State gets bump in health rankings

Texans are improving their health. The state has seen major improvements this year in smoking, child immunizations and mental health, according to data gathered by United Health Foundation.

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Health care foundation gives $224,000 in grants

The Flow Health Care Foundation awarded more than $224,000 in grants Wednesday to 13 Denton County organizations for projects that provide affordable health care.

There’s still time for flu vaccines

National Influenza Vaccination Week is underway, and the Denton County Health Department wants to remind residents that it’s not too late for flu vaccinations.

Presbyterian hospital slates free flu shots

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton will offer free flu shots at its drive-through clinic from 5 to 7 p.m. today.

AP

Calorie count to appear with many foods

WASHINGTON — Diners will soon know how many calories are in that bacon cheeseburger at a chain restaurant, the pasta salad in the supermarket salad bar and even that buttery tub of popcorn at the movie theater.

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Tech support

Patrick and Emily McLarty can relate to families faced with mounting medical bills. “We’ve experienced what that’s like, and the uncertainty and the fear,” Emily McLarty said. She said she and her husband know all too well what it’s like to have the rug pulled from underneath.

Two Denton hospitals receive top ratings

The two major hospitals in Denton both earned “A” ratings for their hospital safety score from the Leapfrog Group, a leading hospital research organization.Both Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton...

Flu shots on the rise in Denton County

It’s time again for those familiar needle pricks that come from vaccinations to ward off any potential flu virus attack. As the flu season begins and clinics provide Denton County residents a chance to get themselves and their loved ones protection against this year’s viruses, health officials are hoping supply can keep up with what may be an increased demand.

Taking on Ebola fears with facts

Denton County health officials are working to fight Ebola fear with facts. Even as a trio of confirmed U.S. cases have occurred, and the public’s trust is in question, Denton County Health Department Director Matt Richardson is urging calm and providing information to deal with the virus threat.

AP

Hospitals urged to ‘think Ebola’

DALLAS — Federal health officials on Monday urged the nation’s hospitals to “think Ebola” and launched a review of procedures for treating patients, while medical records showed that an infected Texas nurse repeatedly visited the room of a Liberian man as he was dying from the disease.

Report: Sheriff's deputy tests negative for Ebola

The Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin says negative results were returned Thursday, indicating that a Dallas County deputy does not have the Ebola virus.

First Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. dies

DALLAS (AP) — The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States died in a Dallas hospital today, a little more than a week after his illness exposed gaps in the nation’s defenses against the disease and set off a scramble to track down anyone exposed to him.

AP

Man with Ebola initially sent home

DALLAS — The airline passenger who brought Ebola into the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital said Wednesday in a disclosure that showed how easily an infection could be missed.

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E-cigarettes draw minors

CORINTH — The 16-year-old puts the mechanical device into his mouth, inhaling the flavored e-liquid in the chamber of his personalized vaporizer or “vape pen.”

NuView lands financial backing

NuView Life Sciences announced this week an exclusive licensing agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., a global health care company based in Tokyo, that could eventually lead to the reopening of a Denton medical radioisotopes plant.

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.