TDLR Health Monitor - March 2019

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Vol. 6  |  MARCH 2019

Welcome from the Executive Director

Brian Francis color

Welcome to Volume Six of your TDLR Health Monitor! For those of you who are new to TDLR, I’m Brian Francis, Executive Director.

This edition of the TDLR Health Monitor arrives while the Texas Legislature nears the middle of the 86th Regular Session. The Legislature convened in Austin on January 8 and will adjourn on May 27. Based on past averages, lawmakers will consider 5,500 to 6,500 bills and pass between 1,200 to 1,500 of them during the session. Most importantly, they will consider and pass the state budget for the next two years. Any proposed transfers or changes to state law, including changes to TDLR’s programs, will come out of this 140-day session. 

If you are curious about bills under consideration that could impact you and your profession, I invite you to visit our 86th Texas Legislature page, where you can find a list of bills filed related to all of TDLR's current programs. As you’ll see in the Legislative Update below, there's a lot to keep track of so far this session.

As a state agency, TDLR is never “for” or “against” proposed legislation. My primary role during the legislative session is to be a resource for legislators and provide them with analysis and suggestions about how their proposals would work within TDLR's business model.

My staff and I have already had the pleasure of appearing before our oversight committees in February, and you may see us testifying throughout the session before different committees in the House and Senate, sometimes on the same day. If you are in the halls of the Capitol this session and you see me or a member of my staff, please be sure to stop us and say hello.

The real work begins for our staff as soon as any bills impacting TDLR and your profession are passed by legislators and signed into law by the Governor. We work in collaboration with our advisory boards, the public, and the Texas Commission of Licensing & Regulation to discuss how best to implement any changes brought to our programs.

By the time we send out the next edition of the TDLR Health Monitor, we’ll know the results of the 86th Session, and I will have a full report to bring you up to date. Meanwhile, throughout 2019 and beyond, we will continue to strive to deliver an exceptional customer service experience to you and your fellow health professionals.

Thank you for all that you do to ensure the health and safety of our fellow Texans.

Yours in Service,

Brian E. Francis

Legislative Update


The 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convened on January 8, 2019. As required by the Texas Constitution, the biennial session will last 140 days, with the last day falling on May 27 (known around the Capitol as "sine die" day). 

Early filing of bills by legislators began in mid-November, and TDLR staff have been busy tracking and analyzing bills as they are filed each day. Based on recent sessions, TDLR expects to see between 300-400 bills filed that if enacted could impact the agency in ways both large and small.

Most bills (other than local bills, emergency appropriations, or emergency matters) must be filed by the 60th day of the session, which falls on March 8 this session. As of the first week of March, we are tracking over 300 bills, including more than 80 that relate directly or indirectly to TDLR's medical and health professions.

If you would like to track bills related to current TDLR programs, visit the 86th Texas Legislature page on the TDLR website. Bills are arranged alphabetically by TDLR program, plus categories for veterans, human trafficking issues, and general state agency-related legislation.

Longview High School Athletic Trainers Receive TDLR Courage Under Pressure Award

Attendees of the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers meeting on January 14 enjoyed a special moment when two athletic trainers received an award for saving a life – and the man they saved was able to attend.

Deirdre Scotter and Kristin Croley, athletic trainers at Longview High School, received the TDLR Courage Under Pressure Award for saving the life of their cross-country coach Ken Jernigan after he collapsed at the end of practice on October 22, 2018.

During the awards presentation, Coach Jernigan praised Scotter and Croley. “These two young ladies are heroes,” he said. “Had they not done everything just right, if they had delayed even a minute, I would not be here.”

Coach Jernigan said that he will be paying even more attention during CPR/AED training. “We go through the training every two years, and we know how important it is, but until you go through something like this, you don’t know how important it is,” he said.

Scotter has been an athletic trainer with Longview for 10 years and Croley has been with Longview for about 2 years.

Watch the presentation

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Athletic trainers Kristin Croley (L) and Deirdre Scotter with Coach Jernigan at TDLR's North Campus on January 14, 2019.

TxEVER: New Vital Statistics Reporting System

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On January 1, 2019, the Vital Statistics Section of Texas Health and Human Services Commission replaced the Texas Electronic Register (TER) with a new registration system called the Texas Electronic Vital Events Registrar (TxEVER). TxEVER is now used to support all vital events operations, including reporting, registration, and amendments of births and deaths in Texas. You may access TxEVER by visiting

Key information about TxEVER:

  • Incomplete birth records, which were started in TER, did not migrate and will need to be restarted in TxEVER.
  • TER user IDs transferred to TxEVER.
  • Temporary passwords and PINS for TxEVER were emailed to users who had TER accounts.
  • If you did not receive a TxEVER temporary password, please contact your local TxEVER administrator.

