ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources will establish a new community outreach initiative involving youth athletics at the Salvation Army Pleasant Grove Corps using an $800,000 federal grant.
Texas Health is the only health system in the nation awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the Federal Youth Engagement in Sports (YES) initiative. The YES Dallas Initiative in Pleasant Grove will be operated by Texas Health Sports Medicine and Texas Health’s Community Health Improvement program, in collaboration with the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Texas Health Sports Medicine, Texas Woman’s University, North Texas Food Bank and A+ Charter Schools.
“Texas Health has enhanced its engagement with the communities we are blessed to serve by intentionally partnering with community-based organizations, corporations and funders,” said David Tesmer, Texas Health chief community and public policy officer. “We are serving as a catalyst for meeting local needs.”
The YES Dallas Initiative is funded through August 2021.
The initiative will work to improve access to physical activity and nutrition education to socioeconomically disadvantaged students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades in Pleasant Grove.
“This is a great example of a collaborative effort aimed at improving the health of the community,” said Tom Caldwell, vice president, Texas Health Sports Medicine.
He said Texas Health Sports Medicine will provide traditional athletic training for the students involved, as well as early exposure to career opportunities associated with sports medicine such as athletic training, exercise physiology, nutrition, physical therapy and medicine.
Caldwell added, “Sparking an interest and outlining a pathway will hopefully contribute to the recruitment of much needed diversity to these fields, which will ultimately have an impact on health disparities.”
Services will target primarily Hispanic/Latino and Black students, with special outreach efforts aimed at increasing girls’ participation in sports.
The award is one of 12 administered by the HHS’ Office on Women’s Health. It builds on Texas Health’s Community Impact previous investment of more than $1.12 million to under-served communities in Dallas and Rockwall counties. As part of that investment, Texas Health announced the launch of the Well Together: A Dallas/Rockwall Behavioral Health Initiative that focuses on building awareness of mental health, reducing negative perceptions and taking a holistic wellness approach to improve access to a full spectrum of care.
Well Together is underway in two ZIP codes in Dallas County: 75212 (West Dallas) and 75217 (Pleasant Grove).
The YES Dallas Initiative award reinforces Texas Health’s urgency to identify collaborative, innovative ways to improve the health of the communities it serves by addressing the social determinants of health upstream — preventing and reducing the long-term effects of disease.
“We are thrilled to have been selected for this initiative because it builds on the work already underway and meets a key community need,” said Catherine Oliveros, DrPh, Texas Health’s vice president of Community Health Improvement. “This grant validates the approach Texas Health is taking to partner with local organizations to improve health and well-being upstream.”
The grant was established through program development and collaboration from the Texas Health Resources Foundation as well as Texas Health’s Community Health Improvement department.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 28 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,000 licensed hospital beds, 6,200 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 23,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.