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Caution Urged as Officials Continue to Monitor Coronavirus - 08/05/2020

State and federal health officials continue to monitor COVID-19. As of Wednesday afternoon, 459,887 cases and 7,497 deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to a tracker for Texas COVID-19 cases published by the state Department of State Health Services.


TMA, Local Hosts to Vaccinate Area Children This Summer - 07/24/2020

Uninsured and underinsured area children (and adults in some locations) can get free and low-cost vaccinations now and into September to prevent harmful and potentially deadly diseases. The hometown shot clinics planned for here and several other Texas communities will allow families to catch up on vaccinations missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and help prepare kids for the return to school. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise – ImmunizeSM program supports efforts by local hosts to provide vaccinations.


TMA Chart Shows COVID-19 Risks for Various Activities - 07/22/2020

Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician experts recently created a chart  to help Texans make informed choices about which activities are safest to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Doctor Is In: Parents, Don’t Miss Kids’ Routine Care, Vaccinations - 07/16/2020

Across Texas and the nation, many parents are anxious about taking their children to the doctor for fear of exposing them to COVID-19, but physicians are here to offer reassurance and a reminder. While the fear is justifiable, Texas doctors advise parents that routine well visits are safe and important for their child’s health, and assure them “the doctor is in.”


The Doctor - and Lawyer - Will See You Now: Medical-Legal Partnerships - 07/15/2020

Elderly woman. Low-income. Chronic pain. Needs to see a rheumatologist. Needs physical therapy. Struggling to pay rent. Has no insurance. Has no disability coverage. As a family physician at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Austin, Sharad Kohli, MD, sees a lot of cases like this. In similar health care settings, the patient might face two bad choices: wage bureaucratic war to obtain better health care benefits or simply give up. At People’s Community Clinic, Dr. Kohli referred her to an in-house lawyer who successfully appealed her denial of disability insurance. “[The lawyer] got her a significant income, which allowed her to pay her rent and also helped her get insurance through Medicaid and Medicare,” Dr. Kohli said. “And then she was able to see the rheumatologist and the physical therapist.” This kind of success helps explain why medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) like the one at People’s Community Clinic came about in 1993 and began expanding nationally after 2001. Te...


A Boost for Behavioral Health: New State Programs - 07/10/2020

The Child Psychiatric Access Network (CPAN) plans to start operations in May, giving pediatricians and family physicians across Texas free telemedicine-based consultation and training on community psychiatry. CPAN is a key part of a much larger mental health initiative created by the 2019 Texas Legislature called the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. Aside from CPAN, the consortium also will help public schools respond to mental health needs among students; expand the psychiatric workforce by paying for psychiatric positions and fellowships; and provide money for research on mental health in Texas.


Positive Pressure: Physicians Promote Hemorrhage Control Training - 07/10/2020

The need for improved training on hemorrhage control in emergencies has been building for decades. Physicians say it’s just as important to reach out to the community to promote hemorrhage control in the same way CPR and other life-saving methods are promoted.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 07/10/2020

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.


Q&A: Preparing for Pandemic, An Interview with Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health - 07/10/2020

Umair Shah, MD, Harris County Public Health executive director, on how COVID-19 has exposed gaps in the public health system.


TMA Statement on In-Person Convention Cancellation - 07/10/2020

“The physicians of Texas are pleased that the Republican Party of Texas will not hold its convention as an in-person event in Houston next week. The Houston area, unfortunately, is a hotbed of infections from the novel coronavirus. The most recent state figures show Harris County with 24,000 active COVID-19 cases, a nearly 30% increase from the week before..."


In-Person Convention Poses ‘Significant’ Health Risks - 07/03/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding the Texas Republican Party’s decision to hold an in-person state convention.


TMA Applauds Governor’s Mask Order - 07/02/2020

“The physicians of Texas are very pleased that Governor Abbott is following the science. There is no question about it – face masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. They help protect the people wearing masks, and they help protect the people around them..."


TMA: As Governor Reinstates Limits, All Texans Must Do Our Part - 06/26/2020

“We absolutely must stop the spread of COVID-19 in Texas. Governor Abbott’s actions today are intended to do just that. But Texans also need to take responsibility to protect ourselves and each other from this virus without government mandates. I know we are all smart enough to do this on our own: wash our hands frequently, stay home when possible, and practice social distancing and wear masks when we are out.” 


TMA Statement Regarding Governor’s COVID-Fighting Orders - 06/25/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order today expanding hospital capacity and decision to pause further reopening.


Physicians Committed to Keeping Texas Hospitals Open Amid COVID-19 Spike - 06/24/2020

“In many parts of our state, COVID-19 is making a terrifyingly strong return. Hospitals are activating surge plans to make room for more seriously ill patients – whether with COVID-19, other diseases, or significant trauma..."


TMA: Governor is Right; Act Now to Stop COVID-19 Spread - 06/22/2020

“The physicians of Texas greatly appreciate Governor Abbott using the power of his office to warn Texans about the serious, ongoing threat of COVID-19 and to recommend that Texans take proven steps to protect themselves and their neighbors. The governor is right – COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas..."


Over 65? Have a Disability? Stay Safe; Stay Healthy; Vote - 06/10/2020

Opinion piece by Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician leaders, about voting safely during the pandemic.


Editor's Note: Stick With the Science - 06/01/2020

I was sure I had contracted COVID-19 in November on a trip to Boston. Could one little antibody test give me that confidence? Turns out, no.


TMA Continues to Support Governor’s Science-Based Plan to Reopen Texas - 05/18/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement on reopening more Texas businesses.


Breaking Down Barriers: New State Effort Helps Get LARCs to Women Who Need Them - 05/13/2020

In November 2019, HHSC named boosting the use of LARCs as goal No. 1 for improving the health of women and children. The announcement came when HHSC released its first-ever annual business plan, “Blueprint for a Healthy Texas.”


The Temperature's Rising: Preparing for the Health Effects of Climate Change - 04/30/2020

In Texas, climate change has been blamed for contributing to the severity of several weather and health events, including the 2011 statewide drought, the 2012 outbreak of West Nile virus in Dallas, Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and the steadily increasing prevalence of vector-borne diseases like Zika and chikungunya. Here are some of the most important climate-related health problems Texas physicians can expect according to climate scientists and the physician experts Texas Medicine spoke to.


Governor is Right to Call for Gradual, Science-Based Approach to Reopen Texas Economy - 04/14/2020

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s remarks regarding plans to reopen the Texas economy, John Carlo, MD, chair of the Texas Public Health Coalition, issued the following statement.


Bracing for the Big Ones: Novel Diseases like COVID-19 Could Test Texas' Public Health System - 03/31/2020

Novel diseases like COVID-19 could be a tough test for Texas’ public health system.


In Defense of Public Health: Peter Hotez, MD, on the Comeback of Preventable Diseases - 03/31/2020

Preventable diseases are back on the map, and Peter Hotez, MD, Texas’ most outspoken vaccine researcher, says physicians need to think globally to help stop the trend.


Texas Physicians Say: Remain Calm, Protect Yourself, Stay Safe - 03/17/2020

Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of emergency declaration regarding COVID-19.