Austin Medical Times

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U.S. Federal Privacy Bill Unveiled

MOncology Research pg.3

Mental Health pg.5

Healthy Heart pg.6

Hospital News pg.8

embers of Congress recently released a draft bipartisan, bicameral federal privacy bill, the American Privacy Rights Act. The goal of this legislation is to be “a national data privacy and security standard that gives people the right to control their personal information.” As drafted, the legislation draws from many of the current state comprehensive privacy laws, though there are a number of nuances.

What data is protected under the draft American Privacy Rights Act?

“Covered data” is protected by the law. “Covered data” is information that identifies or is linked or reasonably linkable to an individual or device that identifies or is linked or reasonably linkable to one or more individuals. “Covered data” does not include, however, de-identified data, employee data, publicly available information, and information in a library, archive, or museum subject to specific limitations. Who is subject to the draft American Privacy Rights Act?

and certain non-profits) are subject to the law. Service providers to such covered entities are also subject. Currently excluded from the definition of covered entity are government entities (and their service providers), small businesses, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Certain fraud prevention nonprofits are generally exempt except for data security obligations. Entities subject to and in compliance with other Federal privacy laws, including

Privacy Rights Act require?

As drafted, the legislation draws from many of the current state comprehensive privacy laws. Covered entities and service providers acting on behalf of such covered entities are subject to provisions related to:

The goal of this legislation is to be
a national data privacy and security standard that gives people the right to control their personal information.

As currently drafted, entities that, alone or jointly with others, determine the purposes and means of collecting, processing, or transferring covered data and are subject to the FTC Act (as well as common carriers

the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and HIPAA, are deemed to be in compliance with the related privacy provisions of the draft American Privacy Rights Act, though they must still comply with the law’s security provisions. What does the draft American

• Data minimization: In general, covered entities and service providers are prohibited from (1) processing covered data beyond what is needed to provide or maintain a product or service requested by an individual or provide a communication reasonably anticipated in the context of the relationship; or (2) processing covered data for a purpose other than those expressly permitted by the draft legislation. Additionally, the draft legislation includes restrictions on the processing of sensitive data and biometric or genetic information.

• Transparency: Similar to other comprehensive privacy laws, the draft American Privacy Rights Act requires covered entities and

Inside This Issue
See pg. 11 INDEX
Pediatric and Women’s Hospital Celebrates First Hospital for Central Texas Families with Ribbon Cutting pg. 10 Not Every Runny Nose
Is an Allergy
see Privacy Bill 14
By Lisa Acevedo, J.D. Allison Dressel, J.D. Polsinelli, PC
Austin Medical Times Page 2 May 2024

Oncology Research The Benefits of Meditation for Cancer Patients

and stress reduction practices have also been shown to improve the immune system recovery of cancer patients.

ancer treatment usually brings to mind conventional treatment options such as chemotherapy or radiation. However, today’s cancer treatment can include a holistic approach called integrative health.

Integrative health combines conventional treatments with complementary approaches to provide more comprehensive care for body, mind, and spirit, with an emphasis on treating the whole person.

Meditation is a common mind-body practice often used alongside conventional treatment to help manage cancer-related symptoms and deal with the feelings that accompany the disease. Meditation

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Society for Integrative Oncology have all recognized the ability of meditation to improve mental and physical health and overall quality of life when used within an integrative health approach.

Anyone can begin a meditation practice at any time, and evidence shows it can have many benefits for one’s general health and well-being.

Forms of meditation

When one hears the word meditation, they might picture someone sitting peacefully under a tree, cross-legged with their eyes closed. While this is indeed one form of meditation, it is not the only one.

Meditation techniques can include:

• Breathwork

• Gratitude practice

• Loving-kindness and compassion

• Movement meditation, such as

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• Progressive muscle relaxation

Patients may benefit from one or several of these techniques and the various options may be helpful when dealing with different symptoms or side effects from treatment.

Symptoms addressed by meditation

In a survey to understand the impact cancer has on self-perception, body image, and mental and emotional health, 43% of respondents said they felt unprepared to deal with the physical side effects experienced during treatment and 56% felt unprepared for the mental side effects. When asked if patients sought out support to help cope with the mental or physical side effects of cancer treatment, only

one-third sought out resources.

