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Saima Zafar, MD, MBA, is a board-certified cardiologist who sees patients at UT Health East Texas Physicians Athens. “I was always very fascinated with the heart and the many ways it can be impacted with different ailments, whether it is an abnormal heart rhythm, a blocked artery, weak heart muscle or malfunctioning valves. There is so much satisfaction in helping people with heart disease.”

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Jacksonville, Texas (May 13, 2022) — Melody Sharp, RN, recently was selected as a DAISY Award winner.

“Melody is a remarkable nurse. She started here as a graduate vocational nurse and worked here as an LVN while attending school to get her RN,” said Michael Hales, chief nursing officer for UT Health Jacksonville. “Now as a registered nurse in the ICU she’s flexible, adaptable and sets the example for her peers in how to care for our patients at UT Health Jacksonville.”

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues and the award recipient is chosen by...

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Tyler, Texas (May 10, 2022) — UT Health North Campus Tyler received an ‘A’ Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognizes UT Health North Campus Tyler’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital.

“This is the eighth consecutive ‘A’ rating for UT Health North Campus Tyler, which is an incredible accomplishment,” said Vicki Briggs, CEO of UT Health North Campus Tyler. “This recognition underscores our commitment to patient safety and excellence for...

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Janice Blancad, RN, brings a servant’s heart to her job as an intermediate care nurse at UT Health Tyler. Blancad said her biggest achievement is making a difference in someone’s life. She does that by being present for her patients — actively listening to them and frequently checking to make sure they have what they need. Blancad said it’s also important to walk into a patient’s room with a smile and to show that you care about them.

“I want to be the light for my patients, their families, my coworkers and for everyone I work with because you just never know what someone is going...

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When Jamie Morrison learned she would have to deliver her baby early because she was experiencing pregnancy complications, she wasn’t worried because of her background as a NICU nurse herself.

“I was overconfident. I’ve seen these babies, I thought, ‘Oh, he’ll be fine,’” she reflects eight years later. “When you’re in that moment and it actually happens … I will admit I did not get it until it happened to me.”

Morrison said it really hit her when her 4-pound, 11-ounce-newborn was placed in a transport isolette minutes after delivery and wheeled away from her to the NICU....

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How to Start Running with Dr. Peebles is a six-week video series. Click the next or previous button to navigate through the weeks.

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From Left: Lecia Bowman, chief nursing officer; Robin Davis, clinical/operational manager for pediatrics; Janet Kats; Vicki Briggs, CEO; and Greg Kats display some of the handmade creations that were donated to the hospital Wednesday.

When Greg and Janet Kats moved to Tyler to retire a year ago, the couple turned to hobbies to stay busy, Greg using his 3D printer to create different objects and Janet crocheting blankets and stuffed animals.

Greg, retired from a career in IT, makes miniature trains, dinosaurs and fidget toys with his 3D printer and Janet, retired from an accounting career, likes to craft with her hands.

“It keeps us busy and gives us a purpose of doing something,” Janet said. “These are things we like to do and keeps us busy, and it also helps the kids.”

With their newfound free...

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The future looked bright for Cody Westbrook, 32, from Garrison, Texas. He was about to start a new job at Lockheed Martin. He had also picked out a new puppy; an English bulldog/pitbull mix he named Capone. But on a rainy night in May 2021, everything changed.

Cody and Capone were driving through Rusk County during heavy rain when his truck hydroplaned on the highway, went off the road and struck a tree.

When he regained consciousness, Cody was pinned inside the truck. He couldn’t find his phone, but he could reach his pistol, so he fired a few times into the ground to get...

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Two UT Health Athens nurses received DAISY Awards for their extraordinary on-the-job care.

Stephanie Beddingfield, RN, “exhibited total patient focus, integrity, leadership, stewardship, teamwork,” according to her nomination form, written by the patient’s wife, who noted that when he was discharged, Beddingfield even pulled their truck into the loading area in the pouring rain.

“She was so kind, sweet and caring — we’ve had many experiences the last two years and your staff has been the most caring and knowledgeable! Thank you so much, Stephanie was great...

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Tyler, Texas (April 4, 2022) — UT Health East Texas is now offering on-demand video visits to anyone age 18 and older. On-demand video visits are a convenient way to quickly see a UT Health East Texas provider for common urgent care needs without having to travel to an office – think of it as urgent care via video wherever you are.

You can see a UT Health provider in real time for a variety of common illnesses and conditions, such as:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Minor injuries
  • Eye irritation
  • Stomach aches
  • Colds & coughs...
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