Central Health in September reached a milestone in the inaugural year of the Community Health Champions program with a capstone workshop discussing the “Future of Healthcare in Travis County.” As part of the final workshop of the year, the Health Champions, a group of 57 individuals selected from more than 100 applicants from across Travis County, visited the new Health Learning Building of the Dell Medical School and heard from key leaders from the school, including a panel discussion moderated by Texas State Senator Kirk Watson.
The Health Champions were even joined by the inaugural class of 50 Dell Medical School during the panel presentation. According to one of the groups’ members, Esther Diaz, the workshop was “a great opportunity to meet and talk to the ‘movers and shakers’ in our health community.”
Throughout the year, the group had a chance to gain an up-close look at the work of Central Health and our partners through a variety of activities. As part of a series of workshops, they had a chance to tour of the phase two of the Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center, visited with leaders from Seton Healthcare family and St. David’s Foundation, and heard from key leaders working in the safety net of health care in Travis County including Regina Rogoff from People’s Community Clinic, Greg Hartman of Seton Healthcare Family, AISD Medical Director Dr. Stephen Pont, and many more.
Several of the members got involved in activities throughout the year, including attending the It’s Time Texas Summit, the Advocates for Justice Conference, as well as lending a hand at the Sendero Summer Lunch program, Foundation Communities wellness events, and moderating conversations for the Central Health Strategic Planning process.
In short order, the program has demonstrated the power of bringing energetic, passionate, and informed community members to learn about and participate in the work of Central Health and our partners. Due to the success of the inaugural year, Central Health plans to continue with a 2017 Community Health Champions Class, while maintaining an alumni group of participants from 2016.
Future activities for the class of 2017 and alumni include expanding the network of diverse and hard-to-reach members of our community through events such as listening tours, outreach activities, and providing ongoing input into major initiatives of Central Health and our partners. The group will close out the year by participating in a service day with Foundation Communities on Saturday, November 4 and a celebration to kick off activities as alumni later in November.
For those interested in joining the Community Health Champions Class of 2017, recruitment begins in late November. To get on the interest list and be invited to recruitment events, please email Claudia Herrington or call (512) 978-8112.