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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of State Health Services’

Vaccinating skunks

To prevent rabies, of course. Texas, which has long campaigned for family pets to be vaccinated against rabies, is now attacking from the sky one of the state’s foulest carriers of the disease: skunks. Skunks would obviously put up quite a stink if caught and hauled in to a veterinarian’s office for shots. So the […]

A reduction in funding for women’s health leads to fewer women getting health care

Shocking, I know. The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women’s Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it and set up its own program without federal financing, according to figures from the Health and Human Services Commission. Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman […]

Senate begins omnibus abortion bill hearings

Remember, it’s all about women’s health. Senate Bill 1, and its companion, House Bill 2, would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility; require doctors to administer […]

Feds bypass the state on Title X funds

Very interesting. The federal government announced [Monday] that it would no longer award a large slice of federal family-planning funds to the state of Texas. Instead, the feds will award the $6.5 million grant to the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, a coalition of providers led by Fran Hagerty, to distribute to […]

No injunction in state lawsuit for Planned Parenthood

Bummer. Travis County District Judge Stephen Yelenosky on Friday refused to grant Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction to be included in the Texas Women’s Health Program. “Probable injury is not really sufficient,” said Yelenosky, who ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood at a hearing in December, “… because it is unlikely that the […]

A family planning end run?

This is interesting. Texas lawmakers have spent the past two years attacking family planning services in the state, cutting funds for programs that provide women with birth control and wellness exams. Now family planning advocates are fighting back. A coalition of providers plans to bypass Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature and apply directly […]

Psych hospital privatization rejected

Good. The Department of State Health Services has rejected a bid by Geo Care to privatize Kerrville State Hospital. Last year, legislators told State Health Services it had to solicit proposals from mental health providers that wanted to run one of the state-run psychiatric hospitals. Those proposals had to show that the bidder could run […]

Health care access continues to shrink in Texas

Who needs family planning services? I mean, every kid is born to people who want and can care for them, am I right? About 15 percent of Houston-area clinics that received state funding for family planning services closed their doors because of budget cuts last fiscal year, and another 30 percent have reduced service hours, […]

Why are we paying for a privatized psych hospital?

Makes no sense to me. The Department of State Health Services has spent more than $2 million on bond interest for a psychiatric hospital that it doesn’t own and that was championed by Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams. But that’s not all the state is paying for, said Montgomery County Commissioner Ed Chance, who spearheaded […]

Testifying about the Women’s Health Program

More hearings like this, please. The Texas Department of State Health Services got an earful today from lawmakers and women’s health advocates at a public meeting in Austin to discuss proposed rules for the Texas Women’s Health Program — specifically, the state’s plan to sacrifice 90 percent of federal funding for the program in order […]

Opposing the privatized psych hospital

Some pushback on a bad idea. A coalition of influential Texas organizations is pushing back against the proposed privatization of a state psychiatric hospital by Geo Care, a subsidiary of a prison operations group that has a troubled history in Texas. The Department of State Health Services is preparing to privatize one of the state […]

Privatizing psych hospitals makes as much sense as privatizing prisons

Especially when it’s the same outfit doing the privatizing in each case. Sixteen months after the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility opened in Conroe, the state’s first publicly funded, privately run psychiatric hospital is facing at least $53,000 in state fines for serious shortcomings in patient care. The private operator, Geo Care, is a […]

Rick Perry’s vision for women’s health in Texas

More talk than action, and the numbers don’t add up. Are we surprised? Texas health officials have delivered a proposal to the federal government that outlines their plans for transitioning the Women’s Health Program from a program primarily supported by federal funds to one that runs on state money. They want the federal government to […]

The teen birth rate in Texas

The good news is that it’s declining. The bad news is that as with so many other things, Texas ranks among the lowest in the country. Despite a slight improvement from 2009, Texas still had one of the nation’s highest teen birth rates in 2010, data released Tuesday show. Texas took a baby step in […]

The next battleground for cottage foods

You may recall that last year home bakers were able to get a law passed that allowed them to legally sell their products in the state. (See here for all the background.) Now that the legislative work is done, the next step is to deal with the rulemaking, and the regulations that have been proposed […]

Eradicating rabies

Did you know that the state of Texas has been funding a program to wipe out rabies in foxes and coyotes by dropping vaccines for it from airplanes. It’s called the Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Project, and it’s been a smashing success. The program began in 1995 as a desperate experiment. The most serious outbreak […]

State cuts will equal local costs

Grits is absolutely right: Cuts to state mental hospitals would be a massive unfunded mandate for county jails. [S]heriffs across Texas are increasingly frustrated and worried about the ever-decreasing amount of bed space available at state mental hospitals. Too often, when mentally ill offenders come to their jails, sheriffs who are required to provide appropriate […]

The impending budget cuts will affect you in ways you don’t realize

Here’s a bit from that big Chron story last weekend about Houston’s ongoing battle against sexually oriented businesses that masquerade as massage parlors and how the budget debacle will make that battle a little harder for the city. Regulating massage parlors is a dubious task. They often change names and ownership, if they register with […]

No federal sex ed money for Texas

Stay ignorant, kids. It’s what the state of Texas wants you to do. At the end of the summer, Texas quietly opted to forgo yet another pot of federal money — specifically, $4.4 million that would have gone toward educating youth on abstinence and contraception to prevent teen pregnancy. The Department of State Health Services […]

The Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative

In the comments to my previous post about mental illness and the criminal justice system, reader Katherine reminded me of this Houston Press article from last December, about a pilot program between HPD and the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County. Called the Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative, it was designed to work closely […]

The Texas Partnership for Children in Nature

The National Wildlife Federation was in town this weekend for a summit to advance a national policy agenda to connect children with the outdoors. Basically, kids spend a lot less time outside these days, and there are measurable effects of this change in behavior. For example, from the Be Out There web page: Children who […]

Dems seek repeal of new DPS rules

We didn’t have any voter ID action yesterday, but we did have this. Some Democratic lawmakers joined by Texas residents who have had trouble getting drivers’ licenses under new Department of Public Safety rules pushed Monday for legislation that would undo a policy they say harms U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, […]

Them’s good eatin’

Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack has an idea. Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack has a problem with hungry hogs. Houston has a problem with hungry people. If Radack gets his way, hundreds of pounds of pork soon could be hitting the needy’s tables. Radack plans to allow a few select bowhunters to begin targeting the […]