TDLR Health Monitor - March 2022

TDLR logobanner

Vol. 17 |  March 2022

Message from the Executive Director: Hello!

Mike Arismendez

Welcome to the seventeenth edition of the TDLR Health Monitor, our newsletter for our medical and health professionals. We are pleased to bring you news from TDLR several times a year and hope that you find it helpful.

I am excited to serve as your new Executive Director. I am proud to lead TDLR and look forward to taking the agency to the next level of responsiveness to our licensees and stakeholders. On behalf of the entire agency, I hope you will find this newsletter of great value, and we invite your suggestions of what we can do to improve our distribution and content. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you ever have concerns about TDLR and how we serve you.


Mike Arismendez Jr.

Commissioner Spotlight: Helen Callier

helen callier

“I’m like a point guard when it comes to service.”

That is how TDLR Commissioner, Helen Callier describes her approach to service, and it's her mindset whether it applies to her service to her profession, to TDLR, or to the community. (And it's also the kind of heart you would expect from a native Houstonian.)

Commissioner Callier, the youngest of four children, grew up in an academic household. Her mother and father were college professors, which cultivated her desire to learn. Her father was also a master mechanic who ran the family’s auto body and paint shop, which led to Commissioner Callier's love of working on vehicles, which she says is “very medicinal.” This early love for repairing vehicles led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Prairie View A&M University.

As a serial entrepreneur, Commissioner Callier runs several seven-figure-producing businesses. She is a construction industry blogger, best-selling author, speaker, successful business owner, and currently is the president of Bradlink, LLC, a technical services firm that provides design, project and construction management, along with construction and inspection code compliance and permitting.

In 2016, Commissioner Callier was named the Houston District Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in honor of her dedication to coaching, mentoring, and collaborating with other women-owned, small businesses. She has received numerous other business awards and honors during her career as well.

Commissioner Callier focuses on being a resource for businesses and helping with business leads. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she selflessly gave other businesses insight on getting in front of impending business opportunities. Her knowledge and expertise serve her well in all that she does.

Commissioner Callier’s desire to achieve a higher level of service led her to being appointed to the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation in 2016, an appointment she takes seriously. She often ventures out into the field to meet and interact with various TDLR licensees and staff. You can find her visiting barber shops, attending tow truck roundups, sitting in on Midwifery Summits, or popping in at professional conferences.

One of her proudest achievements is her work with the agency in implementing House Bill 1342, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019. The bill allows a person with a criminal conviction to be eligible for an occupational license even if their offense happened less than five years before they apply for the license -- as long as the offense is not directly related to the license being sought. It also gives TDLR authority to issue a restricted license for air conditioning and refrigeration contractors and electricians under certain circumstances. 

In addition to being a partner with the industries regulated by TDLR and helping licensees and prospective applicants succeed while staying in compliance with the various laws and rules, Commissioner Callier has also been a major contributor to improvements made to TDLR’s contracts and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) processes. She has been heavily involved with the development of the department’s Mentor Protégé Program (MPP). The MPP is designed to foster long-term relationships between prime contractors and HUBs. Thanks to the influence and contributions of Commissioner Callier, TDLR currently has two MPP agreements in place with plans to grow that number soon.

Covid Update from the Remote TDLR SOC Desk

covid hospitalizations 22822

Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Texas as of 2/28/2022.

confirmed covid cases as of 22822

New confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas as of 2/28/2022.


Greetings from the Remote TDLR SOC Desk.

As we near the end of year two of this COVID-19 pandemic, it has taken some interesting turns. The Omicron variant sent the daily new case and hospitalization numbers skyrocketing as we entered 2022, but the surge is rapidly declining. In Texas, the average of daily new COVID-19 cases was over 50,000 as recent as six weeks ago, whereas now the average is less than 5,000 cases and falling. Hospitalizations were also at very high levels, numbering over 13,000 statewide just weeks ago. Those counts have fallen to below 4,000. This variant has shown itself to be more transmissible, possibly due to the Omicron variant having a higher viral load than previous variants, including Delta. 

A key point to remember is that COVID-19, like other viruses, will mutate as it gets transmitted from person to person. Currently, scientists are closely monitoring a mutation of the Omicron variant, dubbed BA.2. This subvariant has been detected in several countries worldwide, as well as in several U.S. states, including Texas. However, it may be too early to determine its transmissibility and severity. 

As it was in the early stages of the pandemic, the goal is to slow or stop the spread of this virus. By following these simple everyday actions, you can continue to protect yourself and others: washing hands with soap and water, wearing a face covering as recommended by the CDC, covering coughs and sneezes, social distancing, and staying home if you are sick. Public health providers like Austin Public Health and Williamson County Health, and even pharmacies like HEB, Walgreens and CVS offer vaccinations. Many providers are accepting walk-ins without an appointment. Visit the DSHS Coronavirus Disease webpage for information on prevention, testing sites, vaccines and more.

As a member agency of the Texas Emergency Management Council, TDLR continues to fulfill its role remotely at the State Operations Center, or SOC. Thank you to Stewart Myrick and Steve Uecker for representing TDLR at the SOC since March 2020. 

