News Releases

Latest TMA News Releases 

 Please click to see all current TMA News Releases by subject area.

TMA Statement: Enough Is Enough
The Texas Medical Association is shocked the U.S. Supreme Court so far has not stopped the provisions of Senate Bill 8 that create a scheme of deputizing private citizens to carry out what the state itself cannot do, due to U.S. constitutional restrictions. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 4 is on its way to Gov. Greg Abbott with language that criminalizes the practice of medicine. Enough is enough. Read the full statement.

Physicians Encourage Masking and Vaccination of Students
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President E. Linda Villarreal, MD; Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) President Seth D. Kaplan, MD; and Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC) Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, as Texans plan for kids to return to school. The physician and health care groups are calling for children to be protected from COVID-19 due to spikes in cases and hospitalizations from the COVID-19 delta variant. They recommend parents and families follow new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for masking everyone in schools, grades K-12 – regardless of vaccination status – and to vaccinate all children aged 12 and up who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to protect them and their families.

Governor Approves Bill to Reduce Prior Authorization Hassles
Care for countless Texas patients will happen more quickly by reducing health insurers’ bureaucratic delays, thanks to a bill Gov. Greg Abbott allowed to become law this weekend.
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) prioritized curbing health insurers’ onerous prior authorization practices this legislative session, resulting in passage of House Bill 3459 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), and Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), with considerable support by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).

Health Coverage Extensions Will Help Mothers, Children
Women can access critical health care longer after delivering their babies, and more children will continue uninterrupted medical care, thanks to two new bills that will become Texas law. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed Texas House Bill 133 and House Bill 2658, ensuring longer Medicaid health care coverage for these populations who are susceptible to health complications – even death – if that care is interrupted.

Kids 12 and Up: Get a COVID Shot, Physicians Urge
As Texans return to work, school, and play thanks to more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, physicians are now urging vaccination for children 12 years old and older. Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Outpatient Workgroup physicians created a new infographic flyer urging parents to protect their adolescents and children against a disease that’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people worldwide.

Houston Neurologist Bestowed TMA’s Highest Honor
AUSTIN – About 70 years after he first had the inkling to become a physician, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) has honored 75-year-old William H. Fleming III, MD, with its Distinguished Service Award.

TMA Installs Valley Physician as 156th President
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) today installed Edinburg internist E. Linda Villarreal, MD, as president. She will lead the association for one year, after having served the past year as president-elect.

TMA Foundation Elects Officers
Three Houston physicians, a Tyler volunteer, and a university professor from Austin were elected to serve as officers on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF), the philanthropic arm of the Texas Medical Association. The officers began their terms earlier in May during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference.

TMA Awards Scholarships to 15 Minority Medical Students
Fifteen minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). Physicians selected the students for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and desire to care for Texas’ increasingly diverse population. TMA announced the winners Friday during TexMed, the association’s annual conference, held virtually.

TMA Physicians Recognize Exceptional Science Teachers, 2021
In a year when teachers and their students have faced challenges that forced them to adapt to new learning environments, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) recognized five outstanding Texas science teachers with its 2021 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. The winners were announced Friday during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, held virtually.

TMA Alliance Elects San Antonio Leader President
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has elected Jennifer Lewis of San Antonio to serve as president. Her one-year term began on Thursday. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising spouses and partners of physicians, in addition to physicians, resident physicians, and medical students.

Waco Physician Elected Speaker of TMA’s House of Delegates
Waco otolaryngologist Bradford W. Holland, MD, was elected speaker of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body. The house announced his election during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, held virtually again this year from Austin.

Fort Worth Pediatrician Voted TMA President-Elect
Gary W. Floyd, MD, a Fort Worth pediatrician, was elected president-elect of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) today. TMA’s House of Delegates governing body announced elections during TexMed, the association’s annual conference, held virtually this year due to the pandemic. He will serve in this role for one year before assuming the presidency of America’s largest state medical society in 2022.

Denton-Area Physician Elected Vice Speaker of TMA’s House of Delegates
Little Elm internist John G. Flores, MD, was elected vice speaker of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body. The house announced his election during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, held virtually in Austin.

Lubbock Community Leader Elected TMA Alliance President-Elect
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has elected Lubbock community leader Libby White to serve as president-elect. Her one-year term began on Thursday. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising spouses and partners of physicians, in addition to physicians, resident physicians, and medical students.

