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Just one week after giving birth to her fifth child, Maria Bell underwent life-saving heart surgery.

“I was sitting on the couch and my chest started to hurt,” Bell said. “I went to get my husband because it was getting worse and I wasn’t sure what it was. My husband is a family medicine physician resident at UT Health East Texas, so I figured if anyone would know what was going on, he was my best chance. By the time I got to him, the pain started to go up to my neck and down my arms. I told him what was happening, and he knew it was a bigger concern than I thought. I thought it...

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A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday for the new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at UT Health Tyler.

A small group of administrators and physicians gathered for a private ceremony to initiate construction of the new medical unit located on the 4th floor of the hospital. Because attendance is limited due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the ceremony also was shown live on the UT Health East Texas Facebook page.

The unit will include nine state-of-the-art neonatal beds and equipment needed to provide intensive care for sick infants in Tyler and East Texas.


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New Year’s resolutions offer an opportunity to reassess what areas of your life could use a change. For many, this includes eating healthier or losing weight. While good-intentioned, our approach to dieting often leaves us feeling restricted, and we lose motivation within a few weeks.

So how can we set goals that actually stick? Clinical dietitian, Allie Redding, RD, LD, discusses the best way to accomplish your nutrition goals in 2021.


Is there a...

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There was a time when people only went to the doctor when they were sick. Today, we now know that preventive healthcare is the key to living a longer, healthier life.

It is important for people to get regular check-ups so they can identify potential health issues before they become a problem. By seeing a physician annually, they are more likely to detect issues earlier. It is important to know that due to constant medical research and advancements in healthcare, we are capable of treating an increasing number of conditions with far greater success than at any other time in human...

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Tyler, Texas (January 8, 2021) — UT Health East Texas has filled all available appointments for COVID-19 vaccines designated for high-risk members of the public.

"We had an overwhelming response to the availability of the vaccine, which allowed us to fill all slots," said Dr. Tom Cummins, chief medical officer for UT Health East Texas. "We hope the state will see the great interest by the community and allocate us additional vaccine soon."

UT Health is the only healthcare system in East Texas to be selected by the Texas Department of State Health Services...

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Tyler, Texas (January 8, 2021) — UT Health East Texas on Monday will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to high-risk members of the public. Vaccines will be given by appointment only.

The vaccine will be available to those who meet the Texas Department of State Health Services criteria for Phase 1A or 1B of the state’s vaccine allocation plan. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers, first and last responders and residents of long-term care facilities; Phase 1B includes those 65 and older and those 18 and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them...

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Tyler, Texas (January 6, 2021) — Patients seeking treatment at UT Health emergency rooms in Tyler now may begin the check-in process online before they arrive to minimize time spent waiting in the ER.

Patients already are able to view wait times for emergency rooms online at, and they now can use that same web address to begin check-in prior to their arrival. Online check-in is available for emergency rooms at UT Health Tyler, 1000 S. Beckham...

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COVID-19 vaccines to caregivers

Tyler, Texas (January 5, 2021) — Three weeks after receiving the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to reach East Texas, UT Health East Texas caregivers again rolled up their sleeves Tuesday to receive the second...

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What types of food to fill up on first?

Holiday eating can feel overwhelming, especially with different food options! Stay on track by starting each meal with a protein source and some veggies. The fiber in vegetables helps fill you up and the protein balances your blood sugar. You may even want to eat a small meal that includes protein and a glass of water a couple of hours before the big meal. 

What is the advised serving size?

When it comes to portions, be mindful of your body’s cues to hunger and fullness. Take a drink of a calorie-free beverage...

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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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