Skip to main content

The Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMA Foundation) recently awarded neurosurgeon Mark J. Kubala, MD, FAANS(L) their highest honor, the Heart of Gold Award. The foundation presents the award to outstanding individuals who embody a “gold standard” of volunteerism and have made a measurable impact on the foundation’s mission through gifts and leadership.

A champion of the TMA Foundation for more than three decades, Dr. Kubala had a vision in 1994 of the critically needed physician-led public health programs the foundation could support. The Hard Hats for Little Heads bicycle helmet giveaway program for Texas children was born partly by his backing. The initiative has allowed physicians and others to host helmet giveaway events for children and educate them and their parents about the importance of wearing a helmet for every ride to prevent potential serious head injuries from crashes. Dr. Kubala has partnered with his local Jefferson County Medical Society to sponsor dozens of Hard Hats for Little Heads events over the years.

“I’m very flattered,” said Dr. Kubala, quick to redirect the spotlight from himself to others. “I share this award vicariously with anybody who’s done any of TMA’s TMA Foundation-supported programs, or donated money to the TMAF. They are more deserving of this than I am.” As a neurosurgeon who has treated patients’ brain injuries, protecting children from hurting their heads in a bicycling or wheeled-sports accident has been a safety effort.

Dr. Kubala has seen the effects of serious injuries, and he has operated to relieve blood clots in patients’ brains. “If you have a serious head injury, the brain doesn’t regrow like a bone that’s broken can,” he said. “[Patients with] serious brain injuries are frequently left with permanent damage. And it’s well known that repeated concussions can cause brain dysfunction, so it’s better to prevent it than to have to try to treat it.”

Recognizing his decades of service, philanthropy and leadership, Dr. Kubala is just the third recipient since its inception in 2005. Click here to read the TMAF press release.

Editor’s Note: We hope you will share what you learn from our posts. We invite you to join the conversation on Twitter by following @Neurosurgery and using the hashtag #Neurosurgery.

Leave a Reply