Community health workers are a vital part of the Texas A&M Diabetes Education Program. By providing continuous, supportive and effective care for people with diabetes, community health workers are a key component to increasing the quality of care and improving diabetes outcomes in low-income populations.
More than 5 million Texans live in dentally underserved areas, according to 2014 numbers from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Of those individuals, more than 1.5 million did not receive dental services the same year. What makes those figures even more staggering is that the needs of these vulnerable, underserved populations are not limited to dental care. Where oral health is lacking, there also may be unmet medical or psychosocial needs.
Texas A&M pharmacy students, in collaboration with other health professionals, combat preventable diseases by providing free health screenings at Project SHINE (Service & Help through Interprofessional Networking Experience), targeting low-income, border communities in South Texas. The students received a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative to provide free flu shots for the community.