Important COVID-19 Updates for North Texas Physicians

The North Texas Medical Society Coalition is sharing two important and timely COVID-19 updates as you help navigate care for your patients. 

First, the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) has opened a second COVID-19 antibody infusion center in North Texas. The new facility, located at Collin College in McKinney, will be in addition to the existing center in Ft. Worth. Click here to access the referral form and here for location details for the McKinney location. Click here for the referral form and here for location details for the Ft. Worth location.

Second, regional hospital emergency departments are requesting that well and mildly ill patients requiring a COVID-19 test (e.g. students, teachers and others who are seeking to return to school/work, or, individuals with mild symptoms), be directed to offsite COVID testing facilities. Emergency departments are being inundated with both sick patients and COVID-19 testing requests and have asked for the assistance of referring physicians to direct test-only patients to offsite locations. To access an offsite testing location, please click here. Please advise patients to contact the testing center prior to arriving to inquire about any limitations (e.g. no pediatrics, hours, appointments needed, etc.), and other important details. Hospitals have advised that patients who present at the emergency department for testing only may be charged an emergency department visit fee. While the COVID test itself is free, a facility visit fee may apply.

Thank you for all you are doing to serve your patients and our community. You are appreciated!

The NTMSC represents more than 11,500 physicians in the communities of Collin-Fannin, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, and Tarrant County. Founded in 2020, the NTMSC works with community healthcare partners, including public health departments, hospitals, and business leaders, to advise on medical recommendations to serve the health care needs of the residents of North Texas.

North Central Texas COVID-19 Regional Infusion Center Opens in Fort Worth

Today, a COVID-19 Regional Infusion Center offering the monoclonal antibody treatment Regeneron – COV (Casirivimab plus Imdevimab) opened in Fort Worth. According to the Infusion Center Info Sheet, “[t]his site will accept patient referrals from healthcare providers across TSAs C, D, and E to help administer COVID therapeutics quickly and safely with the goal of preventing patients from needing hospitalization.”

Referrals are required for treatment. To see if your patients qualifies, check the North Central Texas COVID-19 Regional Infusion Info Sheet. If they are eligible, you can complete the referral by filling out this form and sending in in by fax (210-208-5295) or email (InfusionReferral@bcfs.net).

We Might be Done With COVID-19, But It Is Not Done With Us

A message to the community from Tarrant County physicians

The current surge in COVID-19 cases in the Tarrant County area is having serious consequences that could impact patient outcomes.

  • Hospitals are currently at, or over, their staffing capacity with very few open ICU beds available across Tarrant County.
  • Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are straining to meet the overwhelming needs in the hospitals.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations aren’t just a problem of the unvaccinated, they also strain the resources that are needed to treat other medical conditions and emergencies.

To avoid this, we urge the community to recognize this current crisis and take the simple and familiar steps that are proven to be effective against the spread of COVID-19.

  • We must continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, and be cautious about how we gather.
  • Because the Delta variant is the most contagious variant yet and has the potential for spread by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, we encourage everyone to wear a mask in public while indoors and outdoors when unable to socially distance.
  • In addition, those who are not fully vaccinated should limit gathering with those outside of their household, especially while indoors.

Vaccination is the safest and most effective way by which we can protect ourselves from this deadly virus and get back to normal.

  • With over 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine given in the U.S., evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines is overwhelming.
  • Being fully vaccinated results in an 8-fold reduction of having symptomatic COVID-19, a 25-fold reduction in being hospitalized and a 25-fold reduction in death from COVID-19. We strongly encourage every eligible person to get vaccinated – immediately.

As a community, we are at a tipping point. Let’s move in the right direction.

  • Each one of us can do our part to stop the spread, break the cycle, and defeat this pandemic once and for all. The choice is ours.

The Tarrant County Medical Society is a membership organization for the physicians serving the Tarrant County community. TCMS has been dedicated to the improvement of the art and science of medicine since 1903.

JPS is Bringing Back the COVID-19 Information Line

JPS Health Network is committed to helping ensure our community has the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to an increase in the number of positive cases in Tarrant County, the Network is resuming a daily information phone line to provide facts about COVID-19 cases at JPS.

Starting today, information will be available as a recording updated every morning at 10 a.m. Callers can access the recorded message by calling 817-702-9500.