New Resource Helps Kids Manage COVID-19-Related Stresses
Texas physicians have unveiled a new tool to help parents support their children whose behavioral health is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s upheaval.
The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) School Reopening Workgroup, the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS), and members of TMA’s Committee on Behavioral Health produced “Your Child’s Feelings Matter,” a resource in English and Spanish to help parents recognize and support their children’s reactions to school disruptions and other changes the pandemic has forced upon their young lives.

Texas Physicians Urge Spring Break Safety Precautions
A spring break vacation might sound like a great idea after a year of pandemic-related stress, isolation, and social distancing, but Texas physicians say now is not the time to let our guard down. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) School Reopening Workgroup says regardless of what you do for spring break, traveling and gathering in large groups away from home still bring high risk for spreading or catching COVID-19.

Texas Physicians Urge Masking, Continued Vigilance in Schools to Fight COVID-19
The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) School Reopening Workgroup and the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) are calling on Texans to remain vigilant and maintain proven preventive measures against COVID-19 as schools reopen, primarily urging school leadership to keep universal masking policies in place.

Physicians Are Right to Avoid Wasting Vaccine
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, and Harris County Medical Society President Gary J. Sheppard, MD, about situations physicians and health care workers might face when trying to administer all COVID-19 vaccine without wasting itThis issue emerged after Houston authorities leveled accusations against a local physician.

TMA Praises Governor’s Telemedicine, Broadband, Vaccine Priorities
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about the health care priorities Gov. Greg Abbott cited in his State of the State address.

TMA Salutes Five Honorees With President’s Award
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) Board of Trustees awarded four physicians and the state’s emergency management chief with the TMA President’s Award for outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and the successful effort to revise the state’s scientific curriculum standards.

Governor’s First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine a Confidence Boost for Texas
Please attribute this statement to Texas Public Health Coalition Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, in response to Gov. Abbott receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. “Every dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered brings Texas one step closer to the end of the pandemic. The Texas Public Health Coalition celebrates the news Gov. Greg Abbott received his first dose today and expresses appreciation for his personal leadership by example..."

TMA Applauds Governor Abbott for Getting COVID-19 Vaccine
“TMA thanks Governor Abbott for rolling up his sleeve to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. People need to see we can make Texas strong against the coronavirus if we all take these preventive measures to protect ourselves and others. The governor is leading by example by getting the shot..."

Unified Health Care Leaders Launch “Texas Strong” Campaign to Fight COVID-19
AUSTIN (12/2/2020) – A new campaign starting today aims to tap into Texas pride to encourage everyone to protect one another from COVID-19. A unified team of several health care groups released a new public service announcement titled “Texas Strong,” developed by Austin-based agency GSD&M. The PSA encourages Texans to come together to fight COVID-19 by wearing masks to protect one another. It features two Texans – Grammy award-winning musician Lyle Lovett and singer-songwriter Lisa Morales – who lend their voices to narrate the English and Spanish versions.

TMA COVID-19 Experts Urge Testing for Schoolchildren
Texas physicians recommend schools use rapid antigen testing along with other on-campus safety measures to detect early signs of coronavirus infection among students and staff. The recommendation comes from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) School Reopening Workgroup, which includes physician members of the TMA COVID-19 Task Force, Committee on Infectious Diseases, and Committee on Child and Adolescent Health, and local health authorities from throughout the state.

New TMA Chart, Podcast Assess the COVID Risks of Various Holiday Activities
How risky is traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house during a pandemic? Physicians of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Task Force and TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases announce two new tools to help Texans enjoy holiday activities while avoiding things that pose the greatest risk of spreading COVID-19: A new infographic and podcast.

New Distribution System Will Ship PPE to Physicians, Clinics in Desperate Need
Texas physicians in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE) will soon get the supplies they’ve been asking for. The Texas Medical Association (TMA), in collaboration with state agencies, county medical societies, and other statewide health organizations, is establishing an online portal where health professionals can apply for shipments of PPE.

Texas Physicians Getting Millions of Masks to Fight COVID-19
Bottom line: The Texas Medical Association has shipped millions of protective masks acquired from the state to physicians so they can care for patients. Box by box, Texas physicians are getting the protective gear they need to safely care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) and county medical societies’ distribution of millions of state-acquired masks.

More than Ever, Flu Shots are Critical to a Healthy Texas
2020 has been a hard year. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed our loved ones, made many Texans sick, and upended our lives. Now we’re facing another big threat – flu season.

UTHealth San Antonio Long School of Medicine Wins TMA’s Med Student Chapter of Year Award
The UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine has received the Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section (TMA-MSS) 2019-20 Chapter of the Year Award. TMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body announced the award during its virtual meeting earlier this month.

