Capacity Building Series: Learning About Your Board & Growing Board Fundraising Engagement 

When it comes to getting your board engaged in fundraising, it’s important to consider who is on your board and why they’ve joined. Understanding more about your board members, such as why they are inspired to serve on your board, could indicate how they can support your organization’s fundraising strategies. Learning what inspires people, especially board members, can lead to higher engagement and enthusiasm from your board and cultivate stronger partnerships between staff and board members.

Who is in the seat? How to prepare your board to make impactful and meaningful decisions. 

First, let’s think about who is on your board. Boards are unique and have different dynamics—they vary in size, service term requirements, qualifications needed to serve on a board, communication styles, giving and receiving feedback, emotional intelligence, etc. Consider the diversity of your board when it comes to race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography, personal and professional backgrounds, etc. Does the diversity of your board reflect the community your organization serves? How can the diverse perspectives of board members be utilized to further your organizational mission? Could your board be more diverse? If so, how? These can all be helpful questions to reflect on. Diversity can bring a lot of benefit to the table through knowledge, different perspectives, lived and living experiences, connections, and more.

Every organization has different expectations of board members. For example, boards may have policies regarding minimum financial contributions (100% board giving, for example) or not have any policies at all about fundraising. Be up front about your expectations as your organization continues to recruit for new board members. When new board members join your organization’s board, prepare them for success. This could entail providing your board bylaws (if you have them), implementing a service agreement, and most importantly, providing trainings to board members about their roles and duties, fiduciary responsibilities, fundraising expectations, etc. When conducting the trainings, provide as much clarity and consistency as possible to get everyone on the same page. When it comes to fundraising, also keep in mind that board members who come from corporate backgrounds might need a general education about how nonprofits work and how they are different from for-profits. 

It can also be helpful to think about committees on your board. What are the committees, if any? Does your board have a fundraising/development committee? Having committees can help drive focus, action, and progress toward your objectives.

Why do they care? Aligning with your organization’s board 

Devote time and connect with individual board members to understand why they joined the board. Their passion for the organizational mission is what they have in common with you, your staff and other board members; lean into this shared connection. Board members are natural advocates of the organization and its mission, which organically leads them to engage in fundraising efforts. When board members are having conversations with people about something they care about (your organization), it can feel a lot less like work or a hassle, and more like speaking from the heart.

Creating the Foundation

Once you’ve connected with your board members and built strong relationships, it’s time to lay the foundation for your board’s engagement in fundraising. 

Here are some steps you can follow to build that foundation:

  1. Make sure that all members are clear on the board’s fundraising
  2. Develop a fundraising plan for your organization with input from both board and staff. 
  3. Dispel early on any myths or concerns your board members may have about fundraising.
  4. Be clear that asking for money is not the only fundraising task that board members can be involved in. 
  5. Make the fundraising ask easy by thoroughly preparing your board members and providing them with relevant information they can communicate to prospective donors.
  6. Provide your board members with fundraising training/assistance.
  7. Set up a board development committee with orientation & training about board members’ duties, fiduciary responsibilities, fundraising, etc.
  8. Provide each board member with a concrete opportunity to contribute to the organization’s fundraising efforts.

Check out the board vs. staff responsibility checklist in this resource below from Community Change! It could help your organization gain more role clarity between board and staff members. Sources: and Community Change

You might also want to consider what your policies for board members are when it comes to board member donations/contributions. There are at least two common issues with this type of policy because it can:

  1. Exclude people with fewer financial resources, who might not be able to meet that minimum, from serving on the board.
    1. Limit the amount given by board members who are affluent and may interpret that minimum as the maximum. A board member who may have been prepared to give $10,000 might see a $1,000 minimum and only make the minimum required donation. Source:

Remember: your board members are fundraisers, advocates, supporters, and advisors that champion your mission. Given that there is a natural partnership that boards and nonprofit staff can maximize, fundraising is simply an extension of that partnership. Getting your board engaged in fundraising might not always be easy, but it can be as simple as starting there.

Between County Roads – A Reflection on the Health Hardships and Resilient People of South Texas Colonias

 The Rio Grande Valley is a vibrant hub of US-Mexico hospitality. The distinct foods, rich bi-national culture, and remarkable people create an inviting atmosphere where residents and travelers alike feel at home. Towering palm trees span the terrain between Raymondville to Rio Grande City; painting a picture-perfect view across the four counties that comprise the region. However, behind its tropical setting and charming communities, there is a different picture of the Rio Grande Valley some may not always see.

