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UTRGV School of Medicine honors United Health Foundation, celebrates Unimóvil’s success

Dr. John Krouse (at left), dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs, and Dave Milich, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Texas/Oklahoma, exchanged plaques during an event on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at the Medical Education Building on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. The event was to celebrate the partnership between the UTRGV School of Medicine and the United Health Foundation that helped bring about the Unimóvil mobile clinic (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

Dr. John Krouse (at left), dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs, and Dave Milich, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Texas/Oklahoma, exchanged plaques during an event on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at the Medical Education Building on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus. The event was to celebrate the partnership between the UTRGV School of Medicine and the United Health Foundation that helped bring about the Unimóvil mobile clinic (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

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By Jennifer L. Berghom

EDINBURG, TEXAS – SEPT. 28, 2017 – The UTRGV School of Medicine honored United Health Foundation (UHF) on Thursday for supporting the young medical school in its efforts to provide healthcare services to underserved neighborhoods and provide training opportunities for medical students and students of other healthcare-related fields.

UHF in January 2015 awarded the School of Medicine a three-year, $2.88 million grant to establish the Center for Colonia Integrated Care Program: VIDAS (Valley Interprofessional Development and Services) to build an integrated, interprofessional collaborative that will create a sustainable model for healthcare delivery to the most vulnerable members of the community. 

As a part of that grant, the School of Medicine purchased Unimóvil, a mobile clinic, to bring healthcare to people living in underserved communities who struggle with access to healthcare. Unimóvil also provides another opportunity for medical students, medical residents and students in the UTRGV College of Health Affairs to train and serve the community.

Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs, praised United Health Foundation for its generous donation, the healthcare professionals who operate Unimóvil, and community partners, saying their contributions have helped make the mobile clinic’s operations a success. 

“Unimovil is a tangible example of our commitment to working with all our stakeholders and partners throughout the Rio Grande Valley,” Krouse said. “Unimovil allows us here at UTRGV to promote health equity for all of those who live in South Texas, and will improve the quality of life for thousands of individuals who otherwise would succumb to progressive and chronic diseases. Without the UTRGV/United Health Foundation Unimóvil, many children, elderly individuals and families would simply go without basic medical care.”

School of Medicine faculty, medical residents and other UTRGV-affiliated health care providers operate the 45-foot-long clinic, which includes two examination rooms, a laboratory and restroom, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. Since it began operations in summer 2016, Unimóvil has traveled about 9,000 miles and has provided care to almost 2,000 patients.

Most recently, a team of healthcare providers with the School of Medicine traveled with Unimóvil to Houston to provide care to almost 100 patients affected by Hurricane Harvey.

David Milich, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Texas and Oklahoma, said the UTRGV School of Medicine shares the same mission as the healthcare provider he leads, in increasing access to healthcare services.

“Not only in the Valley but, across Texas, we have a primary care deficit, and we need to promote the value of primary care,” Milich said.

He, too, thanked the School of Medicine healthcare professionals who went to Houston with Unimóvil to provide care.

“The medicine, the care that was provided in a very culturally sensitive way to Houstonians, greatly improved their overall health at what I can tell you was a very difficult and continues to be a difficult time in their lives. You changed the lives of many individuals by being there for them in a time of need.”

Milich and Krouse presented plaques to each other, representing their respective organizations, to show appreciation for their partnership in Unimóvil.

For more information about Unimóvil’s scheduled visits, call (956) 296-1700 or email UniMovil@utrgv.edu.

RELATED STORIES:

UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine Receives $2.88 Million Grant from United Health Foundation to Help Build Healthier Communities in the Rio Grande Valley 

UTRGV, United Health Foundation unveil Unimóvil mobile clinic

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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