Violent Crime Rate By County

Violent crimes are offenses that involve face-to-face confrontation between the victim and the perpetrator, including homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. High levels of violent crime compromise physical safety and psychological well-being. Crime rates can also deter residents from pursuing healthy behaviors such as exercising out-of-doors. Increased stress levels also may contribute to the obesity rate, even after controlling for diet and physical activity levels. The Dallas County rate of 618 per 100,000 residents far exceeds that of Texas. The Tarrant County rate of 501 is slightly below the state rate of 503.… Full Story

Frisco-Based Organ Transporter Hopes Its Device Is a Game-Changer

It is hard to believe that hearts, which cost more than $1 million to transplant, are still being preserved and transported in picnic coolers. Frisco-based Organ Transport Systems (OTS) wants to change that. The company has created a device called LifeCradle, designed to extend the life of an organ and monitor its condition. Founded in 1999, OTS has been going through the slow and arduous process of getting FDA approval for its device. The company has raised more than $12 million in venture capital and is seeking an additional $8 million to complete the regulatory process and make final improvements.… Full Story

Inadequate Social Support By County

Poor family support, minimal contact with others, and limited involvement in community life are associated with increased disease and disability, as well as premature death. Social support networks have been identified as powerful predictors of health behaviors, suggesting that individuals without a strong social network are less likely to participate in healthy lifestyle choices. Those who say they have family and friends they can count on to help them in times of trouble are more likely to be satisfied with their personal health. Collin County and Denton County residents have high levels of social support. Tarrant County scores better than… Full Story

Sexually Transmitted Diseases By County

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that individuals can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasite,s and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching… Full Story

Full ACA Expansion Would Cut Local Uninsured Rate By Half, Study Finds

Full expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas would cut the uninsured rate in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area by more than half, according to an estimate by two Rice University demographers. A recent U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 23 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which represents the nation’s leading uninsured rate. Demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline assert that about 3 million out of 5.9 million uninsured Texans would have insurance in 2014 if the state embraced health reform. Locally, that would mean more than 600,000 in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton… Full Story

Three THR Hospitals Given Joint Commission Recognition for 2011

Texas Health Resources hospitals in Allen, Azle and Hurst-Euless-Bedford have been recognized as “Top Performers on Key Quality Measures” for 2011 by the country’s top accrediting agency for hospitals. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford was recognized by The Joint Commission in more measures than any other U.S. hospital. The hospital was recognized for high-quality care of six conditions: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, hospital inpatient psychiatric treatment and stroke. Texas Health Allen was recognized for pneumonia and surgical care, and Texas Health Azle was recognized for heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. To be considered “Top Performers,”… Full Story

Jeff Reecer Named President of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen

Jeff Reecer has been named president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen. He previously was vice president of operations at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, where he worked for 11 years. Steve Hanson, executive vice president and North Zone operations leader for Texas Health Resources, said, “Jeff hit the ground running by developing relationships with key physicians when he became interim president at Texas Health Allen this summer.” The Allen hospital is a 73-bed full service facility. Services include surgery, emergency room, women’s, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, orthopedics, pediatrics, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, and wound care. Reecer’s experience… Full Story

Ozone Days By County

Air pollution is a deeply underappreciated risk to health. More than half of the U.S. population lives in areas where either the ozone or particle pollution—or both—is often dangerous to breathe. Ozone is the primary ingredient of smog. Unlike the beneficial ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that shields the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, ground-level ozone attacks lung tissue by reacting chemically with it. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come in contact with heat and sunlight. NOx are emitted by power plans, motor vehicles and other sources of high-heat combustion. VOCs sources include motor… Full Story

MinuteClinic Grows Its DFW Footprint with Plano, Frisco Expansions

MinuteClinic, the in-store retail health clinic inside CVS pharmacies, is expanding its North Texas presence with newly opened clinics in Plano and Frisco. The company plans to add 100 new clinics a year, with the goal of having 1,000 locations by 2016. It now has 23 Dallas-Fort Worth outlets and plans to add another in Arlington this fall. Executives declined to disclose how many it ultimately plans to have locally. MinuteClinic considers DFW one of its prime markets. It entered San Antonio earlier this year. MinuteClinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who treat common family illnesses and administer wellness and… Full Story

Premature Death Rate by County

An important health measure is premature death, or years of potential life lost. The standard age for this measure in the developed world is 75 years, meaning most people would live to be that age if not for extenuating circumstances. There is considerable debate about the causes of premature death. Some blame shortcomings in the U.S. health-care system. Others point to destructive health behaviors. Still others cite the effects of poverty. Nearly one-quarter of American women and one-third of American men die before age 75 of causes that potentially could have been prevented by timely and effective health care, according… Full Story