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Frontline Heroes

Emergency nurses lead out in front as COVID-19 first responders

Elda G. Ramirez, PhD, RN, worked feverishly with medical staff to intubate a man suffering from respiratory distress likely caused by COVID-19. They labored so intensely that when Ramirez left the room, a hospital tech pointed out something strange. “I had sweat so much that my plastic gown was attached to my skin,” says Ramirez, an emergency nurse practitioner.


HEART-POUNDING CARE
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HEART-POUNDING CARE

Emergency medicine specialists provide comprehensive care without bounds

The heart rate increases, pumping blood throughout the body. The pupils dilate, letting light into the eyes. The breath quickens, ensuring oxygen reaches muscles and organs. This is the body’s response to stress during emergency situations, flooding the system with hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight instinct. 

GROUNDED NO MORE
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GROUNDED NO MORE

Aerospace launch director looks to the stars again after traumatic accident

By John Muratore’s own admission, he was a real mess. Two weeks out of surgery to repair cracked spinal vertebrae and a severely broken leg, he arrived at TIRR Memorial Hermann where specialists from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth helped him through the first stage of rehabilitation, draped with a surgical gown over a soiled medical diaper. 

KEEPING IT REAL
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KEEPING IT REAL

Newly expanded simulation lab helps train nursing students

Joanna Popovits’ journey to becoming a nurse began with her grandmother, Teresita Alicia Pineiro. Growing up, Teresita’s drive and determination to help others served as inspiration for Joanna, who inherited her grandmother’s work ethic and giving heart. But as Teresita’s health declined, Joanna noticed she had trouble at the doctor’s office.

A TIMELESS COMMITMENT
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A TIMELESS COMMITMENT

Couple makes a gift to advance care for older adults

In a society that worships youth, a physician who treasures older adults stands apart. Joan and Stanford Alexander needed a primary care doctor to manage their health as they advanced in years, and what—or rather who— they found led to a transformative decision. 

Uncovering the Unknown
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Uncovering the Unknown

Providing clarity on COVID-19 through Public Health

People have always been afraid of the unknown—an evolutionary trait that most likely surfaced by keeping those who were more cautious safe. When the COVID-19 pandemic first surfaced, the scariest parts of the virus were the unknowns. Who was susceptible? Why would seemingly healthy individuals fall to bad outcomes? How was the virus spreading and when would it stop?

A Gift Like No Other
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A Gift Like No Other

A Family Honors the Memory of a Leader in Global Health

Not all gifts come in a box with a bow tied on top. For some, it’s a gift of life after surviving an illness or a child born into a family. For others, it’s an experience with a loved one that leaves a lasting memory. For Stanley G. Schultz, MD, the gift that changed his life came in the form of a cholera toxin sample, which inspired his passion for global health. 

TRIP INTERRUPTED
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TRIP INTERRUPTED

A COUPLE SURVIVES COVID-19 AND DONATES PLASMA TO HELP OTHERS RECOVER

In 2018, Jose Abdelnoor, 72, and his wife, Evelyn Diaz, 67, decided it was time to close the chapter on their careers and begin enjoying the fruits of retirement. But just as they began plotting grand adventures, the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world.

LEADING THROUGH THE STORM
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LEADING THROUGH THE STORM

UTHEALTH ALUM NAVIGATES COUNTY HEALTH SYSTEM THROUGH COVID-19

Esmaeil Porsa, MD ‘05, has his hands full these days. As President and CEO of Harris Health System, he oversees the Harris County government entity that owns and operates clinical facilities such as Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Ben Taub Hospital. Porsa took the helm in March 2020 with a baptism of fire in the form of COVID-19. 

FIGHTING FOR AIR
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FIGHTING FOR AIR

RESEARCHERS AND CLINICIANS TACKLE LASTING EFFECTS OF COVID-19

A sinister intruder, the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 infects the body in the same way other viruses do—by hijacking healthy cells and forcing them to create copies of the virus. But this virus has a secret weapon: spiky surface proteins that easily bind to cells in the lungs, making the lungs especially susceptible to infection.

OVERCOMING THE CYCLE OF PAIN
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OVERCOMING THE CYCLE OF PAIN

UTHEALTH PHYSICIANS TAKE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO PAIN MANAGEMENT

Jim Huddleston always had an active life. An outdoors enthusiast, he enjoyed running and playing soccer and football for years. When a knee injury sidelined his morning jogs, he quickly took up cycling and fell in love with the sport. For Jim, riding his bike over 100 miles a week posed few challenges. But when back pain started getting in the way, Jim knew he had to seek help.

THE PULSE OF HEART HEALTH
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THE PULSE OF HEART HEALTH

PREVENTIVE CARDIOLOGY FORUM CELEBRATES MILESTONE ANNIVERSARY

Each February, medical communities across the nation celebrate American Heart Month to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease. At McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, the first Saturday of the month is always reserved for the Preventive Cardiology Forum, a special program that has been connecting practitioners, students, and the community to fight heart disease for 30 years.

PORTABLE PAIN MANAGEMENT
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PORTABLE PAIN MANAGEMENT

To help resolve knee pain without invasive surgeries or addictive opioid pain medications, Brian Ahn, PhD, is testing a novel approach that goes directly to the source of all bodily pain: the brain.

DIVING DEEP INTO DATA
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DIVING DEEP INTO DATA

A NEW CENTER USES DATA TO IMPROVE ORAL HEALTH CARE

How might a cavity prevention program reduce oral health disparities in children? Is it possible to reduce how often dentists prescribe opioid pain relievers following certain procedures? The Texas Center for Oral Healthcare Quality and Safety, a new program at UTHealth School of Dentistry, is tackling complex questions like these.

Philanthropy at Work to Improve Care for Older Adults
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Philanthropy at Work to Improve Care for Older Adults

Healthy older adults have needs that require specialized attention, but add in an emergency situation, and these needs are compounded. Taking a comprehensive approach, hospitalist Andreea S. Xavier, MD, works with Charles L. Maddow, MD, to improve the care of older adults in emergency settings.

A TEAM EFFORT TO END ELDER ABUSE
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A TEAM EFFORT TO END ELDER ABUSE

A passionate advocate for older adults, the unexpected career path of Jason L. Burnett, PhD has blossomed into a deeply held commitment to fighting elder abuse—one that earned a 2019 Innovator in Aging award from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.