A 40-Inch Flat-Screen Member Benefit

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Commentary - July 2008



Tex Med. 2008;104(7):5-6.

By Louis J. Goodman, PhD
TMA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer

Since 2008 was rung in seven months ago, we've been showered with wave upon wave of bad economic and political news. From the latest Wall Street debacle to indiscretion by politicians holding high office, the news media continue to pound the drums of impending disaster. This drowns out most good or positive stories, especially in the nonfinancial sectors of the economy like science, education, and medicine.

For example, scientists at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas just made an important discovery. They found that a chemical reaction in genes that control breast cancer provides a molecular clock indicating how many times a cell has divided. That could help more accurately determine a woman's risk for developing breast cancer and provide a new approach for treatment, the researchers said in a study. Their findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention on May 14.

For members of the Texas Medical Association, we have some very good news for you and your patients. TMA has concluded an agreement with MedLink International to put a large LCD flat-screen television in patient areas of interested medical practices. There will be absolutely no charge for the screen or for the scientific, educational, and medical content it will broadcast.   Sound too good to be true? Let me explain the details, and you decide for yourself.

My friend and colleague Charlie Aswad, MD, former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Medical Society of the State of New York, introduced me to Ray Vuono, CEO, and Jim Decker, executive vice president, of MedLink. Charlie felt this was a unique opportunity and that Texas, in particular, given our history of activism and innovation, would see the potential of this idea.

At that point, some 10 months ago, MedLink had installed about 125 TVs in physician offices in New York City (where MedLink is headquartered). TMA ran a pilot evaluation of the screens in 12 physician offices in January; the physicians and staff rated the installation and content as outstanding. Based on the evaluation and an agreement that incorporated due diligence protections, TMA approved working with MedLink.

Accordingly, we signed an agreement with MedLink to offer large flat-screen TVs as a free benefit to every TMA member. The television will offer thought-provoking, entertaining, and informative health care programming for your patients. The programming will include the TMA logo and TMA-developed materials for patients. In phase two of the project, a smaller TV for the physician's back office will provide continuing medical education, practice management information, and other relevant content.

The MedLink TV offer works like this:

  • We will install the TVs region by region across the state.
  • When we reach your region, an installation is scheduled at your convenience and the screen is installed free of any charge in your patient waiting room.
  • First-rate content is broadcast over a 65-minute loop of information that will be updated daily.
  • TMA contributes several minutes of programming each hour. There is no alcohol or tobacco advertising.
  • Medical practices have an opportunity to provide practice information on the screen either in a dynamic or static position.

MedLink TV is under the auspices of the TMA Board of Trustees with a TMA-appointed scientific advisory committee of physicians to evaluate content and advertising.

We are working closely with our county medical society partners, with the initial offering of free TVs to Dallas and Wichita county physicians.

To schedule your installation, click  here  or call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955.

I am very excited about this new benefit of TMA/county society membership and look forward to hearing from you as your TVs are installed and your patients begin to benefit from the valuable content.



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