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A Thankful and Healthy New Year for Public Health

This article was originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of the Tarrant County Physician.

by Catherine Colquitt, MD, AAHIVS
Medical Director and Local Health Authority
Kenton K. Murthy, DO, MD, MPH, AAHIVS
Assistant Medical Director and Deputy Local Health Authority

During the holiday season, many were reunited in person to celebrate with loved ones after almost three years of relative seclusion.

There was much to be grateful for this season. While COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations are rising in Texas and in Tarrant County, our present COVID rates pale in comparison to December 2020 or January 2021.1 And though influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections are strikingly and unseasonably high, and the perils of a tridemic (COVID-19, influenza, and RSV) are on our minds, many of us and our patients and neighbors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have already had the bivalent mRNA vaccines (for protection from the Wuhan and Omicron COVID-19 strains) as well as the current seasonal influenza vaccine.

As we shift gears from the COVID-19 pandemic to COVID-19 endemic,
we hope that our next iteration of COVID-19 vaccines will roll out side
by side with next season’s influenza vaccine. However, if new versions of COVID-19 vaccines are required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 between now and then, our scientists and vaccine manufacturers, our distribution networks, the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the CDC, and state and local partners will work together to respond to future challenges.

It seems fitting to consider what we have to be thankful for, and gratitude in healthcare is a very active field of study at present. A meta-review in Qualitative Health Research by Day et al reviewed recent works and referenced pioneering works on gratitude research dating to the early twentieth century and organized this vast body of work into six “meta- narratives: gratitude as social capital, gifts, care ethics, benefits of gratitude, gratitude and staff well-being, and gratitude as an indicator of quality of care.”2

Given the ubiquitous articles reporting on healthcare worker
burnout and the mental and physical consequences of COVID-19 on our workforce, Day et al suggested in their conclusion that more research is needed on “gratitude as a component of civility in care settings” and that further study might help researchers to understand the intersection of gratitude “with issues of esteem, community cohesion, and the languages of valorization that often accompany expressions of gratitude.”2

Individually, we might all take a moment to self-assess using a simple exercise such as the Gratitude Questionnaire – Six Item Form (GQ-6), or we might dig more deeply into the bibliography of “Gratitude in Health Care: A Meta-narrative Review” to study our own complicated relationship with gratitude more closely.2,3 Those in healthcare have been under great strain since COVID-19 first appeared on the scene, and perhaps a gratitude practice is just what the doctor ordered to help us to reboot and revive the sense of wonderment with which we began our careers.

References
1. Texas Department of State Health Services COVID -19 Dashboard.
2. Giskin Day, Glenn Robert, Anne Marie Rafferty. 2020 Gratitude in Health Care: A Meta-narrative Review. Qualitative Health Research. 2020 Dec; 30(14): 2303-2315
3. Gratitude Questionnaire – Six Item Form (GQ-6), taken from Nurturing Wellness by Dr. Kathy Anderson.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Week of January 21

January 19, 2023 – (Tarrant County) – Tarrant County Public Health hosts numerous pop-up COVID-19 clinics across Tarrant County each week in partnership with public and private organizations listed below. Each site has the Moderna, Pfizer, and Novavax vaccines. Infants six months and older are eligible for the vaccination. Parents need to bring proof of the child’s age and their own ID for the vaccination. Booster vaccinations are available at all of the vaccination locations. 

  
TCPH would like to bring a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to businesses, churches, and organizations in the community thatare interested in hosting a pop-up clinic. It’s easy and free to host a clinic.
 
In addition to the vaccination opportunities below, the cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Hurst, and Tarrant County College have also added opportunities for vaccinations. To find a local vaccine site, the County created a vaccine finder page: VaxUpTC website.

Pop-Up COVID-19 locations:

Stonegate Nursing and Rehabilitation  
Wednesday, Jan. 25: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
4201 Stonegate Blvd.  
Fort Worth, TX 76109

VaxMobile-City of Forest Hill  
Thursday, Jan. 26: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
6800 Forest Hill Dr.   
Forest Hill, TX 76140

Tarrant County Public Health CIinics: 

Northwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3800 Adam Grubb Road
Lake Worth, TX 76135

Bagsby-Williams Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3212 Miller Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Southeast Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
536 W Randol Mill
Arlington TX, 76011

Main Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
1101 S. Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Southwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6551 Granbury Road
Fort Worth, TX 76133

Watauga Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6601 Watauga Road
Watauga, TX 76148

For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Join Cook Children’s for Ask the Doc Webinar on Pregnancy Care

Join Cook Children’s Medical Center on November 1, 2022, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM CT, for their upcoming Ask a Doc webinar: “Do No Harm: The Ethics, Myths & Business of Caring for Pregnant People.”

