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The benefits of “After-hours” Health Careaaaaaa

“After-hours care” refers to care for medical problems arising after 5 p.m. and on weekends that could be appropriately managed by the patient’s primary care physician/team.

Health problems developing outside of normal business hours are a leading cause of ER visits. Many acute complaints seen in the ER, including stomach and abdominal pain, fever, cough, and headache are commonly and typically managed by Primary Care Physicians. Continuity of primary care (care received by the same physician/team), including care received outside usual business hours, is associated with improved patient outcomes and lower ER use for non-urgent problems.

The high rates of ER use for non-urgent, after-hours care contributes to fragmentation of patient care, inefficient use of resources and higher spending since ER visits cost more than primary care visits. Offering after-hours access for select primary care services, including telephone access and expanded clinic hours, helps eliminate many costly ER visits while improving continuity of patient care.

MEHOP Family Medicine clinic (1700 Golden Ave. in Bay City) offers after hours care Monday through Friday 4pm – 8:30pm, Saturday’s 7am-4pm and Sunday’s 8am – 12pm for adults and children. Same day appointments are also available in all MEHOP clinics during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. If MEHOP patients have a medical question/concern that arises after normal business hours and is unable to wait until the following business day, they may contact MEHOP after hours on-call personnel for assistance as well. MEHOP accepts Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance. If you are uninsured or have limited insurance benefits, MEHOP offers discounts (sliding fees) for services based on household size and income if eligible. For additional information please call 979-245-2008 or visit

Mistakes parents make with their kids’ teethaaaaaa

You know regular brushing, a healthy diet and dental visits are some of the best ways to prevent cavities, yet experts say many parents are falling short when it comes to oral hygiene.

In fact, 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth. And 21 percent of children ages 6 to 11 have had them in their permanent teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Find out the biggest mistakes dentists say parents are making and learn what you can do to keep your children’s teeth healthy throughout their lifetime.

1. Letting kids brush alone
Since most children don’t have the motor skills to brush effectively until they’re 8 years old, parents need to supervise brushing and check to make sure every surface of each tooth is clean.

“It’s not that they don’t want to do a good job, they’re just not physically capable yet,” said Dr. Edward H. Moody, Jr., president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

2. Putting baby to bed with a bottle
It’s the easiest way to cause tooth decay, yet parents are still doing it, experts say. In fact, according to a survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 85 percent of parents said it wasn’t a good idea to put their babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, yet 20 percent did it anyway.

Whether it’s a bottle at bedtime or a sippy cup all day long, the habit keeps the sugar and bacteria levels in the mouth elevated all the time, Moody said. If your baby wakes up at night for a bottle or to nurse, wipe out her mouth with gauze or a soft cloth or brush if she has teeth.

“If you start early on it becomes part of the normal routine,” he said.

3. Making the first dentist appointment too late
Expert say it’s common to see children 2 or 3 years-old who need to go under general anesthesia to treat cavities and infections. One of the explanations for this is that parents aren’t bringing their babies to the dentist early enough.

The first trip should either be when the first tooth erupts or by your baby’s first birthday. Dental visits every six months from the get-go will also help your child feel comfortable—and even excited—to go every time.

4. Offering “healthy” foods
Bananas, raisins, and whole-grain crackers seem healthy, but foods that are sticky and have concentrated sugars like these will sit in the grooves of the teeth and create cavities. Instead of nixing them entirely, eat them with meals— when there’s more saliva— and always brush afterwards, said Dr. Joseph Banker, founder of Creative Dental Care in Westfield, N.J.

5. Thinking cavities are no big deal
You might think treating a cavity is an easy fix, but cavities can affect your child throughout his lifetime.  For starters, healthy baby teeth are necessary to maintain space for adult teeth. They help guide the jaw so it can grow.

Plus, if a cavity becomes infected, it can affect the development of the adult teeth and if there’s an abscess, the child will likely need sedation to treat it, Banker said. Cavities at an early age, especially if they’re not treated, can also lead to problems with speech articulation, poor sleep, and even low self-esteem and school performance.

6. Not using fluoride
Last year, the American Dental Association revised its recommendations and now suggests children age 2 and under use fluoride toothpaste, too. Although fluoride is controversial, experts agree that the research is clear: it’s one of the best ways to prevent cavities.

The appropriate dose, however, is key. For children 3 years old and younger, use the equivalent of a grain of rice, and for children 3 to 6 years old, a pea-sized amount is enough. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about your child’s exposure to fluoride in the water and toothpaste, talk to your dentist.

