Funded partner spotlight: Community Health Centers of South Central Texas, Inc.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. invests in organizations that demonstrate a commitment to meeting an unmet health care need in the community. When we award grants, we look for organizations with a history of providing community-based health care, patient-centered models and that are effectively addressing the social determinants of health. We are committed to having a measurable, systemic impact at the community and regional level, and holding ourselves accountable for these results.
We lovingly refer to grantees as funded partners as this partnership serves as an extension to Methodist Healthcare Ministries' programs and services and reach into the community.
This month we're profiling Community Health Centers of South Central Texas, Inc. (CHCSCT), a nonprofit health care provider. Methodist Healthcare Ministries has partnered with CHCSCT since 1994.
CHCSCT has been providing health services to the people of Gonzales County since 1966. In the time since, it has grown to seven clinic locations in Bastrop, Elgin, Gonzales, Lockhart, Luling, Seguin and Victoria counties. CHCSCT's service area has been designated as a Medically Underserved Area meaning there is a health professional shortage and medically underserved population present. CHCSCT offers unconventional hours at each clinic to meet the needs of their population.
CHCSCT operates with a patient-centered philosophy; primary care is comprehensive, team-based, coordinated, and accessible and focused on quality and safety. The Center has received accreditation through Joint Commission and as a Patient Centered Medical Home.
To date, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has awarded CHCSCT $2,155,183. Grants have supported:
- Dental provider to continue serving people in the rural community who otherwise would not be able to afford oral health care. The dental provider in rural Gonzales recently earned recognition as the "Best Dentist" in Gonzales. This program has been funded since 2004.
- Integrated behavioral health navigators serve as the link to integrated care. An important link to integrating behavioral health services with primary care is the Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC). CHCSCT and Bluebonnet Trails Community Services (BTCS), the local mental health authority, in 2009 realized that they were two organizations with a similar mission. Together, they began working as one to serve the communities they shared. The behavioral health consultant is one of the outcomes of a relationship positively affecting access to high quality integrated services. The BHC links patients referred by the local mental health authority to CHCSCT – a federally qualified health center – or when there is a need CHCSCT to BTCS. The BHC is an integral part of the integrated treatment team who assists the patient in navigating through both systems and connecting staff of both organizations. The patient receives primary medical, dental or behavioral health services during the visit without delay versus being referred for services. This program has been funded since 2015.
- Women's health in rural communities. Studies have shown female residents in rural areas do not routinely seek or receive well woman care; thus, are less likely to obtain screenings for cervical cancer. This health issue particularly affects the Hispanic population. Many report fear as the cause, as a diagnosis could implicate many hardships including surgery, stripping them of their female identity. The program goal is to improve the screening rate through the use of patient navigators at each clinic site to educate female residents and connect them to well-women resources with a licensed vocational nurse educating participants on proactive prevention strategies. This program has been funded since 2015.
"The funding from Methodist Healthcare Ministries has been a blessing allowing CHCSCT to be creative in moving from a treatment model of services to a preventive model of services. We have been able to keep a valuable provider, increase access to care and focus on increasing screenings to women of the communities we serve," explains Henry Salas the CEO of Community Health Centers of South Central Texas.