The event, which is led by the Texas Department of State Health Services – Oral Health Improvement Program and the Children’s Oral Health Coalition, is focused on education, combatting barriers to healthcare, and coordinating services.

A number of topics will be covered, including:

  • Explaining ethical dilemmas related to delaying treatment
  • Discussing the myths dentist have about treating pregnant people
  • Recognizing why timely treatment is good for business
  • Identifying and manage potential medical and dental risk

You can find out more about the event or register here.

Physicians Urge Texans to Safely Return Unused Prescription Medication

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Have unused, unneeded prescription drugs at home? Turn them in now, physicians say.

Texas doctors recommend people with unused or expired prescription drugs at home dispose of them safely this weekend, so they are not accidently consumed.

As the state grapples with a sharp increase in opioid overdose deaths, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing its biannual prescription drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 29. Prescription drugs can be returned anonymously at pop up locations across the state. Syringes or illegal drugs cannot be taken.

Returning unused medication is an important step to prevent misuse of prescription medication, especially opioids.

“The overwhelming majority of people who suffer from opioid addiction got started by getting opioids from friends and family,” said C.M. Schade, MD, a Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician leader and past president of the Texas Pain Society (TPS). “Their opioid addiction was not caused by taking opioids that were prescribed to them.”

According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 9 million people aged 12 and above misused prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and prescription fentanyl.

Dr. Schade warns that consuming medication not meant for you can be life threatening. “Taking opioids that are not prescribed to you is especially dangerous because in the opioid-naïve patient it causes breathing problems that can cause brain damage and even death.”

Dr. Schade also said giving your prescription medication to others is both illegal and harmful. “You will be intentionally or unintentionally enabling dysfunctional behavior, which is not only unhealthy but oftentimes leads to addiction and/or death.”

While Dr. Schade noted illegal drugs – especially those laced with fentanyl – are largely to blame for the opioid epidemic, safely disposing of prescription medication is one way to prevent an overdose from occurring.

“The drug take-back program, while important, only removes one source of drugs that people who are addicted can use to get a drug to satisfy their addiction,” he said. “What is needed is a comprehensive program to engage these people in the health care system so that they will get medical care such as counseling and medication-assisted treatment.”

TMA and TPS physicians have been raising awareness about the dangers of street drugs. Dr. Schade testified before the Texas House Committee on Public Health last month and offered lawmakers several recommendations to curb deaths from illegal opioids including making naloxone – a medicine that reverses overdose – available over the counter without a prescription.

Free pop-up medical, vision and dental clinic coming to Dallas in December

HSC & Remote Area Medical have partnered again to bring free care to those who are underserved and uninsured.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Remote Area Medical – RAM® — a nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics that delivers free quality dental, vision and medical care to those in need — are bringing the free clinic to Dallas on Dec. 3 and 4.

After a successful clinic in North Fort Worth last year, the organizations decided to partner again and bring the clinic to Dallas, allowing them to serve a larger population in an accessible location.

Services offered at RAM will include dental cleanings, fillings, extractions and X-rays; eye exams, glaucoma testing and eyeglasses prescriptions with glasses made on site; women’s health exams; and general medical exams. RAM services are on a first-come, first-served basis, free of charge, and no ID is required. A clinic of this magnitude is not possible without the help of volunteers — both medical and general.

“With the help of 329 volunteers, last year’s clinic transformed the lives of more than 400 people,” said Jessica Rangel, HSC executive vice president of health systems. “We are anticipating needing more volunteers this year. This is a unique opportunity to serve for everyone. Whether you’re a physician assistant, dentist or community member, there is a role for you at RAM.”

This year’s event will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St., in Dallas.

“It is critical that we show our neighbors and friends we care and are there to support them,” HSC President Sylvia Trent-Adams said. “Our collaboration with RAM provides us with the opportunity to make a positive impact in our community.”

For more information about RAM’s pop-up clinics, to donate or to volunteer, visit www.ramusa.org or www.unthsc.edu/ram, email Katy Heesch at Katy.Heesch@unthsc.edu or call 817-735-2000. 

TCPH Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Week of October 8

Tarrant County Public Health hosts numerous pop-up COVID-19 clinics across Tarrant County each week in partnership with public and private organizations listed below. Each site has the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and at times the Johnson & Johnson. Children five and older are eligible for the vaccination. Parents need to bring proof of the child’s age and their own ID for the vaccination. Booster vaccinations are available at all of the vaccination locations.

  
TCPH would like to bring a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to businesses, churches and organizations in the community who are interested in hosting a pop-up clinic. It’s easy and free to host a clinic.
 
