The School of Nursing is working along-side community partners Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman (MSV W) and the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas (A A AHCT) to ensure that Austin neighborhoods are able to access the care and resources they need. The projects they are collaborating on are addressing health care inequities, thanks to two six-year grants totaling more than $3 million from the City of Austin. The health equity grants, the first ever awarded by the city, will address health disparities in under-served populations.
The collaboration is an outgrowth of efforts by the School of Nursing’s new Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science (TCRSS) and several local organizations to bring attention to a pressing health care crisis among the city’s low-income populations and develop community-driven solutions.
“As Austin has grown and prospered, not all of its residents have benefited,” said Miyong Kim, a professor in the School of Nursing, director of TCRSS and university associate vice president for Community Health Engagement. “Although several community organizations have long been involved in this struggle to right the wrong of health disparities, funding has always been a challenge. We are grateful to the Austin City Council for recognizing the barriers that many low-income individuals encounter as they try to obtain the health care they need and for providing the funds to help us help them overcome those barriers.” The project with MSVW will afford an opportunity to demonstrate that directly addressing social determinants affects pregnant women’s and families’ overall health in a fundamental and more sustainable manner. For African Americans in Travis County, who continue to have higher rates of mortality from cancer, heart disease and diabetes, the AAAHCT project addresses chronic disease among African Americans by providing a wellness program in which participants identify specific health goals they want to achieve and then receive individual and group coaching and connections to resources to assist them.
According to Dr. Kim, the School of Nursing will continue to work with various grassroots community organizations and partners to implement community-driven solutions to underserved communities in Austin to reduce health disparity gaps.
This article appears in Longhorn Nursing Magazine page 9 (pdf 11/24)
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