Texas Health Plano Receives Level IV NICU Designation

The neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Health Plano earned a Level IV designation from the state, the highest level a NICU can attain. It’s the first within Texas Health Resources and in Collin County to get pegged as a Level IV. The hospital joins NICUs at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth as the other Dallas-Fort Worth facilities to earn the designation. Cook Children’s became the first about a year ago, after a law passed by the Texas Legislature put the criteria in place. Every NICU… Full Story

TMB Suspends Former Baylor Scott & White Doctor Fired After Allegedly Having Child Porn in Desk

The Texas Medical Board on Monday suspended the license of Dr. John Middlemiss Palmer, a former physician at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple. Palmer, 55, a pediatric pulmonologist, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography by the Texas Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit. In a news release Friday, the AG’s office said authorities found images of child pornography on a digital storage device during a search of Palmer’s office. The search followed a discovery that child pornography had been uploaded to an online storage account Palmer used, the release said. Palmer denied involvement. Baylor… Full Story

Parkland Set to Bring Video Interpretation In-House

Parkland Health and Hospital System will hire as many as 80 in-house, full-time employees to serve the bulk of its interpretation needs, an “insourcing” decision the system says will save more than $1 million. The county hospital has been plugged into a video interpreter network for the last five years. Patients with a language barrier speak to providers via out-of-county interpreters on a screen. Many of them were based at their homes in Guatemala or Mexico, the system says. The video part won’t change under Parkland’s new plan. Meredith Stegall, Parkland’s director of language services, says that when her team… Full Story

Freestanding Charitable Pharmacy Dispensing Free Prescription Medications in Northeast Dallas

What’s believed to be the state’s first freestanding, completely free charitable pharmacy serving the general public has opened in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood in northeast Dallas. The pharmacy, which dispenses free prescription medications to qualified, low-income residents lacking health insurance, has been accepting clients since March 17. It’s sponsored by the Dallas Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization. The 1,000-square-foot facility is located at 5750 Pineland Drive, on the second floor of the Northwest Community Center building. The center is a mission of Northwest Bible Church that aims to help and empower refugees.… Full Story

Texas HHSC Official Steps Down Over Contract Issues

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission reached another milestone in its ongoing contracting saga this week, as Chief Operating Officer Heather Griffith Peterson resigned after two years on the job. The agency’s procurement issues are well-documented and not new, stretching back to former commissioner Kyle Janek’s 2015 resignation after the revelation that the agency had awarded a contract without a proper bidding process. Gov. Greg Abbott came in vowing to clean things up. But the scandal renewed earlier this month when the scoring tool used to rate bids apparently wasn’t doing so properly, leading the state to fire three… Full Story

UTSW Tests 200,000 Chemicals on Lung Cancer Cells, Finds 170 Candidates for Development

UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center has completed a five-year project during which researchers tested more than 200,000 chemical compounds on lung cancer lines. The early results showed 170 potential candidates for development into drug therapies for what is the most common cause of cancer death, according to the National Cancer Institute. Researchers were after chemicals that would kill cancer cells without harming normal lung cells. The research was unique in that it began with the compounds, UT Southwestern says. “Almost all cancer research is gene-first, or target-first,” says Dr. Michael Roth, a professor of biochemistry and member of the Simmons… Full Story

Cleburne Doctor Suspended for Sexual Contact, Financial Involvement with Patients

The Texas Medical Board said Thursday that it has suspended indefinitely the medical license of Dr. John Tai Dang. Dang was a primary care physician in Cleburne, south of Fort Worth. According to the standard press release put out by the Board, which is limited in detail, Dang was found to have engaged in inappropriate behavior with three patients. That includes “sexual contact with two patients” and “becoming financially or personally involved with a patient in an inappropriate manner.” He also “violated the Board rules regarding the treatment of pain.”

Report Calls Texas the Third-worst State for Children’s Healthcare

WalletHub has a new analysis out on children’s health, culling together 30 factors along the lines of access, cost, quality, and some other more miscellaneous categories. The data set includes things like pediatricians per capita, share of children under 18 in excellent or very good health, death rates, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and fast-food restaurants per capita. The criteria are weighted, and the full methodology can be found here. That’s a lot of setup, I know. All to get here: Texas didn’t do well. It ranks third-to-last overall. Among the items where Texas ranks in the bottom five of the 51… Full Story

Baylor Scott & White Physician Who Led Uterine Transplant Trial Named One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Dr. Giuliano Testa, the Baylor Scott & White Health doctor who led the clinical trial that delivered the first two uterine transplant babies in the U.S., has been named to the Time 100, which features Time’s selections for the most influential people of 2018. Testa is the chief of abdominal transplantation at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and the principal investigator of the uterine transplant clinical trial. The first baby was born to a mother with a transplanted uterus in November; the second was in February. The mother of the first baby, who has chosen to remain anonymous, penned… Full Story

Take a Look at the 2018 DFW Great 100 Nurses

Tonight, nurses on the DFW Great 100 Nurses list will be honored during an event at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. This year’s iteration features 34 nurses from Texas Health Resources, 23 from Medical City Healthcare, and 15 from Parkland Health & Human Services. Great 100 nominations come from peers in and around Dallas-Fort Worth. The honorees are selected by a committee, through a process during which the names are made anonymous. Below, the 100 honorees (also available here): Baylor Scott & White Health System Baylor Scott & White Medical Center at Grapevine Rosanne Vonreyn Cynthia Krusinski Baylor Scott… Full Story