President's Message

April 2020

Hemant Vankawala, MD, FACEP

Our lives and our practice of medicine have changed so much over the past few months.  I want to take a moment and thank you for your work, and to thank our families for making sacrifices and dealing with the stress and uncertainty in the times of COVID-19. 

The business of the college continues daily.  TCEP has been working diligently to protect the practice of emergency medicine in Texas and has been coordinating with various state and federal agencies on behalf of the unified voice of emergency medicine physicians.  We are looking forward to sharing that work with you all during our Annual Business Meeting.  The Board of Directors, after reviewing our bylaws and consulting with ACEP and other state chapters, has voted to hold our business meeting virtually on Wednesday July 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm. TCEP is excited to announce that members will be able to register at no cost to attend our first ever virtual business meeting.  

During the business meeting, we will have a year in review update, including a financial report and award presentations.  We will also have voting on bylaws revisions, Board members, and ACEP councilors.  The elections will be held electronically and will be secure.  More information on how to register for the business meeting will be sent as we get closer to July.

As one of my last acts as TCEP President, I am proud to announce the creation of the Dr. Lou Portera Mentorship Award.  All of us can point to a handful of EM docs who inspirited us, encouraged us and believed in us along our career paths.  This award is designed to recognize the importance of that mentorship and those individuals who have sparked and fostered all of our careers in emergency medicine.  

The Dr. Lou Portera Mentorship Award will be an annual award given by the TCEP President to honor their particular EM physician mentor in celebration and to honor all our mentors and heroes.  This year the award will be given posthumously to Dr. Lou Portera and accepted by his family.  Dr. Portera completed his internship and residency at Baylor University Medical Center and was double boarded in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine.  Lou was a permanent fixture in the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.  He was good, fast and especially known for his indefatigable work ethic routinely working twenty-four 12 hour shifts a month over his 31-year tenure in that department.  Over those three decades he cared for tens of thousands patients and in the summer of 1988, he took care of me.  That brief ER visit for a couple of stitches put into motion a chain of even that 20 years later saw us working together side by side at BUMC.  My entire career I have tried to emulate Lou’s calm and confident demeanor, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him and to get to work with him as a peer.

Thanks again to my fabulous Board of Directors, Executive Staff and to each and every one of you for a great year at TCEP.  I look forward seeing you all virtually on July 1.