TDLR Works Through Rule Adoptions In Multiple Programs


General Provisions for Health-Related Programs

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation proposed new rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 100, §§100.1 - 100.3, 100.11, 100.60 - 100.65, and 100.70 - 100.73; the repeal of existing rules at §§100.1, 100.10, 100.31 and 100.50; amendments to existing rules at §§100.20, 100.30, and 100.40; and the addition of subchapter titles to an existing chapter, regarding General Provisions for Health-Related Programs. The proposed rules implement the provisions of Senate Bill 40, 87th Legislature, Regular Session (2021) and the provisions of Texas Occupations Code §51.501, as well as changes identified by the Department as a result of the four-year rule review process conducted under Texas Government Code §2001.39. The proposed rules were published in the January 28, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 228). The public comment period closed on February 28, 2022.

Rules Covering Multiple Programs

The department proposed amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC): Chapter 110, §110.18, regarding the Athletic Trainers program; Chapter 121, §121.69, regarding the Behavior Analysts program; Chapter 116, Subchapter B, §116.14, regarding the Dietitians program; Chapter 120, §120.69, regarding the Dyslexia Therapy program; Chapter 112, Subchapter B, §112.14, regarding the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers program; Chapter 115, §115.7, regarding the Midwives program; Chapter 114, §114.69, regarding the Orthotists and Prosthetists program; and Chapter 111,Subchapter B, §111.14, regarding the Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists program. The proposed rules make necessary rule changes to align the program rules with the advisory board changes made by House Bill 1560, 87th Legislature, Regular Session (2021), the Sunset legislation for the Department. The proposed rules were published in the February 4, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 432). The Department will accept comments on the proposals until March 7, 2022.


The department proposed amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 130, Subchapter B, §130.27, and proposed a new rule at Subchapter G, §130.75, regarding the Podiatry program. The proposed rules implement Texas Occupations Code §51.2032. The proposed rules are necessary to relocate these provisions from their existing locations in Chapter 100 of the Department’s rules to the chapter of Department rules specifically regulating podiatry. This rulemaking is accompanied by another rulemaking related to 16 TAC Chapter 100, regarding General Provisions for Health-Related Programs, and the reorganization of that chapter has resulted in the need for the proposed rules. The proposed rules were published in the January 28, 2022, issue of the Texas Register (47 TexReg 234). The public comment period closed on February 28, 2022.

The department proposed amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 130, Subchapter D, §130.40 and §130.42, Subchapter F, §130.60, and the repeal of an existing rule at Subchapter F, §130.61, regarding the Podiatry Program. The proposed rules implement Texas Occupations Code §202.261 by establishing a limited faculty license type, harmonize the waiver provisions for licensure between the full and provisional license rules, and repeal an expired transition rule for license fees. The public comment period closed on November 22, 2021. Rule amendments will be considered by the Commission at a future meeting.

TDLR Publishes Health Occupations Annual Report

texas flag and gavel

TDLR released its Health Occupations Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2021 on February 1, 2022.

The report contains licensing and complaint data for the health occupations regulated under Occupations Code, Title 3 and is provided to the Legislature in accordance with the requirements of Senate Bill 1058, Section 1, 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

View the report on the TDLR homepage or click here.

New HHSC Human Trafficking Prevention Training Course

human trafficking

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has announced that a new online human trafficking awareness and prevention training course is now available. The online course “HEART,” which stands for “Hearing, Evaluating, Activating, Resourcing and Training,” is a free online course that focuses on educating physicians, nurses, and other health care providers on recognizing the signs of trafficking and how to provide trauma-informed care and resources. You can enroll in the HEART course on the HHS Learning Portal.

House Bill 2059, 86th Legislature (2019), requires certain health care practitioners to complete a HHSC-approved human trafficking prevention training course in order to renew their license. To view a list of TDLR professions required to take the course, visit the TDLR’s Human Trafficking Prevention Training for Health Care Practitioners webpage or you may now find the link on our main page.

HHSC has approved 70 human trafficking training courses produced by various organizations, some with courses targeting specific professions. Visit the HHS human trafficking training website for a full list of approved coursed.

March Is National Athletic Training Month

national athletic trainer month

Once again, 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 who 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 “Providing Health Care Everywhere.”

For more information on athletic trainers, please visit TDLR’s Athletic Trainers webpage.

Verify Your License Online. (Yes, You Really Can.)

laptop computer

Do you need a verification of your license? You can do that online!

The link can be found on the right side of your profession’s program webpage, or you can go directly to the license verification page

You also can search for a license by name, profession or license number. It’s quick, easy, and always available!

Meet TDLR At Upcoming Conferences

Conference audience

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:

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, send us an email

Get Social With Us!


Did you know? TDLR is on Facebook! Be sure to follow us for interesting content about TDLR and our 38 occupational licensing programs.

(We're also on Twitter.)

Upcoming Advisory Board and Commission Meetings

meeting mics

Until further notice, Commission meetings and all advisory board meetings will be held via videoconference. You can view live broadcasts or archived meetings on TDLR's YouTube channel. Meeting notices, agendas and staff reports are posted on the TDLR Meetings page.