The Doctor Luke Society was created by Bethesda Health Clinic in 2004 as a way to honor exceptional local physicians. Inspired by the reference in Colossians 4:14, in which the Apostle Paul refers to Saint Luke as “the beloved physician, an induction to the Doctor Luke Society provides a unique opportunity to express esteem and appreciation to those in our medical community who best embody the spirit of Saint Luke.

The Doctor Luke Society honors those whose professional and personal lives reflect Saint Luke’s commitment to respect all persons, his concern for the poor and his hope for God’s mercy and forgiveness for all.

The annual Awards Ceremony and Banquet is held in February and honors the new recipients of this prestigious award.

2020 Doctor Luke Inductees

The staff and Board of Directors of Bethesda Health Clinic are pleased to announce that W. Herd Snider, M.D., and James Cotton, M.D. will be inducted into the Bethesda Health Clinic Doctor Luke Society. Inspired by the reference in Colossians 4:14 in which the Apostle Paul refers to Saint Luke as “the beloved physician, the Doctor Luke Society is a unique opportunity to express esteem and appreciation to these exceptional medical professionals.

Dr. James Cotton

Dr. James Cotton is a nephrologist who helped found The Centers for Kidney Care in Tyler, where he has worked since 1978.

Dr. Cotton grew up in Midland, TX, and graduated from Baylor University in 1965 and then the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Like Dr. Snider, he served in the Navy in the early 1970s as a Lieutenant Commander. At the time of Cotton’s fellowship, nephrology was a new focus of specialty within medicine and Cotton was attracted to the challenge. With both parents being in the field of education, Cotton was encouraged to take on new “frontiers, which is how he describes the field of nephrology. After teaching at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas, he and his wife, Norma, were attracted to the natural beauty of East Texas and moved to Tyler in 1978.

Dr. Cotton joined Dr. Thomas Lowery in Tyler, where he has helped lead The Centers for Kidney Care for over 35 years.

The Cottons have had a large influence on the education of Tyler as well, as the two founded The Cumberland Academy Charter school in 1998.

Dr. Cotton knew he wanted to be a doctor at the age of 16 when he was ill and read the book Disputed Passage. He loves his work and says “it’s a servant’s life if you do it right.

The Cottons have five children and 11 grandchildren and in addition to education and medicine, have been very active in the arts.

Dr. W. Herd Snider

Dr. W. Herd Snider is a retired anesthesiologist who practiced in Tyler for over 30 years and currently serves as the Director of Cardio Pulmonary Rehab with UT Health East Texas.

Dr. Snider grew up in Shreveport, LA, and graduated high school in Irving, Texas, in 1956. He went on to graduate from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and then from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1963. Dr. Snider served in the U.S. Navy from 1964-1970, where he performed his residency for anesthesiology at the former Oakland Naval Hospital in Oakland, Cali.

Dr. Snider and his wife, Liz, decided to start a life in Tyler because of the thriving medical community combined with the small town feel. Despite many offers from practices in Dallas, they believed Tyler was the better fit and anesthesiology was a huge need at the time. Throughout his career he volunteered for First Tee and Cancer Foundation for Life. His worked as an anesthesiologist at both East Texas Medical Center and Mother Frances Hospital until his semi-retirement in 2006.

Dr. Snider has six children, 16 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. His hobbies include golf and spending time with his family.

Members of the Doctor Luke Society

E. Maxey Abernathy, M.D.
Charles Albright,* M.D.
Lawrence Anderson, M.D.
Duane Andrews, M.D.
Ben Bridges,* M.D.
Harold Cameron,* M.D.
Douglas Coltman, M.D.
James R. Cotton, M.D.
J. Stuart Crutchfield, M.D.
Grace English, M.D.
John English, M.D.
Ben Fisch,* M.D.
Jan Garrett, M.D.
Robert Gatti,* M.D.
Virgilio Gonzalez, M.D.
Glen Graves, M.D.
Gary Gross, M.D.
Clark Hampe, M.D.
Steven Hickerson, M.D.
Samuel Houston, M.D.
C. Noah Israel, M.D.
Steven Keuer, M.D.
Gary Kimmel,* M.D.
Arielle Lee, M.D.
Thomas Lowery, M.D.
Charles McCarthy,* M.D.
William Moore, M.D.
David Nichols, D.D.S.
Todd Raabe, M.D.
Robert Rossman, M.D.
Stephen Rydzak, M.D.
H. Don Smith, M.D.
W. Herd Snider, M.D.
William Starling, M.D.
Donal Steph,* M.D.
Patrick Thomas,* M.D.
William Turner, Jr., M.D.
James Vaughn,* M.D.
Svetislava Vukelja, M.D.
Kerfoot Walker, Jr., M.D.
John Walker, M.D.
Marietta Crowder Walker,* M.D.
Sherilyn Willis, M.D.
Richard Yates, M.D.




February 22, 2020



6:30PM – 8:30PM



Contact Diane Thomason at
or Megan Riaz at
Reservation Required



Willow Brook Country Club
3205 W Erwin St.
Tyler, TX 75702


Seating is limited for this event. To make reservations, contact Diane Thomason at (903) 596-8353 x106 or by email to dthomason@bethesdaclinic.org.

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