El Milagro Clinic: Providing Rio Grande Valley residents with a Medical Home
Since inception, MHM has provided nearly $500 million in healthcare services through our clinics and programs, as well as through our partnerships. MHM is proud to partner with organizations that share our mission and organizational objective of delivering healthcare and social services to the least served in the South Texas region. By strengthening other organizations' capacity to provide services, we achieve our overarching goal of increasing access to care.
With a dedication to providing health-related human services to the underserved, MHM welcomed El Milagro Clinic as a funded partner in 2002 in an effort to address the concern for access to care among the uninsured and underinsured population. Located in McAllen, Texas, El Milagro provides Rio Grande Valley residents with comprehensive medical services, with a focus on education and preventative measures. El Milagro’s service area is one of severe poverty and high unemployment with incomes at or below the Federal Poverty Level. The typical patient at El Milagro is monolingual Spanish speaking further complicating the ability to receive quality healthcare services. The demand for access to affordable healthcare services in this area is of crucial importance.
Due to limited access to care, many clients do not have an established physician or thorough medical records. As a result, clients seek treatment to routine illness by way of expensive emergency room visits or by jumping from doctor to doctor for fear of inability to pay balances from previous visits. Consequently, continuity of care and case management is difficult. Conscious of the detriment of this trend, El Milagro works to establish the clinic as a “medical home” for patients to access primary care and address preventive measures. Licensed physicians and personnel see approximately 75 patients a day for routine primary care with additional services spanning from screenings and education to onsite ancillary services such as laboratory testing, and prescription assistance. This all-in-one model has proven powerful as patients express anxiety over being referred out to other health providers in the community to complete their medical needs — especially given the rising cost of gas.
El Milagro offers onsite comprehensive primary health care and mental health counseling along with health education. El Milagro’s professional team embodies a holistic approach to health and wellness where the patient is viewed as an integral part of the team of caregivers. El Milagro’s combined Wellness Center offers exercise and nutrition classes, and programs like music therapy, journaling and creative writing – as illustrated in 'Vidas Cruzadas,' a collection of poetry and essays by women impacted by the program — which compliments the Center's mental health services.
The impact of these services is best depicted by the powerful testimonials of the program's participants — people like Maria Martinez. "This program helps us a lot. We learned to know ourselves more. I began to dig into my mind and remember things that I had forgotten. They show us pictures and [I] learned that everyone sees things differently…our minds are so powerful that we hardly stop and meditate.”
MHM has provided funding to assist El Milagro with the delivery of primary care services and the continuation of their Wellness Center in excess of $2.8 million providing for about 77,000 encounters from 2008-2011, with an anticipated 24,000 more in 2012.
To learn more about El Milagro Clinic, visit their website at http://www.elmilagroclinic.org.