Thursday, July 26, 2012

Whooping Cough is On the Rise....Be Informed!

You may have recently heard in the news about cases of whooping cough or pertussis being identified in areas throughout the United States. Whooping cough is a disease spread by droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It affects the respiratory system causing a harsh, uncontrollable cough which is characterized by a “whooping” sound between coughs.  Whooping cough is treatable with antibiotics but if it is not diagnosed quickly it can be fatal for children, especially infants. This disease can be transmitted from adults to children even if the adult is showing no symptoms.
Because this disease is so dangerous for infants, it is important to keep up with the prescribed immunization schedule for infants. Adults also may require a booster immunization because the childhood vaccination wears off after 5-10 years. Adolescents and adults who care for children or infants (medical workers, babysitters, day care workers) should receive a single dose of the vaccine. The whooping cough vaccine is combined with the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine and is commonly called “DTaP.” This vaccine is given at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months and 4-6 years of age. It is recommended pre-teens have a booster at 11-12 years. Adults should get a DTaP vaccine once and then a Td (tetanus diphtheria) booster every 10 years.

Common cold type symptoms such as mild cough, fever, nasal congestion and drainage. The cough remains for 1-2 weeks and becomes more severe and can continue for weeks. The classic “whooping” sound in between coughs may be seen and should be reported immediately to a child’s Pediatrician. Infants may not have the “whoop” sound to their cough but may show signs of apnea which means they will have a pause in their breathing. Apnea is very serious and should be reported immediately to a child’s Pediatrician. Any cold symptoms lasting longer than a week should be reported to a child’s Pediatrician immediately. It is also important for adolescents and adults to stay away from infants and small children when ill and get the recommended booster vaccinations to prevent the spread of whooping cough.

Since many people aren't sure what whooping cough sounds like, the following links will provide you with sound clips and valuable information about the signs/symptoms related to that particular cough:
Child with whooping cough with very little whooping: 
Child with whooping cough with NO whooping: 
Child with whooping cough with significant whooping: 
Adult Male with whooping cough: 

For further information about whooping cough, talk to your Physician or look through the following websites:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Upcoming Community Events Where You Will Find MedCare!

With back to school just around the corner, there are tons of great free and low cost events around the Houston area that we will be participating in!  Below is a list of all of the events we will be at in the next few months-make sure you stop by and say hi!

Saturday, July 28th
Cathedral of Saint Matthew
Back-to-School Health Fair
9101 Airline Dr.
Houston 77037
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday, August 3rd-Sunday, August 5th
Abilities Expo
Reliant Center
One Reliant Park
Houston, TX 77054
Hall E
Parking-$10.00 per day

Saturday, August 11th
Church without Walls 9th Annual Health & Wellness Fair
5314 Bingle Rd.
Houston, TX 77092
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, August 11th
Council Member Wanda Adams
Back-to-School Bash
Sunnyside Community Center
3502 Bellfort
Houston 77051
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Sunday, August 12th
Family fun Festival
8 Acre Land
6053 Bellfort
Houston, TX 77033
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Admission- FREE for children 9 years old & under AND active & in-active members of the military with military ID $5.00 for people 10 years old & up $1.00 discount per person with an unexpired canned food or non-perishable food item and senior citizens
(only $1.00 will be deducted per person even with multiple canned food donations)

Tuesday, August 14th
NCI Baker Ripley
Back-to-School Health Fair
6500 Rookin St.
Houston 77074
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, August 18th
Bonding Against Adversity Back to School Event @ North East Community Center
10918 ½ Bentley St
Houston, TX 77093
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 19th
Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church Back To School Health Fair
4400 Sumpter
Houston, Tx. 77220
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 8th
Children's Health Day
Almeda Mall
12200 Gulf Freeway Frontage Rd.
Houston 77034
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, September 8th
TCHP Annual Back-to-School Health Fair
MO Campbell Educational Center
1865 Aldine Bender Road
Houston 77032
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tuesday, September 18th
HISD Community Resource Fair at
Revere Middle School
10502 Briar Forest
Houston, TX 77042
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22nd
2012 La Porte Health and Safety Fair
La Porte Junior High
401 S. Broadway St.
La Porte 77571
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, October 7th
Buddy Walk
Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley
Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater in College Station
12:30 pm
Registration-$15.00 for individuals, $55.00 for a family of 4

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Join Us at the Abilities Expo!

