Based in Austin, Texas, St. David’s Foundation serves the Central Texas region (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties) where an estimated 300,000 (14.5 percent) Central Texans lack health insurance. Texas is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid and currently has the highest uninsured rate of any state, further exacerbating systemic inequities. The lack of access to health care, coupled with inadequate and under-resourced systems, has had a profoundly negative impact on communities of color and underserved areas. COVID-19 has laid bare the severity of these issues even more so. These factors, and our commitment to achieving health equity, have informed the foundation’s primary care safety net strategy.

The foundation’s strategic goal is to reduce health inequities and increase access to health care. We have provided operating resources to four community health centers (CHCs) serving more than 117,000 patients in nearly 40 locations across our region. These CHC partnerships have allowed us to strategically explore ways of reducing the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) on the health outcomes of those we serve in Central Texas.

With the Foundation’s investment, CHCs are transforming to become community ‘hubs for health.’ By centering health equity and SDOH at the core of our strategy to improve health outcomes in the region, we have strengthened the impact of our investments. Through grantmaking and other support, we have helped clinics strengthen their policies and procedures to screen for social needs and developed new workflows and relationships to connect patients with social services and track services received outside the clinic walls.

Working along with our clinic grant partners we began to identify the critical changes needed, including these important steps:

  • Facilitating clinic infrastructure and capacity to support the community health hub model.
  • Helping CHC grant partners benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience in making necessary changes.
  • Implementing e-consult services.
  • Renegotiating our relationship with the grantees.

Read the full article about community hubs by Abena Asante and Amy Einhorn at Grantmakers In Health.