New Leadership Instated at the Tennessee Medical Association’s 186th House of Delegates

May 24, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Medical Association assembled Saturday, May 22 for its first in-person annual meeting in nearly two years, a welcomed return to normal business after the long uncertainties of the COVID-19 postponements statewide.

In the end, 127 credentialed delegates outlasted the COVID pandemic and its impact on the traditional business meeting, to navigate dozens of business issues with efficiency and relative patience.

Among the business at hand was transitioning the TMA Board of Trustees to new leadership for the coming year:

  • James W. Cates, MD, a Family Medicine Specialist in Cookeville, will serve as Chairman of the TMA Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of Meharry Medical College  in Nashville.
  • O. Lee Berkenstock, MD, an Emergency and Family Medicine physician in Memphis, Tenn., will serve as the Vice Chair. He graduated with honors from University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
  • Landon S. Combs, MD, a pediatrician in Gray, Tenn., will serve as Secretary/Treasurer. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University’s Quillen School of Medicine.

Delegates also elected two members in good standing to lead the body of Delegates through 2021-2022 business cycle:

  • John D. McCarley, MD, a nephrology specialist in Chattanooga, Tenn., will serve as Speaker of the TMA House of Delegates. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
  • George R. “Trey” Lee, III, MD, a neurologist with sub-specialization in Neurophysiology will serve as Vice Speaker of the TMA House of Delegates. Dr. Lee received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine.

In other business, Dr. Ron Kirkland, MD, of Jackson, was officially installed as TMA president. Kevin Smith, MD, of Nashville, is now Immediate Past President and Edward Capparelli, MD, of Jacksboro, is President Elect.