7. Loading up on sports drinks
A common cause of tooth decay in older kids is sipping on sports drinks and soda at lunch, at games and at home. By bathing their teeth in acid all day, there’s no opportunity for the PH to re-balance, Banker said. If you can’t persuade your child to completely nix it from his diet, encourage him to limit the amount, then drink it and be done with it.

MEHOP Annual Fundraiser 4/14/18aaaaaa

MEHOP Rock and Roll Fundraiser

Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program’s (MEHOP’s) Annual Fundraiser is April 14th, 2018. We look forward to an evening filled with fun, great food, and Rock and Roll!

This year, proceeds from the event will support us in renovating our old dental offices for multiple uses by medical, administrative, and community health worker staff as well as aid in the expansion of our OB/GYN and Behavioral Health practices.

The event will be held at the Bay City Civic Center located at 201 7th St. in Bay City TX. The event will begin at 6:30pm with cocktails and a silent auction. Set-ups will be provided if you would like to bring your own beverage of choice. At 7:30pm dinner will be served, and a live auction and dancing will follow. Tickets can be purchased on-line through Tickets to the City by going to and clicking the link to purchase tickets on our Home page. If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation you can do that as well through the purchase tickets link.

Tables seat ten and individual tickets are $50 a piece or $500 for a table. This year we have four fantastic sponsorship packages available as well.

Platinum Sponsor Package $2,500 – Tickets for table of ten, Name recognition, Preferential Seating, Complimentary Wine & Champagne, Table Side Dessert, (20) 50/50 Raffle Tickets.

Gold Sponsor Package $2,000 – Tickets for table of ten, Name recognition, Preferential Seating, Complimentary Wine & Champagne, Table Side Dessert.

Silver Sponsor Package $1,500 – Tickets for table of ten, Name recognition, Preferential Seating, Complimentary Wine & Champagne.

Bronze Sponsor Package $750 – Tickets for table of ten, Name recognition, Preferential Seating.


Your child and ear infectionsaaaaaa

Your Child and Ear Infections

Middle-ear infections, which doctors call otitis media, are less common during mid­dle childhood than at younger ages.

When the Ear is Infected…

When an ear is infected, the eustachian tube—the narrow passage connecting the middle ear (the small chamber behind the eardrum) to the back of the throat—becomes blocked. During healthy periods this tube is filled with air and keeps the space behind the eardrum free of fluid; dur­ing a cold or other respiratory infection, or in children with allergies, this tube can become blocked, fluid begins to accumulate in the middle ear, and bacteria start to grow there. As this occurs, pressure on the eardrum increases and it can no longer vi­brate properly. Hearing is temporarily reduced, and at the same time the pressure on the eardrum can cause pain.

Your pediatrician should examine your youngster’s ears with an instrument called an otoscope, with which inflammation and fluid behind the eardrums can be detected. If an infection is present, your physician may prescribe antibiotics to destroy the bacteria and diminish the buildup of fluids. Antibiotics are not always necessary. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease the pain.

About Ear Tubes

Occasionally, when a child has repeated ear infections, and when fluid in the ears tends to persist despite medication, the doctor may suggest inserting small drainage tubes through the eardrum to help remove the trapped fluid. To date, however, the research examining the poten­tial benefits of these tubes is inconclusive, and there are clearly some drawbacks to them—namely, anesthesia is required for insertion, and the tubes can sometimes come out by themselves.

Treatment for Recurrent Ear Infections

If your child has recurrent ear infections (4 or more ear infections in the past 12 months with at least 1 in the past 6 months), your doctor may decide to place your child on low doses of antibiotics on a long-term basis to prevent infections. This therapy has been shown to decrease the frequency of ear infections. However, this therapy can increase the risk of resistant infections. Some doctors may also suggest surgical removal of the adenoids (adenoidectomy) if they are blocking the child’s eustachian tube.

When to Return to Child Care or School

Ear infections are not contagious. Your child can safely return to child care or school after the pain and fever subside. However, he should continue taking the antibiotics as pre­scribed until the pills or liquid are used up.

Adapted from Caring for your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Pain and Fever medicines for your childaaaaaa

About Pain and Fever Medicines

Acetaminophen (uh-SET-tuh-MIN-uh-fin) and ibuprofen (eye-byoo-PROH-fin) help with fever and headaches or body aches. Tylenol is one brand name for acetaminophen​. Advil and Motrin are brand names for ibuprofen.

