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Grand Opening of Largest, Most Modern Community Health Center in Central Texas Offers Innovative Approach to Better Health for Low-Income Residents

(Austin, TX) – The long-awaited completion of the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center (the Center) means residents from nearby Dove Springs, Montopolis and Del Valle neighborhoods now have easy access to “one-stop” care and wellness opportunities.

From an educational garden and teaching kitchen for healthy cooking classes to primary care and specialty doctors and an on-site pharmacy, the Center focuses on the whole person by offering a vast array of health, social and wellness services and resources all at one location.

“This center was conceived and created by local residents and numerous community groups,” said Central Health Board Chair Katrina Daniel. “They told us they wanted more than a medical clinic. They wanted a center of health and wellness that would care for the whole person and whole family. Central Health and our Board of Managers listened, and we leaned on a core group of dedicated leaders who met regularly to make this community vision a reality.”

Community members created a checklist of the services and programs they wished to see at the Center. Of the 70 priority items, 68 have been implemented or are in progress. Input for the project was received from organizations such as: Austin Interfaith, Alliance of African American Health in Central Texas, Dove Springs Neighborhood Association, Latino HealthCare Forum, Montopolis Neighborhood Association, Wat Buddhananachat of Austin, and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

The Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center houses one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in Texas, CommUnityCare, which operates more than 20 locations throughout Travis County. The clinic is expecting 80,000 visits in 2016, and will offer an array of services for low-income and uninsured residents including:

  • Primary care and specialty care; including endocrinology (diabetes care), gastroenterology, and pulmonology (respiratory diseases)
  • Walk-in, same-day appointments
  • Radiology and mammography
  • Behavioral health care including individual counseling and group therapy
  • Dental services
  • On-site pharmacy
  • Prenatal education and care

Other features and services at the Center go beyond medical care and include:

  • A teaching kitchen for healthy cooking classes
  • A community educational garden
  • Free exercise classes
  • A “Centering Pregnancy Program” where expecting and new mothers participate in group visits and learn from one another
  • Diabetes support and education classes
  • A WIC (Women, Infants and Children) office with expanded services
  • Ample public meeting and gathering spaces including an outdoor plaza, playground, and community rooms
  • Community Resource Center to assist with eligibility and enrollment for health care coverage, screening for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Central Health’s Medical Access Program (MAP).

“Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center represents our innovative model in which we focus on health outcomes instead of just more care,” said Patricia Young Brown, President and CEO of Central Health. “Here under one roof, an expectant mom with diabetes can fill her prescriptions, attend prenatal classes, healthy cooking classes or a Zumba class. After she delivers her baby, she continues to see her doctor here then relax outside on the plaza, watch her child play on the play scape, and even learn how and when to plant tomatoes in our educational garden. It really is a one-stop destination for healthier living.”

Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center opened in phases beginning in October 2014, and was fully completed in February. It is part of Central Health’s vision of making Central Texas a model healthy community by creating access to health care for those who need it most.

“Almost five years ago, I laid out 10 goals in 10 years to create a model healthy community in Central Texas,” said Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson. “Those goals included a medical school, modern 21st century teaching hospital, and uniquely Austin, patient-centered clinics throughout the community that keep people well.  Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center is the embodiment of that promise.”