Two more outstanding alumni of McGovern Medical School will be honored at a special event Friday Oct. 20 at Third Coast, for their contributions to the medical center and beyond.
Marylee Kott, M.D., ’77, and Diana Fite, M.D., ’78, are the 2017 winners of the Distinguished Alumnus Award of McGovern Medical School and will be guests of honor at the upcoming awards ceremony.
Established in 1987, the purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions of alumni in the areas of medical science and education, or the prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as continued interests in McGovern Medical School and its students.
Kott serves as an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and currently is retired from active pathology practice, but works part time as Informatics Medical Director of Pathology with the HarrisHealth System developing the Beaker Laboratory module to interface with the hospital’s Epic Electronic Medical Record. Until May, 2017, she was a member of the active staff at Memorial-Hermann Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, serving as the latter’s chief of pathology since 2009. Following her graduate education in 1977, Kott enrolled as a resident in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at McGovern Medical School and later was a resident and fellow in Anatomic Pathology at the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute until 1982. She was a research associate in Pathology (Cytology) there until 1983. Following her postgraduate training, from 1983 to 1986 Kott taught at McGovern Medical School as an assistant professor of Pathology. From 1987 to 2001 she was the co-founder and director of Brown and Kott Medical Laboratories, an independent anatomic laboratory, and during that time she served as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Kott’s past administrative appointments include a stint as director of the cytopathology laboratory at McGovern Medical School until 1984, and as the director of resident recruitment at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from 1983 until 1986. Upon her return to the department in 2001, she taught histology and pathology to first and second year medical students, and cytopathology and laboratory medicine to pathology residents. She was director of surgical pathology at Memorial Hermann Hospital-TMC from 2002 to 2009, and director of cytopathology from 2007 to 2009 at the same facility. Kott held other appointments in the department, including a position as interim director of anatomic pathology, and director of the Outreach Laboratory. She has served as a member of the Departmental Executive Committee and the Resident Education Committee. She was very active for many years on the McGovern Medical School Admissions Committee and also served on the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee and in the Faculty Senate. Kott has been active on various hospital committees, including the LBJ Operating Room Committee and LBJ Cancer Committee, and on the HarrisHealth System’s Credentialing Committee, Cancer Committee, Physician Advisory Committee, and the Medical Executive Committee. Kott was a member of the State of Texas Joint Admissions Medical Program (JAMP) Council from 2006 to 2011, and also served until recently on the Board of Trustees of Affiliated Medical Services (AMS). She was an Expert Panel member for the Texas Medical Board from 2007 to 2017. Kott has been active in the McGovern Medical School Alumni Board, serving as Trustee from 1984 to 1986 and 2010 to 2014, and twice as President, from 1985 to 1986 and 2012 to 2013.
Kott has received various awards for her service and teaching, and most recently was a nominee for the Distinguished Professional Woman Award from the Committee on the Status of Women at UT Health Science Center Houston in 2016.
“Dr. Kott has made a long standing and enduring effort in many of these areas. Indeed, it is rare to attend an event for the alumni and most student events that she is not there helping to boost the school’s stature and encourage the students,” a nominator wrote.
Fite currently serves as an emergency physician at ER Katy in Katy, Texas, and as medical director of the emergency department and the hospital at Memorial Hermann Tomball. Following her graduation from the medical school in 1978, she entered an OB/Gyn residency but later switched to emergency medicine, which had just been recognized as a new specialty at the time. Following her education, she served as an emergency physician at Sam Houston Hospital until 1983, and then at Spring Branch Medical Center until 1999, serving as medical director for several years. She worked at various Houston-area facilities, including Trinity Medical Center in Brenham, St. Joseph Hospital, Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, and was on the steering committee and the initial ED medical director for Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, where she worked from 2000 to May of 2017. Dr. Fite also worked part-time as a clinical assistant professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine residency program at Hermann Hospital from 1993 to 2013.
Fite served as president of the Harris County Medical Society, which is the largest county medical society in the nation, making her the first emergency physician to serve in such a role. She was the first female president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians. She is a past president of the American Association of Women Emergency Physicians. She serves as a Texas delegate to the American Medical Association. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the TMF Health Quality Institute. Dr. Fite is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Medical Association, and was the first emergency physician to be elected to that position. Dr. Fite is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Physicians, and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and has received multiple awards from that and other organizations.
“She has brought substantial prestige to UTH McGovern Medical School as a graduate and has an active ongoing relationship with the Medical School since graduation, including her class efforts to promote connection with our graduates,” wrote one of her nominators. “I believe she exemplifies some of the highest professional qualities of a physician, and I believe her outstanding achievements are worthy of recognition by the school by awarding her the Distinguished Alumni Award.”
The awards dinner at Third Coast (6550 Bertner Avenue, 6th Floor, Houston Texas 77030) begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For more information and to register, visit the event’s website here.