News Roundup: Advocacy Group Forms To Advocate Improved Eye Care In Texas

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 31, 2018 2:05 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

There is a new effort to improve access to eye care in the state. The Texas Optometric Association has formed Focus Texas.

Claire Kowalick covered this advocacy group for the Wichita Falls Times Record News.

“And it is a group of doctors, patients, and citizens [that] are concerned about the state of eye care in Texas,” she says.

The group says Texas ranks 47th in the United States for eye care. The reason for that? Focus Texas says the state has outdated laws that restrict what services optometrists can perform, even when they’re fully trained to do them.

Kowalick says, for example, optometrists in Texas can’t prescribe oral antiviral medications.

“If a person has, say, shingles of the eye, the optometrist can diagnose the disease and completely know how to treat it but they can’t prescribe this medication,” she says. “They would have to say, I’m sorry you’re in pain right now but you have to go see this other doctor.”

Kowalick also found that those studying optometry may even have to leave Texas to become fully trained.

“There are doctors of optometry that train at the University of Houston, but they have to do a portion of their training in Louisiana because we’re not even allowed to do that training here,” she says. “So to be fully accredited and be able to travel anywhere in the nation, they have to do a portion of their training in another state, to just do what any optometrist should be able to do.”

Neighboring states also have far better access to eye care than Texas.

Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico all rank in the top ten.

A Houston pediatric hospital has been named as one of the country’s best employers for women. Forbes ranked Texas Children’s Hospital eleventh on its list, after looking at factors like benefits, working conditions, and leadership diversity.

Texas Children’s Michelle Riley-Brown told Houston Public Media that one of the things the hospital has is flexible schedules.

“We really work one-on-one with our employees and really like to pay attention to their needs, to make sure that we are providing a conducive environment for their work-life balance,” Riley-Brown said.

Riley-Brown said Texas Children’s also offers an administrative fellowship program that helps women get into leadership positions.

Other Texas companies that ranked high for women included Fort Bend I-S-D, Royal Dutch Shell, and Exxon-Mobil.

A female horn shark was found Monday, just a couple of days after being stolen from the San Antonio Aquarium.

Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio described how the heist went down to KSAT, San Antonio’s local ABC affiliate.

“They took the shark and put it into a wet blanket, and threw it in a stroller, and left with it,” he said.

The horn shark – named Miss Helen – was found alive in a San Antonio garage and two people have confessed to swiping her from a tank.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the San Antonio Aquarium thanked people for their concern and help in getting Miss Helen back.