Whether offering clinical services, investigating air and water pollution, monitoring disease threats, or inspecting food handling practices at restaurants, public health services affect our entire community. That’s why the Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is excited to educate the public with an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on August 12, during National Health Center Week.
“It’s hard to believe that August marks five years since the ceremonial groundbreaking that paved the way for our operations to move to the Mid-County Annex,” said Kathy Barroso, GCHD chief operating and financial officer. “We’re eager to offer Galveston County residents a chance to tour their state-of-the-art Texas City clinic and learn about many of the public health services that protect the community.”
County residents are encouraged to get an up-close look at the Texas City Coastal Health & Wellness clinic by touring the facility. The community health center provides medical, dental and counseling services to all Galveston County residents while offering discounts for eligible uninsured and underinsured patients. The tours will offer insight on the nationally-recognized clinic’s operation and services. The mobile clinic will also be available for tours.
Staff will be available to answer questions, including those about the many insurance plans accepted at the clinic. Education on heat exhaustion, exercise, heart attacks, strokes and pediatrics will also be provided. Vision and hearing screenings will also be available.
“Here in Galveston County, we’re fortunate to have a beautiful and efficient community health clinic,” Barroso continued.
In 2014, Coastal Health & Wellness served a total of 12,849 Galveston County residents with 39,683 combined visits to its Texas City and Galveston clinics.
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, health centers serve more than 23 million people nationwide – that’s one in 15 Americans, including seven million children and 260,000 veterans.
“Health centers are increasingly becoming the trusted provider of choice for many families, whether they are insured or not,” NACHC said in a news release. “Evidence shows patients choose health centers because they are convenient, affordable, and offer a range of services from a team of caring professionals.”
The open house is not limited to the clinic. Representatives from several public health programs will be in the Mid-County Annex Community Room to provide education about services that protect the community’s health and well-being. Information will be provided regarding WIC, public health nursing, immunizations, STD/HIV control, environmental health, public health preparedness, disease monitoring, TB, animal services and more. The Galveston Area Ambulance Authority will have an ambulance available for tours and the Animal Resource Center will have pets available for half-priced adoption.
“Not everyone is aware of the many GCHD services that affect the community’s daily health and well-being,” Barroso said. “At this open house, people will learn about how the Health District monitors air and water pollution, inspects restaurant food safety practices, identifies and addresses public health threats, operates a premier emergency medical services agency, and many other vital functions.”
The public health program portion of the open house will include several interactive educational activities, including iron screenings, immunization record checks, WIC smoothie-making demonstrations, and environmental demonstrations. Many activities are aimed at children, including Derrick the Dinosaur with his unique lead poisoning education.
“This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the services provided by the Galveston County Health District,” Barroso continued. “Like this year’s National Health Center Week theme, we are celebrating our legacy and shaping our future.”
What: Galveston County Health District Open House
When: Wednesday, August 12 from 10 a.m. – noon
Where: GCHD, 9850 Emmett F. Lowry Expy. Texas City