Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Student Article: Continuing the Passion for Science in Medicine

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

OFTEN ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS I AM ASKED WHEN I mention that I am in medical school is, “How did you know you wanted to become a doctor?” Sometimes I scramble to find the most inspirational and motivating answer, as there were many reasons why I chose the career path that I did, However, at the core of every underlying reason was first, my love for science, and second, the desire to put that love into good use. Throughout my undergraduate years, I made sure to put scientific research at the forefront of my priorities. I took additional classes to help develop my skills as a researcher and participated in local symposiums whenever I could. Going into medical school, I kept research and the scientific process in mind as I learned about each body system. Given my medical education, I could delve further into the pathologies and the application of their respective treatments, and, if there were any developing treatments, I could keep an open mind about them and seek an opportunity to participate in the field research (if my busy school schedule let me). Thankfully, this past summer, my school presented the perfect chance to participate in the Pediatric Research Program (PRP) with Cook Children’s Hospital.

The PRP selects a group of second year medical students to take part in research “that aligns with their specialty interest.” There are also additional benefits such as being provided a mentor who guides you along the way and opportunities to present work at local/regional/national conferences. I chose neurology as y number one field of interest, so I was assigned a case study with a pediatric neurologist as my research mentor. I was excited and eager at the prospect of beginning work, especially since I had been assigned to Cook Children’s. The idea of being in an environment that was dedicated to helping children with challenging diseases brought a sense of fulfillment to my foundational goal of helping people heal.

Writing a case study was a novel experience, but I was fortunate to have a dedicated mentor who aided me through the process and helped me understand clinical information that my then year-one-medical-student mind could not comprehend. My mentor further allowed me to shadow her periodically throughout the summer, which was a nourishing experience to my medical education. I was able to interact with many pediatric patients who were affected by a variety of neurological disorders, especially congenital ones. This provided me with an appreciation for specialist physicians since they offer a great sense of hope and security to their patients- something I had associated more with primary care. What was even more admirable was my own mentor pursuing her research and developing case studies to help spread awareness of the pathologies that affect her patients.

Regarding my own project, I was able to learn more about the neurovascular complications of Marfan syndrome and the importance of considering it as a possible cause of stroke. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of gathering information and researching literature since it showed me how physicians from different parts of the country can come together and use their scientific nature to bring light to issues and possibly come to solutions. I look forward to working on more case studies and research projects as a medical student because it reaffirms my belief in using scientific methods and research to better the lives of patients and reach new heights in treatments.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Week of January 14

January 13, 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 that 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:

Baker Chapel AME Church 
Saturday, Jan. 14: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1050 E. Humboldt St.  
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Advent Health Care Center of Burleson  
Tuesday, Jan. 17: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
301 Huguley Blvd.   
Burleson, TX 76028

Vaxmobile-Southside Community Center 
Thursday, Jan. 19: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
959 E. Rosedale St. 
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for the Week of January 7

January 5, 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 that 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:

Beth Eden Baptist Church 
Saturday, Jan. 7: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
3308 Wilbarger St. 
Fort Worth, TX 76119

Cityview Nursing and Rehabilitation  
Tuesday, Jan. 10: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
5801 Bryant Irvin Rd.   
Fort Worth, TX 76132

Vaxmobile-Watauga City Hall 
Thursday, Jan. 12: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
7105 Whitley Rd. 
Watauga, TX 76148

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.

And Just Like That

President’s Paragraph


by Shanna Combs, MD, TCMS President

This article was originally published in the November/December 2022 issue of the Tarrant County Physician.

And just like that, my year as the Tarrant County Medical Society president is nearly over.  It has been a pleasure to serve in this role, and while my time is almost up, I wanted to look back over the past year.  

My time started at the end of last year during an early reprieve from the COVID pandemic.  The Gold-Headed Cane and President Installation was our first in-person event since the start of COVID.  It was an amazing night of getting to see old colleagues and meet new ones.  It was also amazing to have four female physicians being honored in one night; it was great to share the evening’s celebration with Drs. Susan Bailey, Teresa Godbey, and Angela Self.  

Unfortunately, the year took a step back due to the COVID pandemic, and we once again had to change to a virtual meeting for the TMA Winter Conference.  As we have done multiple times during the pandemic, we were able to pivot and carry on.  Locally, our TCMS leadership came together to promote fellow physicians to seek out positions at TMA.   

As we moved to April, we started to see light and were finally able to hold TexMed in person, the first time since 2019.  The best part of the meeting was seeing the inauguration of our own Gary Floyd as TMA president.  Moving into summer, we were able to have a Women in Medicine event where we gathered for some much-needed stress relief making bath bombs.  While we were not all successful at making the bath bombs, we had a great time gathering again in person.  

When the Dobbs decision came out in June, I had multiple opportunities to speak with local and national media about the importance of the patient/physician relationship, and how this decision has many far-reaching implications in medicine.  I will continue to work on advocating for doctors and patients to make their own medical decisions without intervention from outside forces.

