Stories written by Sean Price

County Medical Societies Take A Bite Out of PPE Shortfall - 04/03/2020

More than 12 county medical societies along with several alliance chapters have found a temporary workaround for Texas' PPE famine: They're asking their communities to donate masks, gloves, face shields, or any other medical supplies that protect them from infection.


Talk to Patients About: Cleanliness vs. Vaccines - 03/31/2020

Historical data proves vaccines work. Year-over-year rates for vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough show that the number of cases drops sharply and remains low after a vaccine is introduced. Anti-vaccine activists have a theory to explain away this data. They say the rise of cleanliness and hygiene in the late 1800s – not vaccines – was the real force in stopping these diseases.


Bracing for the Big Ones: Novel Diseases like COVID-19 Could Test Texas' Public Health System - 03/31/2020

Novel diseases like COVID-19 could be a tough test for Texas’ public health system.


In Defense of Public Health: Peter Hotez, MD, on the Comeback of Preventable Diseases - 03/31/2020

Preventable diseases are back on the map, and Peter Hotez, MD, Texas’ most outspoken vaccine researcher, says physicians need to think globally to help stop the trend.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccines During Pregnancy - 03/30/2020

Protecting moms and babies from certain diseases often starts with pregnant women. Child-bearing women may not realize they pass on disease-fighting antibodies to their babies, protecting them early in life. That protection improves greatly when women get certain vaccines before and during pregnancy. They also may not realize getting vaccinated right after pregnancy can stop the spread of illnesses.  


COVID-19 Will Not Affect Public Charge Status for Immigrant Patients - 03/26/2020

If you care for immigrant patients who are affected by the "public charge" rule – which limits access to green cards for immigrants who receive Medicaid and other public benefits – remind them they can seek all types of medical care for COVID-19 without jeopardizing their immigration status, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


What Physicians and Health Care Workers Need to Know about Stay-at-Home Orders - 03/26/2020

Texas' largest counties and cities have issued stay-at-home orders designed to keep residents at home and away from each other as much as possible. Most of the orders exempt health care activities, but the specific language in each varies.


Watch Out For COVID-19 Cyber Scams - 03/20/2020

Internet scammers are trying to cash in on the widespread anxiety over COVID-19, and awareness is the best defense, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Likewise, the Texas Attorney General's Office has issued a warning about outbreak-related scams.


Governor Declares State of Disaster for Texas on COVID-19 - 03/13/2020

Gov. Greg Abbott escalated Texas' response to the COVID-19 pandemic by declaring a “state of disaster” for all 254 counties Friday, a move that allows state agencies to focus their efforts on the emergency and gives state and local health authorities increased authority to act.


Fighting Epidemics: Robert Haley, MD, Wins Inaugural Nickey Award for Public Health - 03/12/2020

Robert Haley, MD's work on West Nile virus – along with numerous other achievements – earned Dr. Haley the inaugural Dr. Laurance N. Nickey Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented by the Texas Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health, the award recognizes a TMA member physician who has made outstanding contributions to medicine through a significant commitment to public health.


TMA COVID-19 Task Force Highlights Problems and How to Address Them - 03/11/2020

The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday told state lawmakers and fellow physicians to prepare to combat the disease, which so far has affected only a handful of people in Texas.


When COVID-19 Visited This Physician’s Houston Practice: Lessons Learned - 03/10/2020

What happens to your practice when COVID-19 walks through the door? "It's not something you should wait around for – there are steps that can be done to prepare," said Clive Fields, MD, chief medical officer and co-founder of Houston's Village Medical, which has had two unexpected COVID-19 patients since Feb. 26.


CME on CPAN in Bastrop: Learn about Texas’ New Child Psychiatric Access Network - 03/05/2020

The 2019 Texas Legislature set up a statewide network to increase physicians’ access to mental health services via tele-consulting, and now you can learn about it at an upcoming CME event on Thursday, March 12 at Ascension Seton Bastrop Hospital from 6:30-7:45 pm.


