A distinguished Dallas-area occupational medicine physician and healthcare executive, Melissa Tonn, MD, serves as the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A. In addition to her professional work, Dr. Melissa Tonn devotes time and effort to improving conditions for the less fortunate, including by donating to Christ’s Family Clinic in Dallas.
For 16 years, Christ’s Family Clinic (CFC) has provided critical healthcare services to uninsured people of all backgrounds who have nowhere else to go. While many charity clinics only offer urgent care, CFC emphasizes comprehensive, preventive care and ongoing support for chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac conditions.
CFC strives to provide a safety net for Dallas’ working poor who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Even with the Affordable Care Act, more than 30 million people still lack health insurance, including one in four Texans. Without any federal or state funding, the clinic relies solely on donations to serve those who fall into the insurance gap. Find out more at https://christsfamilyclinic.org.
Board certified in occupational medicine and the author of many medical publications, Dr. Melissa Tonn is the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A., in Dallas. Active in the Dallas community and professional associations, Dr. Melissa Tonn has an interest in studying the social determinants of health.
Various personal, economic, and environmental conditions impact health and well being, and sometimes lead to disease. Researchers recognize that these social determinants not only impact overall health, but also a person's likelihood of injury and subsequent recovery prospects.
People living with negative social determinants, such as exposure to dangerous workplaces, neighborhoods, or schools, are more likely to sustain injuries from falls, fires, burns, vehicle collisions, and domestic or community violence, according to healthypeople.gov, a website run by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Certain community programs can reduce injury rates related to environmental or social determinants. For instance, municipalities can better design their traffic flow to reduce pedestrian, bicyclist, and traffic-related injuries. Efforts like home modifications, prescription reviews, and vision screenings can reduce fall injuries among senior citizens. In addition, investments in job training, education, and affordable housing initiatives are key to reducing crime and violence-related injuries.
The president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, P.A., in Dallas, Texas, Melissa Tonn is board-certified in occupational medicine and has authored many medical publications. An active member of professional associations, Melissa Tonn is a diplomate with the American Academy of Pain Management.
In order to effectively combat the opioid epidemic, physicians must help patients address the pervasive effects chronic pain has on their lives. One strategy that has proven successful is self-management training, which educates patients about specific activities, behaviors, and other tactics they can use to minimize the debilitating effects of pain in their daily lives. Although self-management training led by certified trainers is an integral part of care for diabetic patients, the strategy is just starting to be used to support patients with chronic pain.
Chronic pain patients can benefit from acquiring self-management strategies that include self-monitoring compliance with medical treatment and medication regimens, goal-setting, learning to pace their physical activity and cope with the emotional toll of chronic pain, and practicing positive self-reinforcement.
As the chief medical officer and president of OccMD Group P.A. in Dallas, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, oversees a variety of medical services, including occupational-injury management for organizations that have elected to provide an alternative benefit program for work injuries/illnesses. In addition to her role at OccMD, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, is a member of the District 2 Review Committee of the Texas Medical Board and the past vice chair of the Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Board of Regents.
The Frontiers Program: Foster Care Alumni at TWU operates with the goal of increasing the graduation rate among students who have spent time in the foster-care system. Throughout the United States, graduation rates for these students at higher-education institutions hover between 1 and 9 percent. Today, the graduation rate at TWU ranks higher than those at comparable institutions around the country, thanks largely in part to the varied services maintained by the Frontiers Program.
Services include in-depth financial support and guidance and are available to current and prospective students. To learn more about Frontiers Program opportunities, visit www.twu.edu.
A graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, serves Dallas’ OccMD Group P.A. as the president and chief medical officer. Melissa D. Tonn, MD, has served on several boards, including the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents, completing her 7 year tenure as the vice chair.
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) provides a number of services designed to financially support students who have been part of the foster-care system. The Education Training Voucher program is particularly impactful in this regard. Through the initiative, administered by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, individuals can receive grants in a wide range of important areas, from tuition and academic fees to assistance with child care. The program also helps students with transportation needs and significant expenses related to coursework, such as computers.
Additional kinds of financial support available through TWU include assistance in completing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, scholarships opportunities through the Pioneer Scholarship System, and emergency aid for adults who have aged out of foster care.
In addition to her role as chief medical officer of OccMD Group PA in Dallas, Dr. Melissa Tonn is a faculty member at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses in occupational health. Actively involved in medical education over the years, Dr. Melissa Tonn is a longtime supporter of Texas Woman’s University (TWU), where she previously served as vice chair of the board of regents.
In October 2018, TWU announced the appointment of Kimberly Russell, EdD, as its new vice president for university advancement. She will step into the role on December 1, bringing with her more than 20 years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. She comes to the position after a three-year appointment as the chancellor at the Eunice campus of Louisiana State University (LSU).