Available resources on using TxEVER:

For questions regarding the TxEVER system, you can reach the TxEVER Help Desk at, or call 1-888-963-7111 (at the prompt, press 1 for English, then press 2 for the TxEVER help desk). You may experience long wait times due to high call volume. 

New Advisory Board & Committee Appointments

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On January 11, 2019, the Texas Commission of Licensing & Regulation reappointed the following advisory board members:

Presiding Officer David Weir of College Station was reappointed to the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers.

Presiding Officer Dr. William “Gordon” Bourland of Arlington, Serica Cuellar of San Antonio, and Laurie Snyder of Southlake were reappointed to the Behavior Analyst Advisory Board.

Richard Davila of Lubbock and Detra Stewart of Houston were reappointed to the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board.

David Ahrens of Denton was reappointed to the Orthotics and Prosthetics Advisory Board.

Presiding Officer Jim Dingman of Plano, Lisa Pomroy of Fort Worth, and Erin Dunn of College Station were reappointed to the Registered Sanitarian Advisory Committee.

Our advisory boards and committees are vital to the success of TDLR. Members provide invaluable consumer insight and technical and clinical expertise. We look forward to working together with these talented individuals as they help shape the future of the TDLR medical and health professions they represent. 

TDLR currently has vacancies on the Behavior Analyst Advisory Board, the Dietitians Advisory Board, the Midwives Advisory Board, the Orthotists and Prosthetists Advisory Board, the Podiatric Medical Examiners Advisory Board, and the Registered Sanitarian Advisory Committee.

Find out more about the boards and how to apply here:

March is National Athletic Training Month

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For the 19th consecutive year, March has been set aside as National Athletic Training Month, to recognize the vital work that athletic trainers perform in keeping athletes safe and healthy.

Athletic trainers often serve their athletes as caregivers, confidants, and friends. From the child that participates in little league baseball, to the men and women participating at the highest levels of professional sports, all athletes owe their well-being on the field and off to these skilled and compassionate health care professionals.

TDLR is proud to join the athletic trainers of Texas in celebrating this effort, as we all embrace this year’s slogan “ATs are Health Care.”

Visit TDLR's Athletic Trainers program home page.

New Criminal Conviction Guidelines for Behavior Analyst Program

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The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted new criminal conviction guidelines for the Behavior Analyst program at their January 11, 2019 meeting held in Austin. 

The guidelines describe the process by which TDLR determines whether a criminal conviction means an applicant is an unsuitable candidate for the license, or whether a conviction warrants revocation or suspension of a license that was previously issued. 

For more information on how these guidelines are established, visit TDLR's Criminal Conviction Guidelines webpage

Upcoming Exam Improvements


TDLR staff have been working with PSI, the agency’s third-party exam vendor, and subject matter experts to make improvements and updates to several of the exams for our medical and health programs.

Improvements and updates include the following:

  • Code Enforcement Officer exam candidates will be provided with a reference list of study materials, an improved exam content outline, and improved score report feedback. Code Enforcement Officer exam improvements will go into effect April 1, 2019. Please see the Candidate Information Bulletin (PDF) for details.
  • Mold exam candidates will be provided with exam content outlines for guidance, score report feedback, and an updated reference list of study materials. Mold exam improvements will go into effect June 1, 2019. Please see the Candidate Information Bulletin (PDF) for details.
  • Podiatric Physician Jurisprudence exam candidates will be provided with an exam content outline for guidance, score report feedback, and an updated reference list of study materials. Podiatric Physician Jurisprudence exam improvements will go into effect April 1, 2019. Please see the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) for details.
  • Registered Sanitarian exam candidates will be provided with an improved exam content outline, improved score report feedback, and an updated reference list of study materials. Registered Sanitarian exam improvements will go into effect May 1, 2019. Please see the Candidate Information Bulletin (CIB) for details.

The exam fees for Code Enforcement Officers, Podiatric Physicians, Registered Sanitarians, Mold Assessment Technicians, Mold Assessment Consultants, and Mold Remediation Contractors will remain the same.

