John Zerwas

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John McCall Zerwas
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 28th district
In office
2007 – September 30, 2019
Preceded byGlenn Hegar
Succeeded byVacant
Personal details
Born (1955-03-24) March 24, 1955 (age 64)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Cynthia Zerwas (died 2013) Sylvia Haist (married 2015)
ChildrenJohn Zerwas, Jr.

Joseph Zerwas
Brandon Zerwas

Sherry Zerwas
ResidenceRichmond, Texas
Alma materUniversity of Houston Baylor College of Medicine
WebsiteOfficial website

John McCall Zerwas, Sr. (born March 24, 1955), is a physician from Richmond, Texas, who was a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives. He served as the representative for House District 28, which is primarily located in Fort Bend County. Zerwas was appointed executive vice chancellor for health affairs for the University of Texas System and assumed office on October 1, 2019. [1] He resigned his House seat effective September 30, 2019. [2]

Personal life[edit]

Zerwas and his late wife, Cindy Hughes, graduated in 1973 from Bellaire High School and married in 1978. After graduating from the University of Houston, Zerwas earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1980 and started a full-time practice in 1985.

On March 1, 2012, Cindy was diagnosed with a brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme. She died on August 20, 2013.[3]

Zerwas helped form the First Colony Church of Christ, and was one of its first deacons where his duties included forming the children’s education and children’s worship programs. He worked with the Boy Scouts of America to establish a troop in the Pecan Grove area, serving as cub master and den leader for several years. He also worked with the boys during the summer camp programs. He has participated in medical missions to Guatemala with the group Faith in Practice where he provided anesthesiology for charity surgeries.

John and his wife Sylvia Haist married in December 2015 and reside in Richmond; they together have six children and seven grandchildren: Isabella, Matthew, Dashel, Oliver, Beatrice, Tinley, and Harlow.


Zerwas practices anesthesiology with US Anesthesia Partners (USAP), a group he co-founded and in which he remains active in the operations of the partnership. He founded his previous practice, Greater Houston Anesthesiology (GHA), in 1985, and served as president of that clinical practice from 1996 to 2000.

Zerwas served as President of the Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers from 2007-2009, and Chief Medical Officer of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston from 2003-2009.

Zerwas served as the President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in 2013. A member of the Texas Society of Anesthesiologists, he served as President of the organization from 1996-1997. He is also a member of the Texas Medical Association.

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

Texas State House Representative John Zerwas providing an update on the Texas Legislature to the Houston Apartment Association, June 8, 2017.

Zerwas is the representative for District 28, which comprises the northwest portion of Fort Bend County. Municipalities (in whole or in part) in the district include Fulshear, Simonton, Weston Lakes, Orchard, Katy, and Rosenberg. It also includes approximately 2,000 residents of the Fort Bend County portion of Houston.

In 2017, Representative Zerwas was named Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee by Speaker Joe Straus.  Previously, Representative Zerwas served eight years on the House Appropriations Committee, four of which he served as chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services.  Zerwas is a member of the Legislative Budget Board, is past chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education, and a past member of the House Committee on Public Health.

In the 84th Legislative Session, Representative Zerwas served as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. This was his first term to serve as the chair of this committee. Chairman Zerwas is an advocate for increasing access to higher education and growing opportunities for graduate medical education.  Since 2009, Zerwas has also served on the Committee on Public Health, where he brings firsthand experience and knowledge of health care systems and policy to the committee.

Representative Zerwas has earned numerous accolades for his dedication to public service including being twice named one of the "Ten Best Legislators" by Texas Monthly.  In 2017, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Houston's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  In 2015, the Biotechnology Industry Organization provided Dr. Zerwas with national recognition as "BIO Legislator of the Year" for writing critical legislation that will preserve patient access to innovative and cost-effective biologic medicines in Texas.  He has earned numerous accolades for his dedication to public service, which include the 2014 Coalition for Texans with Disabilities Award and the 2014 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Award. [4]

2018 reelection[edit]

Zerwas won his seventh legislative term in the general election held on November 6, 2018. With 44,306 votes (54.2 percent), he defeated the Democrat, Meghan Scoggins, who polled 37,427 (45.8 percent).[5]


  1. ^ Julie Chang (August 1, 2019). "State Rep. John Zerwas to become UT System vice chancellor". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Patrick Svitek (July 31, 2019). "State Rep. John Zerwas to step down in September". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Zerwas, John, Jr. (22 August 2013). "Cynthia Zerwas' Obituary". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  4. ^ Representatives, Texas House of. "Texas House of Representatives". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  5. ^ "Election Returns". Texas Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Glenn Hegar
Texas State Representative
for District 89 (Fort Bend County)

Succeeded by