Specific types of mind-body practices, such as meditation, have been found to effectively address several physical and mental symptoms related to cancer or cancer treatment, such as:

• Anxiety

• Cognitive issues

• Depression

• Fatigue

• Fear related to treatment or fear of recurrence

• Pain

• Sexual issues

• Sleep disorders

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Austin Medical Times Page 3 May 2024
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see Oncology 14

Neuroimaging, Artificial Intelligence Help Detect Brain Changes, Development of Future Disorder in Children of Bipolar Parents

Researchers at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin are using state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques and artificial intelligence to identify changes in the brains among children of adults living with bipolar disorder — a debilitating condition that interferes with daily life due to its dramatic mood, energy and activity level shifts.

Almost 3% of U.S. adults live with bipolar disorder, one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The highest risk factor for bipolar disorder is having a close family member with the condition. Understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and how it changes over time means researchers may lead to more effective treatment in earlier phases of the illness, which could

then improve long-term outcomes.

“We are trying to understand how the brain’s different regions connect to each other, and what’s fueling the brain’s reward system,” said investigator Jorge Almeida, M.D., director of the Bipolar Disorder Center at Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Med. Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., director of Dell Med’s Institute for Early Life Adversity Research, is a co-investigator in the study, contributing specifically on understanding the impact of childhood trauma on brain development. Stephen Strakowski, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Indiana University and Dell Med,

and Melissa DelBello, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, co-lead the study.

“The brain has too much energy being delivered by its reward system in bipolar disorder, which affects the brain’s ability to regulate the amount of energy driving it to act. That’s what causes the symptoms of mania in bipolar disorder,” says Almeida. “It’s an imbalance similar to having too much gas and not enough brakes,”

he explains.

The brain’s inability to “hit the brakes” results in manic behaviors such as spending too much money, engaging in risky behaviors and sleep loss or disruption, says Almeida.

In Search of a Better Understanding of the Brain’s Connections

According to Almeida, the see Neuroimaging 13

Austin Medical Times Page 4 May 2024
Diffusion weighted imaging shows the movement of water molecules within brain tissue. Courtesy: Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences

Mental Health Minimize Adolescent Stress During Standardized Testing

Standardized tests often cause stress and anxiety among adolescents because of the pressure they may feel from their parents, teachers and peers as well as the pressure they put on themselves. A Baylor College of Medicine psychologist outlines how to manage the pressure during a stressful period.

Students should take important steps to minimize stress and anxiety, especially during testing time:

• Take care of the basics: Get a sufficient amount of sleep, eat nutritiously without skipping meals and engage in a reasonable level of physical activity.

“A lot of people end up thinking they need to spend more time studying or don’t have time for exercise or meals, but it ends up turning into a vicious cycle of not taking care of yourself, which contributes to worse future performance,” said Dr. Eric Storch,

professor and vice chair of psychology in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor.

• Schedule breaks: Make sure to create a study schedule that includes taking breaks to relax and unwind.

• Engage in effective cognitive interpretation: Keep things in perspective – do not think about things in black and white terms of success and failure. Talking to a friend or parent can be very helpful.

“Reflect on if the world will end if you don’t get a perfect score. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you wanted on that test, but you didn’t fail,” Storch said.

• Plan, then act: Instead of procrastinating, make a plan about what is needed for studying then take steps that are required to get there and act on it. Procrastination will lead to more stress and less time for studying.

“When you procrastinate, you take all the time you could have been working and ruin it by having this gray cloud hanging above you,” he said.

Parents and teachers should be aware of symptoms of anxiety or stress in students. Younger children might complain about stomach aches or display clinginess. While older adolescents might also convey similar symptoms, they complain about them or describe them differently. Other signs of distress among older adolescents include:

• Sleep problems

• Irritability

• Increased emotions

While social media is exciting to teenagers, it can interfere with schoolwork and can cause more stress.

If a teenager has trouble putting the phone or tablet down, if they feel distress not engaging in social media or if it is causing impairment, they should visit a mental health specialist. Storch recommends exposure therapy

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see Mental Health 14


We’re all ready to feel good again, but for our food insecure neighbors there’s no vaccine to fight hunger.

The 1 in 5 Central Texas children at risk of hunger deserve a shot at a happy summer.

Healthy Heart Walk This Way –It’s Quite Good

for You

Walking is sometimes equated with simplicity itself. If your task is a “walk in the park,” it might require little more than baby steps to get things moving.

