County receives grants to address local health disparities

Staff Report

 As part of National Public Health Week (April 4-10), the Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) is aiming to spotlight its efforts to address health disparities. 

 With grants from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the HCLHD created the Community Outreach Program to address health disparities in the local Hispanic community and among school-aged children that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The COVID-19 Health Disparities Grant and the Public Health Workforce Expansion Grant provide $400,000 and $330,000, respectively, to the HCLHD for the program. Funding runs through May 2023. 

 “During National Public Health Week, we will be promoting various public health topics to highlight the many ways in which we can improve the health and social determinants of our residents,” said program manager Matthew Gonzales. 

Focal points of the program include:

Infrastructure

Identify the workforce in place/to be hired to engage the targeted communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and build sustainable relationships in those communities

Community engagement

Identify and engage the targeted communities to explore and document reasons why their community was so impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations

Identify and develop activities to maximize COVID-19 and Influenza vaccination rates in the targeted communities

Partnership directory

Identify and engage with new and existing community partners to address health disparities

Health disparities intervention design

Describe efforts to design an intervention aimed at addressing one of the factors that made the targeted community so vulnerable to COVID-19

The program is also working to establish the HCLHD as a focal point for public health education, resources and information for other organizations. 

“This program enables us to create partnerships that will empower local governmental agencies, organizations and providers with the capability to decrease health disparities across Hays County,” said HCLHD Director Tammy Crumley.  

If any individual or organization would like to get involved with the program, contact program manager Matthew Gonzales at (512) 214-5918 or matthew.gonzales@co.hays.tx.us. 

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