Resilient People, Structural Inequity

Isolated from nearby towns are rural subdivisions referred to as ‘colonias;’ found throughout unincorporated areas along the Texas-Mexico border. Colonias are home to families with mixed immigration status; children may have a United States citizenship, but their parents may not. While their homes vary in size and appearance, families who live in colonias experience similar challenges. A history of insufficient infrastructure and investment have created barriers that impact health and well-being across a variety of conditions. Deteriorating roads make transportation difficult and sometimes impossible. There is a perpetual concern over life-threatening flooding due to a lack of proper drainage systems. As night falls, most colonias are left in the dark with no streetlights to illuminate the area. The lack of adequate living conditions, medical insurance, and nearby healthcare facilities have contributed to further disparities and years of health inequities. Over the years, the number of colonias has grown, especially near border communities like the Rio Grande Valley. As these problems persist, national organizations like Grantmakers in Health are focusing their attention on the resilient people living there.

Informing National Philanthropy

For more than 40 years, the nonprofit organization has been an arm of support to health funders across the country; including Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. This partnership of philanthropy creates access to a plethora of educational resources; including a network of organizations that fund programs improving the health of all people. The Board of Directors for Grantmakers In Health (GIH), travels to different regions across the country annually to gain insight on key issues affecting communities and cultures; they also meet with different organizations and learn about available tools, resources, and share best practices. Oanh Maroney-Omitade—Vice-President for Organizational Excellence at Methodist Healthcare Ministries and GIH board member explained, “for this year’s retreat the GIH Board was interested in seeing and learning first-hand more about the unique healthcare situations and solutions along the US-Mexico Border as it has been a prime topic in news and politics”. This prompted the most recent trip to the Rio Grande Valley which included visits to colonias. 

A Captivating Culture

Some of Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ executive team joined GIH board members on their trip, which began with a stop at the Museum of South Texas History, in Edinburg. Dotted with designs of Spanish-tile and wrought-iron sculptures from local artists; the museum offers a curated picture into the past, with exhibitions and historical artifacts showcased across its campus. Francisco Guajardo, Ph.D. is the museum’s Chief Executive Officer; he welcomed the group and enlightened them with rich stories and facts emblematic of South Texas history and culture. Along with fellow partners, the Knapp Community Care Foundation and the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation; Methodist Healthcare Ministries invited local funded partners to meet with GIH board members. The museum’s hospitality extended into the early evening as thoughts and strategies were exchanged amongst groups. Jennifer Knoulton, Vice President for Community Health & Wellness for Methodist Healthcare Ministries said about the gathering, “We need to challenge, strengthen, and learn from one another – fostering that level of relationship takes time and intention”.

Pillars of Advocacy

As the trip rippled into the next morning, the visiting representatives traveled to the town of San Juan to meet with staff members from La Unión del Pueblo Entero, otherwise known as LUPE. Murals are seen throughout the property, illustrating a journey from oppression to liberation. The organization’s roots were planted by labor rights activist, César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in 1989 with a shared vision of people working together to impact change. Since then, LUPE has grown in their mission to assist working-class and immigrant families; especially those who reside in colonias. LUPE’s Executive Director, Tania A. Chavez Camacho explained how the organization assists people through social services and English classes and extends to fighting deportation and pushing for adequate streetlights and drainage systems in colonias, but the problems remain; something the GIH group was able to witness firsthand.

Off the Paved Path

LUPE staff invited them to tour nearby colonias; the path took them off major highways and onto rural roads not often travelled. In the small town of Donna, make-shift signs point to a way of life for colonia residents. There are no nearby grocery chains or restaurants in sight; instead, a local business simply called ‘The Little Store,’ was bustling with customers getting their breakfast tacos and items for the day. As the group arrived, they were welcomed with warm smiles and curious onlookers outside the Little Store. As the crowd convened around a set of picnic tables, the staff from LUPE introduced a group of women who live within the colonia. They spoke in Spanish and opened up about their day-to-day lives and the hardships they have endured due to the poor conditions outside their doors. One woman pointed to the countless stray dogs roaming the streets and expressed concern over the growing population. Another woman shared her frustration over the lack of nearby parks or playgrounds, and the limitations it creates for children eager to play. Cracks and craters can be found around every corner of the gravel; it is a regular problem for the colonia, but residents are worried it has become a barrier for emergency vehicles. Through local testimonies the GIH group gained a deeper understanding not only of the obstacles colonia residents experience, but of their welcoming and resilient spirits. 

