Disaster Preparedness

New Electronic Disaster Response System Launched in Texas - 06/21/2021

Using Texas’ statewide health information exchange (HIE), the state has launched a new system that gives disaster response volunteers remote, secure access to patients’ electronic health information when treating them in alternate care sites during declared emergencies. The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) recently stood up the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE) platform in Texas in partnership with Audacious Inquiry. PULSE falls under a suite of statewide HIE services known as “HIETexas” overseen by THSA, a public-private partnership. 


Boosting Infrastructure for the Next Disaster - 06/10/2021

 Recognizing the need for the state to plan for public health emergencies and natural disasters, the Texas Medical Association during this legislative session helped shape and pass legislation to modernize the state’s public health authority infrastructure and allow for more timely, efficient, and effective surveillance of and response to outbreaks and disasters.  


Disaster Liability - 05/18/2020

Expansion of the Good Samaritan law to volunteer health care professionals and sponsoring health care institutions for care, assistance, or advice provided during a disaster


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.


Prepare for Disasters with TMA’s Help - 09/24/2019

Tropical Depression Imelda deluged parts of Southeast Texas late last week, serving as an all-too-real reminder of the devastation that natural disasters can cause. Whether you or your practice have been directly affected by the storm, or if you are caring for patients who have been, look to the Texas Medical Association’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Resource Center for up-to-date information and tools.


Texas Cardiologist Recalls Boston Marathon Bombing - 02/04/2019

When two pressure-cooker bombs filled with nails, ball bearings, and black powder exploded at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding hundreds more, Jorge Alvarez, MD, did what he believes anybody would do: Run toward the danger.


Disasters to Disease Outbreaks: Four Health Commissioners Discuss Texas’ Readiness for Next Threat - 01/09/2019

Every Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) commissioner from this century will describe the biggest health crisis they faced while tasked with protecting Texans’ health, and share what they consider to be our greatest present threats, during the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) third Distinguished Speaker Series event.


Help Your California Colleagues Rebuild From Disastrous Fires - 11/19/2018

If you want to help physicians in California who have been devastated by the ongoing wildfires, the California Medical Association (CMA) and its charitable arm, Physicians for a Healthy California, are taking donations through a recently created webpage.


TMA Exhibit Explores Disasters That Helped Shape Texas Medicine - 10/22/2018

The Texas Medical Association is highlighting some of the state’s most notorious disasters, and the medical responses to them, in its newest exhibit, “When Disaster Strikes…Six Catastrophes That Changed Texas Medicine.” The exhibit is on display until September 2019 in the Robert G. Mickey History of Medicine Gallery at the TMA headquarters in Austin.


Hurricane Harvey: The Way Back - 08/27/2018

Lessons learned as practices emerge from Harvey’s wrath.


Deadline to File Harvey Insurance Claims Approaching - 08/16/2018

Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 last year, causing widespread flooding along the coast. Some insurance claims, including to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, must be reported by the one-year anniversary of the date the damage occurred, unless you can show good cause for a delay.


Hurricane Harvey: One Year Later - 08/16/2018

Studies of the public health, mental health, and environmental effects of the storm could take years to complete. Meanwhile, physician practices share their own lessons learned.


Accessing Medical Information for Displaced Texans - 04/27/2018

It is difficult to watch as our beloved state suffers from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. Even more difficult is the number of Texans displaced as they evacuate to safe places. This means many Texans are seeking medical care outside of their usual region or network of physicians. It helps to know that health information exchanges (HIE) are available to assist physicians by providing access to a patient’s information at the point of care.


TMA Fund Continues to Help Harvey-Affected Practices Rebuild - 02/23/2018

Six months after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas Medical Association continues to provide financial assistance to practices the storm damaged.


TMA Wins MIPS Exemption for Many Harvey-Affected Practices - 02/20/2018

Many physicians whose practices are located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey will not be required to participate in the 2017 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and will not face a 4-percent Medicare payment penalty in 2019, officials announced in December.


TMA Sends Almost $750,000 to Harvey-Affected Physicians - 02/09/2018

Thanks in part to the generosity of Texas physicians, TMA has provided almost $750,000 in assistance to 53 practices damaged by Hurricane Harvey.


TMA Hits $1 Million Milestone to Aid Harvey-Damaged Medical Practices - 01/10/2018

The TMA Disaster Relief Program, set up to aid Texas physicians’ practices damaged by Hurricane Harvey, has reached the $1 million mark. A gift of $5,000 from the Michigan State Medical Society Foundation to the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) Disaster Relief Campaign, tipped the total raised to over $1 million, fulfilling the campaign goal.


Generous Contributions Push TMA Relief Program Near $1 Million - 11/28/2017

Two substantial contributions by national physician organizations gave the Texas Medical Association (TMA) TMA Disaster Relief Program a giant boost today, pushing the total raised to nearly $1 million. The program aims to assist thousands of Texas physician practices damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey recover and reopen to care for patients as quickly as possible.


TMA Disaster Relief Program Sends $350,000 in Aid to First Physician Applicants - 11/28/2017

Relief is on the way for some Texas physicians uprooted from their medical practice by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) Disaster Relief Program committee distributed nearly $350,000 to the first 28 medical practices to apply for assistance to rebuild. Physicians whose Harvey-damaged medical practice is located in a federally declared disaster area have been applying for assistance for damage not covered by insurance or other means, to speed the rebuilding of their community doctor offices.


NEW: Physicians Now May Apply for TMA Disaster Relief Program Aid - 09/22/2017

Any Texas physician whose Harvey-damaged medical practice is located in a federally declared disaster area now may apply for relief funds from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Disaster Relief Program.


Relief Program Launched to Reopen Hurricane-Devastated Medical Practices - 09/19/2017

When staff of a Houston-area children’s urgent care clinic saw security-camera images of brown, murky Hurricane Harvey floodwater submerging the waiting room, they knew it was bad. Quickly, the physicians and other clinic workers jumped into action. Soon they also consulted the Texas Medical Association (TMA) for help, and learned about the TMA Disaster Relief Program.


Make a Donation to Help Louisiana Residents Affected by Flooding - 06/09/2017

Many Louisiana communities have been affected by the recent devastating floods. The Louisiana State Medical Society has created a disaster relief fund, and you can make a donation to the fund to help the state's parish medical societies assist those Louisiana residents who are in need.


Preparing for the Worst - 06/01/2017

Zika is likely to be back in the news in June, and the Galveston National Lab at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) will have a hand in combatting it. The lab is a "biosafety level 4," or BSL 4, facility — the only one on a college campus in the United States. At the heart of the UTMB campus, the lab studies and tracks emerging infectious diseases and defends against bioterrorism.


Historic Journal Details Medical Response to UT Sniper Attack - 08/02/2016

Fifty years to the day after a deadly sniper attack at The University of Texas (UT) shattered the midday calm of summer on campus, an archived edition of the Texas Medical Association’s Texas Medicine magazine details the emergency medical response to the rampage.


The Night West Blew Up - 06/02/2016

The April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and injured more than 160 in the Central Texas town of West put the state's disaster response system to the test. Area health professionals and emergency responders mobilized quickly to care for the injured and prevent more deaths.