Making Dallas Even Better
Children’s Health is leveraging technology to launch a new brand of care that will include telehealth services for adults as well as children. Family Health launched Tuesday and aims to extend Children’s services to a larger demographic as well as provide new ways for patients to receive access to care. This marks the healthcare provider’s first separate brand as well as the first time the company has ventured into adult care. “We’re providing amazing care in hospitals, but we’re also finding ways to get back to the home,” Julie Hall-Barrow, vice president of virtual health and innovation at Children’s Health,… Full StoryFull Story
The Dallas police cruiser had a blown-out back tire, its side crudely splattered with crimson blood. It rambled into the emergency bay at Baylor University Medical Center just after 9 p.m. on Thursday. Two other cop cars, each pockmarked with bullets like gravel on dirt, would arrive over the next hour. Minutes prior, Drs. Laura Bruce Petrey and Michael Foreman felt their trauma pagers vibrate, alerting them to a gunshot victim in need of resuscitation. Their night had just begun. Full StoryFull Story
When we got to work this morning at D Magazine world headquarters, in beautiful downtown Dallas, we learned the AC is out in our building, St. Paul Place. The editorial crew all sits on the east side of the office. That would be the side of the building that is currently under assault from the sun. I’m guessing, but it’s probably 87 degrees at my desk, which sits right by a window.
To survive, many of us have moved our computers into our lobby, which is on the west side of the building. We are sitting at the table you see here, elbow to elbow. We aren’t exactly sweating. But we are all sticky. At least I am sticky. I haven’t taken a survey. Zac (far left in the pic) is on edge. I made an innocuous comment earlier about the movie London Has Fallen, and he threw a coffee mug at me. Then the Spirit Father came to see me, and I sprouted wings, and I flew with him high above our hunting grounds, admiring the herds of buffalo that have sustained our people for generations. Do you hear that noise, my brother?
I am now naked save for my loincloth. I am lashing myself with the sage branch. An intern is pouring water on the stones that still glow red from the fire, and the steam is cleansing my MacBook Air. We are working on the August issue. It will be an inspired document, if not error free.Full Story
The largest health insurer in Texas has filed with federal regulators for a big increase to its customers’ premiums in 2017:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has about 603,000 individual policyholders and, unlike other insurers in the state, offers coverage in every county. In a recent filing with federal regulators, a summary of which is available on HealthCare.gov, the company said it is seeking increases averaging from 57.3 percent to 59.4 percent across its individual market plans.
In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said its request is based on strong financial principles, science and data. “It’s also important to understand the magnitude of the losses … experienced in the individual retail market over the past two years,” the statement said. The company says it lost $416 million in 2014 and $592 million last year.
Texas is the health care law’s third-largest market, after Florida and California. Texas state regulators said the insurer’s request is confidential and they can’t comment on it. However, Insurance Department spokesman Ben Gonzalez said the state can withdraw approval if the request doesn’t meet requirements and standards in Texas law.
The federal Health and Human Services Department says this rate request by Blue Cross is just the beginning of a process, that those seeking insurance individually will have lower-rate options for next year.
And if get your insurance through an employer (most of us), don’t expect to see increases quite this eye-popping.Full Story
Southern Dallas woman who was mauled by dogs has died. 52-year-old Antoinette Brown was mauled on Rutledge Street by a pack of dogs on May 2 and was bitten more than 100 times. She died last night after being removed from life support. This truly horrific attack is yet another indicator that Dallas needs to get its loose-dog problem under control.
Continental avenue bridge might actually be renamed for ron kirk. The proposal to name the Continental Avenue bridge for former mayor Ron Kirk is getting closer to fruition. Yesterday, the City Council’s Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee voted (unanimously, no less) to bring the proposal to the entire council May 25.
Frisco woman has zika virus. She traveled outside the United States and has tested positive for the virus, which is spread by infected mosquitoes. This is the first confirmed case for Collin County, while Dallas County has had six confirmed cases this year. Zika’s most common symptoms include fever, joint pain, rash, and conjunctivitis.
Stars win to force game 7. They pulled out a 3-2 win against the Blues, which means Game 7 will actually happen. It will be the first Game 7 here at home since 2000 and the first overall Game 7 since 2007.
Queen Bey is flawless at Arlington show. I didn’t even attend, but that’s just a given. Seems like the Formation Tour is her best one yet.Full Story
Following is a story that I heard secondhand today. I have not verified it because it is too good not to be true. It goes like this:
A retired construction executive, a man in his late 60s, was recently walking his dog on the Katy Trail. He saw another man, a jogger, let his dog defecate on the trail and was about to resume his run without picking up the mess.
“Excuse me,” said the retired construction exec. “We all have to use this trail. Will you please pick up after your dog?” He offered the other guy an extra plastic bag that he was carrying.