New Tyler Medical School Wins Approval - 03/04/2020

 The University of Texas Board of Regents late last month unanimously approved the first medical school in East Texas – and the 16th in the state – at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler.


Strength in Numbers: Texas Physicians Promote U.S. Census to Improve Funding - 02/28/2020

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau tries to enumerate each person living in the U.S., and the stakes always are high. Physicians are trusted members of the community so they’re in a perfect position to talk to reluctant people about the importance of the census.


Under the Gun: How Texas Hospitals, Clinics Can Prepare for Active Shooter Situations - 02/28/2020

Texas hospitals and clinics may need to change how they prepare for active shooter situations.


The Legacy of ARIES: Outdated Technology Interferes with HIV/AIDS Treatment - 02/28/2020

Texas developed the AIDS Regional Information and Evaluation System in the early 1990s to administer federal grants from the then-new Ryan White program, which provides HIV- and AIDS-related health services for patients who can’t get health care coverage or financial resources any other way. Physicians say the reservoir of medical data can be valuable, and without it, they can’t get the funds they need to treat these patients. But the outdated reporting system – which still operates on 1990s technology – causes serious headaches and detracts from patient care.  


Healthy Life Requires More Than Just Good Health Care, Survey Says - 02/26/2020

People need good health care, but 57% of Texans know that isn’t everything when it comes to being healthy. Instead, factors like where people live, work, and relax have a bigger impact, most Texans told a recent survey.


Spread the Word: Texas Needs Organ Donors - 02/25/2020

The Texas Legislature in 2019 designated Wednesday, Feb. 26, “Texas Bone Marrow, Blood, and Organ Donation Registry Day." It's an effort inspired by Anh Nguyen Reiss, MD, a Houston obstetrician and gynecologist who died in 2016 of myelodysplastic syndrome. Her unsuccessful effort to find a bone marrow donor spurred greater education about the need for more donors of all types.


Talk to Patients About: Why Do Some Vaccinated People Still Get Sick? - 02/24/2020

Every so often, physicians encounter a patient who still gets sick despite getting vaccinated against that disease. Patients naturally ask, how could this happen? There are various reasons.


Public Health: Tobacco Triumph - 02/19/2020

Texas physicians got the kind of huge win on tobacco issues they haven’t seen in decades – a law to keep tobacco products away from young people.


Reaching for the Cure: Texas Medicaid Doesn't Cover Hepatitis C Drugs Until Patients Are Seriously Ill - 02/18/2020

Infectious disease specialist Ogechika Alozie, MD, has a ready-made solution for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C now that five medications can rid patients of this deadly disease. But for Texas Medicaid patients, there’s a catch. The program does not pay for the cure based just on a diagnosis. Instead, Medicaid pays only after a blood test, biopsy, or sonogram shows the liver is so badly damaged that it’s on the verge of cirrhosis. At that point, patients who get the medication will be cured of their hepatitis C but more vulnerable to other deadly illnesses, like liver cancer.


Clearing the Haze: Texas Physicians Demystify Vaping - 02/18/2020

The rise in EVALI deaths and hospitalizations has changed the conversation about vaping and gives physicians an opportunity to champion tighter rules and higher taxes on an untested, unhealthy product that remains lightly regulated in both the U.S. and Texas.


Help Patients Stand Up to Be Counted in the Census - 02/05/2020

Physicians can improve census reporting by stressing the census’ importance to patients and explaining that it’s safe. The information people give is private and guarded from other branches of federal, state, and local governments. People will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail March 12, and the final counting will end July 31.


Texas Physicians Propose Mass Violence Prevention Strategies - 02/03/2020

How should Texas address the incidents of mass violence that have rocked the state in recent years? Physicians laid out medicine’s priorities before a special committee of the Texas House of Representatives late last week.