These medicines also can help with pain from bumps, or soreness from a shot. Ask the doctor which one is best for your child.

What Else You Need to Know

  • Never give ibuprofen to a baby younger than 6 months.
  • If your child has a kidney disease, asthma, an ulcer, or another chronic (long-term) illness, ask the doctor before giving ibuprofen.
  • Don’t give acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the same time as other OTC medicines, unless your child’s doctor says it’s OK.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend OTC cough or cold medications for children under age 6.
A Warning About Aspirin

Never give aspirin to your child unless your child’s doctor tells you it’s safe. Aspirin can cause a very serious liver disease calle Reye syndrome. This is especially true when given to children with the flu or chickenpox.

Ask your pharmacist about other medicines that may contain aspirin. Or, contact the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation at 1-800-233-7393 or

Benefits of Extended Hour Clinicsaaaaaa


MEHOP extended-hours Family Medicine clinic is the perfect solution to the problem of crowded emergency rooms, appointment waiting lists, and illnesses and injuries that always seem to happen on the weekends. We have extended hours so you and your loved ones will be able to get the care you need exactly when you need it. Here are three ways our extended-hours Family Medicine clinic benefits the community.

#1: Easing ER Overcrowding 

Over crowded emergency rooms are a big problem. In many emergency rooms, people have to wait at least several hours for care if they have illnesses or injuries that are not life-threatening emergencies. There is usually a much shorter wait time at an extended hours clinic, which means you’ll get the care you need faster. By using an extended hours clinic it also means that emergency room beds and staff will be more readily available to tend to those who do have life-threatening emergencies .

#2: Evening and Weekend Access

Many primary care doctors do not see patients in the evening or on weekends, making it difficult for people who work or attend school during the day to get the care they need.  If you need a routine checkup or want a doctor to help you manage a condition such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, you don’t have to take a day off work or wait several weeks to see someone. MEHOP extended-hours Family Medicine clinic schedules appointments for routine care as well as accepts walk-in sick visits. We have extended hours so you can get the care you need when it is convenient for you.

#3: Cost Reduction 

Using an extended-hours clinic will also save you money on your medical expenses. Emergency room visit can be costly. MEHOP accepts private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and for those that are uninsured we offer discounts on fees for services based  on household income if eligible.

MEHOP Family Medicine clinic is open Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm.  Extended hours begin Monday-Friday from 5pm – 8:30pm and continue Saturday’s from 7am-4pm and Sunday’s 8am – 12pm. MEHOP Family Medicine is located at 1700 Golden Ave. in Bay City, 979-245-2008. It is to your advantage to arrive no later than an hour before closing times. If we have high patient volumes we may have to close doors early to ensure staff are able to see all patients and leave clinic at reasonable hours.

Take precations during this active Flu seasonaaaaaa


DSHS Commissioner urges people to take precautions to avoid getting the flu


With influenza continuing to be widespread throughout Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services reminds people to take precautions to avoid getting and spreading the disease. The state health commissioner, Dr. John Hellerstedt, filmed two short messages encouraging everyone 6 months old and older to get vaccinated and stressing the importance of good hygiene.


Vaccination can provide protection against flu as long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness. Vaccination is especially important for adults over 65, children under 5, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions because they are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. People can find out where flu shots are available at or by contacting their health care provider.


Influenza is a contagious disease caused by one of a number of related viruses. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and fatigue. The onset of symptoms is sudden and people should stay home until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care. People experiencing symptoms are encouraged to seek treatment promptly. Antiviral drugs may shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the flu if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.


People can help stop the spread of flu by getting vaccinated, washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when they’re sick.


Dental Plaque: What is it?aaaaaa


Plaque can cause your teeth to appear dull and not feel smooth. It is difficult to see, but plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to our teeth. Not a very pleasant thought and more than likely makes you want to go brush your teeth…right now!

Some types of plaque cause tooth decay, while other types cause gum disease. That is why it is important to brush our teeth at least twice a day and visit your dentist every 6 months for a thorough cleaning.

If you notice red, puffy or bleeding gums when you brush you may be noticing the first signs of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease destroys the tissues holding the teeth in place and teeth will eventually be lost.

The best ways to remove dental plaque it to first floss to remove germs and food particles between the teeth. Next, brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride protects teeth from decay. You may also want to brush your tongue to remove germs from there as well.



