The Lone Star Caucus was formed in 2014-2015 by combining the Small Districts Association and the West Texas Caucus. Dr. Brad Holland, at the time the Chairman of the SDA, and Dr. Jed Grisel, chair of the WTC, led both organizations in a combined vote to merge and organize under a new Constitution and By-Laws. The name “Lone Star Caucus” was selected by a vote of the membership, and represents the non-metro, smaller county medical societies united for the preservation of rural and suburban medicine.
History of the Small Districts Association:
The Small Districts Association or Caucus has its origins extend back to the era right after World War II, when members of the TMA House Of Delegates decided smaller areas needed to band together to promote themselves as a voting block within TMA. Various names of the different caucuses have been used, often organized within the District System of the TMA. The most enduring was the “Acey-Duecey” nickname of the Small Districts Association (meaning counties with either one or two delegates). The caucus system went dormant from 1970-1975. Dr. Milton V. Davis, a thoracic surgeon from Kaufman, Canton, and Mabank and Vice Speaker of the House of Delegates, was instrumental in forming the organization known as the Small Districts Association which reorganized in 1975 and has met regularly since that time.
History of the West Texas Caucus:
The West Texas Caucus was formed in 2002 by combining TMA Districts 1-4 and District 13, and Dr. Austin I. King, a past TMA President, presided in forming this group. The Caucus represented the areas from the Panhandle to El Paso, and included the Big Country Medical Society and Tarrant County. At the time this caucus was formed, it was recorded in the minutes that, “the combined districts would provide increased input and a stronger voice in the business and politics of medicine.” Tarrant County voted to leave the Caucus in 2012, as it had become a major metropolitan area.
The Purpose of the Lone Star Caucus
The purposes of this caucus shall be to bring into one organization the physicians of smaller county medical societies within the Texas Medical Association (“TMA”), such that:
- Smaller, non-metropolitan county medical societies are given a voice within the Texas Medical Association and its House of Delegates
- the concerns and issues of the rural and suburban physicians are reflected in TMA policies, procedures and legislative efforts
- Physicians in smaller county medical societies can partake in some of the benefits and privileges enjoyed by large county medical societies
- Rural and suburban physicians who are candidates for TMA elected office will have a level playing field and better chance of success.