Public Health

Commentary: Health and Climate Connected - 09/02/2020

Human health is inextricably connected with the health of the environment. Our actions to reduce the threats of climate change and global warming are key to our well-being and survival.


Commentary: Follow the Evidence on Climate Impact - 09/02/2020

While the World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year worldwide from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress, these estimates are based on assumptions using models that have not been validated using real world, observational data.


Tell Your Patients: Census Participation Key to a Healthy Texas - 08/28/2020

The U.S. Census helps determine funding for those resources, and that is why it is of the upmost importance that each and every Texan, no matter address, immigration status, or age, respond to the 2020 U.S. Census The deadline has been cut short one month and now closes Sept. 30.


TMA to Air Pro-Vaccine Ads During Political Conventions - 08/20/2020

“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.


On Pause for the Pandemic: Health Issues Sidelined Amid COVID-19 Response - 08/20/2020

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.


Texas Physicians Encourage Plasma Donations to Fight COVID-19 - 08/19/2020

Texas physicians are calling on COVID-19 coronavirus survivors to make a donation that can help others fight the infectious disease. Some former patients already have answered the call, and doctors and patients are seeing results of convalescent plasma treatments to fight COVID.


Encourage Patients, Again, to Answer the U.S. Census - 08/18/2020

Physicians should encourage patients to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census, which directly affects physicians and patients. So far this year, Texas' response rate is 58.7%, below the national response rate of 63.6%.


TMA Physicians Release Tools to Navigate School Reopening - 08/17/2020

School officials and parents across Texas are consumed with a pressing issue: How to minimize the risk of reopening schools during a pandemic. To help, physicians from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) have released a comprehensive package of materials to aid with reopening schools as smoothly and safely as possible.


Texas Youth Artists: Enter TMA’s Mask Hero Art Contest - 08/14/2020

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they wear all kinds of masks. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, heroes among us are wearing masks to protect others from the potential spread of the disease. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) invites Texas youth to get creative and send their best drawing or painting of a mask-wearing hero by Aug. 24 for a chance to win a $150 gift card.


New Visitation Principles Proposed for Critical Patients During Pandemic - 08/13/2020

End-of-life patients and those with serious illnesses may soon be able to have visitors under specific recommendations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Texas. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and several other statewide health organizations addressed the need for in-person visitations for patients in health care and long-term care facilities in a letter to the governor and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.


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...


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.


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.