ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources is working with Tarleton State University in a pilot program to broaden the system's reach in Erath and Johnson counties while helping students gain practical experience.
"A Matter of Balance" — an eight-session evidence-based program that provides senior citizens with strategies to reduce the risk of falling — has been embedded into the curriculum for a Tarleton State health promotions and education class, said Laurie Long, Ph.D., program director, Community Health Improvement.
Master trainers from Texas Health and the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging provide the certification training for the students in the classroom. Once certified, the students help promote and co-lead "A Matter of Balance" workshops, giving students real-world experience serving community members throughout North Texas.
"The collaborative pilot broadens the student experience, moving them from theory into practice," Long said. "Strategically located in our southern region, it also broadens our capacity to provide self-management heath education programs for our consumers within the underserved rural communities."
A total of 28 students are in the class this semester, assisting with nine scheduled workshops. Five workshops are scheduled within new site locations, resulting in a significant increase in Texas Health's community outreach.
"Incorporation of evidence-based programs such as 'A Matter of Balance' into the curriculum allows the university and public health program to showcase their focus on active and deep learning for the students," said Subi Gandhi, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in Tarleton State's department of medical lab sciences and public health.
Long said the collaboration between Tarleton State and Texas Health includes other opportunities for students, such as gaining certifications in Mental Health First Aid and internships that provide practical experience leading chronic disease self-management workshops.
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.