About Our Organization

The History of HCMS... more than 100 years of caring.

Established in 1903, HCMS is the professional organization for physicians in Harris County and the largest county medical society in the nation, representing more than 11,500 physicians and medical students. Throughout this long history, HCMS has diligently worked to improve healthcare and medical standards in Harris County.

In 1907, HCMS advocated for the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, creating the first standards for education, training and licensing of Texas physicians. Since then, HCMS has held public health education campaigns for such diseases as polio and AIDS, advocated for legislation such as the Patient Protection Act, which stands as the most comprehensive managed care reform in the nation, and worked as a facilitator, bringing city and county health officials, hospital and emergency response officers together for public health and disaster preparedness meetings.

These are just a few examples of how HCMS advocates for physicians and their patients. HCMS has also founded the following organizations:

Houston Academy of Medicine and the Texas Medical Center Library   
In February 1915, HCMS incorporated the Houston Academy of Medicine (HAM) in order to create a medical library to ensure physicians' access to the latest medical and scientific advances. HAM is the scientific and charitable 501(c)(3) organization of the physicians who make up the membership of HCMS and provide community health education. In 1949, this HAM Library moved to the Texas Medical Center (TMC) and merged its collection with the Baylor College of Medicine Library, establishing the HAM-TMC Library. In 1954 the library moved to the Jesse H. Jones Building and by 1975 it nearly tripled in size making it the largest medical library in the nation’s southwest. Today, the TMC Library is the fundamental starting point to access information resources, whether in print or digital format. It’s a trusted resource that teaches tools and techniques to sort through the millions of publications printed each year to find just the right ones that facilitate and support health sciences research, medical education and patient care.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
In 1975, in cooperation with the regional blood banking community, HCMS established the Blood Center because of frequent shortages in the blood supply. Today, the Blood Center is responsible for providing voluntarily-donated blood and blood components to patients across 26 counties in the Texas Gulf Coast area, which are treated in more than 200 healthcare institutions.

The John P. McGovern Museum Of Health & Medical Science (The Health Museum)
HCMS initiated plans for a health museum in 1962, after a citizen’s committee recommended the construction of a permanent, public health exhibit. Through contributions and a grant from the Houston Endowment Inc., the Museum of Medical Science exhibit was established in 1969 within the Museum of Natural Science, which remained in operation until 1992. Then finally, after years of planning and fundraising, the dream of a freestanding museum became a reality.

On March 16, 1996, HCMS opened the Museum of Health & Medical Science, an interactive health and science center for all ages that promotes the understanding and appreciation of the human body, mind and spirit. It boasts the largest attendance of any health museum in the nation, serving more than 2.5 million people since its opening.


AWARDS

John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award


Deadline for submissions: Friday, October 25, 2019

Established in 1993, the John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award is presented annually by the Houston Academy of Medicine (HAM) and HCMS, to recognize a physician whose career has been founded on the Oslerian ideals of medical excellence, humane and ethical care, commitment to medical humanities and writing, research, and harmony between the academician and medical practitioner. These characteristics were exemplified by the life of Sir William Osler, who is revered world-wide as the "Father of Modern American Medicine."

Submit your nomination materials to debbi_eschenbach@hcms.org. Or mail to: 
McGovern Awards Committee
Attn: Debbi Eschenbach
1515 Hermann Dr
Houston, TX 77004-7126.

Past Award Recipients

1993 - Dr. John P. McGovern, for whom the award is named, founded the American Osler Society, dedicated to furthering Oslerian values. Like Dr. Osler, Dr. McGovern has dedicated his life to the harmonious union of science, the humanities, and the art of medicine, reinforcing the bridge of mutual respect between practitioner and academician.

1994 - Raymond Scalettar, MD, Washington, DC - Internal Medicine
1995 - Ernest W. Johnson, MD, Columbus, OH - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
1996 - Don W. Chapman, MD, Houston, TX - Internal Medicine/Cardiology
1997 - Theodore E. Woodward, MD, Baltimore, MD - Internal Medicine/Epidemiology
1998 - Charles D. Sherman, Jr., MD, Rochester, NY - Surgery/Oncology
1999 - Michael E. DeBakey, MD, Houston, TX - Cardiovascular Surgery
2000 - Victor A. McKusick, MD, Baltimore, MD - Medical Genetics
2001 - W. Walter Menninger, MD, Topeka, KS - Psychiatry and Neurology
2002 - Robert L. DuPont, MD, Chevy Chase, MD - Psychiatry
2003 - Denton A. Cooley, MD, Houston, TX - Cardio/Thoracic Surgery
2004 - Jack P. Strong, MD, Louisiana - Pathology
2005 - John P. Bilezikian, MD, New York - Endocrinology
2006 - Kathleen M. Foley, MD, New York - Neurology
2007 - Ralph D. Feigin, MD, Texas - Pediatrics
2008 - Stanley H. Appel, MD, Texas - Neurology
2009 - Richard J. O'Reilly, MD, New York - Pediatrics
2010 - Raymond H. Kaufman, MD, Texas - Obstetrics/Gynecology Pathology
2011 - Dev A. GnanaDev, MD, California - Trauma Surgery
2012 - Richard P. Wenzel, MD, Virginia - Infectious Disease
2013 - Walter J. Pories, MD, North Carolina - Thoracic Surgery
2014 - Samuel L. Katz, MD, North Carolina - Pediatrics
2015 - Allen B. Weisse, MD, New Jersey - Cardiology
2016 - William Schaffner, MD, Tennessee - Infectious Disease
2017 - Herbert L. Fred, MD, Houston, TX - Internal Medicine
2018 - David K. C. Cooper, MD, Birmingham, AL - Surgery
2019 - Frederick L. Grover, MD, Denver, CO - cardiothoracic surgeon


COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

Science Engineering Fair of Houston

Help guide young minds in the fields of medicine and science by becoming a volunteer judge for the special awards division at the Science Engineering Fair of Houston. There are opportunities for physicians, residents, nurses and medical students. This is an annual event, held in either February or March on a Friday afternoon. Volunteers will judge the following categories:

  • Junior Division
  • Ninth Grade Division
  • Senior Division (laboratory)
  • Senior Division (non-laboratory)

To participate as a volunteer judge, contact the HCMS office at 713-524-4267.  For more information on the Science Engineering Fair, visit www.sefhouston.org.