The recording will provide information including the number of inpatients who are undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at John Peter Smith Hospital. The phone line was in operation for about a year during the height of the pandemic, and was suspended in mid-June as the number of cases at the hospital dwindled.

TCMS Pediatrician Voted in as TMA President-Elect

Gary Floyd MD picture

Gary W. Floyd, MD, a Fort Worth pediatrician and longtime member of the Tarrant County Medical Society, was elected president-elect of the Texas Medical Association  on Saturday, May 15. TMA’s House of Delegates governing body announced elections during TexMed, the association’s annual conference, held virtually this year due to the pandemic. He will serve in this role for one year before assuming the presidency of America’s largest state medical society in 2022. 

“It’s an incredible privilege and responsibility – and very humbling – for the members of our TMA to elect me to be the spokesperson for our organization,” said Dr. Floyd. “I will never tire of advocating for our patients and our physician members.”

TMA’s president is the organization’s primary voice to external audiences and to physician members – for advocacy and policy efforts, and in news interviews.

Dr. Floyd has been very involved in TMA and other organized medicine organizations throughout his 42-year medical career. He chaired TMA’s Board of Trustees governing body for the past year, having served in that body for seven years. He led the board in a “disaster board” function last year, temporarily acting on urgent business in place of the association’s policymaking body since the pandemic prohibited an in-person House of Delegates meeting. Board members explored a new diversity initiative as well.

“As chair, I led our board to initiate a task force to study equity, diversity, inclusion, and racism,” he said. “I believe our TMA needs to seriously address these issues as we move further into the 21st century.”

Dr. Floyd also was reelected today by the TMA house as a delegate representing Texas in the American Medical Association House of Delegates. He has chaired the TMA Council on Legislation and served on the association’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws, and the Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured. Dr. Floyd also was a district chair of TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee.

Dr. Floyd has several objectives planned for his presidency next year, which mirror long-term goals of the association.

“My goals include aggressively protecting against intrusions into the practice of medicine by those who have not done the necessary training, in order to protect our patients and unsuspecting citizens in Texas,” he said. He also lists defending Texas’ liability reforms and defending against intrusions into what he calls “the sacred bond” between physicians and their patients. He believes in protecting physicians’ autonomy to make medical decisions with and for their patients. 

The pediatrician assumes the presidency as Texas continues to vaccinate against COVID-19 and return to normalcy in life and patient care.

“I actively practiced pediatrics over 40 years, but with the COVID pandemic, I retired from daily patient care,” he said. He continues to be very involved in medical management and organized medicine, however.

During the pandemic, TMA distributed millions of personal protective equipment masks to Texas physicians. TMA also guided many doctors in adopting telemedicine to remotely care for patients and provided other information and support for physicians to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Dr. Floyd previously served as president of the Texas Pediatric Society and TCMS, and he was active in the American College of Physician Executives, and the Society for Pediatric Emergency Medicine. He is a fellow and board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Floyd graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. He pursued his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Floyd has practiced in various settings in Texas and Oklahoma including general pediatrics, academic pediatrics, and  pediatric emergency and urgent care, and he has worked in administrative medicine and government affairs. He was the John Peter Smith Health Networks chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs, then executive vice president of government and alumni affairs.

Active in the First Baptist Church of Keller, Dr. Floyd has been married 47 years to Karen Floyd, whom he met when they were in high school. “She is my best, most trusted friend,” he said. The couple has two married daughters, Holly Peterson, married to Ben Peterson, and Neely Pedersen, married to Craig Pedersen, DO, and two grandsons, with another due in October.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 55,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

Scholarly Pursuit and Thesis

by Michael Bernas
Scholarly Pursuit and Thesis Program Director

This article was originally published in the March/April issue of the Tarrant County Physician. You can read find the full magazine here.


Have you ever been curious about an unknown in your practice? Do you ever find yourself thinking “what if…”? Have you always been curious about doing a little research, but not sure where to start? If so, you may be interested in participating in a research project with a medical school student from the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. 

The program is called the Scholarly Pursuit and Thesis (SPT) course and it is a four-year research project that all students at the school undertake as part of their education. It was designed for students to explore medical research, practice critical inquiry, and use medical information literacy to become patient-centric physicians with life-long curiosity and learning skills. The course begins with students reinvigorating their curiosity and questioning skills. This is followed by some basic research training, including literature searching and appraisal skills, research question development, and human subjects training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative program. Program faculty will help develop these skills and assist students throughout their research projects.