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.

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.

TPHC: Don’t Cut Public Health Funding During Pandemic
Please attribute this statement to Texas Public Health Coalition Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, in response to Texas Department of State Health Services’ 2022-23 Legislative Appropriation Request.

Vote, but Vote Safely, Physicians Urge
Early voting starts in Texas this week. Physicians urge all Texans to play it safe as they fulfill their civic duty, reminding everyone that it is possible to vote safely during a pandemic.

Dallas Physician Receives TMA’s Young at Heart Award
Dallas nephrologist Steven R. Hays, MD, is the 2020 Texas Medical Association (TMA) Young at Heart Award recipient. Doctors from the TMA Young Physician Section (YPS) announced the award during TMA’s House of Delegates meeting, held virtually last month.

Texas Medical Students Honor Lubbock Physician
Texas medical students recognized Lubbock pulmonologist Cynthia A. Jumper, MD, with the 2020 C. Frank Webber, MD, Award, for her commitment to mentoring medical students. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) Medical Student Section announced the award during TMA’s House of Delegates meeting, held virtually earlier this month.

TMA Honors Houston Physician, Medical Student
Texas physicians and medical students honored a Houston physician and a medical student for helping develop the people who practice medicine, and for helping the community. Family physician Khoa V. Pham, MD, received the Texas Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section J.T. “Lamar” McNew, MD, Award, for his service to physicians-in-training, or medical residents. Natalie Topolski, a medical student at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), received the TMA Medical Student Section Student of the Year Award. The awards were announced during TMA’s House of Delegates meeting, held virtually earlier this month. 

TMA: Fair Telemedicine Payments will Ensure Patients’ Care Continues
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement today that Texas’ state-regulated health plans will continue to pay physicians and health care providers the same rate for patients’ telemedicine care as for in-person care, through the end 2020.

TMA Names Paris Physician Distinguished Service Award Honoree
The  Texas Medical Association (TMA) presented its highest physician honor to someone who didn’t even start her health care career, more than 50 years ago, as a doctor. Josie R. Williams, MD, of Paris, Texas – who first was a registered nurse before becoming a successful Texas physician – became TMA’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient during a video presentation before the TMA House of Delegates virtual meeting on Saturday.

Beaumont Physician Reelected to TMA, AMA Leadership Roles
G. “Ray” Callas, MD, a Beaumont anesthesiologist, was reelected to serve Texas medicine at the state and national level. Physician leaders in the Texas Medical Association (TMA) House of Delegates policymaking body today ratified Dr. Callas’ reelection to serve on the TMA Board of Trustees, the association’s governing body, and as a representative of Texas doctors in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates. The TMA House of Delegates met virtually to verify the last of this year’s TMA elections. The pandemic forced TMA to alter its governance and meeting processes in 2020.

Dallas Pediatrician Elected Young Physician Rep to TMA’s Board of Trustees
Dallas adolescent medicine physician M. Brett Cooper, MD, has been elected to the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Board of Trustees, representing TMA’s Young Physician Section . TMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body ratified Dr. Cooper’s election today during a virtual meeting to verify the last of this year’s TMA elections. The pandemic forced TMA to alter its governance and meeting processes in 2020.

Keller Physician Chosen for Third Term on TMA’s Board of Trustees
Gary W. Floyd, MD, a Keller pediatrician, was reelected to serve a third term on the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Board of Trustees, the association’s governing body. TMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body met virtually on Saturday to ratify the elections. The pandemic forced TMA to alter its governance and meeting processes. Physician leaders have used virtual meetings and special governance provisions this year to elect or appoint physicians and medical students to one or more of TMA’s 25 boards, councils, and committees.

Houston Neurologist Elected to TMA Board of Trustees
Kimberly Monday, MD, a Houston neurologist, was elected to the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Board of TrusteesTMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body ratified Dr. Monday’s election today during a virtual meeting to certify the last of this year’s TMA elections. The pandemic forced TMA to alter its governance and meeting processes in 2020.

TMA Calls on Republican Party of Texas to Cancel In-Person Meeting
Editor's note: TMA sent the attached letter to the Republican Party of Texas this morning. We are hopeful the party will follow our recommendation. 
"Dear Mr. Dickey, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Whatley:
On behalf of the more than 53,000 physician and medical student members of the Texas Medical Association, I am writing to recommend that Republican Party of Texas (RPT) reconsider its decision to conduct your state convention as an in-person function in Houston on July 16-18. This is just not the time to bring thousands of the party faithful from around the state to an indoor meeting in a county that, as I write, reports more than 18,000 active COVID-19 cases..."

