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AMA Inaugurates J. James Rohack as President

Health reform must deliver "evolutionary change" says new leader of American medicine

For immediate release
June 16, 2009

CHICAGO – J. James Rohack, M.D., a cardiologist from Bryan, Texas, was inaugurated today as the 164th president of the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest and most influential physician organization.

In his inaugural address as AMA president, Dr. Rohack spoke to the nation’s physician leaders assembled for the AMA Annual Meeting and pledged to embrace the challenges of this extraordinary moment in history and lead the profession’s efforts to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.

Dr. Rohack stressed that a uniquely American solution to health system reform must deliver “evolutionary change” and renewed the AMA’s commitment to health care reform that improves access to high-quality, affordable health care for all patients.

“I can promise that our AMA is committed to offering guidance, our expertise, the benefits of our relationship with patients, and the powerful voice of our profession, to help the powers that be make the right decisions,” said Dr. Rohack. “This is an effort that will define our organization, define our nation and define each and every one of us.”

First elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2001, Dr. Rohack served a term as board chair in 2004-2005. He has previously chaired the AMA Council on Medical Education and represented the AMA on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education, the Joint Commission and the National Advisory Council to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He continues to serve on the Hospital Quality Alliance.

In addition to his work with the AMA, Dr. Rohack held leadership positions in his home state of Texas. Dr. Rohack was first elected to represent Texas physicians in the AMA House of Delegates more than 20 years ago. He is a former president and board member of the Texas Medical Association. Dr. Rohack also served as president of the American Heart Association’s Texas affiliate.

Currently, Dr. Rohack is a professor in both the Department of Medicine and the Department of Medical Humanities in Medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, director of the Center for Healthcare Policy at Scott & White and medical director for system improvement for Scott & White Health Plan in Temple, Texas, where he continues his clinical practice.

Dr. Rohack completed his undergraduate education with highest honors at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston in 1980. He has received the distinguished alumnus awards from both UTMB and UTEP.

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For more information, please contact the AMA Media Relations at: (312) 464-4430.