Tribpedia: Department of State Health Services

Tribpedia

The Texas Department of State Health Services oversees disease control and prevention, as well as operating community health centers and psychiatric hospitals.

The agency and its epidemiologists track disease trends and operate state labs, coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat bioterrorism and halt the spread of dangerous pathogens. It also handles environmental safety, consumer safety ...

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Texas Women Seeking Abortions May Look to Their Doctors

When federal appellate judges ruled last week that the state could enforce strict new abortion restrictions while a legal challenge winds its way through the courts, Texas was left with just eight abortion clinics authorized to perform the procedure. While many Texas women now live hundreds of miles away from such facilities, some may still have another option: their doctor’s office.

Ebola virus virion. Created by CDC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion.
Ebola virus virion. Created by CDC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion.

Texas Officials' Ebola Contact Investigation Expands

Texas health officials have expanded to 100 their list of people who may have had contact with a man in the Dallas area confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus. Eighteen people are already under observation.

 

 

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause TB.
Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause TB.

State, Feds Target El Paso Hospital Over TB Exposure

More than 700 infants and 40 employees may have been exposed to an employee with tuberculosis at an El Paso hospital. An investigation "cited the hospital for deficiencies that represent immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety," a state health department spokeswoman said. State and federal officials say the facility has been given 23 days to fix its problems, or it could lose crucial funding. 

Republican candidate Greg Abbott gives his vision for a new Texas if he's elected governor in a speech to Republican delegates on June 6, 2014.
Republican candidate Greg Abbott gives his vision for a new Texas if he's elected governor in a speech to Republican delegates on June 6, 2014.

Transcript: Abbott's Remarks on Hazardous Chemicals

Greg Abbott made big headlines this week for suggesting that citizens get information about the storage of hazardous chemicals in Texas not from state officials but from the businesses that house them. Check out his full remarks.

The Hackney Training Complex at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, where hundreds of minors are currently housed. Texas has seen a dramatic increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the U.S.
The Hackney Training Complex at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, where hundreds of minors are currently housed. Texas has seen a dramatic increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the U.S.

State Provided 2,000 Vaccines for Child Detainees

In light of a recent surge of undocumented immigrants crossing the state’s southern border, the state health department has sent 2,000 state-purchased flu vaccines to a federal shelter housing unaccompanied minors in South Texas.

Dr. Javier Saenz, who has a medical practice in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya, prepared his clinic’s X-ray machine in 2012.
Dr. Javier Saenz, who has a medical practice in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya, prepared his clinic’s X-ray machine in 2012.

Texas Considering No Longer Licensing X-Ray Technicians

When Texans get an X-ray or an MRI, the person performing that scan is licensed by the state. Now, the state is considering doing away with the licensing of X-ray technicians and 11 other types of health professionals. Some say that would put patients at risk. A Sunset Commission hearing Wednesday is set to address the issue.

A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.
A detainee sleeps in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. CPB provided media tours Tuesday of two locations in Brownsville and Nogales, Ariz. that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.

Health Officials: Immigrant Surge is a Medical Crisis

As the state's top elected officials debate how to halt a recent surge of immigrants — many of them unaccompanied minors — across the Texas-Mexico border, health officials and volunteer doctors are voicing concerns over what they say is the more serious challenge: a looming medical crisis. 

 

Dr. Rose Okoro, a nurse practitioner, who owns Daystar Family Clinic in Katy, is shown on May 12. 2014. She says she has struggled to treat a greater number of Medicaid patients because of state regulations.
Dr. Rose Okoro, a nurse practitioner, who owns Daystar Family Clinic in Katy, is shown on May 12. 2014. She says she has struggled to treat a greater number of Medicaid patients because of state regulations.

Nurse Practitioners Look to Ease Supervision Rules

Nurse practitioners say state regulations, which link them to supervising physicians, limit their ability to treat patients in a state with a looming shortage of primary care physicians. As they seek more freedom in the state Medicaid program, physicians say the the current “team-based” model has proved to be effective.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, addresses abortion rights advocates at the Texas capitol on Feb. 20, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, addresses abortion rights advocates at the Texas capitol on Feb. 20, 2014.

Senators Discuss Progress of Women's Health Programs

The Senate Health and Human Services committee discussed Texas’ efforts to expand access to women’s health services across the state at a hearing on Thursday as abortion rights advocates gathered nearby to protest the strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year. 

Minister Freedom Gulley led a candlelight vigil in recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2013, in Houston.
Minister Freedom Gulley led a candlelight vigil in recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2013, in Houston.

Many HIV Patients Unable to Enjoy Expanded Coverage

Many HIV patients in Texas are ineligible for subsidies on the new federal health care exchange. Add the state's decision to not expand Medicaid to cover poor adults, and the bulk of those patients are missing out on expanded health coverage.

Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.
Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.

In State Records, Little Evidence to Back Abortion Law

In their successful push this summer for new regulations, abortion opponents said they were needed because conditions at existing facilities were unsafe. But a Texas Tribune review of state inspection records from the year preceding the lawmakers’ vote turned up little evidence to suggest the facilities were putting patients in imminent danger. 

Gabrielle Davis, 16, receives a shot at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2013.
Gabrielle Davis, 16, receives a shot at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2013.

Outbreaks Make a Case for Vaccinations

A measles outbreak at a North Texas megachurch and soaring rates of whooping cough across the state are drawing renewed calls for immunization legislation, which some lawmakers and medical professionals argue would help the state prevent and respond to public health crises.

Video: Meningitis Vaccine Rules Scaled Back at Colleges

Fewer college students will be required to have meningitis vaccinations, and new rules also make it easier for some students to opt out of the vaccinations. Community college administrators are praising the changes. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1.