Tyler, Texas (UTHNE) — UT Health Northeast has been designated as a Clinical Resource Center by the Alpha-1 Foundation, based in Miami, Fla. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency – Alpha 1 for short – is an uncommon but serious genetic condition that causes lung and liver disease.
In addition, Kent Davis, MD, medical director of the Ornelas Center for Healthy Aging, recently earned board certifications in hospice and palliative medicine. And Margarita B. Hart, MSN, RN, has been promoted to director of Inpatient Services at UT Health Northeast.
Alpha-1 affects over 100,000 people in the United States, according to the Alpha-1 Foundation. Respiratory symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough with phlegm, recurring chest colds, non-responsive asthma or year-round allergies.
Liver problems include chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. This genetic condition can destroy a patient’s lungs and liver so that they require organ transplantation.
About 70 Alpha-1 Clinical Resource Centers are located throughout North America. They specialize in patient care, education, and research for those with Alpha-1.
At UT Health Northeast, pulmonologist James Stocks, MD, is the expert in treating Alpha-1. For 25 years, patients from all over the United States who have Alpha-1 have come to UT Health to participate in research designed to improve treatment for this serious condition.
Dr. Davis recently was board certified in hospice and palliative medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Palliative care relieves the symptoms of serious diseases without curing the patient. Hospice care is end-of-life care that includes medical, psychological, and spiritual support.
He is board certified in geriatric and internal medicine and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Dr. Davis joined UT Health Northeast in 1989.
Hart was nurse manager for UT Health’s intensive care unit (ICU) and the emergency department before her promotion. In her new position, she will oversee all inpatients, whether in the emergency room, the ICU, or the regular hospital floors. Hart joined UT Health Northeast in 2011.