Austin, TEXAS — El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission has been awarded $210,000 grant by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in support of its health care and health education services for uninsured children and families. The grant, which is on its eighth award year at El Buen, will enable El Buen Samaritano to specifically address pediatric and child health in a more preventative fashion through increased primary and pediatric care for women and children, and through family-based health education programs.
“Austin may rank as one of the healthiest cities in America, but this ranking does not necessarily equate into healthy children and families,” said Director of Health Services Al Perez. “Especially for our low-income Latino friends of Austin.”
The most recent studies on the issue of obesity in Latino children all point to the need for early and family-based behavioral changes. Research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 35 percent of Austin children in low-income families are overweight or obese.
The continued partnership between El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation brings increased and improved primary health care services to children, increased and improved pediatric care for babies and family-based health education.
“Most experts believe that changes must start in a child’s home life,” Perez said. “Our programs are substantially presented in a format that will not only change the habits of the children, but also the habits of their families, which in turn will bring about the optimal systematic change we seek.”
Aside from the primary health and pediatric care services offered at El Buen Samaritano, its Healthy Living Program utilizes a holistic model to reach families through programs which focus on healthy lifestyles, incorporating health education, nutrition and cooking classes and exercise classes. Among others, these programs include Cocinemos con los Niños (Let us Cook with the Children), an innovative, fun and educational nutrition class for children ages two through 10 and En Forma y En Familia (In Shape, Among Family), a program which helps children and their families get fit and healthy through nutrition and exercise.
Through these and many other programs, El Buen Samaritano will impact the lives of 1,372 children thanks to its collaboration with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
“We are honored to continue our work with El Buen Samaritano,” said Dr. Aliya Hussaini, head of the health portfolio at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “The on-site clinic and the Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention program have played a very important role for local Hispanic families that are at a higher risk for a variety of health issues such as diabetes and obesity. El Buen’s dedication and its unique approach are making a positive impact on the health of families in Central Texas.”
About El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission
El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission is a 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 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. For more information, visit www.elbuen.org