Flu season prep work underway

Flu season is on the horizon and Denton County health officials are keeping an eye on vaccine supplies and finalizing plans for an awareness and prevention campaign.

County details mosquito response

While Denton County has had a calm mosquito season so far, recent discoveries have prompted health officials to tweak response plans.

Church won’t be silent on HIV

A local church will make free HIV testing available during an afternoon program designed to boost understanding and awareness of the virus that can destroy a person’s immune system, making them vulnerable to deadly infections.

Health Services of North Texas acquires clinic

Health Services of North Texas officials have completed the acquisition of Family Health Care Inc., whose staff, services and patients will now be a part of the nonprofit.

Deal between health nonprofits off for now

Health Services of North Texas’ proposed acquisition of Family Health Care Inc. is off the table.

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Kids brace for start of school

As days inch closer to the bell ringing on a new school year, families can expect longer wait times for back-to-school immunizations, according to officials at local health clinics.

County’s social service funds down

A number of social service agencies will receive a lot less in funding from Denton County than they asked for, officials said.

Four of hearts

Everyone has a heart, but few people can say they’ve had four in one lifetime. But that’s exactly how many hearts James Earp has had in his 67 years.

Family’s care helps man outlast predictions

DENTON — The 400-pound motorized wheelchair is zooming along the house-lined streets near the University of North Texas. Both riders are keeping an eye out for potholes.

Center’s future not secure

David Brady reached into a big bowl of bolts Thursday morning, matching the longer ones to the picture on the photocopied guide in front of him. After he matched a pair of shorter bolts from another big bowl, he started matching washers. He is one of 461 residents at the Denton State Supported Living Center.

Father fights for campus to thrive

Stephen Joseph Gersuk struggled to keep a mammoth bag of puzzles out of the puddles as he walked from his apartment toward the pharmacy with his father, Stephen Gersuk. Stephen Joseph, 34, had just finished his work gathering the outgoing mail from the many buildings clustered in the center of the 200-acre campus of the Denton State Supported Living Center, on the city’s south side.

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Lost friend inspires ride

For Schuyler Dale, no task is too large to keep her friend’s spirit alive — even if it means biking from Austin to Alaska, with a stop in Denton along the way.

Report calls for closing some centers

A recommendation to close nearly half of the institutions home to 3,600 Texans with disabilities has renewed focus on the Denton State Supported Living Center, which could be affected if state leaders ultimately agree to close some of the facilities.

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Space in transition

Volunteers and community leaders gathered briefly Thursday morning to celebrate a long-awaited goal: construction of Rotary House, a suite of medical and nonprofit offices as well as transitional housing for homeless families.

Burton to retire from health department

Bing Burton is calling it a career. The Denton County health director will leave his post June 27, marking the end of a 22-year tenure that has seen a sharp rise in county population and innovation alongside illnesses and epidemics, from influenza to mosquito-borne diseases.

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Part of the team

Wheels were spinning on the basketball court Tuesday as military veterans and first responders played in the first “Battle of the Backboards” as part of a program at Texas Woman’s University to offer opportunities for veterans to get back into the community.

Les Cockrell: United Way chief to talk about mental health needs

Gary Henderson, president and CEO of the United Way of Denton County, will be the guest speaker for today’s meeting of NAMI Denton County.

Health clinic in Denton opens new office space

More space to provide more opportunity to help the community is what the Denton Community Health Clinic hopes to bring to Denton.

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Intensive construction

A $20 million expansion of Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, formerly North Texas Hospital, is underway to add six intensive care suites and a cardiovascular operating room, in addition to interior renovations already completed, officials said.

Room to grow

Construction to an addition of the Baylor Heart Hospital in progress on Mayhill Road is shown recently in Denton.

County reports eighth flu-related death

A Denton woman in her 40s has died from the flu, becoming the eighth flu-related death in Denton County.

Event honors lives touched

Jill Jester knows well that cancer touches everyone. “I just don’t think you can meet anyone that hasn’t been affected by cancer,” the Denton attorney said.

Officials: Flu shots still available

Despite a surge of flu cases in Denton County in recent weeks, flu shots are still available at local clinics but supplies are dwindling, health officials said. Local hospitals are busier than usual with flu cases but are not reporting the overcrowding problems that have been reported by some hospitals in Dallas and Tarrant counties, local officials said.

Fourth flu death reported
in Denton County

A 30-year-old Denton woman has become the fourth person to die of the flu in Denton County, health officials confirmed Wednesday.

Pathway for access

Jaime Blanton says she just wants access. To public restrooms and romantic dining areas on upper floors; through aisles cluttered with so much merchandise that she can’t maneuver her wheelchair.

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Gains made, but center still falls short

The Denton State Supported Living Center has come up short again in achieving required reforms after three years of federal monitoring. Denton’s center, home to more than 400 people with disabilities, is among those making the most progress of the 13 state centers being monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice, state officials say.

