Latest TMA News Releases
Please click to see all current TMA News Releases by subject area.
TMA Supports Governor’s Stay Home Mandate
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide stay-at-home executive order except for essential workers and needs.
TMA Applauds Bishops’ Critical Care Guide Support
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops’ statement in support of Mass Critical Care Guidelines
Texas Physicians Join Governor’s Call for Industry to Donate PPE
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for personal protective equipment donations.
Texas Physicians Join The Telehealth Initiative to Improve Access to Quality Health Care
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) joined The Physicians Foundation, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, and Massachusetts Medical Society in launching The Telehealth Initiative to help physicians start telehealth care. With the current health crisis, the organizations sped the initiative’s launch to help physicians shift to telehealth to meet patients’ needs from their homes where they cannot transmit COVID-19 or other diseases to other people.
Texas Physicians Say: Remain Calm, Protect Yourself, Stay Safe
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of emergency declaration regarding COVID-19.
Coronavirus vs. Influenza: The Differences and What We Need to know
As physicians, other medical experts, and the public learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, scientists are learning more about the similarities – and differences – between COVID-19 and influenza. Both viruses cause respiratory disease, yet the World Health Organization (WHO) reports there are important differences between the two and how they spread.
TMA Task Force Convenes to Prepare Physicians for COVID-19 Threat
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) has assembled the TMA COVID-19 Task Force to help Texas physicians prepare their practices to protect and treat their patients in the event of a community outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Census Undercount Could Stifle Texas’ Health Services, Doctors Say
Texas physicians are urging patients to answer the upcoming U.S. Census to ensure the state won’t lose billions of dollars’ worth of health and human services funding – a loss that could harm the patients themselves.
Physicians Applaud State for Fining Health Plan
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) sanction of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) for delaying payment of certain out-of-network emergency care claims. TDI also found the plans distributed incorrect information about how to resolve balance bills to many HMO members who received out-of-network emergency care.
What’s Better, Immunity From a Shot, or From the Disease?
Although suffering through a disease sometimes gives you immunity from catching that same disease later in life, vaccinating against diseases instead is the safest way to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Whooping Cough: Vaccinating Can Prevent Deadly Childhood Infection
The sound of pertussis, or whooping cough, is terrifying. It is the sound of someone coughing violently, and then gasping for air; the gasp is the “whoop” sound. Whooping cough is a highly contagious, potentially fatal respiratory disease, and a big problem in Texas.
Survey: GOP Voters Overwhelmingly Support Child Immunization Laws
Most Republican voters want schoolchildren to have their shots before going to school, according to a recent Texas survey.
The Hidden Threat of Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal bacteria can cause severe illness, even death. The most severe illnesses are meningitis (infection of the lining covering the brain and spinal cord) and sepsis (bloodstream infection). Two types of meningococcal vaccines are available to prevent this infection that can kill up to 15 percent of patients who become infected.
Rubella Endangers Pregnant Women, Their Developing Babies
Rubella can be deceptively mild, causing no symptoms in up to half the people who get the viral illness. But if pregnant women get the disease, it can kill, causing miscarriages and stillbirths, or can leave the babies with lifelong disabilities.
Following the Vaccine Schedule Protects Children From Deadly Diseases
Texas children have a better likelihood of fighting off diseases circulating at school if their parents make sure they get their shots before the first bell rings. Doctors urge parents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended school vaccine schedule to build their child’s immune system against dangerous diseases, reports the August issue of Texas Medicine magazine.
A Virus Common in Children Poses a Greater Threat to Adults
A common childhood illness can strike the same person twice, once as a child and later as an adult — and without treatment, the adult version of the virus can be even more painful. The varicella-zoster virus does double duty, causing itchy, fluid-filled blisters on the head and body of young patients, and then can reactivate as a more painful, blistery rash called shingles after the child grows up.
Pneumococcal Disease: A Vaccine Preventable Threat
Pneumococcal disease is one of the leading causes of illness among children and seniors. The potentially deadly pneumococcal bacteria causes pneumonia, but it also causes meningitis, sinusitis, sepsis, and ear infections. However, a pneumococcal vaccine can protect both children and adults.
Hepatitis A: The Disease to Convince People to Wash Their Hands
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral infection that can make people very ill or even kill them. The disease attacks the liver, and people spread it through contact with infected fecal matter. While no cure exists, a vaccine can prevent the disease.