Midwives Educational Summit

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TDLR hosted its first Midwives Educational Summit on January 7, 2019 in Austin. The summit drew 46 attendees and 88 online viewers. Midwives who attended the summit in person received continuing education credits through the Association of Texas Midwives

Summit topics included:

  • Charting - Best Practices Including Electronic Medical Records
  • Intermittent Auscultation
  • Postpartum Depression Screening and Referral
  • TDLR Division Introductions and Updates
  • TDLR Enforcement Overview and Process
  • TxEver: Vital Statistics Reporting System
  • Relationship Building: Bridging the Gap Between Midwives and the Medical Community
  • Risk Assessment and Autoimmune Disorders and Management

At the end of the summit, a survey was conducted to gather attendee feedback. Approximately 85% of participants strongly agreed that the learning objective was achieved, the content was relevant, the speakers were effective, and the teaching method was effective.  

This summer, TDLR will host the next Midwives Educational Summit, tentatively scheduled for July 26, 2019 in the Dallas area.

Please subscribe to TDLR email updates and check the Midwives homepage for more information on the summit as it becomes available.

Human Trafficking & Health Professions

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain services, labor or a commercial sex act. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is aligned with the initiatives of the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Attorney General to increase awareness and end human trafficking in Texas.

TDLR staff completed training on identifying signs of human trafficking, including a specialized training for field staff, who may encounter human trafficking firsthand. TDLR is coordinating efforts with local, state and federal law enforcement on facilities and individuals suspected of trafficking persons. TDLR conducts regular unannounced inspections at facilities and investigates law and rule violations. To make a complaint against an establishment or individual, please visit:

As a health professional, you can assist TDLR in combatting human trafficking by learning the signs of trafficking and increasing your awareness. In a 2014 study, Lederer and Wetzel found that 87.8% of human trafficking survivors accessed healthcare while they were being trafficked. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, victims sought medical treatment for the following circumstances:

  • In an emergency
  • After an assault and after a workplace injury
  • For routine check-ups, gynecological and prenatal care
  • For mental health services and addiction treatment
  • For pre-existing conditions and non-trafficking related health issues

For training on recognizing and responding to human trafficking in health care, visit For additional resources visit TDLR’s Human Trafficking webpage. If you see something, Be the One and say something. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-800-888-373-7888.

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TDLR Issues First Health Occupations Annual Report

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TDLR released its first health occupations annual report on February 2, 2019.

The report contains licensing and complaint data for the ten medical and health-related programs found in Chapter 114 of the Texas Occupations Code which are now regulated by TDLR. This annual report is required by Senate Bill 1058, 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

View the report on the TDLR homepage or click here.

Finding Disciplinary Actions

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To find disciplinary actions taken on complaints filed with TDLR for your program, visit TDLR's Administrative Orders search page

You can search by name, license number, location, or by program. All disciplinary actions posted on the TDLR website are final actions taken by TDLR. No actions taken by previous licensing boards or agencies are included.

For information on why specific violations of the law or rules might fall into a certain penalty range, please see TDLR's Enforcement Plan.

What about license denials?

You can also find license denials and revocations. If an application denial is based on criminal history, you can find information on why that criminal history was relevant in the program’s Criminal Conviction Guidelines at:

Can’t find the Enforcement Plan and/or Criminal Conviction Guidelines for your program?

If no Enforcement Plan or Criminal Conviction Guidelines are posted, that may be because the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation has not yet voted to approve these guidelines for your program. 

You can subscribe to TDLR’s email updates to receive important information about programs of interest and upcoming Commission and board meetings, including meeting agendas: Subscribe to TDLR Email Updates

Meet TDLR at Upcoming Conferences


In the coming months, TDLR Medical and Health Professions staff will be available at a number of conferences and meetings across Texas to provide licensing and program information to attendees.

We hope to see you at one of these upcoming events!

Katie Brice, Senior Program Specialist, will be conducting school presentations in April for universities with speech-language pathology programs. If a program director is interested in having her stop by and give a presentation to graduating students, please email Katie Brice at

TDLR is available to provide informational presentations and/or staff booths at your next conference or meeting. If you would like a TDLR representative at your next conference or meeting, contact us at:

Advisory Board & Commission Calendar

Unless otherwise noted, Commission meetings and all advisory board meetings are held at TDLR's North Campus in the 1st Floor Public Meeting Room. TDLR public meetings are broadcast live and archived on TDLR's YouTube channel. Meeting notices, agendas, and staff reports are posted on the TDLR Meetings page.