In addition to the vaccination opportunities below, the cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Hurst, and Tarrant County College have also added opportunities for vaccinations. To find a local vaccine site, the County created a vaccine finder page: VaxUpTC website.

Pop-Up COVID-19 locations:

Coral Rehabilitation of Arlington
Monday, Oct.10: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
1112  Gibbins Road
Arlington, TX 76011

Cityview Nursing and Rehabilitation 
Wednesday, Oct.12: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
5801 Bryant Irvin Rd.
Benbrook,  TX 76132

Grace Metroplex
Wednesday, Oct. 12: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1310 South Collard St.  
Fort Worth, TX 76105

Haltom City Public Library
Friday, Oct. 14: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4809 Haltom Road  
Haltom City, TX 76117

City of Arlington
Friday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2800 S Center St.  
Arlington, TX 76014

Tarrant County Public Health CIinics:

Northwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3800 Adam Grubb Road
Lake Worth, TX 76135

Bagsby-Williams Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3212 Miller Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Southeast Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 6 p.m.
536 W Randol Mill
Arlington TX, 76011

Main Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 6 p.m.
1101 S. Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Southwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6551 Granbury Road
Fort Worth, TX 76133

Watauga Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6601 Watauga Road
Watauga, TX 76148

For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

October Walk with a Doc Tomorrow

Join our local chapter of Walk with a Doc tomorrow for a fun morning walking, talking about health, and meeting people in our community.

Here is what you need to know about the event:

• It will take place on October 8, 2022

• The hour-long event will begin at 8:30am

• Walkers will start at LVTRise – 8201 Calmont Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76116 For more information, call Kate Russell, OMS-III, at 903-316-9392, or email her at KatherineRussell@my.unthsc.edu.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Week of September 24

Tarrant County Public Health hosts numerous pop-up COVID-19 clinics across Tarrant County each week in partnership with public and private organizations listed below. Each site has the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and some will also have the Johnson & Johnson. Children five and older are eligible for the vaccination. Parents need to bring proof of the child’s age and their own ID for the vaccination. Booster vaccinations are available at all of the vaccination locations.

  
TCPH would like to bring a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to businesses, churches and organizations in the community who are interested in hosting a pop-up clinic. It’s easy and free to host a clinic.
 
In addition to the vaccination opportunities below, the cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Hurst, and Tarrant County College have also added opportunities for vaccinations. To find a local vaccine site, the County created a vaccine finder page: VaxUpTC website.

Pop-Up COVID-19 locations:

Grand Lodge
Saturday, Sep. 24: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3433 Martin Luther King Jr Freeway
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Foundation Communities  
Tuesday, Sep. 27: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
2020 South Cooper St.
Arlington, TX 76013

Tandy Village Assisted Living  
Wednesday, Sep. 28: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2601 Tandy Ave.  
Fort Worth, TX 76103

Aging Well Expo  
Thursday, Sep. 29: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1200 Ballpark Way
Arlington, TX 76011

Tarrant County Public Health CIinics:

Northwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3800 Adam Grubb Road
Lake Worth, TX 76135

Bagsby-Williams Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
3212 Miller Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Southeast Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 6 p.m.
536 W Randol Mill
Arlington TX, 76011

Main Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 6 p.m.
1101 S. Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Southwest Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6551 Granbury Road
Fort Worth, TX 76133

Watauga Public Health Center
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
6601 Watauga Road
Watauga, TX 76148

For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5th Annual Ralph J. Anderson, MD Women’s Health Symposium

The 5th Annual Ralph J. Anderson, MD Women’s Health Symposium will showcase the advances made in women’s health care in both Tarrant and Dallas Counties. It was created to honor Dr. Anderson, who dedicated a large portion of his career to the education of health care professionals in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. For more than 20 years Dr. Anderson developed, moderated, and oversaw a yearly large educational symposium to ensure that practicing health care professionals continued their education to improve patient care and patient outcomes.

Registration

You can register for the symposium here.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Define two strategies to improve health outcomes of women in DFW metroplex;
  • Diagnose and define uncomplicated vaginitides using evidence-based methodology;
  • Define maternal morbidity and mortality related to Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorder;
  • Describe the current burden of substance use disorders (SUD) women experience in the US; and
  • Identify key points of progress in our understanding of human trafficking and healthcare responses for readying its workforce.

Topics Covered

At the Women’s Health Symposium you will learn from distinguished leaders in the field of women’s health on such topics as:

  • Placenta Accreta
  • Advances in New Born Care & Breastfeeding
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Overactive Bladder
  • Fetal Surgery Innovations
  • Adolescent Health
  • Trafficking and Opioid Abuse

Price for Virtual Attendees

Registration fee: $120

Who Should Attend

Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, nurses and social workers caring for women will all find something of practical value at the 2022 Women’s Health Symposium.