Harlingen doctor of veterinary medicine receives public health award

12.12. – HARLINGEN – A local doctor with a passion for veterinary medicine and a desire to educate himself about the subject was recently recognized for his services and commitment in the field.

The Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP) presented Dr. Ronald D. Tyler, Jr. presented the TAFP Public Health Award at TAFP’s Annual Meeting and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands this November.

Tyler comes from Harlingen and is a doctor of veterinary medicine and head of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Public Health Region 11 Zoonosis Control (PHR11-ZC.)

PHR11-ZC serves 19 counties in South Texas and addresses health threats on both sides of the international border.

TAFP is a membership organization founded to unite Texas general practitioners through advocacy, education, and membership services and empower them to provide medical homes for patients of all ages.

Tyler’s recently-earned TAFP Public Health Award was created to recognize individuals who make exceptional contributions to Texas public health.

According to TAFP staff, Tyler has developed innovative programs to improve the professionalism and competence of health and farm workers across the DSHS Region 11 area.

He worked closely with Cameron County Public Health to identify and respond to the first locally acquired Zika case in 2016, and helped prevent it from spreading further.

Tyler helps coordinate community efforts to prevent Chagas disease in humans and dogs, and has developed education and outreach for doctors and veterinarians.

He also helps reduce the risk of rabies in South Texas by having the DSHS PHR-ZC participate in the distribution of oral rabies vaccine hand baits, presentations on rabies risk assessments, rabies in wild animals, and rabies consultations with doctors after exposure prophylaxis.

In 2016, Tyler initiated the South Texas Tropical Medicine and Vector Borne Disease Conference.

The conference provides training for doctors, nurses, veterinarians, veterinarians, animal control officers, licensed pesticide applicators, social workers, paramedics and others.

“It doesn’t matter what medicine you come from, all medicine starts with confidence,” Tyler said. “And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting the Texas Department of State Health Services for your trust in me and for your trust in my employees.”

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