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Press Releases

With his left thumb up as the vaccination needle was withdrawn from his right arm, Gary Viljoen proclaimed, “Nothing to it,” as he received the first COVID-19 vaccine administered in East Texas.

Viljoen, director of rehabilitation services at UT Health North Campus Tyler, is actively involved on the COVID-19 units as a physical therapist and has seen firsthand the devastating effects of the virus on his patients.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before in my 20-year career span, so I am hoping this (vaccine) is the light at the end of the tunnel,” Viljoen said. “I feel...

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Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, UT Health North Campus Tyler was named a Top Teaching Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group. Announced today, the Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers widely acknowledged as the toughest standard-setters for health care safety and quality.

“At a time in our country where we are...

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The deadline to join UT Health East Texas EMS is approaching. Open enrollment will close Nov. 20. Membership costs $60 for one year; current members can renew for $50.

“Membership in UT Health EMS protects insured members from costly out-of-pocket expenses because it prepays any portion of the ambulance charges not covered by insurance or Medicare, as long as it is deemed medically necessary by their insurance,” said Jimmy Zednick, UT Health EMS director of operations.

The average cost of an ambulance transport is $750 and most insurance, including Medicare, will not cover...

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Tracy O’Daniel Earns Patient Safety Credential

The Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety (CBPPS) recently recognized Tracy O’Daniel, UT Health East Texas’ Division Vice President of Quality, as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS).

“Earning this credential attests to Tracy’s professional competency in patient safety science and application,” said Patricia McGaffigan, RN, MS, CPPS, President, CBPPS. “This achievement demonstrates her expertise in this critical discipline and positions her among those committed to and leading patient safety work.”

O’Daniel earned this credential in part by...

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UT Health East Texas launched the “Don't Bug Me” flu awareness campaign to stress the importance of preventing the spread of the flu at a time when COVID-19 is already impacting hospital capacity.

“The combination of flu, cold, other illnesses and COVID-19 could put a strain on our health care system in East Texas,” said Moody Chisholm, president and CEO of UT Health East Texas. “We know that we will have COVID-19 patients throughout the upcoming flu season, and what we can do together to try to minimize a potential surge in hospital capacity is practice the techniques that we talk...

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UT Health Tyler, UT Health North Campus Tyler and UT Health Jacksonville were awarded an ‘A’ in the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing the hospitals’ achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Safety Grade assigns an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is based on a...

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This year marks a major milestone for the UT Health East Texas Rehabilitation Center – its 25th anniversary. Crucial to UT Health Rehabilitation Center’s 25 years of service to the community are the employees who have worked there since its inception. “It is a testament to our wonderful team and sense of belonging that many employees feel,” said UT Health Rehabilitation Center Administrator Laurie Lehnhof-Watts, MSN, RN.

Beginning as a 24-bed unit within UT Health Tyler, the Rehabilitation Center was officially created in 1995 with the construction and dedication of the Olympic...

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UT Health Athens achieved Healthgrades’ Labor and Delivery Excellence Award in the organization’s annual ratings. This is the third consecutive year UT Health Athens has received the award.

Healthgrades identifies hospitals that deliver top-quality care for women during and after childbirth, and for superior outcomes in surgeries to treat diseases and conditions of the female reproductive system. 

Of 1,127 eligible facilities, UT Health Athens was one of only 114 hospitals to receive this prestigious award. According to Healthgrades, patients treated in recipient hospitals...

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Last month, the cardiology team at UT Health Tyler successfully completed its first implantation of the Watchman™ left atrial appendage closure device. The minimally-invasive procedure helps reduce the risk of stroke in patients who suffer from non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib).

Afib is a common type of cardiac arrhythmia that affects more than five million Americans. Of the 795,000 Americans who experience a stroke annually, 20 percent occur in patients with Afib. Often, Afib-related strokes are more fatal and...

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Tyler, Texas (August 26, 2020) — UT Health Tyler has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“The Gold Plus award means that we have achieved 85% or better adherence on the quality indicators established by the American Heart Association and the American...

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