Measles: Once Gone, Its Threat Has Returned
Measles, a highly contagious disease previously eradicated in the United States, is back, causing outbreaks in Texas and beyond.
Record Number of Doctors Arriving to Care for Texas Patients
For every Texan seeking medical care, a record – and increasing – number of physicians is available to respond. Texas’ physician workforce is growing at a record pace, according to new data. For the first time in three decades, the ratio of patient-care physicians for every 100,000 people has increased for 10 straight years (2009-2019).
TMA to Honor Physicians, Trauma Teams for Walmart Shooting Response
The president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) will honor the many physicians, hospital caregivers, emergency medical technicians, and others who responded to the tragic El Paso Walmart shooting on Aug. 3, 2019. A gunman shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others, many of whom received care in area hospitals. TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD, will present a TMA President’s Award to members of El Paso’s emergency medicine community at a brief ceremony.
I Got My Shot; Why Am I Sick? Physicians Explain
The bottom line: Vaccines are our best protection against disease,
but in some situations vaccinated people can still get sick. In the case
of influenza, several factors can cause this. Nonetheless, physicians
stress vaccines are the best form of protection, shielding many
individuals from the disease or at least reducing the severity of
symptoms, and preventing hospitalization or death.
How Do Vaccines Prevent Us from Getting Sick?
Vaccines work to prevent people from catching infectious diseases. Here’s how: They introduce a dead or weakened version of the virus or bacteria to train our natural defenses to kick in. If our body faces a real threat from the live germ later, the immune system is armed to block it from harming us.
Insurance Companies Have Denied My Doctor’s Orders, 25% of Texas Voters Say in New Poll
One in four Texas voters say their health insurance company has refused to cover what their physician ordered for them or their families, a new statewide survey has found.
TMA Honors Dallas Physician With Public Health Lifetime Achievement Award
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) presented its inaugural Laurance N. Nickey, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award to Robert W. Haley, MD, director of the Division of Epidemiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a TMA physician leader. Doctors presented the award Saturday at the 2020 TMA Winter Conference in Austin.
Climate Change, Surprise Billing/Insurance Delays to Top TMA Conference
How does climate change threaten the health and survival of humans? Beyond obvious threats like heatstroke, doctors and other scientists suspect climate change factored in the 2012 Dallas epidemic of West Nile encephalitis and the spread of other tropical diseases shared by mosquitos. One physician expert points to climate change as a contributing factor for allergies, asthma, worse COPD conditions, and heart attacks. Physicians will address this timely issue and more during the 2020 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Winter Conference in Austin this week.
Texas Physicians Explain Herd Immunity Needed to Fight Contagious-Disease Hotspots
A community with enough vaccinated people can protect each other from the spread of contagious disease. Herd immunity – also known as community immunity – protects those who are not immune and those who cannot or choose not to get vaccinated.
Science: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism; Physicians Fight to Reassure, Immunize
Physicians repeat it over and over: Vaccines like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism; they are safe and effective. Yet the decades-old false claim that vaccines do cause autism has convinced millions of parents not to give their children potentially lifesaving shots and could lead more to opt out, according to Texas physicians.
TMA Foundation Grants Support Better Health Across Texas
Residents of eight Texas counties will benefit from nearly $22,500 in Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) grant funding to help them live better, healthier lives. TMAF recently awarded funds to four county medical societies and three county chapters of the TMA Alliance (a volunteer, community service and advocacy organization comprising physicians, spouses, and partners).
Prop. 6 Passage Will Save Lives
Statement by David C. Fleeger, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association, in reaction to the passage of Proposition 6. “Thanks to Texans who checked ‘yes’ in support of Proposition 6 in today’s election, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) can build on its legacy of saving countless Texans’ lives, while saving and making Texas millions of dollars every year...."
“Blueprint” Can Chart Course Toward Healthier Texans
Please attribute this statement about the Blueprint for a Healthy Texas initiative to David C. Fleeger, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). “Congratulations to Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney Phillips and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for launching this ambitious multipoint initiative to improve the health of Texans..."
TMA to Host Panelists to Highlight CPRIT’s Cancer-Fighting Achievements
As Texans head to voting booths in early November to choose whether to extend Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) funding, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) will explore the state’s cancer research and prevention advancements, at its third Distinguished Speaker Series event.