Denton hospital to open first pediatric section

After several months of renovation, a portion of the fourth floor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton will reopen on Monday as a pediatric unit, the first pediatric hospital unit in Denton.

Denton’s hospitals earn top scores

Denton’s two major hospitals earned top scores in safety ratings issued by the nation’s largest self-insured employers, known as The Leapfrog Group.

Denton to spray area for West Nile

City leaders approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing ground spraying after hearing an update on the mosquito traps and reports of human cases of West Nile virus in Denton.

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Tougher target

It’s been a tough week for breathers in North Texas, particularly in Denton County. Every day for more than a week now has been an “ozone action day.” Denton’s ozone monitor, once it was back online Aug. 30, quickly racked up some of the highest readings in the state, suggesting that progress in improving the region’s air quality has stalled.

Church event to offer HIV info, testing

Residents can learn more about HIV and AIDS, and be tested for free, at an event planned for Sept. 21 by St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Clinic to focus on family needs

A new clinic will soon provide pediatric care to young patients in Denton County. First Refuge will provide medical care, immunizations, antibiotics therapy, a medication assistance program, chiropractic and massage therapy for pain management, nutrition counseling and well-child care to children up to age 18.

Denton County confirms human case of West Nile

The Denton County Health Department announced Thursday it has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus for 2013 in the county.

Five people being treated for rabies

Health officials are treating five people in The Colony after they were exposed to rabies from a pet dog that tested positive for the virus on Friday.

Two more food-borne illness cases confirmed

The Denton County Health Department on Monday confirmed two additional cases of cyclosporiasis, the food-borne illness spreading through North Texas, bringing the number to seven.

Foodborne illness erupts in county

The Denton County Health Department has reported that labs have confirmed five cases of cyclosporiasis, a foodborne illness, in the county.

Health care cost ‘big unknown’ for cities

Officials in some of the area cities are expecting to see a significant spike in health care costs for their employees, and they won’t know exactly by how much rates may increase until late into the 2013-14 budget process.

Red Cross seeks donors

American Red Cross officials are seeing fewer blood donors this summer and they are encouraging people to locate a blood drive in their area to donate in an effort to prevent a shortage. On Tuesday, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for donors of all blood types after seeing about 10 percent or 50,000 fewer donations across the country in June.

Delay gives more time to sort out rules

A new delay to the Affordable Care Act allows businesses with 50 or more employees another year to start offering medical coverage before facing fines, the Obama administration announced last week.

Texas faces silver tide

Denton resident C.J. Strayhorn was advised to retire by a doctor about two years ago because of a medical condition. At 70 years old and unprepared for retirement, Strayhorn and his wife watched as their $3,000-plus monthly income was slashed by more than half.

CareFlite to operate facility at Denton Enterprise Airport

Medical transportation provider CareFlite will have a new home in Denton this August, where it will lease space in a brand-new hangar at Denton Enterprise Airport. CareFlite will occupy 715 square feet of office space and 4,160 square feet of hangar space to house a helicopter and about 12 employees, said Jim Swartz, CareFlite president and CEO.

Officials confirm West Nile in Texas

The Texas Department of State Health Services recently confirmed the first human case of the West Nile virus in Texas this season.

Aldridge to stay involved after retiring from agency

It could be a while before Dr. Ron Aldridge, ex-CEO of Health Services of North Texas, will get over the fact that he actually retired. “I still say ‘we,’ talking like I am still CEO,” he said. “I still have not gotten over that.” Aldridge, 69, spent 12 1/2 years with the nonprofit agency before retiring May 17.

Grant to help fund screenings

Denton County commissioners and the Susan G. Komen Foundation are out to help women who have low income receive testing for breast cancer. Commissioners approved a $35,000 grant from the foundation that will go toward providing access to mammograms to women who qualify.

County hatches West Nile plan

Denton County officials are looking to get in front of the West Nile virus this season before things get out of hand.

Report identifies gaps in breast cancer research

A new interagency report recommends investing in breast cancer research that focuses on environmental factors and prevention as much as diagnosis and cures. The report, “Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention,” was released Tuesday by federal health officials and follows a legislative mandate from the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act of 2008.

Results shared during summit

Vanita Halliburton said that when her son battled depression and bipolar disorder, she simply did not know how to help him. He began cutting himself at age 14. She and her family worked hard for five years to help him get well, she said. At 19, her son sought the assistance of a health professional and later checked into a hospital for 30 days.

Summit set for today

The second Denton County Child Health Summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Hilton Garden Inn of Denton, 3110 Colorado Blvd.

Hardworking woman turns focus to health

Heather Wyatt is a charismatic woman who is known to work two full-time jobs each week. Never did it cross Wyatt’s mind that she might need to put her health first and her work on the back burner.

Elevating awareness

Bethany Winsor and Mike Gregory agree that cancer is a long journey. “And you never know how long,” said Winsor, who was 27 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.