But putting one foot in front of the other can set you on a path for significantly better health,

the management of symptoms and improving quality of life.”

So, whether you’re a dedicated step-counter or a certified couch potato ready to make a change, here’s what to know.

It’s a great first step

If you’re doing any type of

experts say – even without a lot of heavy lifting or jumping through hoops.

“People underestimate just how important it is to walk,” said Dr. Tiwaloluwa Ajibewa, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Walking can help with weight control and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and more, said Dr. Kelley Pettee Gabriel, associate dean for research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health. For people with heart disease, “it’s really helpful for

walking, you’re moving. That’s both obvious and important, because being sedentary – sitting, lying down – has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death. Even a little bit of light activity can help lower the risks.

Beyond being anti-sedentary, walking at a brisk pace counts toward the minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity recommended by federal guidelines. It doesn’t have to be 10,000 steps

Austin Medical Times Page 6 May 2024
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Hospital News

St. David’s Medical Center First in Central Texas to Offer Breakthrough Treatment for Stroke Survivors

Physiciansat St. David’s Medical Center recently became the first in Central Texas to use an FDA-approved neurostimulation device that stimulates the vagus nerve during rehabilitation therapy and daily activities. This treatment is intended for chronic stroke survivors who have not regained arm and hand function six months after their stroke and are considered to have moderate to severe deficits by their physicians.

The first neurostimulation device was implanted by Dhruve Jeevan, M.D., pediatric and adult neurosurgeon at St. David’s HealthCare, on March 20, 2024. Robert Lee, M.D., medical director of stroke and neurological recovery at St. David’s Rehabilitation

Hospital, is overseeing the patient registry and studying the impact the technology has on patient outcomes.

“This procedure, coupled with rehabilitation therapy, enhances the release of neurotransmitters needed to help chronic stroke survivors regain arm and hand function necessary to perform everyday tasks and hobbies,” Dr. Lee said. “The chronic stroke survivors enrolled in early studies have shown a significant response rate to the treatment. St. David’s Medical Center is excited to serve this population of patients and offer this novel treatment.”

During the procedure, a medical device, which is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, is implanted under the skin in the upper left chest area. While the

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Names New Chief Nursing Officer


David’s North Austin Medical Center has named Amy Russell as the facility’s new chief nursing officer. Russell will assume her new role on April 8.

Russell joined St. David’s HealthCare as the associate chief nursing officer at St. David’s Medical Center in 2013. She went on to serve as the interim chief nursing officer before transitioning to the role of chief nursing officer at Heart Hospital of Austin.

“During her tenure at Heart Hospital of Austin, Amy was instrumental in elevating patient experience scores to the top 3% nationwide and increasing employee engagement,” Becky

Barnes, interim chief executive officer of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, said. “We are excited for her to join the leadership team at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center and look forward to the many contributions she will bring.”

In 2018, Russell left Austin and accepted a position as the chief nursing officer at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, a 186-bed facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. A few years later, she relocated to Largo, Florida, assuming the position of chief nursing officer at HCA Florida Largo and Largo West Hospitals. There, she oversaw 455 hospital beds and launched the hospital’s

procedure itself is not uncommon, the subsequent rehabilitation therapy can help chronic stroke survivors regain movement in their upper extremities.

In the therapy sessions, which may begin the day after the device is implanted, a therapist uses a wireless transmitter that communicates with software to signal the device to deliver a gentle pulse to the vagus nerve— the longest cranial nerve in the body that links the brain to other areas of the body—while the stroke survivor performs specific occupational tasks. The simultaneous pairing of the vagus nerve stimulation with high-repetition, task-specific therapy increases neural connections to improve upper limb function and increase the relevance of physical therapy.

The first inpatient rehabilitation

therapy session was completed at St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital, on the campus of St. David’s Medical Center. The 64-bed hospital features private rooms and state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive care for patients with neurological conditions.

cardiac transplant and ECMO programs.

Russell earned her master’s degree in nursing and healthcare administration from Walden University in Minneapolis, as well

as a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Austin Medical Times Page 8 May 2024
Amy Russell

School Of Nursing Wins Collaborative $2.28 Million Grant Addressing Maternal Mortality, Morbidity

Champions Will Support New Mothers in Underserved Areas With The Help Of Key Partners

The program focuses on mitigating health risks for mothers and families.

