Public Health

Essential Public Health Infrastructure - 12/03/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained Texas’ already limited public health resources and transformed what were once cracks in our public health system into deep chasms.


Use It or Lose It: Texas’ New Behavioral Health Program Can Help Only If Physicians Use It - 12/02/2020

What if Texas lawmakers created a mental health service that physicians asked for but then not many physicians used it? So far, that is what’s happening with the Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN), which gives pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry.


TMA COVID-19 Experts Urge Testing for Schoolchildren - 12/01/2020

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.


AMA Policy Calls on Medicine to Oppose Racism, Recognize It as a Public Health Threat - 11/18/2020

At a Special Meeting of the American Medical Association House of Delegates, the nation’s physicians confronted racism nationwide by adopting several policies that recognize racism as a public health threat.


New TMA Chart, Podcast Assess the COVID Risks of Various Holiday Activities - 11/17/2020

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.


Texas Physicians: Expanding Broadband Access Will Help Patients - 11/04/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about the Texas Governor’s Broadband Development Council’s recommendations to create a state broadband plan and develop a funding program to support broadband expansion to unserved areas in Texas.


More than Ever, Flu Shots are Critical to a Healthy Texas - 10/30/2020

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.


The Assault on Physicians and Science Must End - 10/29/2020

A continued campaign of misinformation and disinformation at this urgent hour is an unconscionable betrayal of the public trust that jeopardizes our work and endangers lives, writes AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 10/27/2020

Any physician can look out over the COVID-19 landscape and see important areas of health care tied to their specialty that are being downplayed or ignored as resources pour into fighting the pandemic and scared patients chose not to come to their doctors’ offices.


Protect Public Health from Budget Cuts, Medicine Says - 10/16/2020

Important state public health functions such as tobacco control, immunizations, and child health will be severely undercut if the Department of State Health Services is forced to cut its budget by 5% in the wake of a global pandemic, a coalition of health professional organizations said.


Coronavirus vs. Influenza: The Differences and What We Need to know - 10/15/2020

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 - 10/15/2020

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 - 10/15/2020

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 - 10/12/2020

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.


Strengthen Texas' Public Health Capabilities - 10/09/2020

On behalf of TMA, please read comments relating to Interim Charge I. Implementation of new funding and full-time equivalent positions for the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Vital 2 Statistics Unit; and implementation of DSHS Rider 29; evaluate the capacity of immunization programs to prevent, reduce, and eliminate vaccine preventable diseases in adults and children.


Commentary: The Covid-19 Registry - 10/05/2020

As COVID-19 continues to affect our communities, it is essential to understand the impacts of this outbreak. A new national data platform, developed right here in Texas, can help us do just that: the COVID-19 Registry (registry.rice.edu/covid19).


Cost of Newborn Screening Kits has Increased - 09/25/2020

Beginning Jan. 1, the cost of each Texas Newborn Screening Program kit will increase from $55.24 to $60.58 to accommodate the inclusion of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) screening, which was added this summer.


STIs, Firearm Safety, Mental Health Among Revised Public School Curriculum Standards - 09/21/2020

Texas public school students are on track to receive more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


Commentary: Health and Climate Connected - 09/02/2020

Human health is inextricably connected with the health of the environment. Our actions to reduce the threats of climate change and global warming are key to our well-being and survival.


Commentary: Follow the Evidence on Climate Impact - 09/02/2020

While the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress, these estimates are based on assumptions using models that have not been validated using real world, observational data.


Tell Your Patients: Census Participation Key to a Healthy Texas - 08/28/2020

The U.S. Census helps determine funding for those resources, and that is why it is of the upmost importance that each and every Texan, no matter address, immigration status, or age, respond to the 2020 U.S. Census The deadline has been cut short one month and now closes Sept. 30.


Texas Physicians Encourage Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19 - 08/19/2020

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.


Encourage Patients, Again, to Answer the U.S. Census - 08/18/2020

Physicians should encourage patients to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census, which directly affects physicians and patients. So far this year, Texas' response rate is 58.7%, below the national response rate of 63.6%.


TMA Physicians Release Tools to Navigate School Reopening - 08/17/2020

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 - 08/14/2020

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.