonio
William R Loesch, MD FACP, Brenham
Balakumar Pandian, MD FACP, Austin
Premal Patel, MD FACP, Galveston
John T Patlan, MD FACP, Houston
Amitha Rao, MD FACP, Missouri City
Juan J Salazar, MD FACP, Mc Allen
Khaled Ali B Sherif, MD FACP, Lubbock
Spencer H Su, MD FACP, Houston
Irum Zaheer, MD FACP, Houston
Gregory S Zarcone, DO FACP, Mount Pleasant

Advancement to Fellowship applications are available:
•    At the ACP Web site
•    From the ACP Customer Service Department at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2600
•    By e-mail


Welcome New Members

We are proud to welcome the following members who have joined the Chapter during the past three months.

Gregory E Brown, MD, San Antonio
Karen Cutts, MD, Amarillo
Oladipo A Dada, MBBS, League City
Kristin Ernest, MD, Bellaire
Bindu Jacob Abraham, MD, Pearland
Sudheer Reddy Karnati, MBBS, Lufkin
Asim Khawaja, MD, Sugar Land
Foad Kiamanesh, MD, Dallas
Aparna Methuku Kura, MD, Spring
Shamim Lalani, MD, Plano
Machaiah Madhrira, MD, Grapevine
Michelle Marchessault, MD, Temple
Elizabeth A Nelson, MD, Austin
Shelly Nickels, MD, San Antonio
Edgardo Ordonez, MD, Sugar Land
Nyan W Phyo, MBBS, San Antonio
Robert Seiler, MD, Austin
Asmat Qayoom Siddiqi, MD, Belton
Carolyn M Terry MD, Dallas
Vanessa Tilney, MD, Houston
Nurul Wahid, MBBS, McAllen
Mehran Yaghmaie, MD, Plano
Wen Yang, PhD,MD, Sugar Land
Guangquan Zhao, MD,PhD, Abilene                 


ACP Recruit-a-Colleague Program

Recommend ACP membership to your colleagues and earn a significant discount on your membership dues or even free membership!

Now you have the opportunity to provide your colleagues with the same clinical support and educational resources that you have enjoyed as an ACP member. Talk to your post-training colleagues about ACP today so they can experience the College’s benefits for themselves -- and join a worldwide internal medicine community of more than 143,000 members.

To thank you for your time and effort, we offer the following recruitment program. Between now and March 15, 2016, receive a:

  • $100 credit toward your 2016-17 annual dues when you recruit one member
  • $200 credit toward your 2016-17 annual dues when you recruit two new members
  • $300 credit toward your 2016-17 annual dues when you recruit three new members
  • Free membership in 2016-17 when you recruit four or more new members*

Read more here.


Thank you for being a member of the ACP.