MEHOP to participate in Texas Youth Friendly Initiativeaaaaaa

Four Teenage Friends Sitting On Trampoline In Garden


(AUSTIN) The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, an education and advocacy organization committed to reducing the rate of teen pregnancy throughout Texas, has announced the selection of seven clinics to participate in the first cohort of their Texas Youth Friendly Initiative (TYFI). These clinics will participate in an 18-month learning collaborative to implement standards of excellence based on research developed by the World Health Organization and adapted for Texas’ unique demographic and political context. The seven participating clinics include:

· HOPE Clinic (Houston)

· Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (Bay City)

· Interfaith Community Clinic (Conroe)

· Lone Star Family Health Center (Conroe)

· Special Health Resources of Texas (Longview)

· Wellness Pointe (Kilgore)

· El Buen Samaritano (Austin)

The Texas Youth Friendly Initiative will help clinics across the state become clinical centers of excellence in adolescent health. International research stresses that the most effective prevention of unintended teen pregnancy comes when youth receive regular services, such as annual well-visits, where they can be screened for a number of risk factors including those associated with their reproductive health and contraceptive needs.

“In Texas, it is estimated that more than 1 million youth do not have access to healthcare,” says Dr. Gwen Daverth, President and CEO, Texas Campaign. “In addition, Texas has the most barriers to accessing confidential healthcare for teens. Because Texas laws are complex and difficult to follow, medical professionals often report not understanding under what circumstances they are allowed to treat youth, which blocks many young men and women from accessing care.”

The Texas Youth Friendly Initiative will increase the number of youth accessing high-quality comprehensive health homes by reducing community barriers for youth to access affordable health care; creating and operationalizing a statewide standard for youth-friendly services; developing and implementing a clinic-level system transformation approach; and increasing collaboration between youth-serving organizations and health care providers.

Project Partners Include:

The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy The Texas Campaign is dedicated to reducing the rate of teen pregnancy across Texas. They provide statewide leadership around this issue by focusing on what works and connecting Texas communities to the research and tools they need to make an impact. For more information, visit

Cardea Services Cardea is a national organization that provides training, organizational development, research and evaluation services to improve organizations’ abilities to deliver accessible, high quality, culturally proficient, and compassionate service to their clients. For more information, visit

People’s Community Clinic People’s Community Clinic is among the nation’s oldest independent clinics offering comprehensive health and wellness care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Its mission is to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans by delivering high quality, affordable health care with respect and dignity. For more information, visit

Baylor Teen Health Clinic The Baylor Teen Health Clinic is a system of 10 community and school-based clinics that provide comprehensive medical care, including primary care immunizations, sports medicine services, reproductive care and more, via 30,000 visits to medically underserved and mostly uninsured adolescents and young adults each year. For more information, visit

University of Michigan – Adolescent Health Initiative

The Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI) at Michigan Medicine began with a multidisciplinary group of health care professionals who shared a vision for improving the quality of care provided to adolescents not only within Michigan Medicine, but across the country. With support from Michigan Medicine and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, they transitioned the AHI from an inspired idea to a nationally recognized organization. They currently work with primary care, school-based health, and youth-serving organizations across 40 states. For more information, visit

Coping with the Disaster of Hurricane Harvey – Resources for Familiesaaaaaa

Stress, worry, and fear are common responses during and after a disaster or public health emergency like Hurricane Harvey. It is important to pay attention to how you and your family members react and address the situation. Talking to children about a crisis can be difficult, but it is very important to help them cope. Follow these tips to help yourself and your loved ones manage the aftermath of an emergency.

Self-Care during an Emergency

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone will react differently and your own feelings will change throughout. Be cognizant; notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family during an emergency. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.

Look out for these common signs of distress:

· Feelings of shock, numbness, and disbelief

· Changes in energy and activity levels

· Difficulty concentrating

· Changes in appetite

· Sleeping problems

· Nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images

· Feeling anxious or fearful

· Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes

· Chronic health problems can get worse

· Changes in use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

· Anger or short-temper

If you experience these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them, seek professional help.

Take the following steps to manage your mental health after a disaster:

· Stay informed-When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or anxious. Watch the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis. Turn to reliable sources of information

· Take care of your body– Eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

· Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life and check for updates between breaks.

· Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.

· Seek help when needed– If distress is impacting activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, doctor or contact:

Phone Number: 979-245-2008, Ext. 710 Fax Number: 979-316-4811

1700 Golden Ave. | Bay City, TX 77414

Free transportation services will be arranged for patients in Wharton County to visit our offices in Bay City.