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Valerie Smith, MD: Finding the Silver Lining Amid COVID’s Mental Health Toll - 01/20/2022

Tyler pediatrician Valerie Smith, MD, is hard-wired to look at the bright side, even when considering the mental and behavioral health consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Donald Murphey, MD: Helping Kids Through the Chaos of COVID - 01/20/2022

The chaos caused by COVID-19 has hit yet another high-water mark with the spread of omicron, Austin pediatric infectious disease specialist Donald K. Murphey, MD, says. While the disease’s effect on individuals remains unpredictable, COVID-19’s impact on the medical world has taken on a dismally predictable rhythm. One physician's perspective.  


Talk to Patients About: COVID-19 Variants - 01/20/2022

Alpha. Delta. Epsilon. Omicron. These and other variants of COVID-19 have made their way through the U.S. and Texas, and new ones will almost certainly be coming along.


Help State in COVID Vaccine Outreach With New Grants - 01/19/2022

You can help COVID-19 vaccines – and valuable knowledge about them – reach areas of Texas with low vaccination rates, and/or statewide, by developing a proposal for the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Grant Program, which is accepting applications for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.


Free At-Home Test-Ordering Now Available; Watch Out for Fake Tests From Other Sources - 01/18/2022

As millions of people scramble to get their hands on COVID-19 tests and the Biden administration opens its online ordering for free at-home tests today, federal authorities are warning people to look out for fake diagnostic tests.


Texans Suffering Personal, Financial Losses From COVID - 01/18/2022

About half of Texans have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting minority populations hardest, according to a wide-ranging survey by the Episcopal Health Foundation.


Texas Offers New COVID-19 Treatments After Omicron Exhausts Monoclonal Antibody Supply - 01/18/2022

As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, five regional infusion centers in Texas have exhausted their supply of sotrovimab, the only monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the omicron variant, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced Monday. But three recently authorized therapeutics are now available throughout the state and may be effective for certain COVID-19 patients.


So-Called “Mild” Omicron Still a Serious Threat, Physicians Warn - 01/14/2022

As the massive spike of COVID-19 cases continues, the degree of infectiousness and lack of the best and most available treatment worries Texas Medical Association leaders about what the next few weeks will bring. They say important medical advice bears repeating with patients.


So-Called “Mild” Omicron Still a Serious Threat, Physicians Warn - 01/14/2022

As the massive spike of COVID-19 cases continues, Texas Medical Association physicians urge vigilance against the threat the omicron variant poses in Texas. The degree of infectiousness and lack of best and most available treatment worries Texas physicians about what the next few weeks will bring, and they say important medical advice bears repeating.


Physicians Encourage Masking and Vaccination of Students - 01/14/2022

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.


Kids 12 and Up: Get a COVID Shot, Physicians Urge - 01/14/2022

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.


New Resource Helps Kids Manage COVID-19-Related Stresses - 01/14/2022

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.


Racism: A Very Important Health Problem - 01/14/2022

“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..."


Insurance Coverage for At-Home COVID Tests Begins Saturday - 01/12/2022

The Biden-Harris administration is requiring insurers and group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests beginning this Saturday, Jan. 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.


CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance for Health Care Professionals - 01/12/2022

Citing a potential surge in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released emergency isolation and quarantine guidelines for health care professionals to assist with staffing shortages.


Low COVID Vaccination Rate Among Ages 5-11 Suggests More Vaccinators Needed - 01/11/2022

A month and a half after federal health authorities green-lit Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, state data suggest Texas parents need some convincing that the shot is right for their children. And Texas physicians say some of their colleagues need a little convincing of a different kind – namely to become vaccinators themselves.


DSHS Update: Pfizer Boosters Authorized for All Adolescents Aged 12-17 - 01/07/2022

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is highlighting recent updates to federal government recommendations for COVID-19 boosters and additional doses following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recent authorization for children as young as age 12 to receive boosters.


Talk to Patients About: Breakthrough Infections - 01/07/2022

The new mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective at giving people immunity against the disease. But as with all other vaccines, that immunity is not 100% for everyone who receives them.


Biden Administration Takes Action to Combat Omicron - 01/06/2022

The Biden administration recently announced it will increase support to hospitals, expand access to free testing, and ramp up vaccination capacity in response to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 omicron variant.


NIH Panel Lists Preference Order for COVID Therapeutics - 01/05/2022

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Panel has released recommendations that include an order of preference for which therapeutics to use to treat nonhospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of severe disease progression.


TMA Supports New Quality Measures for Social Determinant Screening - 01/03/2022

Showing its continued commitment to highlighting and addressing social determinants of health, the Texas Medical Association offered its “strongest support” to a pair of new quality measures the National Quality Forum (NQF) is considering for screening of those social factors.


An Overworked Force: Texas Grapples With Medical Staffing Shortage Amid COVID-19 Surge - 12/14/2021

Texas grapples with a medical staffing shortage amid a renewed COVID-19 surge.


Surgeon General: Mental Health of Young People Suffering Due to COVID-19 - 12/14/2021

COVID-19 took a population of young Americans already reeling from a variety of mental health challenges and “exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced,” according to a public advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD.


Omicron Variant Underscores Importance of Proven Tools to Fight COVID - 12/08/2021

The recently discovered omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has sparked fears about increased infectivity and transmissibility heading into the holiday season. But Texas Medical Association experts and public health officials say physicians and patients can lean into proven prevention strategies – including vaccination, masking, social distancing, improved ventilation, testing, and handwashing – as scientists continue to study the new threat.


DSHS Report: COVID Vaccines Dramatically Prevent Infection and Deaths - 11/16/2021

Texas physicians have strongly encouraged patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed why that advice is sound.