TMA to Air Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions
“Vaccines defend what matters – our health, jobs, families.” A new Texas Medical Association (TMA) ad campaign featuring that message will air during the Democratic and Republican conventions to remind Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us.

Texas Physicians Encourage Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19
Texas physicians are calling on COVID-19 coronavirus survivors to make a donation that can help others fight the infectious disease. Some former patients already have answered the call, and doctors and patients are seeing results of convalescent plasma treatments to fight COVID.

TMA COVID-19 Task Force Backs CDC Guidance: No Test Needed to Return to Work, School
People who have recovered from the coronavirus should not need a test to get back to work. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Task Force announced support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that individuals should not be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or a note from a physician to return to the office or classroom after being sick, unless in specific circumstances.

TMA Physicians Release Tools to Navigate School Reopening
School officials and parents across Texas are consumed with a pressing issue: How to minimize the risk of reopening schools during a pandemic. To help, physicians from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) have released a comprehensive package of materials to aid with reopening schools as smoothly and safely as possible.

Texas Youth Artists: Enter TMA’s Mask Hero Art Contest
Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they wear all kinds of masks. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, heroes among us are wearing masks to protect others from the potential spread of the disease. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) invites Texas youth to get creative and send their best drawing or painting of a mask-wearing hero by Aug. 24 for a chance to win a $150 gift card.

New Visitation Principles Proposed for Critical Patients During Pandemic
End-of-life patients and those with serious illnesses may soon be able to have visitors under specific recommendations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Texas. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and several other statewide health organizations addressed the need for in-person visitations for patients in health care and long-term care facilities in a letter to the governor and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

TMA Chart Shows COVID-19 Risks for Various Activities
Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician experts recently created a chart  to help Texans make informed choices about which activities are safest to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Doctor Is In: Parents, Don’t Miss Kids’ Routine Care, Vaccinations
Across Texas and the nation, many parents are anxious about taking their children to the doctor for fear of exposing them to COVID-19, but physicians are here to offer reassurance and a reminder. While the fear is justifiable, Texas doctors advise parents that routine well visits are safe and important for their child’s health, and assure them “the doctor is in.”

TMA Foundation Adds Trustees, Elects Officer
Two physicians and a medical student have joined the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) Board of Trustees, and the Board has selected a new officer. The new trustees and officer began serving this summer for TMAF, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Medical Association.

Health Policy Expert Selected as TMA VP of Medical Economics
Robert C. Bennett, an Austin-based health policy expert, was named the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) vice president of medical economics. In his new role, Mr. Bennett will develop and manage TMA’s medical economic policy and advocacy at the state and national level. He also will develop strategies and support services that help physicians navigate health care rules and regulations, while leading a staff division.

TMA Awards 15 Scholarships to Minority Medical Students
Fifteen minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). The students were selected for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and desire to care for Texas’ increasingly diverse population.

TMA Statement on In-Person Convention Cancellation
“The physicians of Texas are pleased that the Republican Party of Texas will not hold its convention as an in-person event in Houston next week. The Houston area, unfortunately, is a hotbed of infections from the novel coronavirus. The most recent state figures show Harris County with 24,000 active COVID-19 cases, a nearly 30% increase from the week before..."

In-Person Convention Poses ‘Significant’ Health Risks
Statement by Texas Medical Association President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding the Texas Republican Party’s decision to hold an in-person state convention.

TMA Applauds Governor’s Mask Order
“The physicians of Texas are very pleased that Governor Abbott is following the science. There is no question about it – face masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. They help protect the people wearing masks, and they help protect the people around them..."

TMA: As Governor Reinstates Limits, All Texans Must Do Our Part
“We absolutely must stop the spread of COVID-19 in Texas. Governor Abbott’s actions today are intended to do just that. But Texans also need to take responsibility to protect ourselves and each other from this virus without government mandates. I know we are all smart enough to do this on our own: wash our hands frequently, stay home when possible, and practice social distancing and wear masks when we are out.” 

TMA Statement Regarding Governor’s COVID-Fighting Orders
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order today expanding hospital capacity and decision to pause further reopening.

Physicians Committed to Keeping Texas Hospitals Open Amid COVID-19 Spike
“In many parts of our state, COVID-19 is making a terrifyingly strong return. Hospitals are activating surge plans to make room for more seriously ill patients – whether with COVID-19, other diseases, or significant trauma..."

