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Unlocking Doors: Minority Scholarship Program Connects Students with Mentors - 08/19/2019

When the Texas Medical Association founded its Minority Scholarship Program in 1998 to diversify the physician workforce, Dr. Ramamurthy became both a contributor and a mentor to students who receive the scholarships. “When you’re mentoring students, one of the things that you want them to understand is that you’re somebody they can talk to who is not only there as a teacher, but as a friend,” she said. Other top donors to the Minority Scholarship serve voluntarily as mentors to student awardees. TMA encourages those arrangements because they can benefit both parties.


Measles: Updated Information and Resources Available to Fight Rising Cases - 08/16/2019

As measles cases continue to rise in Texas and across the U.S., the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association have created a document to help physicians and other health care professionals combat the highly contagious respiratory illness. The document provides the latest recommendations for diagnosing and reporting measles, immunizations, infection prevention and control, and post-exposure prophylaxis and exclusion.


Physicians to Address Care Issues at 14th Border Health Conference - 08/15/2019

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.


Conference to Explore Border Health Challenges - 08/15/2019

At the convergence of two countries and two cultures, Texas’ border with Mexico has unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to health care.But what are those challenges, and how can the opportunities there be used to overcome them? Explore those questions and more at the 14th annual Border Health Conference, scheduled for Aug. 22 at the La Posada Hotel in Laredo.


A Qualitative Approach to Understanding HIV-Related Stress in Texas - 08/14/2019

Much of the southern United States is characterized by unique social, structural, and political systems that may relate to increased stress and poor health outcomes for those living with HIV. Notably, research indicates that Texas has higher survival rates for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) than general southern trends, which might suggest that Texans living with HIV experience HIV-related stressors and coping strategies influential to health differently than those living elsewhere in the South. This study used grounded theory and semi-structured interviews to increase understanding of HIV-related stress in Texas. Participants (N=20) were 12 people living with HIV in Texas and 8 HIV-care providers in Texas. Results indicated 5 emergent stress-related themes: housing strain, substance use, limited financial abilities, relationship dynamics, and internal pressures and psychosocial resiliency. Results also highlighted some of the potential...


Report Positions TMA Response to Firearms Violence - 08/13/2019

“The physicians of Texas continue to grieve with our fellow Texans over yet another heinous episode of gun violence,” Texas Medical Association President David C. Fleeger, MD, said. “This is more than a public safety problem – this is a public health crisis. Thus, it will require public health type solutions.”


Migrants in Texas Detention Centers Need Basic Care, TMA President Says - 08/12/2019

Migrant parents and children housed in Texas detention centers must have access to basic necessities, including sufficient food, clean water, clean beds, and health and educational services. That is the message of a letter sent last week to state leaders and Texas lawmakers from several organizations, including the Texas Medical Association.


Mobilizing Against Measles: Physicians Face the Worst National Outbreak in Decades - 08/12/2019

Measles – a deadly disease the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared eradicated in America in 2000 – has made an unwelcome return in 2019. The anti-vaccine movement is weakening Texas’ ability to withstand outbreaks, but there are still many things physicians can do to work with patients and communities to improve vaccination rates.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 08/12/2019

Talk to your patients about Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib, which, despite its name, does not cause influenza. However, Hib causes several severe illnesses, particularly meningitis, mostly in children younger than 5.


With Your Help, TMA Foundation Improved Health Throughout Texas - 08/02/2019

“Good health is priceless. That’s why your charitable gifts to TMA Foundation are so valuable.” That’s the message from Susan M. Pike, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF), in its 2018 Annual Report.


Talk to Patients About: Tetanus - 08/02/2019

Almost all U.S. tetanus cases occur among people who are unvaccinated or did not receive a booster shot, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


AIMing to Save Lives: More Standardized Care Could Bring Down Texas' Maternal Death Rate - 08/02/2019

Texas’ maternal death rate is still high, and public health officials are betting that more standardized care will bring it down with guidelines set up by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM).


Talk to Patients About: Hepatitis B - 08/02/2019

There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.


Talk to Patients About: Meningococcal B - 08/02/2019

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.


What’s Killing Texans? Fixing Texas' System for Tracking Deaths - 08/02/2019

Distorted death statistics inaccurately portray how people are dying, with significant public health implications. System changes and physician education could help.


Keeping Kids Safe in and Around the Water: New AAP Guidelines - 08/02/2019

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1-4 years of age, and is the second leading cause of death in children under 14. In the March 2019 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a revised policy statement on “Prevention of Drowning.”


Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 08/02/2019

Primary care physicians are at the frontline of the annual battle against influenza. Many patients arrive at their clinician’s office with erroneous information about the vaccine and have already decided to refuse their flu shot before they walk through the clinic doors. In response, practices and providers across the country have amplified their efforts.


Talk to Patients About: Diphtheria - 08/02/2019

Most people know little about diphtheria today thanks to the effectiveness of its vaccine. But fear of this highly contagious bacterial infection – which chokes off patients’ ability to breathe –  was once so strong that it accidentally gave birth to a major sporting event: the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.


Goodbye to Polio - 08/02/2019

Polio has all but vanished. For one Texas physician, memories of it never will.


Talk to Patients About: Hib - 08/02/2019

Despite its name, Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib – doesn’t cause influenza. In the 1890s, doctors thought this bacteria might cause flu and – despite later research showing flu is caused by a virus – the name stuck. But Hib does cause several severe illnesses, mostly among children under 5 years old. Meningitis is the most common.


Firearms Safety: A Growing Public Health Threat - 08/02/2019

Michael Bagg was bothered by how his fellow students at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston reacted to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people. He started talking with a classmate about ways to address firearms that would improve safety while also respecting the rights of gun owners. Together, they came up with a preclinical curriculum for an elective class on firearms safety that has been taught at the school for the past two years. The course, which more than 100 students have attended, addresses topics such as the treatment of injuries and threat identification.


Public Health: Tobacco Triumph - 08/02/2019

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.


Build Immunization Awareness During August - 08/01/2019

If you weren’t already aware, August is National Immunization Awareness Month. As a physician, you’re aware of how important vaccines are for public health. But some of your patients might not know or understand the benefits of getting vaccinated. Whether you’re talking to parents of young children, senior citizens, or anyone in between, TMA’s Be Wise – Immunize has some tools you can use.


Vaccinations Available for Tarrant County Kids, Adults - 08/01/2019

Uninsured and underinsured Tarrant County residents can get low-cost vaccinations to prepare for school, and to prevent harmful and potentially deadly diseases. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program will join efforts with the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County (ICTC) to provide vaccinations to local kids, as well as adults.


Keep Hib Germs Away: Vaccination Can Prevent Serious Childhood Illness - 08/01/2019

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.