Mission: The mission of the Texas Physician Health Program (TXPHP) is to protect the health of Texans and to promote medical excellence by serving physicians, physician assistants, acupuncturists, surgical assistants, medical physicists, perfusionists, respiratory care practitioners and medical radiologic technologists (hereafter termed "participants") affected by substance use disorders (SUD), physical illnesses and impairment, and/or psychiatric conditions. TXPHP fulfills this mission by providing education, recognition, and assistance in diagnosis and treatment through a recovery program adapted and monitored according to their specific needs.

Vision: All Texas participants will realize that SUD and psychiatric illnesses, like many other diseases, are treatable conditions, and colleagues who have completed acute treatment, continue ongoing treatment, and are appropriately monitored may have excellent outcomes and possess the ability to practice medicine in their field of expertise safely and effectively. This program strives to provide ‘Responsible Advocacy’ to participants by fostering a relationship of trust with participants and accountability to the Regulatory Agency (Texas Medical Board) and to the public.



Russ Carter, M.D.
Executive Medical Director

Dr. Carter is a Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a Subspecialty Certification in Sports Medicine, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He graduated from the St. George's School of Medicine, and received his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in pain management at the Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA. Since 2012, chemical dependency has been the sole focus of his practice. He has, in that capacity, worked in a psychiatric hospital and several residential chemical dependency treatment centers.


Anand Mehendale, M.D.
Presiding Officer

Dr. Mehendale is Board Certified in Neurology, and Addiction Medicine. He completed his Neurology residency at the University of Arizona. Following that, he completed his fellowship in Higher Cortical Dysfunction, Epilepsy, Neuropsychiatry and EEG at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. He was attending Neurologist, from 1982 to 1986 at Kerrville State Hospital. From 1989 to 1998 he was Chief, Neurosciences Division, and Director of Medical Services of that hospital. He was part-owner of La Hacienda Treatment Center from 1991 to 1998 and led the turn-around of that center to its present success.He has been a pioneer and a visionary in Texas regarding physician health issues including Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) for over 30 years. He is currently in private practice of Neurology at Phoenix Medical Associates in Kerrville, TX. He is the Medical Director of OnTrac Relapse Prevention. He has been either appointed or elected to various leadership positions. He was instrumental in the development of the Texas Physician Health Program and currently, he is the Presiding Officer of the Governing Board of that program which is administratively attached to the Texas Medical Board. He was on the Governing Board of Texas chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and was the President of Texas Chapter in the past. He, in the past, was a member, then chair, and consultant, to the Texas Medical Association's Physician Health and Rehabilitation Committee. In addition to many journal articles, his publications include a chapter on Epilepsy in an International Book titled "Hemisyndromes". From 2010 thru 2018 he was selected as one of the "Super Doctors" by Texas Monthly. He was chosen by "Leading Physicians of the World" in 2013; He is listed in "America's Top Physicians" in 2014. He is currently the Section Editor for SM Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience, a peer reviewed international journal. He is on the editorial board of Pain and Management. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Addiction and Preventive Medicine, another international peer reviewed journal.


The Sunset Review process described below is a routine, regularly scheduled review of all state agencies, generally every 12 years, and TXPHP is being reviewed as part of the Texas Medical Board Sunset Review.

The Sunset Review of the Texas Medical Board

The mission and performance of the Texas Medical Board is under review by the Legislature as required under the Texas Sunset Act. The Act provides that the Sunset Commission, composed of legislators and public members, periodically evaluate a state agency to determine if the agency is still needed and to explore ways to ensure that the agency’s funds are well spent. As part of the evaluation of the medical board, the Sunset Commission will also review the mission and operations of the Texas Physician Health Program (TXPHP). Based on the recommendations of the Sunset Commission, the Texas Legislature ultimately decides whether an agency continues to operate into the future.

The Sunset review involves three steps. First, Sunset Commission staff will evaluate the medical board and TXPHP and issue a report in November 2016 recommending solutions to problems found. A month or so later, the Sunset Commission will meet to hear public testimony on the board and TXPHP and the recommendations of the Sunset staff. Based on public input and the Sunset staff report, the Sunset Commission will adopt recommendations for the full Legislature to consider when it convenes in January 2017. Please refer to the Sunset Commission website or call the office for updated information on specific dates for these meetings.

Through the Sunset review, every Texan has the opportunity to suggest ways in which the mission and operations of the Texas Medical Board and the Texas Physician Health Program can be strengthened. If you would like to share your ideas about the board or TXPHP, please send an email to the address below, use the comment form on the Sunset Commission website, or contact Erick Fajardo of the Sunset staff.

Sunset Advisory Commission
P.O. Box 13066
Austin, Texas 78711
Fax: 512/463-0705
Email: sunset@sunset.state.tx.us

Information about the Sunset process, Sunset Commission meetings, and how to receive Sunset Commission email updates is available at: www.sunset.texas.gov