greater than 960
768 to 959
480 to 767
480 or less

History of the Academy

The history of Tarrant County and its medical profession date back to the 1850s when our county was formed and the first physician came to Fort Worth. In 2003, the Tarrant County Medical Society (TCMS) celebrated its One-Hundredth Anniversary.

In a historical chronology of the Society, Dr. Margie Peschel, chairwomen of the Centennial Committee writes: “The society has a rich medical history, and it is impossible to separate the history of the Society, the history of the hospitals and the history of Tarrant County. Each has developed simultaneously and has exerted a profound influence on the other…Medicine can do, and has done, great good for the people of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

In 1903, when TCMS was formed, some 30 physicians from across the county were holding occasional meetings to discuss problems in community health and medicine. Office visits at that time cost one dollar and a house call from a physician traveling by horse and buggy was two dollars. Throughout the decades that followed, physicians volunteering through the TCMS addressed dozens of public health issues and helped shape the medical community we enjoy today.

Some of the issues that TCMS physicians have worked to address throughout the years include; keeping the city’s milk supply safe, the influenza epidemic in 1918, organizing charity care in Fort Worth during the depression, medical assistance to citizens during two World Wars and free polio vaccinations in the 1960’s. TCMS physicians have been an integral part of the fabric of Tarrant County.

In 1953, one year after the Fort Worth Academy of Medicine (now called the Tarrant County Academy of Medicine) was incorporated as a 501(c) (3) organization, the Amon G. Carter Foundation gave the building at 3855 Tulsa Way in Fort Worth to the Academy of Medicine. A large part of the building was leased to the Tarrant County Medical Society to be used as a center for educational programming and community meetings, as well as a place to display medical memorabilia and as a medical library. In 1953, the Tarrant County Medical Society membership totaled 400 physicians; today the membership exceeds 3,000 physicians. In 2009, the Tarrant County Academy of Medicine relocated to its new home at 555 Hemphill Street in Fort Worth.


The Fort Worth Academy of Medicine - TCMS's old home.

Purpose of the Academy

The Tarrant County Academy of Medicine was formed for the purpose of “improving the medical knowledge of matters relating to health and medicine among the lay public, and thereby improving the health and welfare of residents of Texas.” Today, the Academy serves as the patient’s and the community’s advocate by linking them to medicine.

 The Academy provides meeting space for more than 30 meetings per month and hosts more than 7,200 attendees per year. Along with committees of the Medical Society, the volunteer Alliance, Senior Citizens Services, the Ethics Consortium, and the Emergency Physicians Advisory Board meet regularly. Additionally, the Tarrant County Medical Society responds to patient questions about physicians acting as patient advocate. Numerous medical education seminars sponsored by the Texas Medical Association and Tarrant County Medical Society are held at the Academy of Medicine.

The Tarrant County Medical Society serves as the physician’s advocate by linking medicine to the community. The Society supports safety in school athletics and organizes team physicians for local high school football teams. The Medical Society awards more than $30,000 each year in scholarships for students training in allied health fields. The Society administers recognition and awards to outstanding community contributors in health care and to physicians who work nationally and internationally to provide superior medical services. In 2011, TCMS will look to build on its commitment to our community by creating “Project Access Tarrant County” which will allow physicians to expand health care access to the uninsured and underserved of our area.



The Tarrant County Medical Society Building - TCMS's new home. 

The May Owen Award

The May Owen Award was started in 1992 to honor a non-physician who had significantly promoted health care in Tarrant County.  The recipients of this award are dedicated people who often work tirelessly to improve the health and lives of the people of Tarrant County, similarly to Dr. Owen.  How can anyone sum up Dr. Owen’s graceful lifetime of giving and service in a few minutes?

When May Owen arrived in Fort Worth from her family’s farm, she had the dream of becoming a doctor.  She received support from many people on her journey to fulfill her dream, and helping others was her way of thanking those who had helped her.

Many members of the May Owen Award Committee were prior recipients of Dr. Owen’s incredible generosity.  Fondly known as Dr. Owen’s Boys, these men received monies and moral support as they strived to complete their medical education.  Her own intellectual curiosity was insatiable, and she believed that anyone who wanted an education should get one.  Dr. Owen’s first love was pathology, but education ran a close second. 