TMA: Governor is Right; Act Now to Stop COVID-19 Spread
“The physicians of Texas greatly appreciate Governor Abbott using the power of his office to warn Texans about the serious, ongoing threat of COVID-19 and to recommend that Texans take proven steps to protect themselves and their neighbors. The governor is right – COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas..."

TMA Physicians Award Exceptional Science Teachers
As physicians, epidemiologists, and health care workers lead the fight against a global pandemic, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) named nine Texas science teachers winners of its 2020 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. This program year marks the 30th anniversary of the awards, designed to motivate teachers to inspire future doctors and scientists.

Over 65? Have a Disability? Stay Safe; Stay Healthy; Vote
Opinion piece by Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician leaders, about voting safely during the pandemic.

Texas Doctors Laud Fort Worth Physician, Installed Today as AMA President
When Fort Worth allergist Susan Rudd Bailey, MD, becomes president of the American Medical Association (AMA) this evening, it will be the natural culmination of an exceptional physician’s outstanding career, Dr. Bailey’s Texas colleagues said.

TPHC Statement: Contact Tracing is Effective Scientific Tool to Combat COVID-19
Statement by Texas Public Health Coalition Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, in response to recent questions about the State of Texas’ COVID-19 contact tracing program.

Racism: A Very Important Health Problem
“Americans should not be surprised that it took the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the knee of a white police officer to take the COVID-19 pandemic off the lead of every newscast, off the top of every mind, and off the tip of every tongue. Our great country was born with a big problem with racism. Today – 155 years after the end of the Civil War, 65 years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, 28 years after Rodney King implored us to “all get along” – our great country still has a big problem with racism..."

Texas Doctors: Protect Patients’ Access to Care From Budget Cuts
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and several other health organizations are urging state leaders to protect patient access to care by taking essential health care services off the financial chopping block.

Veteran Lobbyist Dan Finch to Lead Texas Medical Association Advocacy Team
Dan Finch, a trusted advocate for Texas physicians for nearly 40 years, is the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) new vice president for advocacy, TMA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Darrouzet announced today.

Survey: Texas Doctor Practices Struggling to Survive Pandemic
Like most independent medical practice physicians struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin pediatrician Brian Temple, MD, had to make a critical choice: reduce salaries and work hours, or lose the staff and pediatric practice he and his partner had built over six years.

TMA Continues to Support Governor’s Science-Based Plan to Reopen Texas
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement on reopening more Texas businesses.

Houston Emergency Physician Becomes TMA’s 155th President Amidst Public Health Emergency
Standing in a near-empty auditorium in the Texas Medical Association (TMA) headquarters, Houston emergency physician Diana L. Fite, MD, today took the oath of office to become the 155th president of America’s largest state medical society. TMA installed Dr. Fite as president before a live and online gathering of the organization’s Board of Trustees and outgoing president David C. Fleeger, MD.

San Antonians Elected TMA Alliance President, President-Elect
The Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA) has elected two San Antonio residents as its president and president-elect. President Martha Vijjeswarapu and President-Elect Jennifer Hailey Lewis began their one-year terms Friday. TMAA is the community service and advocacy arm of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), comprising physicians and their spouses and partners.

TMA Names Valley Physician President-Elect, Picks Top Posts in Historic Meeting
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the action of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) “Disaster Board of Trustees” to fill in for its policymaking body to elect TMA’s president-elect for the first time in its 167-year history, choosing Edinburg internist E. Linda Villarreal, MD, for the position, while also naming several other top leaders.

Confused About COVID-19 Tests? Patients Might Learn From TMA’s How-To Testing Guide
With the internet full of promotions hawking dozens of different lab tests for COVID-19, Texans rightfully might wonder what those tests measure and what the results mean. And as many Texans begin to mingle with each other after six weeks of extreme social distancing, the need to get tested for the virus is growing.

TMA Calls Governor’s Plan “Prudent and Careful”
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that Texas hospitals now need to reserve only 15% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients.

TMA Supports Governor’s Science-Based Plan to Reopen Texas
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement on reopening Texas.

Governor is Right to Call for Gradual, Science-Based Approach to Reopen Texas Economy
In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s remarks regarding plans to reopen the Texas economy, John Carlo, MD, chair of the Texas Public Health Coalition, issued the following statement.

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.

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.

 

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Last Updated On

March 20, 2020

Originally Published On

March 22, 2016