A Collective Hope

The next colonia was just outside the city of Alamo. A muddied road laid out the path to the next destination; a home that sat at the curb of the colonia. The gate to the chain-linked fence was open and a group of colonia residents and LUPE staff welcomed the visitors onto the property. They gathered under a small canopy and were introduced to the homeowner along with her son. She spoke of the obstacles experienced within her community; something the group had become more familiar with during their trip. Despite the living conditions, she maintained a sense of pride in her home. As any good host would, she prepared refreshments for her guests in anticipation of their arrival. The group was also introduced to a young woman and learned of her plans to pursue a college degree, and her mother, whose overwhelming joy brought her to tears. The camaraderie of the colonia was evident as they shared in each other’s hardships, happiness, and dreams for a better future. “What stands out to me is that colonia residents are not in a situation where they need or want someone to ‘save them’. There is pride of place, of homeownership, and these tax-paying community members want spaces where their voices are heard and acted on. The generosity is astounding, and focusing on their unique strengths and assets is essential in addressing the structural barriers within colonias”, said Knoulton.

A New Outlook

Following the tour, the GIH group departed to their respective areas of the country, carrying newfound knowledge and shared experiences. The insights they gained helped to shed light on different perspectives, from people living within colonias. The investment into learning about the Rio Grande Valley will serve GIH in their mission, and benefit communities faced with similar challenges. Methodist Healthcare Ministries is thankful for its valuable partners and their work toward healthier communities. The bonds created during the GIH tour will continue to strengthen as the path toward health equity is paved forward.

The Rio Grande Valley is booming in business and commerce, with no signs of slowing down. For colonia residents, they are a critical part of that economic and communal fabric of hospitality and culture that makes the RGV so unique. Yet, more work lies ahead for health care funders like GIH and community advocates to address the systemic inequities that persist. Each day, colonia residents are met with a unique set of adversities because of where they live and the scarcity of resources. The focus and support from philanthropic organizations is crucial to these communities striving for change. However, colonia residents continue to navigate through the barriers and bridge opportunities that allow them to amplify their voices. Now, it’s time for the listening to turn into deepened layers of support that allow colonia residents to flourish and thrive.

The Essence of American Heart Month: A Wesley Nurse Perspective

As we close out the month of February, let’s not skip a beat when it comes to our hearts. American Heart Month is a time health workers, advocates, and organizations emphasize the importance of our cardiovascular health. Think of your heart, blood vessels, and blood circulation working together as a system; they all rely on each other.. However, challenges exist for many people across the country.

Between 2017 and 2020, the American Heart Association reported 48.6 percent of United States adults experienced a form of cardiovascular disease or CVD. The term refers to several ailments like high blood pressure, heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Health conditions, pertaining to obesity, diabetes and blood cholesterol levels can increase the chances of CVD; yet most of the risk comes down to our day-to-day decisions. A poor diet, tobacco use, and lack of exercise are often associated with CVD.

We can mitigate risk factors by making conscious decisions and efforts to improve our health. Put an end to tobacco use, manage your blood sugar, exercise regularly and opt for a balanced diet; think of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.

While it’s critical we focus on making better decisions; we should not forget our spiritual and emotional health. As a Wesley Nurse, I recognize the impact these aspects have on our hearts. The heart is not just a muscle that pumps blood; instead, it’s often considered the place of feelings and thoughts. I urge everyone to listen to their hearts in both the physical and spiritual sense. Some people seek out prayer or meditation, while other may want to talk to a counselor or enjoy time to themselves.

The journey to achieving optimal health will look different for everyone, but it begins by taking the first step. If you are having trouble; let’s talk about it. If you have a solution that could help others; I encourage you to share. American Heart Month may be ending, but it’s never too late to show others, and yourself a little more love.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Heart disease – Symptoms and causes. Retrieved from
  2. American Heart Association. (2024). Heart and Stroke Statistics – 2024 At-A-Glance. Retrieved from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). American Heart Month 2024 Toolkits. Retrieved from

Funded Partner Spotlight: Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA).

Since 1995, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. has provided over $1.4 billion to improve the well-being of the least served through its clinics, programs, and strategic partnerships. Methodist Healthcare Ministries is proud to partner with organizations that share similar missions and organizational objectives of increasing access to care for uninsured and economically disadvantaged individuals and families across South Texas.  