Her work in education extended to the Tarrant County Junior College as well, where she served on the Board of Trustees from its inception until her death in 1988.  She helped establish the quality nursing school at TCC and set up scholarships for nursing students.

She was instrumental in developing the Hall of Medical Sciences in the Museum of Science and History, intending to inspire a love of science and learning in our children.

While serving as President of TMA, she donated her stipend and travel expense to establish the Physician Benevolent Fund to help physicians and their families.  To date, this fund has given over one million dollars to help the families of medicine during difficult times.

Her compassion, strength, and ability to accomplish the right things for the right reasons are the hallmarks of Dr. May Owen and this prestigious award.

Past Honorees

  1. Dr. Robert Bohl
  2. Mrs. Catherine Alexander
  3. Ms. Zem Heill
  4. Mr. John S. Justin
  5. Mr. Bob J. Crow
  6. Robert & Anne Bass
  7. Mr. Robert Klabzuba
  8. Mr. W.A. “Tex” Moncrief
  9. Mr. Valleau Wilkie
  10. Mrs. Tillie Burgin
  11. Senator Mike & Rosie Moncrief
  12. Mr. Robert W. Decker
  13. Suzy Schutts Thompson
  14. Sheila Broderick Johnson
  15. Larry Eason
  16. Marty Leonard
  17. Beverlee Herd
  18. Linda Morris Elsey
  19. Joan Katz
  20. Heather Reynolds & John Robinson
  21. Lynny Sankary
  22. Sandy Lanier
  23. Gordon Van Amburgh


Tarrant County Medical Society Humanitarian Award

Tarrant County Medical Society President Raymond LeBlanc believed there were many physicians who donated time and talent beyond the care of their patients.  He proposed to the board that those who, as he said, “went above and beyond” warranted public acclaim.  In 1999, the Tarrant County Medical Society Humanitarian Award, also called the Physicians’ Humanitarian Award, became a reality.

Recipients are selected from a pool nominated by their peers. Criteria for selection states: “A physician member of the Tarrant County Medical Society who provides exceptional service to others.”  The nomination form requests information on the nominee’s service to others and how these services significantly benefited or affected humanity.

Dr. Valentine Gracia was the first recipient.  This plastic surgeon was born in the small farming community of Panuco, thirty miles from Tampico, Mexico.  His mother was a nurse, and he often watched her work with patients at the charity hospital.  It was there that he witnessed the effect of cleft palates in an unforgiving society that ridiculed those with differences. He vowed that he would become a doctor and return to help people like them.

Dr. Gracia came to Fort Worth in 1959 because he saw the need for a specialist in plastic surgery.  He shared his dream of helping cleft palate children with friends in 1961, and the next year he returned to Panuco.  He performed eighteen operations, and learned the job was too big for one man.  He raised funds, solicited medical supplies, and recruited volunteer teams.  By 2001, Dr. Gracia had made fifty-two trips back to his native land, and he estimated that 3,100 Mexicans had benefited. Dr. Gracia calls his project, which originated along the Huastec region of Mexico, Proyecto Huasteco-Sonrisa Alegre, which means “Project Huasteco-Happy Smile.”

Dr. Gracia’s numerous awards and recognitions, both in Mexico and the United States, attest to his medical skill and to his compassion for his community.

Past Honorees

  1. Valentin Gracia, MD
  2. Jan D. Cochrum, MD
  3. Don W. Boston, MD
  4. John M. Richardson, MD
  5. Kendra J. Belfi, MD
  6. Robert W. Mann, MD
  7. David P. Capper, MD
  8. Larry E. Reaves, MD
  9. John S. Jackson, MD
  10. M. Basheer Ahmed, MD
  11. Richard C. Schaffer, MD
  12. Ric Bonnell, MD
  13. Robert W. Sloane Jr., MD
  14. Jim S. Cox, MD
  15. John A. Menchaca, MD
  16. Ann E. Ranelle, DO
  17. Clay Roberts, MD