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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.

Free Mammogram and Pap Testaaaaaa

earlydetectionMatagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) in conjunction with Matagorda Regional Medical Center (MRMC), is offering free pap smears to women between the ages of 21 and 64 and free mammograms to women between 40 and 64 years of age.

On Friday, October 13th from 8AM-4PM pap smears will be available at MEHOP’s Women’s Clinic, 111 Ave F North and mammograms will be made available at Matagorda Regional Medical Center. This opportunity was made possible by a Breast and Cervical Cancer Service (BCCS) grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The grant program provides quality, no-cost, accessible breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women that qualify in MEHOP’s service area.

Regular screens by medical professionals is the best way to detect breast and cervical cancer in its earliest stages. Through this program, BCCS providers like MEHOP have served more than 33,500 women and detected 450 cases of cancer in 2015.

You or someone you know may qualify for the free screenings and diagnostic services if you:

Live in Texas (can show proof of address)
Are 21 or older
Don’t have health insurance
If employed, please bring a pay stub (employment is not a requirement of the grant)
Make less than the monthly family income limits listed below.

Family Size / Monthly Family Income Limit (200% Fed. Poverty Level)
1 / $1,980
2 / $2,670
3 / $3,360
4 / $4,050
5 / $4,740
6 / $5,430
7 / $6,122

To apply and make an appointment, please call Cindy Guardado at (979) 245-2008 ext. 505 or email at

Car Seat replacement due to Harvey floodingaaaaaa

Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) will hold an event Friday, Sept. 29 to replace car seats lost due to Hurricane Harvey.

The state of Texas has provided car seats to be given away during the month of September for those that were damaged by the storm. A car seat needs to be replaced if it got wet in a flooded vehicle or home.
This will be the second event held in September. MEHOP already has given away 93 car seats for infants, toddlers and small children and has another 75 left to give away.

Friday’s car seat giveaway will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 101 Ave. F North in Bay City on a first come, first serve basis. You do not need an appointment and the child does not need to be present but you will need their weight and height to insure you receive the proper car seat.

While September’s car seat giveaway is a special event open to everyone who had flood damage to their car seats, MEHOP does have a Safe Riders program that is ongoing throughout the year.

For the Safe Riders program, families must register for a one-hour class. They can contact Mirna Sanchez with MEHOP at 979-245-2479 to sign up or for more information. All low-income families who travel on the Texas highways are eligible. If you are pregnant you must be in your last trimester to register. Only one car seat per family is given out during the regular ongoing program. The car seats are provided by Safe Riders to MEHOP in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Reporting on Performanceaaaaaa

chartsOnce a year, all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) must provide a report to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The report, which is public record, is the Uniform Data System (UDS) and is a core system of information appropriate for reviewing the operation and performance of health centers.

The data is used to improve health center performance and operation and to identify trends over time which enables HRSA to establish or expand targeted programs and identify effective services and interventions to improve the health of communities. UDS data is compared with national data to review differences between the U.S population at large and those individuals and families who use  health centers for primary care.

The data collected through this report is analyzed to ensure compliance with legislative mandates, report program accomplishments, and justify budget requests to the U.S. Congress. UDS data also informs Health Center Program grantees, partners and communities about Health Centers and their patients.

The UDS includes:

■ The number and socio-demographic characteristics of people served.
■ Types and quantities of services provided.
■ Counts of staff who provide these services.
■ Information about the quality of care provided to patients.
■ Cost and efficiency data relative to the delivery of services.
■ Sources and amounts of health center income.


■ Comply with legislative and regulatory requirements
■ Inform HRSA, Congress, and the public of health center performance and operations
■ Document program effectiveness
■ Identify trends over time
■ Permit comparison with national benchmarks

In 2016, MEHOP had 8,168 patients who had a total of 42,156 visits.

  • 28% – Private Insurance
  • 31%  – Medicaid and CHIP
  • 38% -  200% of poverty and below (eligible for discounts on fees for services)
  • 8% – Medicare

Some of the items that we report on regarding the services and quality of care provided to patients is;

  • Childhood immunizations
  • Cervical cancer screenings for 21 to 64 years of age
  • Weight assessment and counseling for 3 to 17 years of age
  • BMI with counseling for 18 years of age and older
  • Tobacco use screening and cessation 18 years of age and older
  • Percent of patients age 5 to 64 with persistent asthma and prescribed medications
  • Percent of patients age 50 to 75 with appropriate screening for colorectal cancer
  • Percent of patients age 12 and older screened for depression and counseling
  • Percent of children age 6 to 9 with moderate to high risk of cavities who received sealants on first permanent molars
  • Weights of babies at birth
  • Controlled hypertension age 18 and older
  • Controlled diabetes age 18 to 75

These reporting measures allow MEHOP staff to annually review performance and operations, program accomplishments, identify areas for improvements and maintain an understanding of the patients we serve so that in turn we can better serve their healthcare needs.