The Rio Grande Valley’s diverse and binational population is at a crossroads. With over 2.67 million residents in the area, the region surpasses both San Antonio and Austin in population. Despite being one of the largest urban areas in Texas there is a lack of a centralized municipal government which means that resources allocated to the area are often divided among dozens of cities across the region. During the COVID-19 Pandemic this decentralization was even more evident as the unemployment rate in the region increased to 17.3%, far exceeding the statewide rate of 13%, according to the Texas Tribune. However, since 2020 the unemployment rate in the area has dropped to 5.2% in Hidalgo County (the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area) and 4.9% in Cameron County (Brownsville-Harlingen) as of October 2023, according to USA Today.

Part of the effort that is driving this success is the work of the Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement (VIDA). The organization promotes workforce development programs and provides  skilled unemployed or underemployed individuals with connections to employers looking for various types of skilled labor.

 Established in 1995 by Valley Interfaith and industry leaders, VIDA addresses the disconnect between Rio Grande Valley residents and employer demand for skilled labor by providing comprehensive workforce training that better equips program participants to pursue a more gainful means of employment.

For the first time, Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) is partnering with VIDA to address health equity and the social determinants of health (SDOH). One of these priority areas includes education and workforce development, which overlap with VIDA’s mission and vision.

As an MHM partner receiving 2023 grant dollars, VIDA recently received a capacity building grant of $60,000 to hire a Development Director.  The Development Director will strengthen and cultivate new partnerships as well as identify new sources of funding to support the organization and its programs.

“VIDA was developed as a workforce development intermediary where to help industries fill those jobs that were in high demand evolving with technological advances and at the same time give residents of our region more opportunity to upskill and achieve economic mobility,” said Felida Villarreal, President and CEO of VIDA.

Today, VIDA builds institutional relationships in the Rio Grande Valley that links employers to unemployed and/or underemployed residents and uses these relationships to create necessary support services for their students such as career guidance, intensive case management and financial assistance.

“VIDA offers a variety of wraparound student support services that vary from student to student because it’s very customized to the individual’s needs,” Villareal said. “We can provide anything from tuition, tools, transportation or childcare assistance as well as financial assistance for anything they may need in their career journey to ensure program persistence and completion.”

Prior to joining the program participants typically earned $8 an hour but graduates earn an average annual salary of $47,756. VIDA is opening doors to better employment opportunities that include higher salaries, access to employer sponsored healthcare insurance and established career paths with room for growth.

“That drastic change and being able to achieve that economic prosperity, has a tremendous impact on their lives and that of their families,” Villarreal said. “There’s just no limit to the potential and professional growth from that point on. We’ve even seen some of our graduates become successful business owners.”

According to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, the Rio Grande Valley is currently experiencing a shortage of 6,000 nurses across the region which puts further strain on existing medical staff and their ability to serve patients. In response to this, VIDA recently made national headlines as one of 25 organizations across the nation to be awarded the $3 million Nursing Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This will be key in providing services for students pursuing careers in the medical field and alleviating the shortage of nurses in the area.

“We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to be selected as a MHM grant recipient,” said Villarreal “We’ve already expanded our fundraising division and are seeking additional opportunities to grow our programs, serve more students and provide additional services to our community.”

Learn more about VIDA and their programs through their website:

November 2023 Calendar of Events – WHWC

Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Wesley Health & Wellness team offers a wide variety of programs and classes designed for every skill level! All classes are free and open to the public. Registration is required, call (210) 922-6922 to register.

Click here to download a copy of our Wesley Health & Wellness Center – Calendar of Events for November 2023.


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Early Voting Begins in Texas

Early voting in Texas begins today, October 23, for fourteen amendments to the Texas constitution. Each one is the result of legislation passed during the 88th Texas Legislature earlier this year.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries advocated for several of the propositions on the ballot. They positively impact nonmedical drivers of health, improving the health of Texans and the patients we serve.

Proposition 2  Childcare facilities

This amendment allows cities and counties to provide a property tax exemption for childcare providers if a minimum of 20% of their students receive subsidized childcare services. The exemption must be at least 50% of the property’s appraised value and does not apply to school district taxes or home-based childcare providers who have already received a homestead exemption.