At LSU, Ms. Russell oversaw enrollment growth of nearly 30 percent at her campus and the expansion of in-demand health care offerings. In her comments, TWU president and chancellor Carine M. Feyten spoke of the vital role that university advancement plays in the overall health of the institution.
Ms. Russell is also a former director of foundation and corporate relations at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, where he was responsible for securing $5 million in grant funding on behalf of several charitable foundations.
Board-certified occupational medicine practitioner Melissa Tonn has been in practice for more than 32 years. Based in Dallas, Melissa Tonn supports Texas Women’s University (TWU).
TWU is the country’s largest women’s university, enrolling about 15,000 students. Dedicated to empowering all women with education, TWU offers programs to assist students who have fallen into financial distress. One of them is the Tonn Emergency Aid for adults who’ve aged out of foster care.
This emergency aid provides crucial funding to students who have outgrown foster care and are facing financial emergencies that threaten to disrupt their education. These emergencies include homelessness, food insufficiency, medical expenses, or cut off essential utilities.
Only eligible students will be considered for this aid. These are students who have aged out of foster care, have enrolled or are about to enroll in the coming semester, are registered for a minimum of nine credits that coming semester, are in good academic standing, and have documentary evidence of the emergency they are facing. They can apply by filling out an application form and submitting it to the university’s financial aid office. A response will be given in three days by the relevant committee.
Dr. Melissa Tonn, an MD trained in occupational medicine and pain management, currently leads OccMD Group P.A. as the firm’s president and chief medical officer. She additionally holds an adjunct position at the University of Texas School of Public Health, and has also made many noteworthy community contributions. Dr. Melissa Tonn and her practice associates have spent several years supporting the anti-human trafficking nonprofit New Friends, New Life by “adopting” one or more families in need at the holiday season.
Experts point out that Christmas and other joyful holidays can be highly stressful and fraught with conflicting emotions for anyone who has been the victim of trauma. Sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder may feel alienated from the happy experiences of others, or may become depressed.
But there are practices that family, friends, and caring individuals can use to lessen these negative feelings for someone who has been victimized. A few of these are described below.
Make sure to provide a place for the person to retreat to if additional private space is needed. To avoid embarrassment in front of others, it can also be helpful to agree on a signal that the person can use to indicate that they need help in making a graceful exit from an uncomfortable situation.
The person should understand that they have the right to refuse to discuss anything they don’t want to discuss. If they do want to talk about something that is bothering or upsetting them, listen non-judgmentally and acknowledge their experiences. Providing a sense of agency is key.
A board-certified physician in occupational medicine, Dr. Melissa Tonn holds an academic appoinment in the department of population health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Dr. Melissa Tonn also serves as the chief medical officer of OccM.D. Group P.A. in Dallas, where she provides management solutions for employers who have opted out of workers’ compensation. Below are four steps employers can take to reduce occupational and workplace injuries.
1. Implement an accident prevention and wellness program. An effective program establishes clear safety guidelines specific to your company’s environment and addresses safety protocols for all levels of employees. It also offers employees instructions on how to respond to and report potential hazards in the workplace.
2. Conduct safety training. Regular safety training helps to ingrain protocols and facilitates a culture of safety awareness. You can also use safety training to teach employees about body mechanics and techniques for reducing strain injuries.
3. Offer protective equipment. Ensure access to standardized protective equipment, especially for employees who work in labor-intensive or otherwise hazardous environments. Take the time to educate employees in the proper use of each piece of equipment, and strictly enforce rules that require its use.
4. Create a safe work environment. Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of workplace accidents and account for 15 percent of all workplace accidental deaths. You can significantly reduce their occurrence by maintaining a safe work environment. This includes keeping hallways clear of obstacles, providing adequate lighting in work areas, and attending to wet or slippery floors immediately.
A respected Dallas-area physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, practices occupational medicine. Serving as the president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, Dr. Melissa Tonn earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health) at San Antonio.
Each year, the medical dean of UT Health recognizes the significant research, clinical, and mentoring achievements of faculty members. The award winners, nominated by fellow faculty members, receive a $5,000 prize at the annual faculty assembly.
The Distinguished Research Award is a new honor in 2018. The inaugural award went to Jean X. Jiang, PhD, the Ashbel Smith Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, for her contributions to UT’s research mission over her 20-year career with the university. Dr. Jiang’s work currently focuses on the development of new immunological tools to target the hemichannel functions of gap junctions.
An experienced physician, Melissa D. Tonn, MD, specializes in musculoskeletal disorders, workers’ compensation and disability cases, and chronic regional pain syndrome.