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Committed to Caring

Committed to Caring

Dr. Matt Young

Taking your kids into the doctor’s office can sometimes be frustrating. Maybe there is a long wait, or your child is nervous, anticipating a shot or an exam. One local physician has long had a positive reputation of being involved and giving back to the Texarkana community, but his aim now is helping children and educating the public.

Dr. Matt Young is a familiar face; he is the son of the late Dr. Mitchell Young, also a beloved Texarkana physician. Matt is an Eagle Scout who has contributed to Scouting throughout his life; he currently does free scheduled physicals for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts so kids can go to camps, and he helps with programming for Scouting, too. For those who don’t know Matt in one of his many volunteer roles, he might be recognized as the person who brought the first freestanding emergency room to Texarkana. Since opening Texarkana Emergency Center, Matt and his team of doctors have been continuously educating children about preventive medicine and what to expect when they see their doctors.

“We feel it is important for kids to see us (doctors) smiling, laughing, talking to them about looking in their ears or mouth, or listening to their hearts, so when they have to come in to see a doctor or an X-ray technician, it’s not their first exposure,” he said. 

To engage kids, Dr. Young often has planned classroom visits to Texarkana ER, from Pre-K classes to high schools, where he walks them through the state-of-the-art emergency facility and explains the tools of his trade. He also travels out into the schools to make presentations. Commonly asked questions from children include, “What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever seen?” and, “Have you ever cut an arm or a leg off?”

Dr. Young chuckles, “We are very careful when we say ‘we have seen some lacerations.’ We really want to teach children to not be afraid of the doctor.”

Showing students that doctors are friendly and not to be feared, Matt believes his interactions and teachings help parents when their children need to see their pediatricians or family doctors. “We always encourage questions,” said Matt. “And we keep it very informal. We tell kids that they need their immunizations, and they need to see a doctor when they get a bad boo boo. We let them touch the stethoscope. Doctors are around to help them.”

For older kids, the Texarkana Emergency Center physicians explain more science and go into greater detail about casting bones and procedures that are followed in emergency medicine. Teaching them about preventive medicine, which is the best way to deter illness, and how to avoid accidents is another goal of these interactions.

In general, where children are concerned, Texarkana Emergency Center sees a lot of fractured extremities (falls from playgrounds), twisted ankles, pneumonia, flu, strep throat, illness with high fever, and anything else that is disconcerting to a parent.

“Anytime you are concerned about your child’s airway, breathing, or they seem to be dehydrated or having any sort of pain, they need to be evaluated. Especially with abdominal pain, a child should be examined because we have to rule out appendicitis, or urinary tract infection, or any kind of other abdominal concerns.  And, if you just feel like your child is not acting right for some reason, it is important to get them seen,” Dr. Young said.

“Always, we recommend parents trying to get in with their pediatrician or family medical provider first, but if they can’t, that is the nice thing about us being available 24-7; there is always a physician here on duty every day of the year. We work well with pediatricians and family practice providers to help take care of their patients. Our job is to see their emergent patients when they are not available, the clinic is full, or it is a weekend, and there is no other option. That is when we help,” Dr. Young said.

“Of course it is flu season right now, and we will see a lot of patients test positive, and RSV is something we see this time of year, too. With RSV, newborns to five-year-olds may get heavy secretions, run a fever, and have coughing episodes. They may have trouble with their secretions and not eat much at all. In kids who are sick and running a fever of 100.4 Fahrenheit or more, you should get them seen by a health care provider,” Dr. Young said.

Teaching adults about when to take kids to the doctor or the ER is something Dr. Young does, too.   

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Texarkana Emergency Center and Dr. Young are proud of their engagement with youth programs in the area. They sponsor something for every Texarkana school district, and they are the sole supporter for the sports medicine department at Pleasant Grove.  Currently, Dr. Young is the medical director for LifeNet. Texarkana ER helps both SWAT teams from Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas Police Departments with education and training on medical components. They also work with the Fire Departments and the PRIDE Academy. 

Dr. Young cites the opioid epidemic as one thing that is ruining lives across America; he just gave a donation to create a “Drug Take Back Box” for Texarkana, Arkansas. This box is behind the BiState Justice Building downtown; anybody who has old medicines or bottles in their cabinets can take those prescriptions and discard them in the box downtown. Matt hopes the Texas side will have a box and a location soon.

Recently, the Texarkana Texas Police Department asked Dr. Young and Texarkana ER to fund a project directly related to preventing accidents. At the request of TTPD, Dr. Young gave money for goggles that will make a sober person wearing them feel drunk. In a contained place, at the police training center off Park Road, students are getting to try to drive small go-carts while wearing the drunk goggles. This experience is an education in how little control one has over his cognition when under the influence. 

The earlier kids learn the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence, the less likely they will be to get behind the wheel or ride with someone impaired as they grow older. Any parent who is interested in having their kids try the goggles should call the Texarkana Texas PD. Then, they should drop Dr. Young a thank you note for his contributions to preventing accidents through education.

Dr. Matt Young truly cares about Texarkana USA, a place he grew up and has lived in for the majority of his adult life. Married to his lovely wife, Cindy, and father to sons Logan and Garrett, the Young family has deep roots in Texarkana. As he works to balance family with volunteerism and medicine, Matt has a team of emergency medical physicians who keep Texarkana Emergency Center ready for any emergency at any time. Like everything Dr. Young does in life, Texarkana Emergency Center is committed to quality care for children and adults who need them.

“We would like to see everyone who needs emergency care.  We have the best providers. You don’t have to wait long. We give the best care, and most importantly, we are all local providers, doctors who have had years of experience in emergent situations,” Matt said.

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