HCMS Delegation to the TMA House of Delegates

Engaged in developing the policies and electing the leaders of organized medicine.

NOTICE: The 2020 TMA House of Delegates meeting to be held VIRTUALLY Saturday, September 12.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the TMA Disaster Board voted to support conducting a virtual meeting of the TMA House of Delegates (HOD) that will culminate in a live virtual session on Saturday, September 12 beginning at 9 a.m.

Business considered will be limited to essential, urgent or informational items or reports that can reasonably be adopted by consent. It is expected that all other resolutions and reports will be tabled to the 2021 HOD sessions. The digital 2020 TMA Handbook with essential business will be posted on or about July 31 on the TMA HOD web page.

In August, TMA will request written testimony on the essential business posted in the Handbook. A single TMA Reference Committee will review the written testimony, and around August 29, TMA will post the reference committee's report in preparation for the virtual meeting.

Voting for contested elections will also take place prior to the virtual House meeting. On August 21, TMA will send an email to each credentialed delegate to review candidate materials and cast his/her ballot. Note: Voting is limited to credentialed delegates only.

Check the latest Speakers' Letter on the TMA HOD web page for the most updated information.

TMA House of Delegates Makes Policy

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) House of Delegates is the legislative and policy making body for the association. It is made up of over 400 elected members who serve as delegates, alternate delegates or ex officio members.

The TMA House is also responsible for electing the President-elect, members of the Board of Trustees, Speaker and Vice Speaker of the House, members of the Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association, and others.

The House meets annually Friday and Saturday mornings during TexMed, TMA’s educational showcase and expo, which is usually held in May and rotates among the large cities around the state.

Several weeks prior to the annual session, TMA posts on the House of Delegates (HOD) page the action reports and resolutions that will be considered during TexMed, as well as informational reports and the list of candidates running for TMA office.

For more information on what happens when the House meets, please see below. For even more details, refer to How the House of Delegates Functions and the House of Delegates Guide.

TexMed 2020 Conference - Cancelled 

Due to concerns with COVID-19, TexMed 2020, originally scheduled for early May in Fort Worth, was cancelled.

HCMS Delegation Information

Serving on the Harris (HCMS) Delegation to the TMA House of Delegates carries with it the responsibility of representing the physicians of Harris County and provides an opportunity to influence the policies of organized medicine. For more, see Responsibilities of a Delegation Member

Each year, our delegation holds two local evening business meetings prior to the TMA House annual sessions. All delegation members are expected to attend these meetings and encouraged to participate in the discussions.

We also hold a brief Orientation meeting just before our first business meeting, so our newer delegation members can learn more about their role and the workings of the delegation and House of Delegates.

Local meetings are held at the John P. McGovern Building (The Health Museum), 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston 77004. 

Local Meetings - Resolutions, Review Teams, Action Items

Orientation and First Business meeting

On Monday evening, February 17, 2020, we held a brief orientation meeting so our new delegation members could become more familiar with the processes. Our full delegation then met to discuss the resolutions submitted by our local members. See the agenda and resolutions for this meeting.

The resolutions that were accepted by our delegation have been submitted by staff to TMA. These resolutions will be included in the TMA Handbook for delegation members and considered during the TMA House of Delegates sessions.

Review Teams and Final Business meetings - NOTE: These local 2020 meetings have been CANCELLED.

Our four local Review Teams will consider from the TMA Handbook the action reports (submitted by TMA boards, councils, committees) and resolutions (submitted by other counties, individuals, TMA sections). Each Review Team makes a recommendation on each item from the team's assigned section whether our delegation should support, disapprove, or recommend amendment or referral at the TMA Reference Committee meetings during TexMed.

Immediately following the Review Teams meetings, the Chairs of the four Review Teams will present to our delegation the teams' recommendations. The delegation takes into consideration the recommendations and decides how, as a delegation, it wishes to respond to each item presented. Our delegation will also review the list of candidates running for TMA elected offices.

Our four Review Teams correspond to TMA's four Reference Committees. They are:

Financial and Organizational Affairs - considers TMA finances, membership, representation, legal issues, and federation relationships.

Medical Education and Health Care Quality - considers undergraduate, graduate and continuing education; physician workforce; and quality programs.

Science and Public Health - considers core public health functions; environmental health; child and adolescent health; injury prevention; addictive and infectious diseases; regulatory issues; biomedical research; and preventive medicine.

Socioeconomics - considers health care payment plans; Medicare and Medicaid; reimbursement; and legislative and regulatory issues.

TMA House of Delegates Sessions - See NOTICE at the top of the page - Instead of the below processes, a limited 2020 meeting will be held VIRTUALLY Saturday, September 12

The TMA Handbook items to be considered at the TMA House of Delegates sessions will be posted on the TMA HOD page a few weeks prior to the start of the sessions.

On the first morning, the House of Delegates will convene for the Opening Session with announcements, candidate nominating speeches, acceptance of the Handbook as the business of the House, and more. Mid-morning, the House then adjourns for the TMA Reference Committee meetings.

The Reference Committee meetings are open hearings where all members are welcome to listen to and provide testimony on the Handbook action items. These meetings are where much of the discussion and debate take place. Although the authors of the resolutions and the chairs of the HCMS review teams take the lead in these discussions, as they have been authorized to speak for our delegation, other members also may provide testimony, though "speaking as an individual." The Reference Committee meetings generally end by Noon. 

Following these open hearings, those members who are appointed by the TMA Speaker of the House to serve on a Reference Committee panel enter into closed session to prepare their recommendations and write reports for the House. Unlike 'regular' TMA committees, those members who are appointed to a TMA Reference Committee serve for only that one session.

Later that evening, TMA will post the four Reference Committee Reports on the TMA House page, so all members can review the Reference Committees' recommendations prior to the final day's morning Breakfast Caucus meetings.

Early morning of that final day, the Harris Caucus (HCMS Delegation) will gather for our Breakfast Caucus meeting to consider the Reference Committee Reports to determine whether our delegation should approve, advise amendment or referral, or disapprove the recommendations on each item of business. Our delegation also will discuss the candidates running for TMA office.

Following the Breakfast Caucus meetings, the House of Delegates will reconvene for the Regular Business Session. The House votes on the Reference Committee recommendations and holds elections for TMA officers.

On this final day of the session, the House usually adjourns early afternoon.

Past TMA Session

At TexMed 2019, our delegation put forward several resolutions. For all 2019 House activities, see TMA's 2019 Summary of House Actions

Current TMA and AMA Policy


If you have questions or an interest in the Delegation, contact HCMS at 713-524-4267, Alison Rutland, ext. 219 or alison_rutland@hcms.org; or Doug Abel, ext. 328 or doug_abel@hcms.org.