Adults 55 and older who live in McKinney’s 75069 ZIP code face chronic disease, isolation and higher rates of depression than the general population. They also lack access to critical resources such as healthy food, adequate mental health services and transportation.
Texas Health Resources announced today it is awarding $450,000 to Beyond Blue, a collaboration between six nonprofit organizations designed to address those social determinants of health, targeting residents who are already clients among the six groups plus others who will become clients.
“Identifying specific needs and involving multiple local partners along with the financial resources of Texas Health is going to be a dynamic game changer,” said Tammy McSwain, Texas Health Community Impact Leadership Council vice chair for Collin County.
The new initiative by Texas Health, called Texas Health Community Impact, is a data-driven, outcome-focused approach that calls on recipients to collaborate across sectors to attack problems.
“This is our opportunity to play a role in upstream issues that impact health and well-being,” said Catherine Oliveros, DrPH, Texas Health’s vice president of Community Health Improvement. “Siloed efforts have limited success. If we are really going to transform health and health care, we must transform systems and communities.”
The program pinpoints specific ZIP codes.
“Texas Health Community Impact is part of Texas Health’s commitment to live our nonprofit, faith-based health system’s mission: To improve the health of the people in the communities we serve,” said the system’s CEO Barclay Berdan. “It’s said that a person’s ZIP code has a greater impact on their health than their genetic code. That’s why we’re reaching out into the communities we serve and hoping to make a real difference in the health and well-being of people in these areas of North Texas.”
Through Leadership Councils that oversee five regions, Texas Health Community Impact determined the areas of greatest opportunity. Windshield assessments — during which staff and council members visited areas — and focus groups were completed. Community readiness also was gauged.
Beyond Blue focuses on preventing depression, not just identifying and treating it in those who are already diagnosed, said Tammy Mahan, CEO of LifePath Systems, which is the lead agency for the grant.
“Through early identification of risk factors (isolation, poor health, lack of access to resources), we will initiate interventions to assist in the prevention of a full diagnosis of depression,” she said. “This project has the chance to reduce ER and hospital admissions and improve the physical and emotional well-being of the recipients in a proactive manner rather than reactive.”
Among the plans for McKinney are:
- Expanded mental health programming and addition of in-home mental health care for homebound older adults.
- Making more food available at both traditional food pantries and at mobile locations.
- Extending a senior transportation program to reach more people.
- Addressing isolation by raising awareness of activities such as volunteering and exercise and developing new volunteer opportunities such as community gardening and mentoring.
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 29 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 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.