(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine chapter of the Texas Medical Association recently was recognized as the TMA Chapter of the Year.

The recognition occurred through the hard work of the chapter officers and entire student body, along with faculty and staff. The primary goal of this year’s chapter was to reach out to the community through various projects while also increasing student involvement.

The student body response was overwhelming. The first step was to keep already implemented projects strong and improve on them, if possible. These included Stand Tall Against Tobacco (STAT), which informs local seventh graders about the dangers of smoking, and Health Circus, which provides free screenings and immunizations to Brazos Valley children. Funded through TMA, these organizations are run by their respective officers, who demonstrated great merit, earned another year of funding and even increased the amount provided.

The pinnacle of the year was the first “10,000-Step Challenge.” The new project raised more than $5,000 for the local Health for All clinic, which provides free health care to local families. Donations by faculty, staff, physicians and others supported medical students who pledged to walk 10,000 steps daily for three weeks. Nearly 80 percent of students participated, and the student total was matched by Christopher Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of the HSC-COM, and his wife, Kathy. In fact, it is entered for the American Medical Association National Service Project of the Year.

Meanwhile, the TMA Medical Student Section met in February in Austin to continue work on key issues facing medicine and conduct elections for the 2007-08 academic year. HSC-COM third-year student Rob Bour was promoted from executive council chair to the student representative to the TMA Board of Trustees, and Brad Faglie was re-elected to the TMA MSS Executive Council as a TMA delegate co-leader.

More information on the TMA is available at www.texmed.org.

— Marketing & Communications