During July, I had the privilege to welcome our new Tarrant County medical students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Anne Burnett School of Medicine at TCU to TCMS and the world of organized medicine.  It was refreshing to meet with these young students and to cheer them on as they begin their journey to having the greatest job on the planet: being a physician.  

As we moved into the fall, we had another opportunity to gather again at the TMA Fall Conference.  We are slowly finding our way through this COVID pandemic, returning to some form of normalcy.  While I cannot quite say it seems to be over, as this has been said too many times before, we continue to find a way through.  

While my tenure as TCMS president may be coming to an end, I will continue to contribute to the work of our county, state, and national medical societies.  If I have learned anything over the past year, it is that we must be at the table and part of the discussion; otherwise, people who don’t practice medicine will continue to try to tell us how to do our job.  We have worked too hard to become physicians to allow others to practice medicine for us, and it isn’t in the best interest of our patients or our vocation – the work that still is, despite so many challenges, the best job on the planet. 

TCMS Gets Limited Donation of PPE

A number of physicians are struggling to get appropriate PPE for their healthcare teams due to shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. TCMS has received a small donation of PPE from MedStar and is dispersing it to some of our members that are currently seeing patients daily without appropriate protective gear. Thank you, MedStar, for donating to support physicians at this critical time. We are hoping that we continue to receive PPE donations to protect our community’s healthcare workers. To donate or find out more information, contact us at 817-732-2825.

Greg Phillips, MD, and Anita King, RN, reviving N95 masks.
Purnachander Sirikonda, MD, 15 N95 masks for his staff of five.

Collaborative new program to serve seniors during COVID-19 crisis

Originally published on the City of Fort Worth website.

A new collaborative effort led by some of Tarrant County’s leading charitable organizations was established to provide food to senior citizens during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County has teamed up with United Way and Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County, Tarrant County, Tarrant Area Food Bank and Catholic Charities Fort Worth. These organizations are addressing food insecurity among this vulnerable population.

Individuals age 60 and above and a spouse who do not have enough food to eat during the COVID-19 outbreak or who are experiencing a reduced level of nutritional support from families and friends may receive supplemental food through this new program.

Program participants will receive a weekly home delivery of five frozen meals (per person) from Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County and a 10-pound box of senior-friendly canned goods and fresh produce from Tarrant Area Food Bank. All items will be delivered by Catholic Charities Fort Worth.

“When Tarrant Area Food Bank called and said they had an idea, we jumped on board. We have the second-largest transportation fleet next to The T, and yet most of our rides are nearly empty due to the stay-at-home requirements,” said Catholic Charities CEO Michael P. Grace. “This is a perfect opportunity for us to work with these incredible powerhouse nonprofits to pivot and employ our vehicles to take the food where it is most needed.”

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said organizations have been coming together on a call to plan in this time of emergency. “This is a perfect example of how different agencies on this call have gotten together and developed solutions for not only our current needs, but also anticipating needs that will arise in the coming weeks,” Whitley said.

Client referrals should be made to Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County online or by calling 817-336-0912.

Tarrant County Public Health reports four additional COVID-19 deaths

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) today reported four more deaths due to COVID-19. The deceased include a male in his 60s and a male in his 40s, both from Fort Worth, a male in his 40s from Mansfield and a male in his 60s from an unincorporated area of Tarrant County. All had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 34 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus. 157 people have recovered. “These deaths continue to remind us that we are faced with a deadly disease,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “As we suffer these losses we also are mindful of how important it is for us to continue our efforts to control the spread of this deadly virus.”

COVID-19 causes respiratory illness with cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and may lead to bronchitis and severe pneumonia. Everyone should follow these guidelines to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus:

  1. Stay home as much as possible.
  2. If you do go out, cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf.
  3. Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others when you are out.
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  5. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  6. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  7. If you have difficulty breathing, or a persistent fever, call your doctor or healthcare provider.
  8. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
  9. Frequently clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.

For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, (817) 248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 4/15/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 990*

COVID-19 related deaths: 30

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 157

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Wednesday, April 15, 2020. 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.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 4/14/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 929*

COVID-19 related deaths: 29

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 103

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Tuesday, April 14, 2020. 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.

Tarrant County Public Health reports four more COVID-19 deaths

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) today reported that four more Tarrant County residents have died as the result of the COVID-19 virus. The deceased, all from Fort Worth, include a man in his 70s, two men in their 80s and a woman in her 80s. All had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 29 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus. 103 people have recovered.  “We are saddened by every death that occurs because of this virus,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “Our best hope to save lives in the future is to persevere; keep following the guidelines, and we will emerge stronger than before.”

COVID-19 causes respiratory illness with cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and may lead to bronchitis and severe pneumonia. Everyone should follow these guidelines to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus:

  1. Stay home as much as possible.
  2. If you do go out, cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf.
  3. Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others when you are out.
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  5. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  6. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  7. If you have difficulty breathing, or a persistent fever, call your doctor or healthcare provider.
  8. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
  9. Frequently clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.

For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, (817) 248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.