EHF invests $10 million to strengthen health system & community-based clinics

Grants support EHF’s effort to ensure low-income, at-risk and rural Texans have access to a wide range of affordable health services.

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EHF is making a $10 million investment to strengthen community-based clinics and organizations to provide a wider range of health services and go beyond the doctor’s office to identify and prevent the underlying causes of poor health.

The investment is the first step in EHF’s new five-year effort that includes a re-focused goal to strengthen systems of health in Texas to not only become more accessible and equitable, but also improve health, not just healthcare.

“If all the health system offers is more medical procedures, then it isn’t addressing the majority of factors that determine health,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “Clinics are key change agents to move health resources toward community prevention. This investment is helping clinics put some of those plans in motion.”

EHF’s $10 million health system investment includes:

  • $1 million to The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston to transform the system of reproductive health by changing practice within clinics to improve access to effective contraceptive services for low-income women in Harris County.
  • $892,217 to CommUnity Care in Austin to expand a team-based model that includes community health workers, pharmacists, dieticians and physicians. The team works with patients battling chronic diseases and proactively identifies gaps in patients’ care before they become sick. A smaller pilot project for the team-based approach has shown improved health outcomes and has substantially lowered the cost of care.
  • $400,000 to Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network in Brazoria County to develop a fully-integrated primary care and behavioral health system at multiple clinics in Brazoria and Galveston counties.

Expanding health insurance coverage
Along with strengthening community-based clinics, EHF’s new investment also includes grants for eight organizations that are expanding health insurance coverage and other benefits for Texans with the least resources. These grantees enroll eligible Texans in programs and follow up to ensure that they receive health services.

“Low-income and vulnerable populations are less likely to have health insurance, leaving them at greater risk,” Marks said. “True access to health services requires a system of affordable coverage, ideally through a comprehensive health insurance plan. People who are insured have greater access to care and have better health outcomes, including lower mortality rates.”

Projects include organizations working with homeless people in Houston, Vietnamese groups across the Texas Gulf Coast, low-income families in Austin, and many others.


Other EHF grants include:
Strategy: Support Change in Healthcare Financing

  • $300,000 to Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin to provide coordination and technical support to outreach and health insurance enrollment providers. Also, to provide education to diverse Texas stakeholders and leaders on threats to the healthcare safety net.
  • $165,000 to Lone Star Circle of Care in Greater Austin to identify the key areas needed to ready the clinic’s service, infrastructure and processes to transform to value-based payment models


Strategy: Support Comprehensive Clinics

  • $25,000 to Austin Community Foundation
    To support the Texas Mental Health Collaborative Fund, a statewide coalition of foundations committed to funding large-scale mental health projects
  • $150,000 to Genesis PrimeCare in Harrison County
    To integrate behavioral health services into its primary care clinic in Marshall
  • $856,104 to El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission in Austin
    To support patient navigation services at the Mallory Wallace Clinic and to continue building organizational infrastructure and financial sustainability.
  • $160,050 to El Centro de Corazon in Houston
    To support and strengthen infrastructure by improving the clinic’s quality management program and enhancing the integration of preventive health-related services into the community.
  • $180,000 to Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston
    To support an ongoing capacity building initiative and provide general operating support for highly-integrated primary, behavioral, and social health services for homeless Houstonians.
  • $250,000 to Lone Star Circle of Care clinics in Bastrop and Williamson counties
    To increase the ability to provide care management for patients with chronic disease and connect patients to specialty care and social services.
  • $75,000 to Wellness Pointe in Gregg County
    To implement medical case management for high-risk obstetric patients and children with chronic medical conditions.
  • $300,000 to Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) in Wharton County
    To establish a new clinic site in Wharton providing integrated clinical care.
  • $300,000 to Northwest Assistance Ministries in Harris County
    To provide comprehensive pediatric health services, intensive case management, and enhanced asthma services in a clinic that’s engaging its community about prevention and the non-medical factors that determine health.
  • $100,000 to Palacios Community Medical Center
    To provide operating expenses to expand access, add behavioral health services, and additional specialty care service.
  • $350,000 to People’s Community Clinic in Austin
    To provide general operating support and expand and strengthen the clinic’s ability to navigate their patients to specialty care.
  • $300,000 to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc.
    To improve access to high-quality, comprehensive reproductive health services and preventive care to low-income, medically underserved individuals in the Gulf Coast region of Texas.
  • $300,000 to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
    To provide high-quality, affordable reproductive healthcare to low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients in health centers in Waco and Tyler.
  • $250,000 to Special Health Resources for Texas in Cherokee and Gregg counties
    To provide operating funds to support the expansion of integrated behavioral health services to rural communities.
  • $100,000 to Teen Health Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston
    To provide primary, reproductive, specialty and behavioral healthcare to students in Houston’s Gulfton community through the clinic at Wisdom High School.
  • $174,400 to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston
    To pilot and demonstrate financial stability of a model to embed behavioral health service in private pediatric practices serving Medicaid or CHIP-enrolled patients and to share the model broadly to encourage adoption by additional practices and community clinics.
  • $350,000 to The Rose in Houston
    To provide a continuum of breast healthcare for medically underserved women throughout nine counties and to explore the feasibility and begin operations of preventive/primary healthcare services on The Rose’s Mammography Health Coach.
  • $100,000 to VCare Clinics in Chambers, Galveston and Harris counties
    To continue support for a dental care clinic to help achieve financial sustainability.
  • $520,000 Vecino Health Centers in Houston
    To provide support to expand and improve a quality improvement program which will result in better patient outcomes.
  • $300,000 to Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas
    To increase the capacity of comprehensive, community-based clinics to provide client-centered, reproductive health services.

Strategy: Strengthen Rural Health

  • $440,000 to Andrews Center in Smith County
    To strengthen the ability of the local mental health authority to operate effectively by making improvements in revenue cycle, financial, practice management, and organizational culture change.


Strategy: Expand Health Coverage & Benefits

  • $130,000 to Boat People S.O.S. in Houston
    To provide support for enrollment and education of underserved Vietnamese and other Asian individuals across seven counties in health insurance and health benefits coverage and to provide organizational effectiveness support.
  • $405,000 to Casa Marianella in Austin
    To assist low-income individuals and families enrolling in health-related benefits and to support those clients in receiving healthcare from a qualified provider.

  • $400,000 to Epiphany Community Health Services (ECHOS) in Houston
    To assist low-income individuals and families enrolling in health-related benefits, support clients in receiving healthcare from qualified provider, and to provide organizational effectiveness support.
  • $150,000 to Foundation Communities in Austin
    To educate, enroll, and navigate high-needs clients in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans.
  • $153,627 to Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) in Houston
    To provide application assistance to eligible families for Harris Health System’s financial assistance, Medicaid, CHIP, Children’s Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF benefits.
  • $186,540 to SEARCH Homeless Services in Houston
    To provide support for enrollment in services to help individuals who are homeless or at risk for being homeless qualify for SSI/SSDI and Medicaid benefits.
  • $143,676 to The Beacon in Downtown Houston
    To provide support for enrollment in SSI/SSDI benefits for eligible adults who are homeless or at risk for being homeless and have a mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder.