Sí Texas – Juntos for Better Health Program: Reconnecting the community and their health

As we grow older, it is often easy to come and neglect our health. Time constraints, conflicting work schedules, and lack of transportation are typically several reasons we like to tell ourselves when it comes to dealing with our health and seeking help. As part of the TAMIU School of Nursing, the Si Texas- Juntos for Better Health Program aims to fix all these problems. For the past two semester, the program has been slowly evolving into what is now. Since October of last year, nursing students were already providing education to patients regarding their health. This program is the result of funding provided by the Methodist Healthcare Ministries with aims to maximize resources within our community. The program consists of three different components that all focus on reconnecting people with healthcare providers in different areas in Laredo. It aims to help those in our community at risk or who already have depression, diabetes, or obesity. While the program already provides its services to the community, it also helps students here in the university. For instance, students are able to go out into the community and have first-hand experience working with patients through follow-up home visits, providing information in health fairs, and by providing medical assessments at partner’s locations like the Holding Institute.   By doing this, students are able to learn many skills that are simply not learned in classroom setting. As if this were not enough, the program also helps the resources already present in our community by providing professional staff that can help them serve more people at a specific time. The Juntos for Better Health Program works in conjunction with the Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Border Region, City of Laredo Health Department, Gateway Community Health Center, Scan Inc., and the Holding Institute. While this program is still relatively new, it has already achieved significant results, which have all come to fulfill the initial goals of the program which were to reconnect patients that tend to neglect their health for significant periods in time.   All in all, the Sí Texas – Juntos for Better Health Program has become a great addition to the TAMIU School of Nursing. With the help of its providers and partners, they are able to provide more and better services to our community through things like health fairs, ensuring people in our community seek help if needed, and providing follow up visits to patients that might have difficulty attending their appointments. On the other hand, the program has also achieved exposing students to the real world scenarios that are present in our community regarding healthcare. Already showing significant positive results, the Sí Texas – Juntos for Better Health is sure to continue helping out our community as well as our future medical professionals in getting the skills they need to succeed.
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