The Texas A&M University School of Nursing and partners are developing a community-based health promotion program to address maternal health disparities in southeast Texas through a five-year, $2.28 million grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS).

The Texas A&M School of Nursing is partnering with the Texas A&M School of Public Health, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Nursing and Health

Sciences, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Driscoll Health Plan and the Global Institute for Hispanic Health for the project, which is titled Community Hands Advancing Maternal Health Promotion (CHAMPions).

HHS awarded the grant under a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) program for maternal and child health.

The nurse-led program aims to mitigate maternal, child and family health risks by sending nurses, social workers and community health workers (CHWs) into underserved mothers’ homes during pregnancy and their first year postpartum. These maternal-child navigators will be specially trained to

offer support through health education and advice as they “champion” improved outcomes. The navigators will also engage in outreach to help community members better understand maternal health risks.

The interdisciplinary CHAMPions team is creating a unique public and community health curriculum for navigators to use in their home and community visits.

Robin Page, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, an associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Nursing, serves as principal investigator for CHAMPions. The project team also includes Kelly Wilson, PhD, MCHES, associate dean for research at the

Texas A&M School of Nursing; Nancy Downing, PhD, RN, an associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Nursing; Gang Han, PhD, professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health; and Christina Murphey, PhD, a professor at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Maternal mortality rates in Texas are among the highest in the United States. In 2021, Texas reported 43.9 deaths per 1,000 births compared to the national average of 33 deaths per 100,000, according to the Centers

see School Of Nursing 13


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Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus Set to Open

State-of-the-Art Facility

Nation’s Largest and Top-Ranked Pediatric and Women’s Hospital Celebrates First Hospital for Central Texas Families with Ribbon Cutting

Texas Children’s, the largest children’s hospital in the United States which is consistently ranked as the best children’s and women’s hospital in Texas and among the top in the nation, held a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 1st to celebrate the upcoming grand opening of its new, North Austin hospital. Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus, a $485 million freestanding, state-of-the-art, top-tier hospital will commence inpatient services at its 365,000 square-foot campus on February 20, 2024. Outpatient services will be available on February 5, 2024.

Located at 9835 North Lake Creek Parkway, Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus will deliver the most advanced children’s and women’s care to a city that is helping move the world forward.

With the opening of Texas Children’s North Austin Campus, Texas Children’s expands its hospital reach to four campuses, three of which are located in the Greater Houston area including the esteemed Texas Medical Center.

“It has been a longtime goal of mine to continue the incredible

mission of our founders and expand access to Texas Children’s high-quality level of care to families throughout Texas,” said Mark A. Wallace, CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital. “As we celebrate our 70th anniversary as an organization, we are looking forward to serving even more children and women with one of the most elite clinical teams in the world.”

The new campus, spanning nearly 25 acres, will create over 1,100 jobs, including experts across a diverse range of nationally ranked specialties and 150 pediatric specialists.

The five-floor hospital and 170,000 square-foot outpatient building is connected under one roof, providing comprehensive,

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Mark A. Wallace, CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital Cuts Ribbon

Not Every Runny Nose Is an Allergy

allergy time in Texas, but not every runny nose is due to an allergy. Nor is it necessarily the common cold, or even COVID-19. It may be nonallergic rhinitis causing chronic sneezing, congestion, or a runny nose. Understanding the differences between these conditions is important for treatment .

Nonallergic rhinitis, sometimes called vasomotor rhinitis, doesn’t involve our immune system reacting to an allergen. Nonallergic rhinitis is thought to result from irritants — think environmental factors such as cigarette smoke or smog in the air, spicy foods— weather changes , or even overuse of

nasal allergy medicine. In fact, in many cases, the true cause can’t even be pinpointed with certainty .

Nonallergic rhinitis may cause chronic sneezing, congestion, or runny nose, symptoms similar to those of hay fever (otherwise known as allergic rhinitis) and other conditions, including the common cold and even COVID-19 , so it may be difficult to tell what condition you’re dealing with — and what treatment may work.

Generally, colds cause comparatively mild symptoms and typically don’t result in serious complications. A runny or stuffy nose is a prevalent sign of having a cold. Plus, with a cold, your symptoms usually reach their peak within three days. Worried it may be COVID-19? Sneezing is common for both nonallergic rhinitis and for an airborne allergic reaction, though not as common in cases of COVID-19.