Many students have prior experience with research from their undergraduate or post-college education. During the first year, students work with their mentor to produce a prospectus that is similar to a small research grant application, detailing project parameters. During the next two years students work on projects with their mentors, and in the fourth year they produce a thesis as well as a poster for a public presentation.

Some common questions from potential research mentors include:

What is the role of the mentor? The mentor acts as a guide to the student in the research project. He or she will assist the student in designing the research project and often help with providing data or access to data for research. The mentor will work with the student as they monitor data collection and interpretation, will be available for questions, and will assist the student with the final thesis conclusions. 

What areas and topics are appropriate for student research projects? Mentors and projects can come from any field (see Table). The only requirements are that the project is researched effectively, includes some sort of intervention or examination (experiment, chart review, product design, data collection, etc.), has a good plan for analysis of results, and includes a discussion of the results with potential application and questions for the future.

How does a student decide what research project to do? Generally, there are four ways to develop the projects. Firstly, the mentor may already have some ongoing research that the student can join or carve a piece from. Secondly, often mentors have some questions that they have been curious about and want to explore further. Thirdly, students sometimes have their own specific question to start with as the basis for their project. Finally, after some discussion concerning issues and questions in a specific area, the mentor and student can design something completely new. Whatever way the decision is made, communication between the mentor and student helps drive this process. 

How much time will this take? Time with the student will vary from project to project and there are no specific program requirements. Overall, the mentor needs to commit to working with the student for four years (projects chosen and designed at approximately end of semester 1 and thesis submitted at approximately end of semester 7). However, during this time, due to obligations and schedules of both, this could mean meeting almost every week in some labs (approximately one hour) to perhaps only meeting every two to three weeks for some clinicians or mentors. As the project progresses, there may be less need for frequent interactions until data review and analysis. We anticipate that mentor-student meetings will also include some “life lesson” discussions and the potential to develop a lasting relationship.  

Do I need to have experience as a researcher? No, there are no requirements for prior experience, only your willingness to work with the student.

Does the student need to publish a manuscript on the results? There is no requirement that the students publish a manuscript before they graduate. However, it is the expectation that the majority of student projects will result in publication in addition to abstracts and posters/presentations from project results as appropriate.

What are the benefits to me as a mentor? All mentors will receive an academic appointment with the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. In addition, you get to work with an enthusiastic and curious student for four years, who will perform most of the work. The curriculum design provides education in basic science (year 1) and clinical training (year 2) in an accelerated fashion, producing an experienced mini-physician to enhance your research team. Finally, students will have educational experiences throughout North Texas with the potential to share or expand your research. 

How do I learn more? This article is just an introduction. For more detailed information and any questions, please contact Program Director Michael Bernas at m.bernas@tcu.edu. 

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 02/25/21


COVID-19 Positive cases: 240,416

COVID-19 related deaths: 2818

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 219,208*

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Thursday, February 25, 2021. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

*These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Physicians, Stand Together Against House Bill 2029

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are asking legislators for full practice authority that would allow for essentially independent diagnosis and prescribing without any collaboration with a licensed physician

Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) filed House Bill 2029, which if passed will allow APRNs to: independently prescribe dangerous drugs and controlled substances (up to Schedule III with some Schedule II privileges in inpatient facilities and hospice); order and interpret diagnostic testing; and prescribe DME and devices – all without any relationship with a physician. The bill is expected to be referred to the House Public Health Committee which is Chaired by Representative Klick. We need every Texas physician’s voice to help us.

Please contact your state lawmakers today. Let them know why it’s important to support physician-led, team-based care. Texas patients deserve the highest quality health care possible. 

Tell them how much you learned in your years of medical school, residency, and beyond. Let them know you are calling on behalf of the patients of Texas, and how your education is much different from that of APRNs and other nonphysicians. Ask them to say “No” to the APRNs and HB 2029, and to help the Texas Medical Association advocate for what is best for patients: a physician-led, team-based care model.

You can use the new TMA Grassroots Action Center to share that message quickly and easily with your representatives.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 01/28/21

COVID-19 Positive cases: 213,611

COVID-19 related deaths: 2123

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 161,348

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Thursday, January 28, 2021. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

*These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.