TMA Supports Texas A&M Vaping Ban
“The Texas Medical Association strongly commends the Texas A&M University System’s ban of vaping products on all of its campuses and properties. As current nationwide investigations and health warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm, these products can be dangerous and even lethal, even though manufacturers have marketed these devices as safer alternatives to smoking."
TMA Celebrates 25 Years of Bike Helmet Giveaways With Events Statewide in October
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) will give away nearly 3,500 bicycle helmets to Texas children in October to celebrate the 25th birthday of its Hard Hats for Little Heads program. Since starting Hard Hats for Little Heads in 1994, TMA has given away more than 325,000 helmets to Texas children.
November Ballot Will Decide Future of Cancer Research in Texas
Billions of dollars in cancer-fighting grants, research, and preventive care are on the line when Texas voters go to the polls on Nov. 5. Physicians and other supporters hope voters will elect to continue funding the state’s cancer-fighting agency, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Opioids, Telemedicine, Legislative Update to Highlight TMA Fall Conference
Physicians Meet to Address Health Care Priorities. Navigating the opioid crisis, using telemedicine to expand a medical practice and help more patients, and top issues from the 2019 Texas Legislature highlight the 2019 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Fall Conference.
Pregnant? Make Sure You’re Vaccinated to Protect Yourself, Baby From Disease
Vaccinations before and during pregnancy are important to protect both mother and baby. Three vaccinations are recommended: flu, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis), and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).
Texas Physicians Push to Improve Health Care for LGBTQ Patients
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patients face unique barriers that put them at greater risk for mental and physical health problems. Often, their health disparities result from a lack of family support, public prejudice, and fear of the health care system. Texas physicians have launched a new workgroup and are adapting their practices to treat this underserved population.
Physicians to Address Care Issues at 14th Border Health Conference
Top physicians and other health care leaders will meet in Laredo, Texas, to discuss critical health care needs and the challenges that face communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, during the 14th Annual Border Health Conference.
Physician, Hospital Groups Distribute Urgent Measles Advisory
Texas doctors and hospitals have a new tool to fight the ever-increasing measles threat, as the number of people sickened by the infectious yet preventable disease climbs. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and Texas Hospital Association (THA) have created a new resource to help physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious, yet entirely preventable, respiratory illness.
New Laws Reshape Texas Health Care Landscape
New laws are about to transform health care in Texas, addressing long-term issues like surprise medical billing, raising the tobacco-use age, and improving Medicaid. The 2020-21 state budget also includes vital funding increases for women’s health programs, graduate medical education (GME), and community mental health services
Keep Hib Germs Away: Vaccination Can Prevent Serious Childhood Illness
Many things aren’t harmful until they are. This applies to the Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) bacteria: It typically can live in our noses and throats without causing harm, but if Hib moves to other parts of the body, it can cause serious illness or even death.
Vote for Prop. 6 in November to Save Lives
Please mark your calendar for Nov. 5 to vote AGAINST cancer and FOR saving Texans’ lives. Physicians of the Texas Medical Association and members of the Texas Public Health Coalition urge everyone to VOTE FOR Proposition 6 on the November Texas ballot to continue to fund the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Texas Losing Ground in Disease-Prevention Battle, Physicians Warn
Some Texas physicians say the anti-vaccination movement is creating skepticism that could undermine the state’s ability to prevent a widespread disease outbreak. The state has fended off outbreaks in the past because a majority of Texans are vaccinated, but soaring vaccine exemptions could leave Texans vulnerable.
Defend Yourself From Diphtheria: Bacterial Infection Can Stop Breathing
Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system and damages the heart, nerves, and kidneys. It can hinder or stop breathing, and causes fatigue, sore throat, fever, and swollen neck glands. The infection can be deadly without any medical treatment. Several immunizations are available to protect people against this disease.
Physicians Concerned Over State’s Inaccurate Death Reporting
Some Texas physicians are concerned that the state’s death statistics are not as accurate as they should be. Like in many states, Texas’ death reporting system feeds inconsistent information into the state’s vital statistics database. As a result, distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, which could have negative public health implications.
TMA Installs Austin Surgeon as President
DALLAS – The Texas Medical Association (TMA) installed Austin surgeon David C. Fleeger, MD, is its 154th president on Saturday. Dr. Fleeger assumed his new post at the TMA House of Delegates policymaking body at TexMed, the association’s annual conference, showcase, and expo.