Proposition 4 – Property taxes / school funding

This amendment lowers school district property taxes. Specifically, the amendment:

  • Increases the amount of homestead exemptions from $40,000 to $100,000.
  • Releases an additional $7.1 billion appropriated to school districts during the 88thTexas Legislature to lower property tax rates.
  • Imposes a temporary 20% cap on increases in the taxable value of appraisals for commercial, mineral and residential properties that do not receive a homestead exemption and are worth less than $5 million. The cap expires in 2026.
  • Expands the pool of business that do not pay the state franchise tax.
  • Allows voters to elect three members to the local appraisal district board of directors. (The members are currently appointed).

Proposition 6 – Texas Water Fund

The 88th Texas Legislature created the Texas Water Development Board to oversee projects throughout the state recognizing clean water is essential for healthy communities. This amendment creates a fund within the state treasury, endowed with $1 billion to begin to address the state’s significant water issues.

  • A minimum of 25% of the fund is dedicated to the New Water Supply Fund for Texas, supporting projects to increase the state’s water supply from nontraditional sources such as saltwater desalination.
  • The remaining 75% is for the Texas Water Fund which aids in infrastructure repairs, obtaining new water sources, mitigating water loss at existing facilities and ensuring future water availability.

Proposition 8 – Broadband infrastructure fund

The Texas Broadband Development Office estimates 3 million Texas households do not have broadband internet connections and an additional 5 million households have unreliable connections. Most live in rural areas. The amendment provides $1.5 billion to develop and finance broadband, telecommunication and 911 services as well as provide matching funds for federal grants from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program.

Proposition 10 – Medical and biomedical products 

This amendment exempts biomedical equipment and inventory when calculating a facility’s appraised value for property tax purposes. All taxing entities are included (city, county, school districts and special taxing districts) in the exemption. The rationale for giving the exemption is more manufacturers will choose to locate their business in Texas with a more favorable tax situation.

For more information about any amendments on the ballot, including arguments for and against each amendment, visit the nonpartisan voter guides published by The Texas Tribune or the League of Women Voters.

Everyone is encouraged to exercise their right to vote. Early voting runs through Friday, November 3. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. To find your polling location and hours, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

Funded Partner Spotlight: Community Council of South-Central Texas, Inc.

Since 1995, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. has provided over $1 billion to improve the well-being of the least served through its clinics, programs, and strategic partnerships. Methodist Healthcare Ministries is proud to partner with organizations that share similar missions and organizational objectives of increasing access to care for uninsured and economically disadvantaged individuals and families across South Texas.  

In the months following November 1963, just after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson carried on Kennedy’s plans to alleviate the burdens of Americans living in poverty. Later the next year, Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act, which established and funded Community Action Agencies and Programs. By 1968, there were over 1,600 agencies across America serving the country at a local level. 

One of these Community Action Agencies, the Community Council of Comal County was established in 1965. In 1981, the change in funding from the federal government to state Block Grant funding led the organization to be renamed the Community Council of South-Central Texas (CCSCT).  

Almost 60 years later, CCSCT has expanded to serve 31 counties across South, Central and West Texas with the objective of promoting and delivering much needed services to low-income families in their service area. Case by case, CCSCT uses their network of over 1,000 partner nonprofits and programming to help families on their journey to becoming fully self-sufficient.  

In 2023, Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) provided $100,000 in grant funding to CCSCT to fund their housing support programs across their service area. The grant also supported the renovation of a new public outreach facility in Karnes County, where unhoused individuals can come for connections to resources, as well as use printing and computer services.  

“It (the grant funding) has been instrumental in providing assistance to low-income families when funding is low or when we are unable to serve that population,” Carol Delgado, program officer at CCSCT, commented. “MHM funding has allowed us to provide assistance that we normally wouldn’t be able to provide.”  

The grant provided by MHM will also, in part, go towards the building of a new outreach facility in Karnes County with the hopes of providing basic resources such as a computer lab, breaking down transportation barriers, as well as directing clients to much-needed programs offered by CCSCT.  

 “A homeless person or unhoused person is not going to be able to travel to our Seguin office or our Jourdanton office so they can go through the front door [at our Karnes office],” Kenneth Loy, Program Manager and Veteran’s Resource Coordinator, commented. “It allows people down there to have a local place to help address an unhoused issue.”  

One of the programs CCSCT provides is home and rental assistance in the form of the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program (TBRA) which offers security and utility deposits as well as rental subsidies for up to 24 months while the household engages in a self-sufficiency program. Securing safe and secure shelter as well as food and water is key to facilitating access to healthcare and other needs for unhoused populations.  

