Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Innovation to spark improved health in Texas’ Hispanic population
For more than 20 years, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has been dedicated to creating access to health care for low-income families and the uninsured in South Texas, including the predominantly rural Hispanic communities in its service area. Through its public-private partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund, Methodist Healthcare Ministries' Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas project is touching the lives of many Hispanics by stimulating local solutions that improve both physical and behavioral health together, such as diabetes and depression.
In 2014, the Social Innovation Fund awarded a grant to Methodist Healthcare Ministries to make region-wide improvements in the identification and treatment of co-occurring behavioral health problems and chronic disease in South Texas. The Sí Texas Project focuses on addressing primary care and behavioral health needs, by integrating behavioral health care services into primary care settings. Models have emerged that include the use of care managers, behavioral health consultants, behavioralists, or consultation models. Referred to as Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) models, these innovative approaches inspire improvements in behavioral health and chronic disease in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy, Kenedy, Brooks, Jim Hogg, Zapata, Duval, Jim Wells, Kleberg and Webb counties – making up the state’s Coastal Bend, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley regions. Eight participating organizations (subgrantees) are putting these models into practice to improve health outcomes in communities with high rates of poverty, depression, diabetes, obesity and associated risk factors. In turn, this project will effectively build a portfolio of IBH solutions that can be scaled and replicated nationwide.