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TAPPestry Conference Improves Connections for Meld

TAPPestryConfThe TAPPestry Conference is an annual event comprised of teachers, school administrators, parents and professionals who work with special needs children. The conference provides an opportunity for awareness, education, networking and collaboration among attendees to support families with special needs children. In addition to keynote speakers and break out sessions, the conference offers an exhibit area where attendees can interact one-on-one with community partners.

Lisa Gutierrez and Aida Ortiz with MHM’s Parenting Programs, participated as exhibitors at the 2014 TAPPestry Conference. They recruited parents from the event for their Meld Special Parenting Support Groups by sharing the benefits with the parents and their children. In addition, Lisa and Aida networked with over 40 area agencies that provide similar support to special needs families. “The highlight of the event was the networking with other agencies because we are able to bring the information we learned at the conference back to the parents in our groups,” shared Lisa.

“Community outreach is important to ensure that the families who need the Meld parent support programs are aware of the services we offer. When we participate in community events such as TAPPestry, we have the chance to talk about our programs with potential participants face-to-face,” explains Aida. “We are excited to be able to participate in the TAPPestry Conference as part of our annual outreach campaign.” 

For more information about MHM’s Parenting Programs, please contact us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

VITA Mobile Unit visits Wesley Health & Wellness Center

VITA San Antonio is a collaboration of public and private entities dedicated to family and individual financial self-sufficiency. The focal point for this effort is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

The volunteer-based program is comprised of a coalition of local institutions and non-profit organizations who support the program in its mission. The primary goal of VITA is to increase the financial stability of working individuals and families in San Antonio and Bexar county.

VITA’s mobile unit made a two-day appearance at MHM’s Wesley Health & Wellness Center to provide free income tax assistance to taxpayers who make $60,000 or less annually. In addition to free tax assistance, VITA volunteers help ensure taxpayers claim important credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

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Studies have shown that resources that enhance the quality of life can have a significant influence on health outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also cites language/literacy and access to educational, economical, and job opportunities as examples of social determinates of health. “That is why this collaboration with VITA San Antonio makes so much sense for MHM” shares Erinn Copeland-Whitby, Interim Manager of Family Wellness at MHM. Through this partnership, MHM is able to provide a venue in which residents may receive financial education and awareness which, in turn, can have a significant impact on their overall health.

“Making thoughtful and informed decisions about your finances are especially important for lower-income families. Seemingly easy tasks, such as, filing your personal taxes can be daunting without proper instruction or guidance which may lead to an adverse effect on your health. We are proud to provide this assistance to the MHM population through VITA,” explains Arlynn Ellis, Director of Family Wellness at MHM.

Myra Medrano Honored with Lisa P. Nisbet Social Work Leadership Award

Myra AwardMyra Medrano, LBSW, was recently named the recipient of the 2014 Lisa P. Nisbet Social Work Leadership Award given by Methodist Healthcare System and Methodist Healthcare Ministries during National Social Work Appreciation Month.  Sincerity, compassion and strong spiritual values are just a few characteristics used to describe Myra by those who work alongside her each day. She counsels and provides community resources to the clients she sees each day. Myra never gives up looking for options to help her clients succeed. She provides hope for her clients while inspiring them to be accountable for their goals. In addition, she lovingly supports them during each step of their personal journey. “Myra embodies a work ethic that truly represents the heart of social work as well as the Core Values of MHM. We are blessed to have her on our team!” explains Jorge Luna, Social Work Supervisor at MHM.

Myra has served at MHM for more than three years as a Social Worker Case Manager at the Wesley Health & Wellness Center, but her clients know her by much more than her job description—to them, she is a teacher, a mentor and a friend. Myra worked with one mother who was broken in spirit, in need of medical attention and the means to support her three children. A Hurricane Katrina evacuee, life had been hard for this young woman. Myra swept this client up into her loving care and began the diligent process of helping her gain access to resources necessary to change her life. Today, this mother is a college student and has been promoted to manager in her full-time position at a local restaurant.

MHM is very proud of Myra’s accomplishments, as well as the other MHM team members who were nominated for this year’s award including: Debra Burton-Ibarra, LMSW; Kathryn Jones, LCSW-S; Jorge Luna, LMSW; and Nereida Valdez, LMSW.

About the award: Lisa P. Nisbet was hired in 1989 as the first dedicated Oncology Social Worker at a Methodist Healthcare System facility. She was well known for her leadership in the field of social work for cancer patients. As a teen, Lisa fought a battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and she used her experiences to help others. Lisa was an avid learner who approached her work with dedication and a willingness to share. In 2001, Lisa was diagnosed with an incurable cancer of the gallbladder and bile ducts. Six months later, at the age of 38, Lisa lost her battle with cancer, but her legacy continues. Annually, Methodist Healthcare System and Methodist Healthcare Ministries selects a social worker that demonstrates dedication, leadership and outstanding service to be honored with the Lisa P. Nisbet Social Work Leadership Award.

SBHC Celebrates National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month with an Open House

Students perform better when they show up for class healthy and ready to learn. The School-Based Health Alliance also reports adolescents who received counseling services in a school-based health center significantly decreased their absenteeism and tardiness.

The School-Based Health Alliance named the month of February National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. MHM joined the national celebration by hosting an Open House Event at our Schertz Elementary School Based Health Center (SBHC) location.

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“SBHCs lead the way in providing preventive healthcare services for children and adolescents. In communities such as Schertz and Marion these centers are imperative to the health of our youth. The lack of healthcare centers in this rural area is troubling. Our hope, with our two SBHCs, is to fill that void,” explains Marilyn Stanton-White, Director of Clinics and Behavioral Health Services at MHM.

On February 20th, the SBHC at Schertz Elementary opened its doors for an Open House. The Open House provided a chance for SBHC team members to come together to celebrate National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month while meeting with community members to discuss the services provided through the two MHM owned and operated SBHCs. 

‘Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes’ Series in Schertz

Danna Dyess, RNDannaDyess
Wesley Nurse, First United Methodist Church
Seguin, Texas

Did you know, according to the American Diabetes Association®, every seventeen seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes? United States Hispanics are almost two times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently projected that one in three adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. 

I believe education is fundamental in the prevention and treatment of diabetes in our communities. Knowledge about preventive health measures and how to manage individual needs is an important component to a person’s overall wellbeing. This is why I’m excited to continue my partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Guadalupe County through an upcoming educational series. Along with the Institute for Public Health and Education Research, we will offer Schertz area residents a free five-week class called 'Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes'

The educational sessions are open to anyone living with Type 2 diabetes or caring for some who has diabetes. Attendees will learn how to better manage their Type 2 diabetes and how to reduce possible complications. Classes will cover many pertinent topics, including: nutrition; diabetes and exercise; managing glucose; and medications.

Classes will be held at the Schertz United Methodist Church on Mondays starting on March 3, 2014 and will continue until March 31, 2014.

My hope is that participants leave with a better understanding of the disease and, in turn, pass that knowledge on into the community.

Learn more at http://guadalupe.agrilife.org/guadalupe-county-do-well-be-well-with-diabetes/.