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 Volume 18, No 4                      

Feb. 8, 2016            


Fundraisers Show Medicine’s Political Strength and Diversity

Superficially, the two political fundraisers couldn’t have been more different. The El Paso event supported a Democrat, a political newcomer. The evening in San Antonio was for a Republican, a long-time state leader. But a closer look at the tremendously successful fundraisers reveals the incredible strength of TEXPAC and our physician community. In El Paso, more than 100 people — including Mayor Oscar Leeser — gathered at the home of orthopedic surgeon Luis Urrea, MD. Cohosted by TEXPAC and the El Paso County Medical Society, the event honored Adolfo Lopez, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the open State House District 77 race against a personal injury lawyer. Physicians from around the state gathered in the San Antonio home of Drs. Alex and Candace Kenton to help House Speaker Joe Straus win reelection in House District 121. A who’s who of Texas medical political action committees and physician leaders cohosted the event with TEXPAC. Speaker Straus, who has been a good friend of medicine, faces two tea party opponents. It’s not too late to join TEXPAC or upgrade your membership to help all of the candidates we’ve endorsed in the March 1 primary.

Med Students Train Thousands in Lifesaving Technique

About 650 students across the state taught more than 4,000 men, women, and children a new Texas Two Step on Saturday. It might not have been as much fun as dancing, but the TMA-backed campaign taught participants something much more important: how to save a life. At 49 locations in 10 Texas cities, the students explained and demonstrated the new two-step: Step 1, call 9-1-1; Step 2, begin hands-only CPR. The Texas College of Emergency Physicians, HealthCorps, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and leadership consulting firm MaveRx joined TMA in supporting the program. Special thanks to Houston emergency medicine physician Angela Siler Fisher, MD, for spearheading the campaign.

Act Now to Protect Veterans’ Safety

The Veterans Administration (VA) is actively working to abandon physician-led, team-based surgical anesthesia care and replace it with a nurse-only model. You can do something to stop it. The VA is  about to propose a new Nursing Handbook in the Federal Register that would allow advanced practice nurses to practice independently in VA hospitals regardless of state scope-of-practice laws and regardless of conflicts with other VA handbooks. Veterans’ service organizations and more than 90 members of Congress are opposing this change on the grounds that it jeopardizes veterans’ safety. The American Society of Anesthesiologists is asking physicians of all specialties to submit comments on the proposed rule on its Safe VA Care website .

Abbott Appoints Infectious Disease Task Force

One practicing physician is a member of the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott. Dorothy Overman, MD, is a TMA member and family physician in New Braunfels. She is also the local health authority for Comal County. The task force helps guide state responses to infectious disease outbreaks and serves “as a reliable and transparent source of information and education for Texas leadership and citizens.” Texas Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, is the task force director.

New TMA Webinar Tackles Diabetes and Nutrition

Nutrition counseling and lifestyle management are important tools for physicians to use in countering the nation’s growing diabetes epidemic. Frontiers in Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of Nutrition in Health, a new on-demand webinar from the TMA Education Center, helps physicians better understand and use those tools. Register today at the special members-only price.

Don’t Miss These Key Practice Deadlines

Here are some upcoming dates you don’t want to let slip past:

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