Age Well, Live Well

Mental Health in Older Adults

Engaging in healthy behaviors as we age can help ensure we

experience the best quality of life possible. That also means taking care of our mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Neither seasonal allergies nor nonallergic rhinitis can be cured , but relief is possible. By avoiding triggers, irrigating your nasal cavity with a saline rinse, or by taking over-the-counter or prescription medications you may alleviate some or all of your symptoms . And because the symptoms are so similar between nonallergic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis, allergy testing may

approximately 20% of people 55 and older experience some type of mental health concern. The most common are anxiety, severe cognitive impairment and mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

By engaging in regular physical activity, having a healthy diet, staying connected to the community and being informed of available resources, we can help to improve our mental health. With

be recommended to rule out the latter . As with all health concerns, seeking an accurate diagnosis is important to manage your condition appropriately. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and they will help you find the right course of treatment — whether that’s prescribed medication, an over-the-counter nasal spray, or just plenty of rest. 

May being Mental Health Month, it is a great time to learn about resources available to support mental health.

Resources for Older Adults

There are numerous state and federal resources that can help us take care of our mental health.

Texas Resources

• The Texas Health and Human

Austin Medical Times Page 11 May 2024
see Age Well, Live 12

How To Reduce the Stress When Caring for Someone with Dementia

Caringfor someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s is challenging.

In addition to the financial and physical demands, many caregivers are unprepared for the stress of trying to effectively communicate with a loved one who may be prone to agitation, verbal aggression, and hallucinations.

But there are ways to prevent or defuse communication-based conflict, said Izabella De Abreu, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who specializes in geriatric psychiatry and the psychological symptoms of dementia and caregiver burden.

“Dementia may start with difficulty finding a word or repeating phrases, and it can evolve into increased reliance on nonverbal communication,” Dr. De Abreu said. “Communication barriers can be downright scary or anger-inducing for your loved one.”

Dr. De Abreu offered these

tips to encourage constructive communication:

• Speak clearly and slowly. Make eye contact and give your loved one your full attention.

• Minimize distractions. Let the person with dementia speak for themself and give them time to respond to you.

• Repeat information to confirm it’s accurate. Offer simple choices of one or two items to avoid overwhelming them and creating additional confusion.

• Ask them to complete tasks. When it’s time to take medication or get something done, ask rather than demand. They are more likely to comply if they feel in control of the decision.

• Try not to argue. If your loved one confuses nonessential details, like dates or names, stay calm and let it go. Arguing will only confuse and upset them unnecessarily.

Age Well, Live Well

Continued from page 11

Services Commission (HHSC) Adult Mental Health program provides information and resources to assist adults with mental health concerns. Resources include the Mental Health in Older Adults sheet, which provides guidance on preventing suicide among older adults.

• The HHSC Turn To campaign connects Texans with resources that promote behavioral health and healthy alternatives to substance use. The campaign’s Turn To Check-In is a five-minute questionnaire intended to help people understand what might be affecting their mental and behavioral health and provide detailed information about available resources and services.

• HHSC Texercise supports older

The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry estimates that about half of all patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are currently being cared for at home.

Behavioral changes from dementia can be more overwhelming than cognitive symptoms, such as memory decline. Over time, the caregiving burden can lead to overmedication of patients. It also can increase the risk of health problems for the caregiver, including anxiety, depression, a weakened immune system, and conditions related

to overeating and obesity. It’s important for caregivers to remember to care for themselves.

“No matter how much you love your aging family member or friend, caregiving can negatively affect your physical health, mental wellness, relationships, and finances,” said Molly Camp, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, who specializes in geriatric mental health. Caregivers should discuss their own physical and mental well-being with a health care provider.

Texans who want to set physical activity and nutrition goals — both of which contribute toward improving mental health.

• HHSC Age Well Live Well provides resources for individuals and communities to prepare for all aspects of aging, including how to stay connected, which helps improve our mental health. Use the Aging Well Resources Order Form and search “Social Engagement” in the category field.

• Mental Health Texas provides information and resources on mental health for all ages. Information is provided for a variety of populations, conditions and more.

Federal Resources

• The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

Administration (SAMHSA) is the federal agency that leads public health efforts to advance behavioral health, including information on and resources for improving mental health among older adults.

• The National Institute of Mental Health offers information and resources for mental health, including symptoms of mental disorders in older adults.


