• Improving the Health of All Texans

    • A True Antidote

      Naloxone Prescription Law Gives More People a Chance to Save a Life

      A new law allows physicians to prescribe an opioid antagonist to a person in danger of an opioid-related overdose or to anyone who can help the opioid user.

  • Standing up for Public Health

    • Register for DSHS Infectious Disease Response Workshops
      The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Section will host eight three-day workshops — one in each of the DSHS health service regions — to share in-depth, Texas-specific infectious disease preparedness and response information. The workshops will provide current strategies, assess individual levels of preparedness and response, and identify gaps in service.
    • New Resource for Children With Special Health Care Needs
      Do you see children with special needs in your practice? There's a new resource you can share with their parents. The state's Task Force for Children with Special Needs website, Navigate Life Texas, assists families, caregivers, doctors, and other medical professionals with information about the availability of services for children with disabilities and special health care needs.
    • Dr. John Hellerstedt Is the New DSHS Commissioner
      Austin pediatrician John Hellerstedt, MD, is returning to state government as the new Texas health commissioner. He will begin his new duties on Jan. 1, 2016
    • High Court to Hear Tobacco Tax Case
      The Texas Supreme Court has accepted an appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated a tax the legislature applied to so-called "small tobacco." Back in 1998, the nation's five largest tobacco companies settled a case with Texas and 45 other states over the health care costs of cigarette smoking. They agreed to pay $10 billion a year indefinitely to the states.
    • Physicians Now Have Expanded Access to Naloxone
      Senate Bill 1462 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), supported by TMA during the legislative session, gives physicians authority to prescribe the lifesaving opioid antagonist naloxone not only to patients but also to family members or friends of those who may be at risk of an overdose. The law, effective Sept. 1, also allows a person or organization acting under a standing order to distribute an opioid antagonist and allows pharmacies to dispense the drug.
    • CDC Data Show Decrease in Some Vaccines for Young Texans
      Coverage of young children aged 19 months to 35 months receiving the recommended vaccine series in Texas fell to 64 percent in 2014, down from 72.5 percent in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • Help Your Patients Choose the Right Flu Vaccine
      It's Oct. 1, Influenza Awareness Day — a perfect time to talk with your patients about getting their flu vaccination this year. An annual flu shot is recommended for anyone six months of age and up.
    • Fist-Bump Your Doctor During Cold and Flu Season
      Looking for a way to greet your patients but limit the spread of cold and flu? Citing a study published in American Journal of Infection Control, TMA member Jason Marchetti, MD, has your answer!
  • Addressing Pollution from Legacy Coal Power Plants in Texas

    This June 2013 report examines retrofitting Big Brown, Martin Lake, and Monticello coal-fired facilities with modern emission controls or retiring the plants and replacing them with cleaner alternative energy sources. Prepared by Daniel Cohan, PhD, assistant professor of environmental engineering at Rice University, Addressing Pollution targets these three 1970s-era legacy coal-fired power plants because they are "the leading emitters of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in Texas." And they heavily contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, a mixture of substances including carbon-based particles, dust, and acid aerosols formed in the atmosphere by volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

    The report explores four options that "could foster the ability of electricity providers to offset any loss of generating capacity from the legacy coal-fired power plants, while enhancing air quality and minimizing costs to ratepayers."

  • Texas Public Health Stats

    • Immunizations

      There is a greater risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in communities with low immunization rates. Vaccine preventable diseases will increase if Texas cuts immunization funding.
    • Obesity

      "F as in 'Fat'" Ranks Texas the 13th most-obese state in the country. Healthy eating starts in childhood.
    • Smoking

      Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the state. More than 24,000 Texans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. Join with TMA to make Texas smoke-free.
    • Mental Health Funding

      More than 4.3 million Texans, including 1.2 million children, live with some form of mental health disorder. Of these, 1.5 million cannot function at work, school, or in the community due to their illness.