About Dr. Joe Galati

Dr. Joe Galati is a Liver Specialist practicing in Houston, Texas. His practice, Liver Specialists of Texas is dedicated to the care of patients with all facets of liver disease.
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Our Staff is Key to Our Success: A New Paradigm in Medical Office Staff

Our Staff is Key to Our Success: A New Paradigm in Medical Office Staff

Dr. Joe Galati and Dr. Rashid Khan with The Millennials of Liver Specialists of Texas

Dr. Joe Galati and Dr. Rashid Khan with The Millennials of Liver Specialists of Texas

Our practice specializes in the care of those with all facets of diseases of the liver and digestive tract. Liver disease patients, as a whole, are sicker than most. The proper functioning of the liver is vital to a persons overall state of wellness. Chronic liver disease, in the form of viral hepatitis (such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C), autoimmune hepatitis, fatty liver related to obesity and metabolic syndrome, hereditary disorders such as Wilson’s disease (excess copper), hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload state), Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Sclerosing Cholangitis, alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and portal hypertension are all multi-organ conditions, and lead to progressive organ failure, and the potential for premature death. While this is a mouthful, the truth is that liver disease is no laughing matter, and needs to be taken very seriously. Liver patients are demanding. They require a lot of care, education about their condition and the required care, and most importantly, compassion. Facing the spectre of a life threatening illness is stressful for all involved.

Caring for this group of patients requires that I surround myself by the most capable staff possible. We have been making use of mid-level providers (both Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners) to implement the medical and surgical care plans designed for them. It would be impossible for me to provide the care we do without their assistance. The mid-levels at Liver Specialists of Texas are superb professionals, well trained, intuitive, patient centered, and in-tune with the emotional state of the patient and their family.

Staff Outing with the Houston Astros

Staff Outing with the Houston Astros

Over the past 2 months, we have hired 5 new staff members, all recent college graduates from Duke University and University of Texas-Austin. These five young ladies have degrees in Psychology/Human Development, Nutrition, Evolutionary Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, with minors in Spanish, and Music. Academically brilliant, they have aspirations for Medical School, and one a Doctorate in Psychology. The positions they hold within the office include Medical Assistants, Scheduling, Patient Education and Public Outreach, and Front Desk/Reception. All of them are woefully overqualified for these positions. Seeking a two-year break from their educational plan, they are looking for real-world experience, to better prepare them for the next way station in their life-journey.

Hiring this caliber of staff is eye opening for me, rest of the staff, and our patients. Their academic training allows them to grasp new concepts faster, making them quick learners. They have the capacity to think outside the proverbial box, and contribute to the operations of the practice like I have never seen before. They have a keen grasp of new technology and social media, are well versed in teamwork, and have an eagerness to learn and take on new tasks. Coming from the rigorous academic challenges of Duke and UT-Austin, their brains are hard-wired differently than other applicants that I interviewed for their positions. Somewhat older individuals, having completed their formal education decades earlier, the applicants I met with had no real desire to advance themselves, challenge the status quo, or cultivate their creative juices for the betterment of the patients we serve and care for.

The Staff of Liver Specialists of Texas

The Staff of Liver Specialists of Texas

Millennials by birth, they are being exposed to an environment run by Baby Boomers. We have had to enlighten them to maximizing the positive features of their generation (civic mindedness,multitaskers, connectivity, tech-savvy, and passion), and work on certain less favorable features such as reduced attention spans, obsessing with the online world, constant use of their cellphone, and the need for immediate gratification.

My desire to have the most capable staff available for these complex cases has come closer to reality with the addition of the five recent college graduates. Working side-by-side with our established staff has allowed for continued mentoring. In the medical office staff/clinic environment, it is unheard of to have such overly competent staff. With what we have all experienced in just a few short months, I will never be able to return to the norms of the standard office environment. Once this group graduates to bigger and better opportunities, I hope to develop a pipeline of future employees from Duke University and University of Texas, allowing our patients to be cared for by a group of overqualified, passionate, forward-thinking, quick learning, twenty something year old staff.

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Latest News on Hepatitis C Cures

For tonight’s broadcast of Your Health First, Dr. Rashid Khan joins me to discuss the latest news on fatty liver disease, and the new therapies for hepatitis C, which results in a cure rate of over 95% of the cases. You can listed to the audio from the three segments here.

 

Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Joe Galati Discuss Liver Disease: Part 1 by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Galati Discuss Fatty Liver Disease: Your Health First Part II by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

Hepatitis C: Dr. Rashid Khan and Dr. Joe Galati Discuss-Your Health First Interview Part III by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

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Junk Food Disguised as Healthy: Don’t Be Fooled

Junk Food Disguised as Healthy: Don’t Be Fooled

Excess sugar and carbohydrates.

Excess sugar and carbohydrates.

Good nutrition is a requirement for wellness. There is no doubt that good nutrition prevents disease. Most reasonable people seek out foods that are nutritions, and thus support wellness. But, you need to beware that the food marketers are taking advantage of you-big time. We are conditioned to select foods and products that support the notion of “healthy”, “natural”, “organic”, “low-fat”, “heart-healthy”, “whole grain”, “gluten free”, “high in protein”, and a host of other claims. None of these statements makes the product healthy, healthful, or a required part of your diet. In fact, I am a firm believer if any food makes a health claim, don’t buy it. Period.

While shopping yesterday, I was once again intrigued by the vast number of man-made products openly displaying these health claims. Look closer, and you see they are loaded with fat, sugar, carbohydrates, calories, and a host of chemicals we were not meant to consume. Shoppers today are in a rush, and as soon as they see any of these health claims, their inner soul has the sense that this is good for them and their family. Instead of buying lots of fruits and veggies, the shopping carts are filled with garbage. Fresh fruit rots if not used in a timely fashion. Junk in a box will survive a nuclear attack (or at least a few months in the closet). We hate waste, and love shelf life. So what’s the bottom line of all this:

  1. Be aware of and avoid foods that have health claims
  2. Don’t buy snack bars as a source of available food on the run
  3. Never consume snack bars as a meal replacement-this will lead to obesity
  4. Plan meals and snacks through the day better
  5. Only buy food that rots
  6. Commit to eating better. It takes work. It sucks being ill.

Let me know what you think.

Dr. Joe Galati

Beware of Health Claims-Eat Real Food

Beware of Health Claims-Eat Real Food

 

 

 

 

 

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New Hepatitis C Cure FDA Approved: Daclatasvir for Genotype 3 Patients

This past week, the FDA gave approval to Bristol-Myers Squibb and their first drug in the hepatitis C market. Daclatasvir was given FDA approval for patients with the genotype 3 variety of chronic hepatitis C. Daclatasvir, commercially available as Daklinza, is approved to be taken with previously approved sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)-manufactured by Gilead-in this two-drug combination. Of note, Ribavirin nor interferon are required in the combination.

Published cure rates, also know as sustained virologic response (SVR) range from 86-90%. If you are non-cirrhotic, and naive to therapy, one can expect a 96% SVR. Unfortunately, prior treatment failures with past combinations, plus the presence of cirrhosis, carries a poor response rate of 63% in this most difficult group of patients.

For more information on hepatitis C and current therapies available, visit our website at Liver Specialists of Texas .

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Saving the American Family: Roasting Vegetables-Dr. Galati Shows How

I enjoy cooking. Thanks to my parents, and my Italian heritage, cooking has always been a big part of my life. Cooking requires teamwork. Cooking requires communication amongst participants. Cooking requires people working as a team. Cooking requires everyone be be in the “present”. Cooking is a great way to keep families together. As the family unit has disintegrated, I firmly believe that the time spent cooking as a family has also declined. As a result, more and more meals are eaten out, on the road, in your car, and alone.

The strategy to save the American family might simply lie in the kitchen. Imagine families gathering around preparing home-cooked meals? Imagine families sharing these meals together at the table? Imagine the conversations that will take place at the table? Parents listening to children, and children listening to parents.

I’ll write more on this. Send me your feedback. Enjoy the video.

Dr. Joe Galati
Houston, Texas

 

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Fight Obesity: Dr. Joe Galati’s Great American Produce Giveaway

I have been educating patients for a long time. It’s the best part of my job. Educate, educate, educate. Despite all of my efforts, there are frustrating days where I feel we are losing the war on obesity. The general population is lax on what they eat, and settle for junk. Everyone is too busy to cook a fresh meal at home. Children grow up eating highly processed foods, get fat, and develop diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease, and lots more. Why? People can’t pick out a cucumber from a zucchini, let along how to cook the darn thing.

The Great American Produce Giveaway is my answer to all this. Some may laugh (and I hope it puts a smile on your face), and some may just not get it. Yes, it is a naive way to stimulate conversation, but it’s a start. Share it with your friends and family, and buy a vegetable for your neighbor.

Dr. Joe Galati
Houston, Texas

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“I am Ready” for Hepatitis C Treatment: New Harvoni TV Commercial

This past week, Gilead Sciences, maker of the new hepatitis C therapies Harvoni and Sovaldi, launched their first TV commercial, promoting their latest hepatitis C cures.

For the past year, we have seen an explosion of new, highly effective therapies for hepatitis C, now with the ability to cure the virus. Yes, we can now say CURE. All of the companies involved in hepatitis C therapy have developed a wide range of print, radio, and television ads. The goal is to increase awareness, one of the major problems those of us that treat HCV find. There are more people yet to be diagnosed with hepatitis C, than those already diagnosed and treated. Getting the word out to get tested is still a struggle.

The messages thus far have varied in their content, including “Breaking the Silence” (Janssen-makers of Olysio/Simeprevir), “Take Action Now” (AbbVie-makers of Viekira Pak), and “Forget Me Not” (Gilead-makers of Sovaldi). Now, Gilead with their latest commercial, for the first time, directly states the name of their product, and outlines the near 99% cure rate one can expect, and the minimal side effects patients experience. The “I am Ready” campaign hopes to alert all those living with hepatitis C, it’s time to get treated. Putting aside the bad memories of interferon, and other complicated therapies, that were indeed toxic, these new era therapies are highly effective, with the most minimal side effects. Patients have told me that the very fear of the therapy, and the wicked side effects,  have prevented them from coming forward for treatment. This is a shame, and should not even be considered any further. Having treated several hundred patients thus far with Harvoni and the other current medicines, we are truly in a golden era where we can eradicate HCV, and prevent all of the know complications, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Call us if you are ready to be treated.

Watch the vidoe below.

 

 

 

 

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What Autopsies Can Teach: Melinda Beck from the Wall Street Journal

Read the article here.

What Autopsies Can Teach: Melinda Beck and the Wall Street Journal by Your Health First Radio on Mixcloud

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Dr. Rashid Khan Joins the Liver Specialists of Texas Team

Dr. Rashid Khan Joins the Liver Specialists of Texas Team

Dr. Rashid Khan will be joining Dr. Galati and Liver Specialists of Texas.

Dr. Rashid Khan will be joining Dr. Galati and Liver Specialists of Texas.

Dr. Rashid Khan will be joining Liver Specialists of Texas in July 2015.

Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, he completed his medical school education at Dow Medical College, Karachi, the second oldest medical school in the country. Following medical school, Dr. Khan was an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston. He completed his Gastroenterology training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, under the direction of Dr. Don Powell and Dr. Roger Soloway. Wanting to further his education in liver disease, he completed his training in Transplant Hepatology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, under the direct mentorship of Dr. John Vierling.

During Dr. Khan’s training, he participated in a number of research studies related to liver disease and the complications of cirrhosis. Dr. Khan also has two years of prior experience of working as a Transplant Hepatologist at the Liver Transplant program at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

When not practicing medicine, Dr. Khan enjoys spending time with his young family. His hobbies include travelling, and playing and watching basketball and soccer. He is excited about joining Dr. Galati and the Liver Specialists of Texas team. He shares in Dr. Galati’s vision in providing exceptional and compassionate patient care, and in providing the highest level of care to patients with all facets of liver disease and digestive disorders.

To make an appointment with Dr. Khan, call 713-794-0700.

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