EHF provides funding, loans and research in $10 million COVID-19 response plan for Texas

El Centro de Corazón clinic in Houston

Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) leaders have invested $10 million in a comprehensive plan to address the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis in Texas. The plan includes emergency grants and loans to help health nonprofits and organizations continue business operations to serve at-risk communities across Texas, plus a statewide research project aimed at identifying what Texans need for an ongoing recovery.

“COVID-19 continues to highlight inequities in our health system and in many underlying community issues related to health,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “Chronic conditions like obesity, asthma, and diabetes that are making COVID-19 so severe for some Texans can’t be prevented or fixed by health care alone. Our focus has always been on improving community health in Texas beyond just the doctor’s office, and this crisis is a clear example of why that’s vitally important.”

As part of the response plan, EHF has awarded $6 million in grants to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and 63 nonprofit clinics and other organizations that are serving at-risk communities in Texas on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

ECHOS food distribution in Houston

“These grant recipients are organizations providing desperately needed services to low-income Texas families who are often at-risk of chronic health issues,” Marks said. “COVID-19 has highlighted why these services are so important for communities in need. And at the same time, many of these organizations are battling severe financial issues plus increased demand for their services. That’s why this funding is aimed at helping them continue their critical work during the ongoing financial and public health crisis.”

EHF’s COVID-19 grants are supporting community clinics serving low-income Texans, behavioral and mental health organizations, nonprofits offering enrollment in health and other benefit programs, organizations promoting early childhood brain development, and groups raising community voice on health equity issues. All of the organizations receiving these COVID-19 grants are current EHF grantees working within the foundation’s strategic plan to improve health, not just health care in Texas. In addition to added demand and additional costs, many of these organizations are also transitioning to telehealth and remote services during the pandemic.

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Along with grant funding, EHF’s COVID-19 $10 million response plan calls for an extensive research project related to COVID-19 similar to EHF’s groundbreaking survey conducted after Hurricane Harvey. The project’s goal will be to provide relief efforts and government leaders with reliable information about Texans’ needs and priorities for ongoing recovery. Other parts of the plan includes an emergency loan program for grantees, technical assistance to help organizations apply for government aid programs, and a pilot program to support those facing social isolation during the ongoing crisis.

Elena Marks on Rice University’s Policy Matters podcast

“Public health events like COVID-19 are experienced even more deeply by low-income communities or those living in a neighborhood that just doesn’t have access to the many different services needed to be healthy,” said Marks. “To do this important work, we know that the organizations and clinics working in these communities and supported by EHF must remain strong and effective both now and in the future.”


EHF’s COVID-19 grant recipients

Family Health Center in Waco

Community Clinics:
These clinics operate on the front lines and are sustaining significant financial losses as a result of decreased reimbursement and increased expenses associated with response to the pandemic. Grants will fund personnel-related costs, equipment, and new and emergency needs in order to continue patient care.

AccessHealth (Fort Bend County)

Avenue 360 Health & Wellness (Houston)

Baylor College of Medicine – Teen Health Clinic (Houston)

CommUnityCare (Austin)

Community Health Network (Alvin)

El Centro de Corazon (Houston)

Family Health Center (Waco)

Genesis PrimeCare (Marshall)

HOPE Clinic (Houston)

Legacy Community Health (Houston)

Lone Star Circle of Care (Austin)

Lone Star Family Health Center (Conroe)

Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) (Bay City)

Northwest Assistance Ministries (Houston)

Palacios Community Medical Center (Palacios)

People’s Community Clinic (Austin)

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (Houston)

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (Tyler and Waco)

Spring Branch Community Health Center (Houston)

St. Paul Children’s Foundation (Tyler)

Tejas Health Care (La Grange)

The Rose (Houston)

Vecino Health Centers (Houston)


Early Childhood Brain Development:
Partners provide programs and services in alignment with EHF’s strategy to improve maternal health outcomes and optimize early childhood brain development and is adapting work to maintain critical supports in response to the pandemic. Grants will fund equipment and new and emergency needs.

Partners in Parenting, Austin


Angelina County & Cities Health District (Nacogdoches)

Episcopal Relief and Development

Nurse Family Partnership (Statewide)

Mama Sana Vibrant Woman (Austin)

Partners in Parenting (Austin)

Rupani Foundation (Houston)

Santa Maria Hostel (Houston)


Enrollment & Benefits Assistance:
These organizations work to enroll individuals and families for health insurance and other benefit programs and are experiencing large increases in demand during the COVID-19 crisis. Grants will fund additional technology, equipment and other related costs for enrollment services and to begin remote assistance for those services.

ECHOS, Houston

The Beacon of Downtown Houston

Boat People S.O.S (Houston)

Casa Marianella (Austin)

ECHOS (Houston)

Every Texan (Austin)

Foundation Communities (Austin)

Memorial Assistance Ministries (Houston)

North Pasadena Community Outreach (Pasadena)

SEARCH Homeless Services (Houston)


Mental & Behavioral Health:
Local mental health authorities, behavioral health organizations, and advocacy groups. Grants will provide personnel and equipment support to allow them to continue providing patient care, including realignment to telehealth services.

Andrews Center (Tyler)

Community Healthcore (Longview)

The Council on Recovery (Houston)

Family Service Center (Galveston)

Integral Care (Austin)

Mental Health America of Greater Houston

Network of Behavioral Health Providers, Inc. (Houston)

Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas (Tyler)

Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas (Port Arthur)

Spindletop Center (Beaumont)

Texana Center (Fort Bend County)


Raising Community Voice:
Partner raises community voice on inequality issues impacting underserved families during the pandemic and is experiencing revenue loss and increased expenses associated with response. Grants will fund personnel related costs and equipment needs to continue serving under-resourced communities.

Austin Interfaith Sponsoring Committee

Avenue Community Development Corporation (Houston)

Communities for Better Health (Houston)

Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin

Gulf Coast Leadership Council (Houston)

Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corporation (Houston)

Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (Houston)

The Immunization Partnership (Statewide)

Young Invincibles (Statewide)


Other organizations:

 BakerRipley (Houston)
Community service organization rapidly responding to maintain services to community members. Grant supports equipment needs to continue serving under-resourced communities.

Children’s Defense Fund (Statewide)
Partner offers systems level advocacy and benefits enrollment service to address access to comprehensive care for underserved populations in pronounced need during the pandemic. Grant supports equipment and personnel-related costs.

Northeast Texas Public Health District (Tyler)
Public health department operates on the front lines and is sustaining significant financial losses as a result of increased expenses associated with response to the pandemic. Grant supports personnel-related costs and equipment.

The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (Statewide)
Partner offers frontline provider training and systems level advocacy to address access to comprehensive care for underserved populations in pronounced need during the pandemic. Grant supports personnel-related costs.