Newswise — Dr. Kenneth L. Mattox, chief of staff, Ben Taub General Hospital, and distinguished service professor, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, has been elected vice president of the American Surgical Association, becoming the first Houston-area surgeon elected to the prestigious academic, scientific and surgical organization.

Mattox, also chief of Surgery at Ben Taub General Hospital, will serve a one-year term in that position for the association through May 2013.

“This is one of the the highest honors from my professional colleagues that I have received in my career. Recognizing a surgeon from a county hospital system is a major statement by this premier surgical organization. It acknowledges the value and importance of this kind of system in the healthcare industry of America,” he says.

The American Surgical Association was founded in 1880 and is the nation's oldest surgical organization. Its members include the nation’s most prominent surgeons from the country's leading academic medical institutions, many of whom are chairs of departments of surgery at these institutions.

“This honor is a recognition for Baylor College of Medicine, Ben Taub General Hospital, the Harris County Hospital District, the Texas Medical Center and Houston,” Mattox added.

In April, Mattox was honored by the Rotary Club of Houston with the organization’s 2012 Distinguished Citizen Award. Established in 1912, the Rotary Club of Houston is the oldest volunteer service organization in the city. Mattox is one of only five other physicians to ever receive this honor, including his mentor, renowned surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey.

Among his numerous affiliations and memberships, Mattox currently serves as consultant to the Center for Biologic Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, board chairman of the John P. McGovern Museum for Health and Medical Science, and secretary-treasurer of the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society.

Mattox also has served on the board of directors of the Harris County Hospital District Foundation, Wayland Baptist University, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Southeast Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council, and the American College of Surgeons’ Board of Governors.