At which point the other fellow told the retiree, in no uncertain terms and using salty language, that he had no intention of picking up his dog’s poop. The situation escalated. At which point the jogger threw the poop at the retiree — and then ran away, down the trail, with his dog.
After the retiree composed himself, he ran after the feces flinger. He caught him and beat the daylights out of the jerk. “The best part,” the retiree said in wrapping up his story, “was that my dog bit his dog.”
So, people: please pick up your dog’s poop. If you don’t, you just might get your clock cleaned on the Katy Trail.Full Story
The hospital formerly known as Forest Park Medical Center at Frisco is now part of the HCA North Texas portfolio. The $96.25 million sale closed Friday afternoon, freeing the Irving-based owner to rebrand the upscale facility under the umbrella of its most well known property.Full Story
If you read Matt Goodman’s excellent reporting on the debacle that was the bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center luxury hospital chain (see the video above, from happier times for the company), then you may remember that one of the company’s co-founders was under federal indictment for fraud. (Full disclosure: My niece appeared in a TV spot for Forest Park.) From Matt’s piece:
The 11-page indictment argued that Toussaint bilked Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, United Healthcare, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for more than $5 million over 18 months in 2009 and 2010.
The feds accused Toussaint of charging for services rendered while he was actually under anesthesia undergoing surgery himself. At other times, they alleged, he was on a private jet, in another state, or in another hospital a few miles away. If convicted, the feds want eight of his cars, which include two McLarens and two Rolls Royce Ghosts.
Toussaint was found guilty yesterday. A sentencing date hasn’t been set yet, but he could get up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine for each of the seven counts of which he was convicted.Full Story
Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest nonprofit health system in the state, will need a new CEO next year. Joel Allison, who led the system through a huge merger with Temple’s Scott & White, announced Tuesday afternoon that he’ll be stepping down on Feb. 1, 2017 and shifting into an advisory role, senior advisor to the chairman of the board.Full Story
Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed a local case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus:
“The patient was infected with the virus after having sexual contact with an ill individual who returned from a country where Zika virus is present. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information,” the county said in a news release Tuesday. “There are currently no reports of Zika virus being locally-transmitted by mosquitoes in Dallas County. However, imported cases make local spread by mosquitoes possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally. DCHHS advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms as well as individuals diagnosed with Zika virus protect themselves from further mosquito bites.”
“Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus become ill. Symptoms are usually mild, including fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Most people are fine after a week, though there is greater concern for the disease’s effect on pregnant women and their babies. Severe illness and deaths are rare.
I’m sure local TV stations will take a measured, not-at-all-alarmist approach to their reporting of this news.Full Story
Mavs Beat Celtics in OT. From the Boston Globe: “Celtics forward Jae Crowder stepped to the foul line with 6.7 seconds left in regulation Monday and calmly drained three free throws, improbably sending this game against the Mavericks to overtime. Crowder said he’d had dreams about such a situation. It was his first game here as an opponent, his first since being traded away from a Mavericks team that had used him as little more than a bit player for 2½ seasons. But then the power of Crowder’s Predator-style dreadlocks ponytail failed him in OT, and the Mavs pulled it out 118-113.” I made up one of those sentences.
School Kids in Richardson Possibly Exposed to Measles. From the Morning News: “Collin County Health Care Services sent a letter to parents at Schell Elementary School in Richardson last week, notifying them that the agency was reviewing who might have been exposed. … Jawaid Asghar, the agency’s chief epidemiologist, told the Dallas Morning News on Monday that the child had not been vaccinated. Asghar added, ‘You people in Collin County who rely on prayer instead of vaccines confuse me.’” I’m sorry. I made up one of those sentences, too.
