UNT Health Science Center Names A Provost

The UNT Health Science Center has named a new provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, promoting the dean of the system’s college of pharmacy to the position. Dr. Charles Taylor will take on the role starting Aug. 1. He will serve as the chief academic officer and oversee and align budgetary policies and priorities. Prior Provost Thomas Yorio stepped down in 2016 following 40 years with UNTHSC. Claire Peel, vice provost of academic research and dean of the school of health professions, has been serving as the interim provost since then. Taylor has packed a lot into his… Full Story

WFAA: North Texas Couple Mulling Over Divorce To Qualify For Medicaid

WFAA ran a story this week that speaks to the country’s billowing healthcare costs. Maria and Jake Grey, residents of Sanger, are considering getting a divorce so that Maria can qualify for Medicaid as a jobless, single mother of two. Jake makes about $40,000, and as it stands, the family doesn’t qualify. That makes it difficult to pay for what they need to care for their six-year-old daughter Brighton, who has a developmental disability. The couple also has a two-year-old. Although the Grey’s have insurance—the story doesn’t get into what kind—they pay $15,000 a year out of pocket to care… Full Story

Hospital Systems Are Rushing To Plant Sports Medicine Investments in Collin County

Near the end of the first set of a close volleyball match in January, Alexis James, a young, sought-after recruit from Frisco, called for a “three” set, meaning a quick set toward the inside portion of Alexis’ position. What came instead looked more like a “hut,” a set that shoots out toward the antenna located at the end of the net. Alexis made a quick adjustment but came down awkwardly on her left leg. Raised by a football-coach father, she shook it off and kept playing. It wasn’t until two weeks later—after insistence by her club-team coaches that she was fine,… Full Story

Texas Loses Precious Residency Spots As UNTHSC-affiliated Program Shutters

A residency program associated with the UNT Health Science Center has closed its doors. The Wichita Falls Family Medicine Residency Program officially shut down at the end of June. According to a UNTHSC spokesperson, the program’s sponsor—North Central Texas Medical Foundation—made the decision. A story from the Wichita Falls Times Record News details the steps that led to it; the trouble started when NCTMF and the Community Healthcare Center, which was managing the program, cut ties. The dagger came when Wichita Falls-based United Regional Health Care System pulled its support. Without the backing of a teaching hospital, a committee of the… Full Story

Christus Health Makes Oncology Investment In East Texas

Irving-based Christus Health is expanding its cancer care in East Texas, opening the Christus Trinity Mother Frances Oncology Institute. With the expansion, Tyler-based Trinity Mother Frances Health System will be able to offer surgical treatment for gastrointestinal, rectal, pancreas, and liver cancers. The system also hired a head of the new institute. Dr. Steven Curley will take on that role, joining the system after serving as professor and chief of surgical oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He’d also been directing the local and regional CHI Oncology Service line at the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and… Full Story

Methodist Dallas To Get A New Unit For the Terminally Ill

A $2.8 million renovation is underway at Methodist Dallas Medical Center to give the hospital a new inpatient hospice unit. VITAS Healthcare will take up operations of the facility, which will go on the fifth floor of Methodist Dallas’ Schenkel Tower and is expected to serve 800 patients a year. It’ll have 16 private patient rooms. Miami-based VITAS operates 44 hospice locations in 14 states and Washington D.C. In Dallas-Fort Worth, it has locations at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Carrolton and Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth. Construction is expected to be… Full Story

An Updated List of Rural Hospital Closures in Texas Since 2010

Fourteen rural hospitals have closed in Texas since 2010, more than any other state, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. After Texas comes Tennessee with eight closures, then Georgia (six), Alabama (five), Mississippi (five), and North Carolina (five). Becker’s Hospital Review recently rounded up the state-by-state results from the NCRHRP’s running list of closures across the country. Here in Texas, NCRHRP tallies Care Regional Medical Center in Aransas Pass, East Texas Medical Center – Trinity, and Timberlands Hospital in Crockett as hospitals that shuttered in 2017. The program’s raw data is available here. In all, it has tracked… Full Story

Ophthalmology Practice Building Ambulatory Surgery Center in Plano

Brooks Eye Associates is building a 20,000-square-foot clinic and ambulatory surgery center in Plano. It’ll have two operating rooms with pre- and post-surgery rooms, consultation and diagnostic areas, offices, and a reception area. The ophthalmology facility will be located at the corner of Gillespie Drive and State Hwy 121. Construction will start in June, with expected completion in January 2019. Ophthalmology surgery is a segment that’s seeing growth, some of which can be attributed to an aging population. Global Markets Inc. estimates that the industry generated more than $12 billion in revenue last year. “This project is a huge step… Full Story

UT Southwestern Develops System To Identify Genetic Anomalies Connected To Cancer

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a system to identify genetic anomalies connected with a childhood cancer, a step toward developing treatment as well as discovering genetic influences on other cancers. The exact role the anomalies play in contributing to the cancer is still hazy, but UT Southwestern says the experimental system can help researchers begin to decipher the meaning. The process involves predicting which genes might be associated with the cancer using Bayesian inference, a statistical technique for measuring probability, and verifying these predictions by isolating genes through Crispr-Cas9, a gene-editing tool. After analyzing data from 290… Full Story

Medical City Builds In-House Telepsych Program To Address Psychiatrist Shortage, Discharge Patients Faster

A new telepsychiatry program at Medical City Healthcare allows the North Texas system to address the region’s shortage of psychiatrists through technology. Contrary to the more commonly discussed telemedicine application, in which the patient is at home, Medical City’s telepsych brings psychiatrists to in-hospital psychiatric patients. A doctor “beams in” to consult with a patient, as Shannon Winburn-Raitt, Medical City Green Oaks’ director of behavioral health-telepsychiatry, puts it. Nurses move a robot to the patient’s bed, and psychiatrists, who often perform the consults from their own homes, can address suicide attempts, substance abuse or withdrawal, or any other behavioral health… Full Story