 CCSCT also provides support for eligible former members of the military through their Veteran’s Financial Assistance program. The program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veteran’s Commission Fund for Veteran’s Assistance and provides short-term services such as one-time utility payments and one-time rent or mortgage payments.  

The ERA2 program is an initiative set forth by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to assist eligible families with financial assistance and housing stability. It’s through this program that CCSCT has been able to receive funding to help transition families and individuals out of homelessness and into permanent living spaces. CCSCT has seen a 40% success rate with transitioning eligible households from temporary and semi-permanent living areas and into permanent housing.  

“The two basic needs that people look for are food and shelter,” Loy said. “And so, when you address food and shelter, you allow a person the freedom to do other things like pursue healthcare.”   

If you or a loved one would like to contact the Community Council of South-Central Texas, visit their website and find a location near you to get in contact with a representative today.  

CCSCT Website:  


Celebrating our 2023 SA Worx Summer Interns

For some recent high school graduates, the summer before starting college is filled with days at the pool, spending time with friends, and maybe preparing for their first time living away from home. For Bobbie Campos, oral health intern, summer is an opportunity to learn, grow, and serve her community. Campos is currently completing her second internship with the oral health team at Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Dixon Health & Wellness Center as part of the 2023 SA Worx program, where she and other interns are developing lifelong transferrable skills that they can take to any career.  

The SA Worx program connects students across San Antonio to internship opportunities with organizations working in their areas of interest. It is an industry-led program that provides educators with student resources to pass along while also creating a reliable source of strong talent across multiple industries here in San Antonio. 

MHM has participated in the SA Worx program for over 7 years and continues to be the program’s largest partner with over 28 interns housed in facilities across San Antonio for the 2023 program. Interns at MHM can select an area of interest such as oral health, behavioral health or recreation and work on-site with MHM team members serving our patients and clients.  

Interns are also encouraged to attend several workshops that further enhance their experience at MHM while providing professional development opportunities for the students. Workshops covered topics such as Gallup Strengths, where interns learn more about their strongest qualities and how to use them for professional growth.  

“It has made me look at my strengths in our strength finders’ workshop, we learn different strategies that help you realize everything that you want to be and everything you’re already good at,” Savanna Rodriguez said. “So that way, you can grow in that area.” 

Rodriguez is currently completing her second internship at MHM as a Behavioral Health Intern, an opportunity that has allowed her to grow personally and professionally over the years.  

“I have anxiety going in crowds and just sparking up a conversation. But here I’ve learned that you don’t have to be scared because everybody is very welcoming here specifically.” Rodriguez said. “But even if they’re not, I’ve learned that you can be that welcoming person and you can spark up the conversation when somebody else feels nervous.”  

MHM’s Talent Management team, consisting of Brittani Dmitriev and Diane Rodriguez, have facilitated the partnership with SA Worx and the internship program. Together, they manage the interns by department and facilitate learning opportunities throughout the duration of the program.  

“Seeing the interns that returned from last year to this year, you can definitely see the difference,” Dmitriev said. “They’re very confident in themselves and in the work that they’re doing. It’s giving them experience and it’s also helping them personally just grow, from teenager to young adult.”  

The interns are now completing their final week in the internship program as schools preparing to reopen for the upcoming school year. While most of the interns will be returning to complete high school, Bobbie Campos will be starting her first semester at Palo Alto College’s dental program.  

“It has inspired me to go into this occupation. I knew I wanted to be in the dental field, but I didn’t know which part.” Bobbie said. “So just getting the experience in the different areas made my mind so set on being a dental hygienist.”  

Are you or someone you know interested in the SA Worx program and interning at MHM? Visit the link below to learn more about the SA Worx program and how you can apply for the next cohort: 


Men’s Health Awareness Month – One Patient’s Access to Care Journey

June is recognized as Men’s Health Month across the nation and it’s a time to encourage men everywhere to take a proactive approach to their health and wellbeing. With over 13.2% men over the age of 18 considered to be in poor health, according to the CDC, it’s important to create a space to share stories and resources that emphasize the holistic wellbeing of the men in the communities we serve.

At Methodist Healthcare Ministries, we have a variety of programs and resources to help men along their health journeys. One story from our Wesley Nurse program is a great example of how men can utilize these resources to get access to care for unique issues they face.

