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UTRGV holds two ribbon cutting ceremonies for primary care clinics

UTRGV Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. María I. Díaz (third from left), Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (District 27) and Texas Sen. Juan Hinojosa (District 20), cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the UTRGV Community Primary Care Clinic in McAllen, in partnership with Hidalgo County. A second clinic is located in Harlingen, with a ribbon cutting July 8 at that location. The clinics are made possible by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

By Jennifer L. Berghom

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JULY 8, 2016 -- UTRGV has furthered its commitment to improving the health and well-being of the community with the official opening of two primary care clinics in the Rio Grande Valley.

The College of Health Affairs (CoHA) and its School of Nursing held the first ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 7, at the UTRGV Community Primary Care Clinic in McAllen. CoHA and the School of Nursing have formed a partnership with the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department to provide healthcare services at the county’s clinic at 300 E. Hackberry.

The second ribbon cutting was held Friday, July 8, at the Harlingen clinic. The college and nursing school also have formed a partnership with the UTRGV School of Medicine to offer healthcare services at the School of Medicine’s clinic at 2106 Treasure Hills Blvd.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey, at the first ceremony, called the opening of the clinics a “big deal,” saying they will enable the university and its partners to provide healthcare to underserved areas.

“These clinics will not only provide benefits to some of our neediest residents in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, they’ll also benefit our faculty and our students as they work alongside medical doctors,” he said. “We’ll have the full range of healthcare professions. We are committed to our community, just as our community is committed to us.”

The UTRGV Community Primary Care Clinics were made possible by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to provide primary healthcare services to residents in underserved communities.

CoHA and its School of Nursing will operate the two clinics four days a week, two days at each clinic.

The purpose of the grant is to provide students in the nursing and other allied health disciplines the opportunity to get hands-on training in an interprofessional model of providing care, and to offer much-needed healthcare to underserved communities, said Dr. María I. Díaz, UTRGV associate professor of nursing and the project’s director.

Díaz said she would like to see the program expand, including traveling to colonias throughout Hidalgo County to provide care in an interprofessional collaborative effort.

“It is so important that the patient must remain the focus in any situation, and interprofessional collaboration is a means to an end,” she said. “As the population continues to age, it becomes more complex, our technology becomes more complex, and our training also, so we need to be able to progress with them. We need to be more aware of all the roles and responsibilities of all of us involved in these care situations.”

UTRGV is one of more than 20 national institutions — including universities, health systems and community health centers — participating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; HRSA; and the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Program grant to offer care through these Interprofessional Collaborative Practice clinics.

PHOTO GALLERIES

McAllen ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/gp/utrgvnews/F89U9G

Harlingen ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/gp/utrgvnews/rkt71c

MEDIA CONTACTS

Jennifer.Berghom@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Senior Writer
956-665-7192

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications
956-665-2742