Dear Friends:

We will be at the Houston Abilities Expo on August 3-5, 2012 at Reliant Center (Hall E) where we would like to introduce you to all the great things we have to offer! In addition to us, there will be approximately 150 suppliers of products and services that will increase your quality of life through new technology, great seminars on important issues and networking that will meet your specific needs. There is no charge for the Expo and it’s the leading event for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals.

If you have not pre-registered, you can do so now and receive priority entrance to the show onsite. Here are just a few of the remarkable things that you will experience:
Don't keep it to yourself! Bring your family. Tell your friends. With all of its life-enhancing possibilities, this event is a must-attend for anyone in the Community.

The website is continually updated with new features so log on to as often as possible. You don't even have to wait for the show to connect with your peers. “Like” the Abilities Expo Facebook Page today and weigh in on timely discussions, post comments on disability issues or get the latest show news. You can also follow them on Twitter and sign up for their monthly e-newsletter.

Abilities Expo Houston is right around the corner so mark your calendar now, Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5 at Reliant Center. Click here for directions and parking. We look forward to meeting you there!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Information About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease of the lungs and digestive tract which causes thick mucus to build up and cause blockage. This disease is caused by a defective inherited gene for which an estimated  1 in 29 Caucasian Americans are carriers. Some of the most common symptoms are delayed growth, salty tasting skin, no bowel movement within the first 48 hours of life, clay colored stools, recurrent episodes of pneumonia, coughing, increased mucus in the lungs and upper airway, fatigue, nausea and weight loss.
Sweat chloride testing is used to test salt levels on the skin. If levels are elevated it could indicate cystic fibrosis if other symptoms are present. This is the most common test for CF. Other tests than can be used to identify cystic fibrosis include fecal fat test, chest x-ray, lung function tests, secretin stimulation test and upper GI or small bowel series.
Treatment for cystic fibrosis centers on treating existing symptoms and preventing worsening of disease. Some respiratory treatments include nebulizer treatments, enzyme replacement therapy to thin mucus, antibiotics, postural drainage and chest percussion therapy multiple times per day and oxygen therapy. Treatment for bowel issues include administration of pancreatic enzymes, high protein/high calorie diet, vitamin supplements and laxatives or stool softeners for hard stools.
Light exercise two to three times per week can help with lung function and clearing secretions. Parents and caregivers need to know their child’s limitations without discouraging them from achieving milestones for their age group.  Although these children will require less exertion and more frequent rest times and respiratory treatments, they can generally match the developmental abilities of peers their age.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Resources Fair for Children with Special Needs

You are invited!  Resources Fair for Children with Special Needs

Friday, July 20, 2012        10am – 4pm

Come meet leaders and representatives of local, state and national  genetic support organizations as well as non-profit organizations offering services for children with special needs.   This fair is sponsored by the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics of Baylor College of Medicine and the Genetics Clinic of Texas Children’s Hospital and made possible by funding from the Texas Department of State Health Services.  
This event is in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

Down Syndrome Association of Houston; Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Texas, Inc.; Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities; Project DOCC; Spina Bifida Association of Houston Gulf Coast; Williams Syndrome Association; Texas Children’s Hospital Genetics Clinic; Child Life and Dental; 2-1-1 Texas/United Way Helpline; Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County; National Alliance on Mental Illness; Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services: Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services; Easter Seals Houston; Early Childhood Intervention; Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation; Harris County Department of Education Early Childhood intervention; Disability Rights Texas; Avondale House; Texas Parent To Parent; Family to Family Network; National Fragile X Foundation; Denta Quest;  Vita Living, Inc.;  ESCAPE Family Resource Center; Maximus;  WIC Harris County;  Texas Children’s Health Plan;  and the River Performing and Visual Arts Center, an affiliate of Theatre Under the Stars.

Where:   The Metropolitan Multi-Service Center gymnasium at 1475 West Gray (Map).    Parking is available at the Center and across West Gray in the shopping center directly in front of the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center. 
When:          10:00am – 4:00pm – come by anytime

                    12:30pm   The River/TUTS Summer Camp Performance!