On Wednesday nights, Marlene Anders, our Wesley Nurse in Travis County goes to the Lakeway Food Bank where she works with community members to provide food for low-income individuals in her area. As the MHM Wesley Nurse in that area for over nine years, she’s built a network that provides help to each other when needed.

“It’s a system that I just find remarkable because I collaborate with them and sometimes people will come in and say that if you can help them with this, they’ll help you with that,” Marlene said. “It’s a very give and take relationship and it works very well.”

Although Lakeway City is a higher income area with an average household earning around $143,000 per year, according to the U.S. Census (2017-2021), there are still what Marlene calls “pockets of poverty” where people live without access to clean water, plumbing or even showers. These communities are around HWY 62 and Apache Shores where inhabitants are often unseen and sometimes unwanted.

Marlene met one of these community members through working with the Food Bank and happened into a conversation she was not expecting. The man had been a client of the food bank for several years, but she had not had the chance to meet with him yet.

“My badge said I was an RN so he started up this conversation and I could tell he was anxious. I could tell he was in some kind of pain and so he just kind of blurted out his problem,” Marlene said. “And it took me back a little bit because that’s one issue I haven’t come up against and it had me going through all of my knowledge from school.”

The patient noted a strange pain in his groin and trouble urinating which after diagnosing as a testicular hydrocele, Marlene recommended that the patient immediately go to an emergency room.

The patient, who did not have insurance, worked with Marlene to apply to the Travis County Medical Access Program or MAP. Through this process, Marlene also found out that the patient lived in a small lean-to shed in Apache Shores where he did not have access to toilet or shower facilities. The patient also had no access to transportation, making access to care much more difficult. After this process, she met with the patient at Seton Emergency Room after arranging transportation and prior paperwork.

“They ended up calling the security guard on him because they thought he was a homeless person,” Marlene explained. “This is what he’s up against.”

From there, Marlene worked with the patient to undergo an operation that would temporarily relieve the pain and other symptoms by negotiating with the clinic staff to bring down the out-of-pocket costs for the procedure to $84 which she paid using Wesley Nurse special funds. While the procedure was only temporary, she’s still working with the patient to acquire personal transportation and access to a more permanent solution to his health issue.

“It’s an ongoing process,” Marlene said. “Not anything that happens overnight, because they didn’t get into their situation overnight either.”

Marlene, who has been with MHM for over 26 years since she started in 1997, has worked with many patients who face extreme poverty and the biases that come with it. There are over 3.7 million people in Texas living at or below the poverty line and over 5 million individuals without health insurance according to data from Every Texan, formerly the Center of Public Policy Priorities.

“We’ve been talking a lot about health equity and the state where everybody can attain their full potential of health no matter what their circumstances.” Marlene said, reflecting on the experience with the patient. “But we’ve always been doing it. I think that what I do now is the same as what I did back in 1997.”

At MHM, we approach health from a holistic perspective that considers the entire wellbeing of our patients and communities. For more information on men’s health and resources to share, view the links below.

Additional Resources:

May 2023 Calendar of Events – WHWC

Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Wesley Health & Wellness team offers a wide variety of programs and classes designed for every skill level! All classes are free and open to the public. Registration is required, call (210) 922-6922 to register.

Click here to download a copy of our Wesley Health & Wellness Center – Calendar of Events for May 2023.


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2023 May Calendar-MHM_Page_2

March 2023 Calendar of Events – WHWC

Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Wesley Health & Wellness team offers a wide variety of programs and classes designed for every skill level! All classes are free and open to the public. Registration is required, call (210) 922-6922 to register.

Click here to download a copy of our Wesley Health & Wellness Center – Calendar of Events for March 2023.  


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2023 March Calendar (Comm) (1)_Page_2

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Jaime Wesoloski

President & Chief Executive Officer

Jaime Wesolowski is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Methodist Healthcare Ministries. A healthcare executive with three decades of leadership experience, Jaime is responsible for the overall governance and direction of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. Jaime earned his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Xavier University, and his Bachelor’s of Science from Indiana University in Healthcare Administration. As a cancer survivor, Jaime is a staunch supporter of the American Cancer Society. He serves as Chair of the American Cancer Society’s South Texas Area board of directors and he was appointed as Chair to the recently created South Region Advisory Cabinet, covering eight states from Arizona through Alabama. Jaime believes his personal experience as a cancer survivor has given him more defined insight and compassion to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.