The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation impacts the health of low-income children and adolescents
Austin, TX – The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation recently awarded El Buen Samaritano $150,000 to help support El Buen’s health care services for youth, children and prenatal patients. The grant, which is on its sixth award year at El Buen, will enable El Buen to continue to operate the Wallace Mallory Clinic at capacity and to hire an additional bilingual family nurse practitioner while positively impacting the health of 1,500 children.
“Our client base is the most vulnerable when it comes to access to health care,” said the Rev. Ed Gomez, executive director of El Buen. “The high costs of health care and the prevalent high rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity in our client population have led us to take preventative measures by reaching out to teens and children.”
According to Healthy People 2010, Hispanics residing in the United States are twice as likely to die from diabetes as Anglos, and Hispanics have higher rates of high blood pressure and obesity than Anglos. Furthermore, the Office of Minority Health indicates that Hispanics ranked behind African Americans and Anglos in having had their blood pressure checked in the preceding two years and cholesterol checked in the preceding five years, a phenomenon that contributes to heart disease and poor health.
“Our holistic approach to health tackles each one of these issues,” Gomez said.
El Buen Samaritano’s Wallace Mallory Clinic serves working-poor Hispanic families in Austin that do not qualify for private or public health insurance. Rather than burdening local emergency rooms, El Buen becomes their primary health provider.
“As the provider of integrated health services, El Buen’s clinic is not only able to support the whole family—from newborns to parents and grandparents,” Gomez said. “But it also provides a holistic approach to health by making available to its patients programs such as health education, nutrition, language education and exercise,” Gomez said.
This funding will also provide support for El Buen’s Combating Childhood Obesity through Nutrition and Exercise Initiative. This initiative is designed to enhance and expand El Buen’s existing activities to promote health and wellness in children and youth and provide a targeted and specific focus on the problem of childhood obesity among its youngest clients.
“A growing number of children are using health and social services at El Buen’s clinic,” Gomez said.
Slightly more than 30 percent of adult patient visits to El Buen’s Wallace Mallory Clinic are prenatal patients.
“Supporting these children before they are born is critical for the long-term health of Austin’s newest citizens,” Gomez said. “Without El Buen and ongoing community support, the health of these women would be dramatically affected by the lack of access to prenatal care.”
The impact of this grant will enable El Buen Samaritano to provide 9,900 patients visits annually, provide immunizations to 500 children a year, reach 750 children with nutrition and exercise classes, allow 400 children ages three to five to participate in nutritional and physical activities at El Buen’s Child Learning Center, allow 150 elementary school children to participate in Cocinemos con los Niños classes, in the Austin Independent School District, and to track children’s body mass index for those whose parents give consent.
For more information, please contact Al Perez, director of health services, at (512) 439-0720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission is an independent 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization committed to transforming lives by engaging the strengths of working-poor Hispanic families to promote their successful participation in society. Since 1987, El Buen has become a beacon of hope in the lives of Austin’s working-poor Hispanic families, helping more than 36,000 people every year. By providing a safety net of programs and services such as integrated health care, English-as-Second-Language education, job readiness skills, social services, health education, leadership training, children’s programs and emergency food assistance, El Buen Samaritano guides working-poor families through the process of gaining self-sufficiency, leading healthier, more productive lives.