Cost:            FREE

We hope to see you.   

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alternative Assistance for Patients with Medicaid

Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP) and Rider 28 Program
MDCP is a program that helps to decrease the amount of children and young adults cared for in nursing facilities by assisting to transfer the services in to the home. MDCP can provide assistance with many aspects of care including private duty nursing or provider services for respite, adaptive aids or equipment and minor home modifications such as wheelchair ramps and bathroom modifications.
If your child has Medicaid benefits and you are interested in enrolling in this program, you can call and enroll by phone. However due to the high demand for the program, there is a waiting list for services. To bypass this waiting list you can have your child enrolled under the Rider 28 program. If your child meets medical necessity, this program requires a short stay in a nursing facility to get benefits.
To apply for services, call 1-877-438-5658. Once you have complete the MDCP enrollment by phone, call the same number back and ask to be put on the Rider 28 waiting list.

Texas Health Steps
There are several tools out there for parents and children with Medicaid. Some you may not know about or you may not know how to access them. Below are some helpful programs offered through Texas Health Steps through the Texas Department of State and Health Services.
All services can be accessed by Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time by dialing:

1-877-847-8377 (1-877-THSTEPS)

Dental Checkups
Texas Health Steps dental checkups are recommended every 3-6 months, starting at 6 months of age. Below are the different types of dental health services offered for children and young adults who have Medicaid.
Preventive Services include:
·         Dental examinations (initial or periodic)
·         Cleaning (prophylaxis)
·         Oral health education
·         Application of topical fluoride
·         Application of sealants to certain teeth
·         Maintenance of space
Treatment Services include:
·         Restorations (fillings, crowns)
·         Endodontic treatment (pulp therapy, root canals)
·         Periodontic treatment (gum disease)
·         Prosthodontics (full or partial dentures)
·         Oral surgery (extractions)
·         Implant services and Maxillofacial prosthetics
Emergency Dental Services include:
·         Procedures necessary to control bleeding, relieve pain, and eliminate acute infection
·         Procedures that are required to prevent imminent loss of teeth
·         Treatment of injuries to the teeth or supporting structures
Orthodontic Services include: (Prior authorization is needed)
·         Correction of cleft palate
·         Crossbite therapy
·         Treatment for severe, handicapping malocclusion
·         Treatment for facial accidents involving severe traumatic deviation
Case Management
Need help finding and getting services?
A case manager might be able to help you.                  
Who can get a case manager?
Children (birth to age 20) and pregnant women who get Medicaid and: 
- Have health problems.
- Are at a high risk for getting health problems.
What do case managers do?
A case manager will visit with you and then:
- Find out what services you need.
- Find services near where you live.
- Teach you how to find and get other services.
- Make sure you are getting the services you need.
What kind of help can I get?
Case managers can help you:
- Get medical and dental services.
- Get medical supplies or equipment.
- Work on school or education issues.
- Get other services.
Medicaid Transportation
If you need a ride to the doctor or dentist’s office, hospital, drug store or any place you get Medicaid services, call us toll-free at: 
1-877-633-8747 (TTY: 1-800-735-2989)

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To get a free ride, you or your child must be on Medicaid or be in the Children with Special Health Care Needs program. You also must not have any other way to get to the doctor or drug store.
Before you call for a free ride you must have already set up a time to see a doctor. To get a ride:
·         Call at least 2 work days or more before you need a ride. If you will need to travel a long way out of town to see your doctor, call us at least 5 work days before you need a ride. If you need a ride the same day you call us, we will do everything we can to help, but we can’t promise we will be able to get you a ride.
·         Tell us your Medicaid ID, Children with Special Health Care Needs program number or your Social Security number.
·         Tell us the address where we will pick you up. If there is a phone number at the place we are picking you up, we need that too.
·         Tell us the name, address and phone number of the doctor or drug store where you need to go.
·         Tell us the date and time of your doctor’s visit.
·         Tell us if you or your children have any special needs so we can send the right type of vehicle. For example, for people who use a wheelchair, we can send a van with a wheelchair ramp.
For more information on all Texas Health Steps Programs, go to: