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Review our collection of videos covering health information topics

Aneurysm survivor, family share kudos about UTMB Health neurologist

When Billy Plite had an aneurysm in 2019, one doctor stepped in to save his life. Dr. Hashem Shaltoni, a neurologist with UTMB Health, worked closely with Plite and his family before, during and after surgery to ensure Plite's condition was not just corrected but that he made a full recovery, as well. 

A husband, father and son, Plite had no shortage of loved ones rooting for him during this journey, and Dr. Shaltoni made sure to keep them all thoroughly updated throughout the entire process. 

Today, Plite is grateful to be alive, happy and healthy and he and his family credit the care provided to him by Shaltoni and the full UTMB Health team for making that possible. 

To show his appreciation, Plite recently nominated Dr. Shaltoni to be a recipient of the 2024 Joe Niekro Foundation's Patient's Choice Award, an honor awarded to clinicians throughout the area each year during the organization's annual Knuckle Ball Gala

To learn more about Plite's story, watch the video below. 


View Dr. Hashem Shaltoni's profile

Dr. Hashem Shaltoni is an interventional neurologist and a stroke specialist.

UTMB Health Neurology Services

There’s nothing benign about a brain injury


On the heels of brain injury awareness month, which is observed each year in March, a University of Texas Medical Branch Neurologist wants everyone to know how serious even seemingly mild injuries are to the brain.  

Often called “the silent injury,” brain injuries have left approximately five million Americans disabled.  

“I think the take-home message is, there’s nothing benign about a brain injury,” said Dr. Brent Masel, neurologist and professor of Neurology at the UTMB, “Be it just a mild concussion or be it something more severe.”  

Masel said that the most common symptoms of brain injury are cognitive loss, lack of concentration and fatigue. If someone is symptomatic, he suggests that they see a neurologist for a closer look. 

“The key is prevention,” he said, citing such common practices as using safety belts when in a moving vehicle. He says that falling is the most common cause of brain injuries in older people.  
Contact sports and risky behavior are main causes with younger people. Protective headgear should always be used when participating in possibly injurious activities like cycling, football and others.  

To learn more or to find a neurologist, visit the Neurology web page.  


View Dr. Brent Masel's profile

Dr. Brent Masel has conducted research and has approximately 50 publications in the areas of brain injury rehabilitation including virtual reality, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, sleep abnormalities, metabolic abnormalities, hormonal dysfunction, and the long-term medical issues from chronic brain injury.

UTMB Health Neurology Services

Student athletes and sports injuries

Regardless of the season or sport, injuries are bound to happen to student-athletes as they play and practice. To help parents, athletes and teams better know how to react during these situations, Dr. Stacy Leung, a primary care sports medicine physician, took time to chat with our partners at Houston Moms and covered a variety of questions, including:

  • When should you head to the ER vs Urgent Care vs Family Doctor/Primary Care Provider?
  • How can the trainers/team support staff help?
    • what conversations should you have with them?
  • What conversations should you have with your primary care doctor if you are playing sports?
  • What about concussions? What are the warning signs/symptoms?
  • What is the path to get back on the field if surgery is warranted?


Prostate cancer treatment options

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 out of every 41 men will die of it.

These statistics are why members of the UTMB Health Urology team are so passionate about spreading information about the sometimes-silent disease.Headshot of Dr. Laith Alzweri, male physician wearing white coat, black-frame glasses, a light blue shirt and a red and white tie.

"When they are aware of the disease, men are more likely to seek help from physicians and have conversations about it,” says Dr. Laith Alzweri, surgeon and associate professor within the Department of Surgery’s Urology Division. 

Dr. Stephen Williams, a clinical leader and professor within the departments of Surgery and Radiology, wants patients to know that if they do end up with a positive diagnosis for prostate cancer, there’s lots of options for next steps, but it’s key to have a care team you can trust to guide you throughout the process.

Dr. Stephen Williams on prostate treatment options


Here for patients from diagnosis through survivorship, the UTMB Health Men's Health team is passionate about ensuring patients don’t just survive, but that they thrive before, during and after treatments they receive. 

“Life doesn’t end or stop when you have cancer,” he says.



Screen time guidelines for kids

The American Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that's it's important to limit screen time for children to no more than two to three hours a day, on most days, although sometimes expanding to three to four hours is OK, especially if it's less frequently, like only on the weekends.

However, most school age children average anywhere from four to six hours a day and that's too much.

In addition to monitoring the time they're on devices, it's important to also monitor what kinds of content they are consuming. It's common for predators to try to engage with children through advertisements and other virtual means, so stay vigilant always.

When possible, try to have scree-free quality family time, like when eating meals together. This will help foster a stronger family dynamic. Additionally, to help ensure everyone has a good, restful night's sleep, try to put all devices away 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime, especially on school nights.

For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care page.

Lesley Nairn on monitoring screen time

Outdoor bug safety

When spending time outdoors, it's important to be mindful of the bugs around you. To keep you and your family safe and free from bug bites, follow these tips from pediatric nurse practitioner Taylor Little.

  • Always wear bug spray containing DEET
  • When applying to a small child, always spray into hands first then apply to the child
  • If wearing sunscreen, too, first apply sunscreen, then the bug spray.
  • Avoid times like dawn and dusk, as that's when bugs are most active
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when possible.
  • Check yourself and your children when you come inside to make sure nothing came in with you
  • If possible, take a shower upon coming in from the outdoors
  • In areas that area heavily wooded or overgrown, stay on trails and paths

For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care page.

Taylor Little on outdoor bug safety

View Taylor Little's profile

Taylor Little is a certified family nurse practitioner who specializes in pediatric primary care. Originally from Houston, she's an avid runner and mom of two.

UTMB Health Pediatric and Adult Primary Care, Webster clinic

Healthy eating for children

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing infants aged six months or older to solid foods.

Essential to a child's growth and development, healthy eating is something that should be encouraged from an early age, as it will lead to a lifetime of better health and reduce risk of chronic disease later in life.

In those early stages of eating, it's important to focus on foods high in iron such as cereals, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

As children begin to age, focusing on a well-balanced diet that contains a good mix of proteins, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats is encouraged to ensure they develop strong bones and muscles and a robust immune system.

Additionally, aim to incorporate forms of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants as they play a vital role in enhanced memory, concentration and cognitive function. 

    For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Primary Care page.

    Healthy eating tips from a family nurse practitioner

    View Barbara Herrington's profile

    Barbara Herrington is board-certified by The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is bilingual in English and Serbian.

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson clinic

    Morning routines and back to school

    To ease back-to-school jitters, pediatric physician's assistant Amy  Laird-Payne recommends establishing a good morning routine.

    Routines create predictability and familiarity and ease anxiety. Routines also offer children a chance to try some independence and gives them the opportunity to practice good self care habits they can use as an adult.

    When planning your morning routine it's important to do two things:

    • Take into account the needs of you and your child(ren)
    • Start the night before

    Ways you can prepare the night before:

    • Lay out outfits for the next day
    • Discuss hairstyles
    • Plan breakfast
    • Consider your FULL schedule for the next day, to ensure you have anything extra you'll need for after school and work.

    For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Primary Care page.

    For tips on how to have get a good night sleep to come in to your morning well-rested and ready to seize the day, read this blog on bedtime routines.

    Amy Laird-Payne on establishing morning routines

    View Amy Laird-Payne's profile

    Amy Laird-Payne, PA-C is passionate about empowering people to pursue their dreams and obtain great health. She lives in the Brazosport Area with her husband and 3 children.

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson clinic