Here’s an interesting idea for a public-health partnership: the San Antonio Express-News reports that Metro Health has been running a small clinic — offering immunizations and free blood-pressure and cholesterol checks — in a space inside the Goodwill store at Blanco & 410. The clinic, called “Good Health at Goodwill,” has vaccinated 1300 patients with 2800 vaccine doses in its first year of operation, and the City Council has just renewed the lease with Goodwill for a second year. Meanwhile, Goodwill is discussing plans for additional in-store clinics with the city as well as with a Christus Santa Rosa physicians group — and the Goodwill of San Antonio home page indicates that the “Good Health at Goodwill” clinic’s services will expand to include mobile mammography, healthcare education, diabetes screenings, and much more. As natural as the partnership sounds, the Express-News article and the Goodwill homepage indicate that it is the only clinic of its kind in the nation.
Interesting partnership: Good Health at Goodwill
Laredo 14th Annual Health Occupations Planning Exposition (HOPE)
Sponsored by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of the Mid Rio Grande Border Area of Texas
Students and teachers alike were very interested in a number of the features of
MedlinePlus and learning how NLM resources could be used for class projects. In
student health fairs, the MedlinePlus Videos & Cool Tools section often
gets the most immediate attention. We also handed out materials on ToxNet and
heard comments that some classes were working on projects with related topics and that this was a resource that they could use. We used the iPad exclusively at this fair and found that students were more apt to try their hand at looking up topics in MedlinePlus while also getting a chance to use the iPad.
Last week, the Census Bureau released new data from the 2006 American Community Survey, covering geographic areas with populations over 65,000. Although there are lots of potentially useful insights contained in these data, there was one measure I found striking because I hadn’t been aware of its use before: “linguistic isolation.” The Census Bureau defines “linguistically isolated” households as those where all household members age 14 or older have difficulty with the English language. For the five largest counties in our service area, here’s how the figures break down, where…
- Column  represents households that speak English at home (as % of total households)
- Column  represents households that speak Spanish at home (as % of total households)
- Column  represents all linguistically isolated households (as % of total households)
- Column  represents Spanish-speaking linguistically isolated households (as % of total households)
|County (Major City)|| English|| Spanish|| Ling Iso|| LI Spanish|
|Bexar (San Antonio)||48.45%||47.15%||8.63%||8.16%|
|Cameron (Brownsville, Harlingen)||25.67%||73.02%||19.45%||19.28%|
|Hidalgo (Edinburg, McAllen, Mission)||13.93%||84.89%||21.35%||21.31%|
|Nueces (Corpus Christi)||51.27%||46.32%||7.42%||7.10%|
Perhaps there’s nothing here we didn’t already know — but perhaps looking at it this way provides a new perspective and can help to explain why health information services offered in English and Spanish can reach so much further here than those offered only in English.
Look What’s Coming in February and March, 2013!
Asset Based Community Development
Bringing Together: UT Health Science Center researchers, public health workers, area health professionals, community health workers (Promotores), public and academic librarians, Area Health Education Center Translational Advisory Boards (TABS), community health organizations, and more …
+++ More Information coming next month +++
Two Workshop Locations:
UTHSC San Antonio, TX: Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. firstname.lastname@example.org
UTHSC Harlingen, TX: Thursday, March 7, 2013 9A.M. to 12:00 Noon. email@example.com
Please email if you are interested in attending
[Meeting Locations – TBD]
Lotería de salud #11: La estrella
Bueno, después de un descanso imprevisto, regresamos de nuevo con ¡la lotería de salud! Esta semana nos toca “la estrella” — porque aquí en el Sur de Texas está para llegar un evento anual muy importante: la Operación “Lone Star”.
Este año 2008 marca el décimo año para este programa cooperativo de las Fuerzas Armadas de Texas, la Comisión de Salud y Servicios Humanos, y muchos otros voluntarios. Durante dos semanas — del 28 de julio hasta el 8 de agosto — el programa ofrecerá servicios médicos, servicios dentales, e información sobre salud, totalmente gratuitos a toda la comunidad, en ocho lugares en siete condados del Sur de Texas.
En este comunicado de prensa en español de la Senadora Judith Zaffirini, se explica la Operación Lone Star del año pasado 2007, mientras este comunicado de prensa en inglés y este artículo del Rio Grande Guardian explican los planes para el programa este año. Pero las preguntas más importantes son: ¿dónde y cuándo? Estos son los detalles importantes, y si hace clic en los enlaces, encontrará mapas a los lugares de servicio:
Clínicas abiertas desde el 28 de julio hasta el 1° de agosto:
Brownsville: Raul A Besteiro Middle School, 6280 Southmost Road
Mission/La Joya: Cesar Chavez Middle School, Expressway 83 and Showers Road
Raymondville: Raymondville High School, One Bearkat Lane
San Juan: PSJA High School, 805 W. Ridge Road
Clínicas abiertas desde el 4 de agosto hasta el 8 de agosto:
Laredo: United South High School, 4001 Avenida Los Presidentes
Rio Grande City: Fort Ringgold Middle School, Fort Ringgold Campus
Zapata: Zapata Middle School, 17th Avenue and Carla Street
Clínica abierta desde el 6 de agosto hasta el 8 de agosto:
Hebbronville: Hebbronville Middle School, 910 N. Willhelma
Este es una oportunidad y un programa muy importante — ¡qué corra la noticia!
Lotería de salud #12: La garza
Esta semana en la lotería de salud, “llegaron los picos largos de la feria de San Juan…” así es ¡¡¡la garza!!! Y el tema de salud que nos trae la garza es el tema del agua limpia, el agua potable.
El agua potable es una necesidad para la salud de todos, y aunque por lo general en Texas tenemos fuentes de agua potable muy saludables, es importante entender de dónde viene el agua que toma usted, y qué son las condiciones que pueden afectar su salubridad.
Para una introducción, recomendamos este sitio de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA): “El agua potable y la salud: lo que usted debe saber”. También la página “Agua potable” de medlineplus.gov ofrece mucha información y enlaces importantes.
Por supuesto un desastre natural — como el huracán Dolly que afectó al Valle esta semana pasada — puede cambiar rapidamente la estabilidad del sistema de agua potable. Según esta nota que salió sobre las 5 de la tarde ayer, hay varias partes del Valle donde se está recomendando hervir el agua antes de tomarla, para prevenir enfermedades llevadas por el agua debido a las inundaciones y otros problemas que trajeron el huracán:
- North Alamo Water Supply Corporation (incluye partes de Donna, Weslaco, Elsa, Edcouch y La Blanca)
- La Villa
- Laguna Madre Water Supply (incluye la Isla del Padre Sur, Military Highway WSC, los que reciben agua de la planta Las Rusias)
- Sebastian Municipal Utility District
- Port Mansfield
- Santa Rosa
Si usted vive en una de esas zonas o conoce a alguien que allí vive, es importante que verifique con las autoridades (su proveedor de agua) que el agua está buena para tomar; si no, debería hervirla al menos un minuto antes de tomarla.
March is National Nutrition Month
We have a serious situation on our hands.
For the first time in the history of the world we are seeing great progress in the near complete eradication of hunger. While we have not solved the problem completely, it can be said that we are supplying food to at least most of the world. More of the poorer countries are learning agricultural techniques to insure a sustained food supply.
Why then, with such success, are we now facing a global epidemic of obesity? Perhaps nutrition cannot be defined merely as fuel for the body, but it must also include adequate work and exercise for the body. Nutritious foods can make us healthy, but food alone will not necessarily produce a total picture of health; we need also nutritious work and exercise to build good muscle, bone, blood and tissue.
Last year, a global study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), on the health of the world in general, found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that obesity was spilling over from the wealthy into poorer nations. It’s become an epidemic.
So, what can be done?
Most healthcare professionals agree that the most obvious and imminent causes for over-weight and obesity problems are consumption of excess calories, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity among children and adults. Individuals in the medical sciences, are being called upon to be leaders in opening the eyes of our communities to see the inherent dangers that threaten us all.
Below is a collection of articles aimed at studying and addressing our complete nutritional problem. You may want to share some of these articles and videos with your clients, patients, students and caregivers. Together we can turn things around and help make lives better and healthier.
Mental Health Care
South Texas to Benefit from$5.3 Million Grant
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. has recently awarded a $5.3 million grant to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The grant will help fund the creation of the South Texas Access to Recovery Program (STAR), and help address the shortage of behavioral and mental health care professionals in the region.
According to Professor Pedro Delgado, M.D., professor and chair of the Dept. of Psychiatry at the Health Science Center, “The need for mental health care professionals in South Texas is immense. Texas has only about half the number of mental health providers per 100,000 residents compared to the national average, and one in 20 South Texans will develop severe mental illness at some time in their life”.
Among the underserved population in South Texas there are very few mental health care professionals who can provide care to the South Texas region and STAR, it is hoped, will help address these issues.
The grant will also aid the Department of Psychiatry in creating a Community Behavioral Healthcare Track in which two psychiatry residents each year will be admitted to this new track within the four year residence program.
The School of Nursing will collaborate on the grant as well, and scholarships will be provided for psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner students.
To view the news article by Rosanne Fohn in its entirety, please click the link below:
More on traveling to Mexico for health care
As a follow up on my earlier post about Texans traveling to Mexico for health care, here are two additional recent articles: one from KENS-5 San Antonio (15 August), another from the Washington Post (18 June). Although both focus on dental care, the Washington Post article refers to a couple of interesting-sounding studies that deal with health care and border residents:
In a recent University of Texas study, 86 percent of low-income El Paso residents surveyed — half of whom were illegal immigrants — said they receive medical care or buy prescription drugs from Mexico. Similarly, a study published in the Pan-American Journal of Health [sic] found that more than 37 percent of uninsured New Mexico border residents get medical care in Mexico.
The second study referred to there appears to be the following:
Escobedo LG, Cardenas VM. Utilization and purchase of medical care services in Mexico by residents in the United States of America, 1998-1999 [Utilización y compra de servicios médicos en México por personas que viven en los Estados Unidos de América, 1998-1999]. Pan American Journal of Public Health May 2006;19(5):300-305.
I have not yet identified the University of Texas study referred to in the Washington Post article.
New Study of Health-Related Quality of Life Among Colonia Residents
A recent article in Social Science & Medicine reports on findings from a study of health-related quality of life indicators among Mexican Americans living in South Texas colonias. “We found that border Mexican Americans living in colonias were of similar mental health status compared to the general population of the United States, but worse off in terms of physical health. Poor education and long-term residency in colonias were predictors of lower physical health. Women reported worse mental health than men. Length of time living in a colonia, co-morbidity status, and perceived problems with access to healthcare was associated with poorer mental health status.”