Ethan Couch’s Probation Hearing Is Today. From Fox Channel 4: “Affluenza teen Ethan Couch remains in a holding facility in Mexico fighting deportation. Whether part of a strategy or not, he will miss a court hearing during which the Tarrant County district attorney will ask to have his case moved from the juvenile system to the adult courts. The district attorney will also ask that Couch be forced to shave that ridiculous goatee.” Now the gag has worn thin. I know. The laws of comedy suggest that it would get funny again if I posted four more items. But right now I have to go walk my dog. Have a good Tuesday.Full Story
There are a number of us here at D Magazine who are partial to downtown’s City Tavern, which is a few blocks from our HQ. Okay, maybe I’m just talking about me and Zac. Anyway, it’s a great spot. Ate lunch there today. Which is when I heard about the plight of young Charles Alexander, whose picture you see here. His mom, Alicia, is a bartender at City Tavern. Charles was born November 28. Last week, Alica found him in his crib, not breathing. He’s at Children’s and is on a ventilator. Alicia and her husband, Brian, have been at the hospital pretty much nonstop since their boy fell ill. As you might imagine, Christmas is going to be tough on them. They have limited insurance coverage, and neither parent has been able to work. Alicia’s co-workers at City Tavern have set up a GoFundMe page for Charles. Pitch in, if you’re inclined.Full Story
By Geoffery C. Orsak Robert Rennaker didn’t follow a traditional path to becoming a world-class engineering researcher. Raised in Topeka, Kansas, and moving regularly from city to city across the Midwest because of the demands of his father’s work, Rennaker wasn’t what you’d call “committed” to high school. In his senior year, he decided to join the military, signed up with the Marine Corps, and shipped off to boot camp in San Diego. After surviving what he calls the toughest 12 weeks of his life, he was assigned in 1989 to repair the hydraulic and pneumatic systems on the CH-46 Sea… Full StoryFull Story
Missing SMU police officer identified. The SMU police officer who officials believe may have drowned in Turtle Creek during storms early Tuesday morning has been identified as Mark McCullers, who had been a patrol cop for SMU since February of last year. Rescue teams recovered his car but are resuming their search for McCullers this morning.
$10 million suit filed against american airlines. After a 13-year-old girl said she was groped while traveling alone from DFW International Airport to Portland last month, her family is suing American Airlines for negligence and Chad Cameron Camp, who’s accused of the assault. On the flight, a flight attendant had noticed that Camp’s hand was on the victim’s crotch, so Camp was moved to a different seat and met by law enforcement when the plane landed. However, the lawsuit states that it took 30 minutes before the crew did something about it.
First human case of west nile virus for dallas county this year. Yesterday, Dallas County reported this year’s first human case of the virus. A resident of southern Irving was diagnosed. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that this “first human case for West Nile Virus is a strong reminder of the dangers of this disease and the importance of personal responsibility.” Be careful out there, people.
Mavs sign Warriors’ Harrison Barnes. The forward signed a four-year, $94 million contract with Dallas yesterday. More signings for the Mavs will become official today, including re-signing Deron Williams and Dwight Powell. And Dirk’s two-year, $40 million contract will soon be finalized.Full Story
FOX 4 reports that Dallas County district attorney Susan Hawk has missed several public speaking events this week. Her office released a statement saying relapse is common for those who suffer the sort of depression that led to her seeking treatment last year:
“She is taking the necessary steps so that she can continue to serve the community. She is being proactive with her mental health plan and is determined to stay whole and healthy to insure that Dallas County is safe and thriving,” the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said.
Dallas Has First Confirmed Male-to-Male Zika Transmission. The Centers For Disease Control determined that a man who had contracted the virus during a recent trip to Venezuela passed it on to his partner through sexual contact.
CPS Workers Lied About Visiting Endangered Children. Some of those kids subsequently died from abuse or neglect. Awful, just awful.
Morning News Seeks National Buzz For Cartel Story. The article, which went up online yesterday afternoon, does a fine job of revealing how the Mexican lawyer executed by a gunman in Southlake Town Square in 2013 was a U.S. government informant allowed to carry on with his involvement in trafficking drugs into the country even as he was being watched over by U.S. handlers. Even more importantly, the DMN draws a connection between Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa’s cooperation with American authorities and the explosion of cartel-related violence that has plagued Mexico during much of the last decade. Still, it’s amusing to visit the website of my local daily newspaper and read a phrase like “the quiet Dallas suburb of Southlake” that’s clearly written for an audience outside North Texas. Not to mention the story’s inclusion of a map that displays Southlake’s location relative to Fort Worth and Dallas.
2 Men Indicted For Ripping Off TxDOT. Kevin Bollman and Wade Blackburn are accused of having purchased parcels of land along Interstate 35E between Lewisville and Denton, and pretending the land was under development, expressly in order to sell it to the Texas Department of Transportation at an inflated price.
Do We Have to Talk About Football Already? The Dallas Cowboys 2016 schedule has been released. It’s the fourth-easiest in the league, according to their opponents’ winning percentages from last year. Vegas has the over/under for the team at nine wins.
Enjoy the Outdoors Friday. Because it’s about to rain through much of next week.
It’s April 15. But your taxes aren’t due yet. You have until Monday because of a holiday, Emancipation Day, that’s observed in Washington, D.C.Full Story
Before she took the stage during a luncheon Monday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards sat down to discuss what she describes as unprecedented opposition to the provider, why Hillary Clinton is the right candidate for the country, and what she thinks of the Supreme Court cases that can change how the nonprofit does business. Full StoryFull Story
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin have today issued their annual County Health Rankings, and by their measures of health outcomes based upon various physical, social, and economic factors, Collin County is the healthiest of all of the 241 Texas counties ranked (our state has 254 counties total).
