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Brazos County Health District utilizing new funds to reach minority communities

Posted at 9:04 AM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 10:04:42-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Over the last three months, the Brazos County Health District has been granted around $2.7 million. This funding is being used to provide the minority population with new services.

Over the next two years, the Brazos County Health District will receive a total of $1.9 million in grant funding.

That would allow them to add some new positions and services serving minority communities.

With the help of a $400,000 state health equity grant, the health department will hire health outreach workers.

"We wanted to have that reach to that vulnerable population," said Santos Navarrette, the Brazos County Health District Director.

The goal is to educate and seek the services these minority communities need.

"We're going out to the community. We're going to educate the community on COVID-19 vaccination and the rationale behind vaccinating not just for COVID-19 for all vaccine-preventable diseases," Navarrette added.

Many Hispanic minorities are uninsured.

50 years ago, Angelita Alonzo provided this exact service for immigrant farmworkers and she witnessed the impact it had directly at the root.

"This project of promotoras or outreach workers or community health workers is a very good way to reach out to the under-served working Hispanic community," said Angelita Alonzo, a retired healthcare outreach provider.

On top of this new outreach funding, they'll also be receiving $1.5 million in a COVID-19 workforce development grant.

"Going to look at expanding existing services," Navarrette shared.

Services such as immigration physicals and extended clinic hours.

"This is really vital and critical for this community it really is," Alonzo expressed. "It's going to make a difference because we're going to be able to help the underserved uninsured community get access to preventive health care."

"The health district is a trusted agent in the community," Navarrette added. "So they've got a place to come and know that they're going to get quality healthcare service, reasonable cost, and we're not there to take your immigration status or anything like that. We're there to take care of any health issues they have."

According to the U.S Census Bureau, the state of Texas consistently has the highest percentage of uninsured individuals.