There are several hotlines available for those going through a mental health crisis:

• The 988 Suicide & Crisis Line is available 24/7 and provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Support is also available via live chat.

• The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for veterans of all ages and circumstances. Call 988 then press 1, text 838255, or chat online to connect with 24/7 support.

• The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Line Helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential and available 24/7. Call or text 800-985-5990.

Austin Medical Times Page 12 May 2024
Izabella De Abreu, M.D., (left) is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern. Molly Camp, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, holds the Jake Tobolowsky Professorship in Psychiatry, in Memory of Helen B. Tobolowsky and in Honor of Dr. David M. Tobolowsky at UT Southwestern.


Continued from page 4

study is the first of its kind to focus specifically on the progression of the disease over time via neuroimaging in children of parents with bipolar disorder.

The research leverages artificial intelligence algorithms to discern variations in participants’ brains, combining imaging data with cognitive, clinical, early life adversity and psychosocial function measures. The result is a precise delineation of

brain maturation for each person at risk of developing bipolar disorder, says Almeida.

The five-year longitudinal study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify early signs that the brain is developing bipolar disorder. Participants ages 14 to 21 — a critical time when mania symptoms often develop — undergo annual brain scans to track changes in the brain. If they become depressed,

School Of Nursing

Continued from page 9

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Maternal mortality rates are high across the country and especially here in Texas, making this work a priority for agencies like HHS, HRSA, and Texas A&M and our partners,” Page said. “We are proud to be one of just 16 universities across the country selected under this award program. The collaboration among our partners underscores the critical importance of better understanding and addressing


Continued from page 10

efficient, and convenient care for patients and their families. The 52-bed hospital will feature neonatal, cardiovascular, and pediatric intensive care units, operating rooms, a sleep center, and full-service diagnostic services for mothers and children, including a fetal center for advanced interventions. Additionally, the campus will house a full-service emergency center, safe rooms for behavioral health cases, and a variety of transportation options for patients including Kangaroo Crew ambulances and a helicopter. Conveniently located next to the Emergency Center is Texas Children’s Urgent Care, which offers families an alternative care option.

Texas Children’s North Austin Campus will also

suicidal or experience mania, the participants undergo additional brain scans to help researchers understand how the damage is unfolding.

Participants also undergo mood assessments and are required to perform tasks that activate and test the brain’s reward system.

“This study evokes hope for me,” says Almeida. “Hope that we finally have the tools to help this condition and possibly prevent it from ever happening.”

In its third year of a five-year grant, the research is in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati and is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. 

the root causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. This hub-and-spoke model is attracting a lot of attention on a federal level and across the country for its progressive, collaborative methodology.”

CHAMPions will be co-managed from Bryan-College Station and Corpus Christi. The project’s university partners will also evaluate the effectiveness of the program curriculum, while Driscoll Children’s Hospital and Driscoll Health Plan will

help implement the program through their network of clinics and health insurance programs in South Texas.

As the lead organization for the CHAMPions project, the Texas A&M School of Nursing will operate the project within its Program of Excellence for Mothers, Children and Families (POEMCF), which develops and manages projects that improve the health and well-being of families and communities across Texas. CHAMPions is one of several

POEMCF efforts designed to improve outcomes for vulnerable mothers and their families.

For information on CHAMPions, visit

include an on-site pharmacy, a non-denominational chapel, a cafeteria, a coffee shop, and a business center, ensuring that families can spend more time with their loved ones without the need to leave the campus.

“We are located in one of the most rapidly growing cities in America, yet in the last ten years, 30,000 kids had to leave Austin and travel to Houston to Texas Children’s to receive the highly specialized care they needed,” said Russ Williams, senior vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus. “Austin families and the surrounding communities deserve access to the most advanced treatment from world-renowned physicians at any given moment and Texas Children’s is doing their

best to ensure this will happen now and in the future.”

The adjacent outpatient building will connect patients and families to Texas Children’s Pediatrics, the largest primary care network in the country. It will offer primary pediatrics care and wellness services, as well as various clinical subspecialties such as allergy and immunology, cardiology, clinical nutrition, diabetes and endocrinology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, and pulmonology.

Texas Children’s has been building a presence in Austin, with more than 20 locations offering pediatric, urgent care, and specialty care in the community. The opening of Texas Children’s North Austin Campus will provide Austin families and surrounding

communities with access to award-winning treatment closer to home.

