In Texas’ Panhandle, a long-awaited oasis for mental health care is springing up
The region that includes Amarillo, a Panhandle city of more than 200,000 people, and surrounding towns has long been a mental health care desert. Officials hope a new $159 million hospital can help reduce a massive spike in suicide attempts.
Watch Texas Tribune journalists discuss their experience on a rural reproductive health project
Reporter Eleanor Klibanoff and photojournalist Shelby Tauber talked with Tribune editor Terri Langford about their reporting on a story of a 26-year-old Texan who was told her twin sons had a zero percent chance of survival after childbirth.
“People aren’t thinking about us”: How new ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates impacts medically-vulnerable Texans
The ban applies to all private businesses, including health care facilities like hospitals, which can jeopardize the health of those with compromised immune systems or other underlying conditions.
Appeals court considers whether Texas teens should be allowed contraception without parental consent under federal program
Last year, Judge Matthew Kacmsaryk closed off one of the only avenues for Texas teens to get confidential contraception. The 5th Circuit will hear arguments on the controversial case Monday.
Texas cities and counties are destroying expired Narcan. Some say it could still be used to save lives.
The state has given tens of thousands of doses of a drug that can reverse opioid deaths to local governments. It can still save lives after its expiration date, but some government agencies are destroying older doses.
Ban on COVID vaccine mandates by private businesses, including health care facilities, passes Texas Senate
The bill offers no exceptions for doctors’ offices, clinics or other health facilities. Senators agreed to let those entities require unvaccinated employees to wear personal protective gear or take other “reasonable” measures to manage the spread.
For Texans with long COVID, specialized centers can provide more effective treatments — if they can access them
Long COVID clinics in Texas are few and far between, often with months-long waitlists. But these centers can provide care that validates stigmatized patients, offers unique treatments and teaches physicians more about the new condition.
How new regulations impact abortion and birth control access in Texas
More than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Texas continues to be the largest state in the nation to ban nearly all abortions. But some questions and changes to abortion and birth control access have arisen since then.
Dallas selected as one of three national hubs for new medical innovation federal agency
The city joins Cambridge, Mass. and the Washington, D.C. area as epicenters of the new agency. A Biden administration initiative, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health will work toward medical breakthroughs in treating diseases like cancer, Alzheimer and diabetes.
A unique Texas legal rule lets the attorney general’s office supersede some judges’ orders
Lawyers criticize a provision they say erodes the separation of powers between Texas’ executive branch and its courts. It’s been used repeatedly this year as Texans try to block new state laws from going into effect
This new law will help health care workers save lives in ambulances that cover wide-open West Texas
The emerging technology, paid for by a grant established during the 2023 legislative session, will help emergency health care workers talk with doctors in emergency rooms to better care for critical patients.
Will Texas’ new fentanyl awareness curriculum for public schools succeed where other anti-drug messaging failed?
Historically, anti-drug messaging in schools has failed to acknowledge the mental health reasons that youth self-medicate. Without that key lesson, advocates worry House Bill 3908 will be another D.A.R.E. campaign.
Legal fight over Texas law banning transgender health care for youth centers on whether treatments help or hurt
Texas families and health care providers sued the state over Senate Bill 14, which restricts transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming care. The groups are requesting an injunction from a state district court judge before the law goes into effect on Sept. 1.
“Scared out of my mind”: A family scrambles after their disabled 3-year-old loses Medicaid
When Texas started scrubbing people from Medicaid after a three-year pause on removals during the pandemic, one family lost the insurance coverage that helped provide all treatments for their medically complex child.
Texas has already seen 25 chemical emergencies this year. Here’s how to protect yourself during the next one.
Preparing for a chemical incident means knowing which industrial facilities are near you, creating a disaster supply kit and signing up for alerts from local emergency managers ahead of time.
Texas A&M suspended professor accused of criticizing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in lecture
The professor, an expert on the opioids crisis, was placed on paid administrative leave and investigated, raising questions about the extent of political interference in higher education, particularly in health-related matters.
Texas Supreme Court says Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID ban on local mask rules was lawful
Several of Texas’ largest cities sought to put in place mask requirements, which Gov. Greg Abbott overturned. The ruling is a legal win for Republicans in Austin their ongoing symbolic fight with cities, often run by Democrats.
This year, Texas lawmakers zeroed in on existing health care programs, leaving bolder measures by the wayside
Pregnant moms on Medicaid will get health care coverage for a year, patients will get more detailed billing and nurses will get help with school loans. But efforts failed to gain steam for legalizing fentanyl test strips, increasing the pool of mental health professionals who accept Medicaid and expanding Medicaid benefits to more Texans.
This class president is the model of a successful Texas teen. After a ban on trans health care, she can’t wait to leave the state.
For one Round Rock teen, getting accepted to Harvard was her ticket out of a state that she says is hostile to trans youth. Now Texas will ensure young people like her no longer have access to gender-affirming care.
In first session after Dobbs ruling, Texas lawmakers provide more support for pregnant and parenting college students
Now that Texas has a near-total ban on abortion, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are trying to make sure colleges are serving students who are pregnant or have children.
Texas lawmakers keep anti-abortion amendment in postpartum Medicaid extension proposal
A committee of House and Senate members agreed to a plan to extend Medicaid coverage for a year after childbirth — with a controversial anti-abortion amendment attached. The bill now goes to both chambers for a final vote.
After doctors left Dell Children’s adolescent clinic, Austin teens and their families are scrambling to find specialty care
The adolescent clinic treated eating disorders and menstrual complications. It also offered gender-affirming care — which is still legal for now but triggered an investigation by Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Texas House’s weekend off means key Senate bills die after missing a legislative deadline
Priority bills that died include a 10-year minimum sentencing for gun-related crimes, a ban on “critical race theory” at public universities and LGBTQ-related legislation. While the bills may be dead, lawmakers have a limited time to attach their ideas to legislation that are still alive.
Texas schools say it’s time to stop tying mental health funding to school safety money
Federal pandemic aid helped build public school mental health services in Texas. School officials now brace for the expiration of those funds next year. They’re urging lawmakers to create a dedicated funding stream for mental health assistance in schools.
Austin doctors who treated trans kids leaving Dell Children’s clinic after AG Paxton announces investigation
Attorney General Ken Paxton previously announced an investigation into “potentially illegal” activity. Parents are scrambling to find transition-related care for their kids as the Legislature appears poised to ban it altogether.
LGBTQ Texans rally at Capitol as House set to consider banning puberty blockers, hormone treatments for trans kids
Senate Bill 14 spurred protests that led to altercations with state police last week. A majority of Texas House members support the legislation, and the Senate has already passed a version of the bill.
Texas AG Ken Paxton probing Austin children’s hospital following video of social worker discussing transition-related care
On the same day the Texas Legislature is set to debate Senate Bill 14, a proposed ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for kids, the attorney general files a request to examine documents related to the use of puberty blockers and counseling for trans youth.