Health Circus Heralds Grand Opening of Madison Health Resource Center

October 20, 2003

Health Circus-Madisonville
October 20, 2003
Contact: Andrea Pool at (979) 458-0773
Office of Communications
School of Rural Public Health
The Texas A&M University System
Health Science Center
Health Circus Heralds Grand Opening of Madison Health Resource Center
The circus is coming! The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center’s School of Rural Public Health and College of Medicine are holding a Health Circus to celebrate the grand opening of the Madison Health Resource Center in Madisonville.
The Health Circus will be held Saturday, October 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Madison Health Resource Center (located in the Professional Building next to St. Joseph Health Center).
Services available at the Health Circus, all provided free of charge, include immunizations (please bring past records if available); healthy child screenings; dental screenings; adult blood pressure checks; psychological and developmental screenings for children up to three years old; health education on such topics as nutrition, childhood development, breast cancer awareness, prenatal care and sexually transmitted diseases; and TexCare/CHIP signup.
In addition to the health activities, fun, circus-themed activities will be available including face painting, a moonwalk, balloon animals, clowns and other booths for children.
In an innovative model that has the potential to revolutionize service coordination across the Brazos Valley, 14 service providers have offices in one building. “The rural areas of our community have resources that don’t get utilized because the health care delivery system is so fragmented,” said Monica Wendel, assistant director of the Community Health Development Program at the A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. “By co-locating providers and coordinating services in Madison County, we are confident that residents will be able to get higher quality services at a lower cost to them and to the service providers.”

The Madison Health Partnership includes community residents, community leaders and service providers, including the 14 who are located in the Health Resource Center. Those 14 are the School of Rural Public Health’s Community Health Development Program, the Brazos and Piney Woods Area Health Education Centers, Audiologist Ronny Baker, the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency (WIC), the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (County Indigent Health Program), the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, the Brazos Valley Telehealth Partnership, Central Texas Mental Health, Madison St. Joseph Health Center, the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of the Brazos Valley, Project Unity, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and the Texas Department of Health.

The partners will offer services such as health education, audiology, maternal/prenatal care, substance abuse counseling and care, mental health services, immunizations, HIV/STD screenings, and public assistance/insurance eligibility screenings and enrollment. Telehealth technology and the anticipated development of a transportation system will provide residents access to specialists and services not available locally.
The Brazos Valley Health Partnership, assisted by the Community Health Development Program, created this health resource center model. Following a comprehensive community health status assessment in 2001, community leaders and organizations participated in task groups to develop recommendations on how to address health issues in the Brazos Valley community.
“The residents of Madison County formed the Madison County Partnership,” said Wendel. “They are providing local support and leadership, and will be able to give feedback to the process. It’s open to all residents.”
The Health Circus is a grassroots program started last year by Texas A&M University Health Science Center students. It is a non-profit traveling health fair that seeks to increase childhood immunization, healthy child screening and child insurance enrollment rates and to encourage the use of the local health care and dental care systems.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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