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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.


The Doctor Is In: Parents, Don’t Miss Kids’ Routine Care, Vaccinations - 01/14/2022

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.”


What’s Better, Immunity From a Shot, or From the Disease? - 01/14/2022

Although suffering through a disease sometimes gives you immunity from catching that same disease later in life, vaccinating against diseases instead is the safest way to protect yourself and your loved ones.


I Got My Shot; Why Am I Sick? Physicians Explain - 01/14/2022

The bottom line: Vaccines are our best protection against disease, but in some situations vaccinated people can still get sick. In the case of influenza, several factors can cause this. Nonetheless, physicians stress vaccines are the best form of protection, shielding many individuals from the disease or at least reducing the severity of symptoms, and preventing hospitalization or death.


Texas Physicians Explain Herd Immunity Needed to Fight Contagious-Disease Hotspots - 01/14/2022

A community with enough vaccinated people can protect each other from the spread of contagious disease. Herd immunity – also known as community immunity – protects those who are not immune and those who cannot or choose not to get vaccinated.


Care Connections: TMA Foundation Grants Tackle Public Health Problems - 01/03/2022

TMA Foundation grants offer a lifeline to Texas physicians tackling public health problems.


Preterm Births, Prenatal Care Still a Concern for Texas, Report Says - 12/08/2021

A new national report by the March of Dimes gave Texas a grade of D for its number of preterm births compared with other states and says Texas also is below the national average in prenatal care – both indicators of maternal health in the state.


Turn It Off Today Toolkit - 11/30/2021

TMA invites Texas families to pledge to Turn It Off Today, and take break from electronic devices. 


Making the Right Call: CPAN Helps Physicians Improve Behavioral Health - 11/24/2021

IN THE 19 MONTHS since the Texas Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) has been up and running, it’s kept any number of minor problems from becoming major ones.


TMA Airs Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions - 11/01/2021

“Vaccines defend what matters – our health, jobs, families.” A new Texas Medical Association (TMA) ad campaign featuring that message will air during the Democratic and Republican conventions to remind Texans of the many ways vaccinations protect us.


Texas Physicians Fighting Potential Zika Epidemic - 10/29/2021

With cases of local Zika virus transmission now being reported in Florida, Texas physicians and state officials are preparing to confront inevitable local transmission here, reports Texas Medicine magazine.


Texas Newborn Screening Fee Increase Coming in 2022 - 10/26/2021

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, the cost of each kit in the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Texas Newborn Screening Program will go up slightly to accommodate the inclusion of spinal muscular atrophy screening, a leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers.


Texas FQHCs Receive Almost $50 Million for Modernization - 10/12/2021

The federal government will distribute nearly $50 million among 66 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Texas as part of a nationwide infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to modernize those centers and support underserved communities.


CDC: Lightly Researched THC Compound May Lurk in CBD Products - 09/15/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning physicians, public health departments, and others about insufficiently labeled cannabidiol (CBD) products that may contain a certain compound of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that creates the psychotropic high for marijuana users.


Update: Enrollment Closes This Week For COVID-19 Antibody Response Survey - 09/10/2021

Texans between the ages of 5 and 80 can sign up to help The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in its ongoing effort to improve science’s understanding of COVID-19 through the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey (Texas CARES).


SHACs and School Reopening: Webinar Sept. 23 - 09/07/2021

Action For Healthy Kids is hosting a series of webinars on school health advisory councils (SHACs). The councils are volunteer advisory panels physicians can join to help ensure school districts’ health programs reflect local community values.


Commentary: This Is Different - 08/31/2021

As physicians we’re used to encountering illness on a daily basis. And 18 months in, COVID-19 illnesses are unfortunately all too familiar.


Apply by Sept. 1: Start a Vaccine Clinic with TMAF Local Impact Grant - 08/23/2021

As part of the Texas Medical Association’s Vaccines Defend What Matters campaign, the TMA Foundation offers grants of up to $3,500 to fund vaccination activities, educational resources, and community outreach events. The final round of those 2021 Local Impact Grants is now open for applications.


Medicine Strategizes Best Uses for Federal COVID-19 Relief Dollars - 08/23/2021

The Texas Legislature likely will appropriate $15.8 billion from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) during a third special session expected to be called in October – funds that physician leaders say could help ease pandemic challenges, such as clinical staff shortages, while also addressing emerging issues, such as research and treatment related to long COVID.


FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine - 08/23/2021

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine became the first to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday following what the agency described as a thorough and rigorous review process.


Immigration Rule Change Undoes Care Limits - 08/09/2021

The Biden administration has ended a controversial 2019 change to the “public charge” rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the Texas Medical Association and numerous other major medical organizations opposed over concerns it deterred immigrants from obtaining timely medical care.


Get to Know Texas’ New and Improved Immunization Tracking Service - 08/06/2021

The Texas Department of State Health Services ImmTrac2 immunization registry securely and confidentially consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.