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November 2016
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    By Edlín Maldonado-Fuller, collaborative grants specialist "Financial empowerment services help our patients see the bigger picture, to help them plan for the long term." – Monica Lucero, Behavioral Health and Social Work Supervisor While access to care plays an essential role in helping to improve the overall health of our communities, even greater are the non-clinical factors, such as income and employment. Earlier this year, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. partnered with the Family Service Association of San Antonio's Financial Empowerment Center to offer one-on-one financial counseling to Wesley Health & Wellness Center patients as part of our holistic approach to care. Many times, when patients meet with a Methodist Healthcare Ministries social worker, financial issues and concerns arise. The social work case manager works with the financial empowerment counselor to help patients engage in support services, such as individual financial counseling....

  • 02

    By Janet Crain, RN, Wesley Nurse November is American Diabetes Month® and the beginning of the holiday season! As hard as you've worked to stay on course with managing your diabetes throughout the year, the holiday season has the potential to throw you off. Travel, parties, big meals, snack foods at the office and drinking all create a challenging environment for eating healthy. Add to that the days of travel with little scheduled exercise, and it becomes a real effort to stay on track. "How can I eat healthy during the holidays?" It's one of the most common questions asked by people with diabetes—or anyone who's made a commitment to eating with their health in mind. If you follow these strategies, you can maintain your blood sugar levels and enjoy the parties and gatherings along with everyone else. However, just like everything else with diabetes, you have to take a few extra steps: Eat breakfast or snacks earlier in the day and avoid the idea of sav­ing carbs for the big...

October 2016
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    By Carol Chavez, regionalization & partnership specialist On my first day as a regionalization & partnership specialist for Methodist Healthcare Ministries, I hit the ground running and traveled to Brownsville, Texas, on a Sunday afternoon to attend our Sí Texas Project Convening and Evaluation Learning Collaborative sessions. Throughout the four-hour drive, I kept mentally going over potential topics of conversation. I was excited to meet our funded partners and start developing a rapport. I took that first opportunity to network with key individuals and began building relationships with sub-grantees, executive directors and other associates from partner nonprofits. Nearly a year later that continues to be the foundation of my role: forming long-lasting, valuable and trustworthy relationships with our funded partners and with community members in our 74-county service area in South Texas. Part of my job is to also assist in managing Methodist Healthcare Ministries' Eugene...

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    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...

September 2016
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    A closer look into Methodist Healthcare Ministries' grant-making.By Jane Hevezi, grants specialist I am in a unique position to intimately see how Methodist Healthcare Ministries' funding to nonprofit organizations serves as an extension to the organization's mission of creating access to health care in South Texas. We recently had the privilege of sitting down with one such organization. Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries, a regional resource center located in Boerne, Texas, has been helping transform the lives of their neighbors in poverty for the past 16 years. In 2016, Methodist Healthcare Ministries awarded nearly $83,000 to Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries to support their Family Mentoring Resource Program, a program impacting the lives of underserved individuals and families in the Texas Hill Country. Elements of the program include employment assistance, family and social support, longitudinal case management and mentorship, and resources intended to alleviate...

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    By Deborah Laurents, Wesley Nurse in Elgin, Texas A gentleman I know, Greg Silkenson, has a ministry called "Church on the Street." Greg goes to Veteran's Park almost every Friday and provides breakfast tacos, coffee and juice to anyone who shows up. The ministry usually serves the men who wait there for someone to give them a job. Greg is very faithful, caring and compassionate and has built strong relationships. A few weeks ago, I visited with Greg and the men there. Greg introduced me to Mr. J, a gentleman who receives life-saving health care treatments three days a week in Austin. Mr. J told me his treatments were Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Mr. J. said he rides the bus for $7.00 round trip on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on Saturdays, the bus does not provide transportation. In order to make it to his appointments, he has to pay someone $50.00 to take him. With Mr. J's permission, I called his case manager and asked if Mr. J's treatment days could be changed to Mondays,...

  • 06

    By Edlín Maldonado-Fuller, collaborative grants specialist The United States leads the world in medical research and medical care. This would make you believe we are the healthiest people on Earth. Surprisingly, however, the U.S. isn’t even in the top 25 countries on some of the most important health indicators, like how long we live. We’re behind Bosnia and Jordan! We have the most expensive health care system in the world, yet rate 33rd in quality of care (read more). The majority of our health care costs go to direct care to manage the “downstream” consequences. Not much is invested in the “upstream” factors like housing, education and employment. Yet, years of research tell us good health depends on many things beyond health care. Our ZIP code is a strong predictor of how long we live and of our quality of life. Health care (clinical care) is not the only aspect that determines our health and is not the sole answer to better health. Nonmedical factors play a...

August 2016
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    By Donnelle Storrs, Wesley Nurse As a faith community nurse, I strive to provide compassionate care and consider the spiritual needs of patients while addressing their physical health. I attend Bible studies to meditate on the scriptures, and listen and learn about the Lord without really thinking about the physical body. How amazing is it then to go to a Bible study and have the Lord open my eyes to things I had not seen before? John 9 tells, in my mind, a beautiful story to read. In summary, Jesus and his disciples happen upon a man blind from birth – for ease of reading, we'll call the blind man Bubba. After a short discussion, Jesus spits into the dirt to create mud. He places the mud over Bubba's eyes and instructs him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Bubba follows Jesus' instructions and is healed. Bubba tells his experience to the Pharisees who are incredulous. They ask for Bubba's parents to give testimony, not believing that he was truly blind before meeting Jesus. The...

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    By Abel Garcia, research & community impact analyst I grew up in the Coastal Bend region of Texas in a small town called Premont, about 30 miles south of Alice. Not long after graduating high school, I left town for college and I haven't lived there since. Although I've been gone for over 20 years, I still consider Premont my home. I still have a lot of family there including my father, sister, nieces and a whole bunch of primos, tías and tíos. A handful of friends I went to school with still reside there as well. The city of Premont has a great deal of needs, and since graduating with a Masters in Social Work, I've often been conflicted about living so far away and not directly giving back to my community. Growing up in Premont shaped me as a person; it influenced why I became a social worker. Working at Methodist Healthcare Ministries has helped ease that inner conflict. The work I've been doing to support regionalization efforts in the Coastal Bend will ultimately...

July 2016
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    Methodist Healthcare Ministries Wesley Nurses recently participated in Texas Mission of Mercy - a mobile dental clinic that travels around the state providing basic dental care (including cleanings, fillings, or extractions), free of charge, to uninsured Texans. They provide services without any pre-qualifications; therefore, patients do not have to prove their poverty or residency. The event was held at Brady High School in Brady, Texas, and brought much-needed oral health care to the area. Volunteer dentists (assisted by volunteer dental students, hygienists, and dental assistants) examined and treated 238 patients in attendance. Three Wesley Nurses - Theresa Whitley (Mertzon), Theresa Standage (Kerrville) and Charlotte Johnson (Brady) - served alongside the more than 200 volunteers by registering clients and assisting them with their health assessments. "I am so proud to have been part of this service, especially after listening to patients express how happy they were to be able...

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