Tribpedia: Department of State Health Services

State of Mind: Finding a Way to Cover the Uninsured

Texas hospitals want state lawmakers to find a way for the state to draw down billions in federal Affordable Care Act dollars to cover the uninsured and alleviate the burden on local taxpayers. Health officials hope the Legislature looks at a program in San Antonio that they say has the makings of a Texas solution. This is the third video in our eight-part State of Mind series.

Dr. Lakey questions witness during the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response at the Texas Capitol on October 23rd, 2014
Dr. Lakey questions witness during the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response at the Texas Capitol on October 23rd, 2014

Lakey Leaving Health Agency for Position at UT System

The state's top public health official, David Lakey, will leave the Department of State Health Services to accept a joint position with the University of Texas System and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, sources familiar with the plans say.

 

Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Director Dr. Brett Giroir during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on October 17th, 2014 joined by Gov. Perry, Dr. Kyle Janek, Col. Steve McCraw and Chief Nim Kidd
Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Director Dr. Brett Giroir during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on October 17th, 2014 joined by Gov. Perry, Dr. Kyle Janek, Col. Steve McCraw and Chief Nim Kidd

Ebola Task Force's Report Includes Call for New Facility

In a new report, the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response called for the establishment of a treatment facility specifically for children, among other recommendations.

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.