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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.


Improve Access to Immunizations - 12/03/2020

Vaccinations are important, safe, and effective. They defend our families, our community, and our economy from infectious diseases. The COVID 19 pandemic clearly illustrates what can happen when a vaccine does not exist to ward off a deadly infectious disease.  


New TMA Ads Remind Texans of the Importance of Vaccines - 12/03/2020

In a new ad campaign that debuted during the Democratic National Convention, TMA reminds Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us. A second ad will run Thursday, Aug. 27, during the closing night of the Republican National Convention.


Operation Distribution: Physicians Key in COVID-19 Vaccines Distribution - 12/02/2020

Even though COVID-19 vaccines are closer than ever to use by the general public, many questions remain about how they will be distributed to Texas physicians – and how they’ll be received by Texans. That’s why TMA in October weighed in on the state’s distribution plan with recommendations to help ensure COVID-19 vaccines are not only distributed effectively and efficiently, but also seen as trusted tools in the fight against the illness.


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.


Talk to Patients About: Why COVID-19 “Parties” Are a Bad Idea - 11/30/2020

Most people have gradually adjusted to the day-to-day changes caused by COVID-19, such as washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and social distancing. But others have looked for strategies to get around the hassles caused by the pandemic. In some cases, this has included deliberately trying to contract the potentially deadly illness through “COVID parties,” events designed to expose people to someone with COVID-19.


State Board Finalizes Medically Accurate Health Education Standards - 11/23/2020

Thanks to an organized push by the Texas Medical Association and its physician members, the State Board of Education last week approved new Texas curriculum standards that include more comprehensive and medically accurate instruction on multiple health-related topics.


Effectively Counseling Patients Amid the Anti-Vaccination Movement - 11/20/2020

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: ACIP - 11/20/2020

Two federal agencies oversee the way vaccines reach the U.S. public. But only one of them guides physicians on the best way to use those vaccines. That agency is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the way private companies develop and produce vaccines.)


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.


State Board Could Remove Vaccine Education From Public Schools - 11/17/2020

There is still time to tell your state education board member to reject any amendments to the immunization language in the draft Health Education TEKS, and to ensure future generations of Texas children are informed on the importance of vaccines to overall health.


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.


Talk to Patients About: Vaccine Testing - 10/30/2020

The COVID-19 vaccines currently under production are expected to reach the public faster than any previous vaccine. But no matter how quickly a vaccine is produced, it still must pass a series of rigorous scientific tests before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will license it for public use.


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).