The design of the campus takes inspiration from the Central Texas landscape and ecology, incorporating elements such as limestone exteriors, themed floors, and artwork reflecting the unique culture of Austin and the Texas Hill Country. With future expansion in mind, the new campus has been master-planned to accommodate additional outpatient buildings and hospital buildings.

Austin Medical Times Page 13 May 2024

Privacy Bill

Continued from page 1

• service providers to have publicly available privacy policies detailing privacy and security practices, including how individuals can exercise their privacy rights.

• Consumer Controls/Rights and Opt-Outs: Similar to other comprehensive privacy laws, the draft American Privacy Rights Act grants individuals the rights of access, correction, deletion, and portability of their covered data. Individuals also have the right to opt out of the transfer (including the disclosure, release, selling, renting, or licensing for consideration of any kind or for a commercial purpose) of their covered data and to opt-out of the use of their covered data for targeted advertising.

• Data Security: Covered entities and service providers are required


Continued from page 3

• chair yoga or walking meditation

• Nature therapy

Mindfulness, stress, and the immune system

Long-term stress can lead to inflammation and weaken the immune system. However, a recent study showed that breast cancer patients who practiced mindfulness stress reduction had more rapid recovery of immune cells. Immune system function is now recognized as one of the pillars of cancer therapy.

Mindful meditation and mealtime

One often missed opportunity for meditation or mindful practice is during mealtime. Cancer treatment frequently changes appetite and taste, which can make eating and sharing meals with others challenging. A mindful eating practice can help improve the experience of eating. It may offer the

Mental Health

Continued from page 5

for patients to understand the fears of parting with social media. He recommends putting the phone down to engage in enjoyable activities and evaluating the outcome.

to establish appropriate data security practices as well as assess vulnerabilities and mitigate reasonably foreseeable risks to consumer data.

• Service Providers: The draft legislation, among other things, requires service provides to enter into contracts with covered entities governing the service provider’s data processing on behalf of the covered entity and specifies the content of such contracts.

• Data Brokers: Data brokers, among other things, are required to maintain a public website identifying themselves as a data broker and which includes a tool for individuals to exercise their individual controls and opt-out rights.

Who can enforce the draft American Privacy Rights Act?

The draft legislation provides for both FTC enforcement and enforcement by State attorneys general, chief consumer protection

officers, and other officers of a State in Federal district court. In addition, individuals may file private lawsuits against entities that violate their rights. In private lawsuits, courts may award plaintiffs actual damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation costs. Will state comprehensive privacy laws be pre-empted?

The purpose of the draft legislation is to establish a “uniform national data privacy and data security standard.” Under the current draft, state laws covered by the American Privacy Rights Act would be pre-empted, with some exceptions, including, for example, consumer protection laws; civil rights laws; provisions of laws that address the privacy of employees; provisions of laws that address privacy of students; provisions of laws that address data breach notification; and provisions of laws that protect the privacy of health information.

opportunity to build new memories and make deeper connections with loved ones over shared meals, even if smells and tastes have shifted.

Time and practice

Just like learning any new skill, meditation is a practice that takes time to master. From breathwork and guided meditations to taking a class online or in person at a local studio, there are a variety of techniques to try.

If one meditation technique isn’t feeling quite right, it’s fine to switch it up. What a patient needs one day may not be the same as what is needed the next, and similarly, what may resonate for one patient may not for another.

It helps to practice meditation techniques on good days as well as the more challenging ones. Creating new habits and learning new skills is difficult even when you feel your best.

But when meditation is a part of a daily care routine, it’s easier to remember and practice on tough days, too, allowing one to access the benefits of meditation when it’s needed the most.

Let your care team know if meditation is a practice you’d like to add to your care plan. However, keep in mind that because it can increase awareness of your mind and body, past trauma or feelings that have been pushed aside may arise. If this happens, your care team can help you access the appropriate support needed.

Engaging in meditation is a straightforward practice accessible to everyone. For those living with cancer, meditation may hold potential benefits that extend beyond the realm of cancer-related challenges. 

Scan to Visit

“Engage in tests to see what happens if you put the phone down and don’t engage in social media for an hour. Does the world end? Does your social standing plummet?

Let’s start challenging the degree in which you’re engaging in social media,” he said.

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