Partners in the Integrated Health Outreach System (IHOS) project, including the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health (SRPH), are opening a new community health clinic in Alton on Tuesday, December 3, at 10 a.m. This new clinic is one of the first products of the IHOS, a $5 million, four-year effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Scheduled to speak are Israel Sagredo, Alton city manager; Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., dean of the School of Rural Public Health; and representatives from partners in the project: Migrant Health Promotion, Planned Parenthood, El Milagro Health Clinic and the Center for Housing and Urban Development. The clinic is located on Dawes Street, off Mile 5 and Conway. This clinic is one of two new Nuestra Clinica Del Valle clinics that will be established through the IHOS project.
“Having clinics located in the two areas we have targeted is central in our integrated health outreach system strategy,” said Jim Burdine, Dr.P.H., principal investigator on the project. “The partnership faced a lot of challenges in getting the clinics off the ground, but we are now one year into the project, and being able to walk into this new clinic site is a big success – not only for the partners, but also for the residents they will serve.”
The project will increase access to care and ultimately health status for approximately 20,000 residents of two areas of colonias in Hidalgo County. There are two major components to this project. One is working with promotoras, or community health workers, who will act as educators and facilitator-advocates, improving access to colonia residents by assisting them with obtaining health care insurance and necessary human services, as well as referrals to El Milagro Clinic and Nuestra Clinica Del Valle clinics in San Carlos and Alton. The other component is the formal establishment of a collaborative relationship among the various health care partners in the project (and additional partnerships to be added over time) so that a more efficient and user-friendly health care system evolves.
The current membership of the project steering committee includes representatives from the A&M Health Science Center’s School of Rural Public Health (SRPH) and South Texas Center, the Texas Department of Health (TDH), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Center for Housing and Urban Development (CHUD) Colonias Program, Nuestra Clinica del Valle, Planned Parenthood, El Milagro Clinic, and Migrant Health Promotion. Other organizations are being asked to join the steering committee as the project progresses.
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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