It’s not surprising that one of the Texas’ wealthiest counties, with abundant access to medical care, has a healthier population overall. Likewise Denton’s (No. 4) and Rockwall’s (No. 7) places on the list make sense.
Among the state’s other big-city counties, Dallas County (No. 77) doesn’t perform as well in outcomes as Harris (No. 41) or Travis (No. 9!), but we are better off than Bexar (San Antonio) at No. 81.
Here’s a sampling of how Dallas stacks up against adjacent counties, as well as the U.S. and state medians, on several (but far from all) of the factors involved in calculating these rankings. Income ratio takes the income at the 80th-percentile and divides that by the income level of the county’s 20th-percentile to determine income inequality:Full Story
State May Shut Down Dallas Psychiatric Hospital. The Department of State Health Services has asked Timberlawn Mental Health System to pay a $1 million fine and surrender its license as a result of safety problems, including a suicide and violent fights among patients. Universal Health Services, the company that owns the hospital, plans to fight the penalties at a meeting in April and hopes to reach a deal to keep it open. Timberlawn, in East Dallas, is the largest mental-health center in the city and one of only a few that accepts the poor and uninsured.
UNT Student Files Civil Rights Suit Over Alleged Rape. The woman said she reported being sexually assaulted by a UNT library employee in January but that the school conducted only a minimal investigation of the incident. The suit claims UNT’s response is in violation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1972, a federal law banning sex discrimination in education. A lawyer for the man accused of the rape says a grand jury reviewed the allegations and declined to indict him.
Shooter Escapes on Hoverboard. A man was shot at a Northwest Highway gas station. When police arrived to investigate, they searched the area for the suspect who had managed to “glide away” from being caught. The victim was taken to Parkland Hospital for for treatment.Full Story
This week on EarBurner, Dallas Morning News reporter and UT-Dallas professor Dr. Seema Yasmin returns to the Old Monk to explain just how worried we should (or should not) be about the emergence of the Zika virus in Dallas. Plus, Tim and Zac talk about the city’s recent decision to ban the Exxxotica porn convention and the announcement of the cast of Real Housewives of Dallas.
It’s Yasmin’s second time at Table No. 1. You may remember the show from last May when there was an overabundance of talk about rejuvenating vaginas.
Before you get to listening to the new episode, a few notes:Full Story
Dr. Bruce Lytle, the cardiac surgeon who launched the Cleveland Clinic’s world renowned Heart & Vascular Institute in 2007, has accepted a new job at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano. The news comes as the Society of Thoracic Surgeons again awarded the hospital with its highest rating in all three of its quality categories, placing it in the top 1.1 percent of all heart hospitals in the U.S. Full StoryFull Story
Maybe your New Years resolutions include tacking a few more sessions onto your weekly workout. Maybe you’re simply hoping to add any sessions to your weekly workout. Regardless of the scale of your ambitions, easy access to a workout nook can help you realize them, especially when that nook is outfitted with fun finds from our favorite local stores.Full Story
Police & Fire Pension Investigated Councilman. Documents surfaced on Thursday that indicate that back in July 2013 the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System asked a consultant — former NBC 5 JaMster Mike Snyder — to run a “forensic trace” on Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs, a member of the pension fund’s board. Gary Lawson, an attorney for the fund, couldn’t explain why the expense appeared on an invoice from Snyder, even though it was Lawson’s firm who had hired and paid Snyder’s consultancy on behalf of the fund. Snyder has also declined to explain the motivation for investigating Griggs. You may have forgotten that at about this same time Snyder took a bunch of heat for having set up fake Facebook profiles to comment anonymously on various blogs in support of the fund’s Museum Tower project in its ongoing dispute with the Nasher Sculpture Center. Based on other items listed on Snyder’s invoices, his “forensic internet research” was intended to determine the identity of other anonymous commenters critical of the pension fund’s leadership, especially famed/infamous-commenter-turned-FrontBurner columnist Wylie H. Dallas. It’s not a stretch to infer that Lawson or Snyder suspected Griggs of being Wylie H. and were hoping to prove it.
The Morning News Asks “Are you afraid of going to the dentist? No? How about now? How about now? And now? How are you feeling about somebody rummaging about inside your mouth now? Now? We’re hoping to option this to be adapted into the next season of American Horror Story.”Full Story
Those were the findings released today by the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project, which used an online survey to conclude that between 100,000 and 240,000 woman in the state have attempted to induce their own abortions.
The study was attempting to assess the effects of the 2013 restrictions — which required clinic performing the procedure to be ambulatory surgical centers — passed by the state legislature that resulted in the number of legal abortion clinics falling from 41 in 2012 to 17 now.
Most of those are in the major cities — including two in Dallas and one in Fort Worth — which means women in counties hundreds of miles from the nearest clinic sometimes feel that they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands. From the study:Full Story