Dallas Surgeon Posthumously Receives TMA’s Highest Honor
TMA bestowed the 2019 TMA Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Read posthumously at TexMed, the association’s annual conference, in Dallas.
Fort Worth Nurse-Philanthropist Installed as 102nd TMA Alliance President
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has installed Lisa Queralt, a Fort Worth registered nurse and philanthropist, as its 102nd president. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising physicians, and their spouses and partners.
Texas Doctors Seek to Help Trafficking Victims, Protect New Mothers
Texas doctors hope policy proposals put forth now can help stop human trafficking and protect women having a baby by extending their health insurance coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates policymaking body will take up these and other resolutions this weekend and in the coming week during the national medical association’s annual meeting, in Chicago.
Darrouzet Named New CEO of Texas Medical Association
Michael J. Darrouzet, the long-time chief executive of the Dallas County Medical Society, will be the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) next executive vice president and chief executive officer, TMA Board of Trustees Chair E. Linda Villarreal, MD, announced today.
TMA Chooses Houston Physician for President-Elect
DALLAS – Houston emergency physician Diana L. Fite, MD, is elected the new president-elect of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). The TMA House of Delegates policymaking body today elected Dr. Fite to serve in this leadership role for one year, before she assumes the presidency. Delegates elected her during TexMed, the association’s annual conference.
Corpus Christi Businesswoman Elected TMA Alliance President-Elect
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has elected Martha Vijjeswarapu, a Corpus Christi businesswoman, as its president-elect. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising physicians and their spouses and partners.
Hepatitis B Infection Can Cause Liver Damage, Cancer
The bottom line: Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that can be short-term or long-term. Some people can die from it or suffer other serious diseases like cancer, while others experience no symptoms. People can become infected through sexual contact, by sharing needles, or from an infected mother passing it to her baby at birth.
Protect Yourself Against Tetanus: Bacterial Infection Attacks Muscles
The bottom line Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection. Commonly known as “lockjaw,” tetanus causes painful muscle spasms in the jaw, neck, and stomach area, as well as other serious symptoms.
Mumps: Virus Causes Puffy Cheeks and Sometimes, Serious Complications
The bottom line: Mumps is a viral contagious disease. People know mumps for patients’ swollen cheeks and jaw, but patients also suffer fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Outbreaks occur every year in the United States and Texas. The MMR vaccine protects people against this disease.
Goodman Announces Retirement After 22 Years of Leading America’s Largest State Medical Society
Louis J. Goodman, PhD, CAE, the executive vice president and CEO of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) for 22 years, has announced he is retiring. The association has begun a nationwide search for a new leader, and Dr. Goodman will step down when the new CEO is in place.
Vaccination Still Needed to Keep Frightful Polio Away
The bottom line: Polio, a disease that once terrified Americans, is a vaccine success story. Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease caused by a virus. Even though polio cases are rare, parents need to be vigilant about vaccinating their kids to keep it from returning to the United States.
Texas Physicians Release 2019 Legislative Prescription for a Healthier Texas
The political landscape has changed, but many of the health care issues hotly debated two years ago are back on the table for the upcoming 86th session of the Texas Legislature. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) goal: persuade legislators to improve Texas laws for patients and their physicians.
Rotavirus Causes Severe Diarrhea in Kids
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide, especially in children under 2 years of age. The highly contagious illness is most common in the winter and spring months.
Medical Liability Reform Anniversary: More Doctors to Care for Texas Patients
In the 15 years this month since Texas passed landmark medical liability
reform, the state’s patients have enjoyed greater access to physicians’
care, as more doctors practice medicine throughout the state. House
Bill 4, the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act, and passage of
Proposition 12, a constitutional amendment, lessened the likelihood of
frivolous lawsuits against physicians and hospitals.
Texas Doctors Seek Red-Tape Reduction to Help Patients in Need
The 34-member Texas Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates will ask the policymaking body to adopt a resolution this week to help patients with disabilities get devices to help them move, and another to allow physicians to prescribe medications electronically for patients they know.
Texas Physicians Adopt “Zero Maternal Deaths” Goal
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) will not rest until maternal mortality is eliminated in Texas. Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, TMA’s immediate past president, threw down a gauntlet today to his physician colleagues — a goal of zero deaths among Texas women who are pregnant or new mothers.
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