On September 3, 1895,

in a second floor office at 217 Franklin Street, over the Bay Pharmacy, the Hillsborough County Medical Society (HCMS) was founded. Dr. B. G. Abernathy served as the HCMS’s first President, alongside Dr. L. W. Weeden, Vice President, Dr. L. S. Oppenheimer, Secretary & Treasurer, and Dr. U. S. Bird serving as Corresponding Secretary.

Physicians have been working hard since 1895 to practice medicine in our community at the highest standards. This was accomplished by elevating the criteria for what determined the quality of patient care. Our medical forefathers persisted for those ideals: continue to fight as the patients’ advocate, accept nothing less than the highest standard of care, and continue to promote the practice of medicine and professionalism.

Advocating for physicians and the health of the communities we serve was a vital objective in 1895 and remains our vision today.

Quick Facts

1914 At the August 18th meeting of the HCMS, Dr. Fred Strong gave an interesting talk concerning a new blood parasite associated with hemorrhagic fever, the Haemazoon Vermicularis.


1933 At the April 24th meeting of the HCMS, Dr. Henry Hanson, State Health Officer, gave a brief presentation on the prevalence of Leporsy in Florida.


1941 Life magazine photographs Lieutenant Colonel Frank Adamo, MD, of Tampa tending the wounded. Because of his heroics and his time as a prisoner of war, April 27, 1945 was proclaimed Frank S. Adamo Day by then Mayor Hixon. Dr. Adamo became HCMA President in 1955.


1948 The HCMA incorporated and became the Hillsborough County Medical Association (HCMA), identifying closer with the Florida Medical Association and the American Medical Association. The HCMA fostered solidarity and loyalty.

The HCMA Auxiliary (later called the HCMA Alliance) was also formed. The Auxiliary was comprised of the wives of the physician members. Now, the Alliance welcomes the spouses, significant others, parents, and children of HCMA members along with medical students, interns, and residents.


1967-1981 HCMA member, Richard Hodes, MD, served as a state representative, serving as House Majority Leader in 1980. Dr. Hodes also served as FMA President in 1967 and HCMA President in 1977.


1971 The University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine enrolled its charter class. In 2011 it was renamed the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. HCMA members Drs. Richard Connar (HCMA President 1970), Frank Coleman (HCMA President 1979), James Ingram (HCMA President 1969), and Thomas McKell (HCMA President 1976) were instrumental in the efforts to create and develop the medical school. The HCMA continues to have a valuable partnership with the USF Morsani College of Medicine, its faculty, in-training physicians, and medical students.


1990 The HCMA Foundation, under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, was formed. In 1997 the HCMA Foundation received its own charitable 501c3 status and continues to provide grants to non-profit organizations for programs designed to promote awareness and support of health and health related issues in our community.


1991 Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla began accepting African-American men as members – the first local krewe to do so. Frederick A. Reddy, MD, was one of two African-American men admitted; in 1992, they marched in the parade. In 1994 Dr. Reddy served as HCMA President.


1992 The HCMA campaign for expert witnesses to be held accountable, via licensing in Florida, began. Dr. Dennis Agliano (1995 HCMA President) was the driving force behind this effort and accomplished the daunting task, along with the HCMA Expert Witness Committee, after many years of not giving up the fight. During the early-mid 1990s, Dr. Agliano traveled the US to educate medical associations and licensing boards on the need for the “Expert Witness Program.” Finally, in 2011, a change to Section 766.102, Florida Statutes, requires experts to either be licensed in Florida or obtain an expert witness certification from the Florida Department of Health. Since that time, expert witnesses in Florida are as liable as practicing physicians regarding their testimony concerning the standard of care.


2001-2002 The HCMA’s first female president was elected: Madelyn E. Butler, MD. Dr. Butler went on to serve as the President of the Florida Medical Association in 2010. The following year, Ed Homan, MD, successfully ran for House District Seat #60. He was victorious in three subsequent elections, serving his constituents and representing medicine, for eight years. Dr. Homan served as HCMA President in 1999.


2003 HCMA’s “Day of Awareness” was held February 13th on a nine-acre piece of land located on Habana Avenue in Tampa. Over 1,000 physicians and supporters of tort reform, from Hillsborough and surrounding counties, gathered to rally. The FMA President and AMA Secretary/Treasurer were also in attendance.


2004 Due to Hurricane Charley, the FMA Annual Meeting which was being held in Orlando where HCMA member, Dennis Agliano, MD, was to be installed as FMA President was cancelled. He was officially installed in his home town, Tampa, shortly thereafter. Dr. Agliano served as HCMA President in 1995, the 100 year anniversary of the HCMA.


2020 The HCMA develops a Physician Wellness Program to help enhance the lives of the HCMA’s valued members. The mission of the program is to provide resources to help keep members well and thriving which will, in turn, benefit their practices, the quality of care for their patients, their personal lives, and the community at large.

The HCMA’s Executive Director and Executive Assistant have a combined 66 years of experience at the HCMA. Debbie Zorian and Elke Lubin have witnessed many changes in the profession over the last three decades and are proud of their long-time dedication to the HCMA and organized medicine.

Benefit Providers