Ronald D. Tyler, Jr., DVM, MS (Class of 2004), of Harlingen, Texas, was awarded the Texas Academy of Family Physicians Public Health Award during TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands on Nov. 6. The award recognizes individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to the public health of Texas.
Dr. Tyler is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and head of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Public Health Region 11 Zoonosis Control (PHR11-ZC), which serves 19 counties in South Texas and addresses health threats on both sides of the international border. He has created innovative programs to enhance the professionalism and competency of health care and agricultural workers throughout the DSHS Region 11 area.
Tyler worked closely with Cameron County Public Health in identifying and responding to the first locally acquired Zika case in 2016, preventing its further spread. He helps coordinate the community’s response to prevent Chagas disease in humans and dogs, and has developed aggressive education and outreach efforts for physicians and veterinarians. He helps reduce rabies threats in South Texas through the DSHS PHR-ZC’s participation in oral rabies vaccine hand bait distribution, presentations on rabies risk assessments, rabies in wildlife, and rabies post exposure prophylaxis consultations with physicians.
In 2016, Dr. Tyler created the South Texas Tropical Medicine and Vector Borne Disease Conference. The conference provides continuing education to physicians, nurses, veterinarians, vet technicians, animal control officers, licensed pesticide applicators, social workers, sanitarians, and others.
“It doesn’t matter what medicine you come from, all medicine starts with trust,” Tyler said. “And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting the Texas Department of State Health Services for trusting me and for trusting my staff.”
The Texas Academy of Family Physicians is the premier membership organization dedicated to uniting the family doctors of Texas through advocacy, education, and member services, and empowering them to provide a medical home for patients of all ages. It has 32 local chapters and is a chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Visit www.tafp.org for more information.