South Coastal AHEC serves as a community healthcare intermediary to the Coastal Bend Area. The Coastal Bend is an area of South Texas with a widespread of underserved rural communities and colonias and a shortage of healthcare providers. Our Center’s goal is to improve the health status of our community by standing in the gap and working to reduce health disparities due to access to care.
Tar Wars & ANTZ – Anti tobacco programs
Tobacco is the only product that when used directly causes addiction, disease and death. South Coastal AHEC is at war with tobacco. Using the ANTZ program to educate 1st and 2nd grade students of the effects of smoking, a cartoon storybook about ants that are hard at work but the grandpa cannot work anymore because he has smoked all his life and is now weak and sick. Then, continuing to educate students in the 4th and 5th grade using the TAR WARS curriculum. Tar Wars is an interactive program by the American Academy of Family Physicians that is gear towards the education of students about the cost and stigma of smoking.
Disaster Preparedness Training
Corpus Christi is located on the Gulf of Mexico and serves as the port to South Texas. The city houses several oil refineries. The disaster threats are hurricanes, oil spills, and refinery explosions. South Coastal AHEC is a provider in Basic and Core Disaster Life Support Training. This training is sponsored by the American Medical Association for healthcare professionals and the community. Another resource used in disaster preparedness is the PEACE Program taught to students. This program serves as a preparedness tool for the students and their families allowing them to formulate and execute a plan in the event of a disaster.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The nine counties of South Coastal AHEC consist of multiple underserved rural communities. Health Fairs are a healthcare resource for the people of the rural communities. As an AHEC, we sponsor and are involved in the rural health fairs in our counties. Between our organization and our partners, we are able to provide many health related services and preventative healthcare information to the communities with a problem of access to care. Our long-term goal is to find a healthcare home for each of the citizens in our counties.
Frontera De Salud
There are over 100 colonias in the Coastal Bend area that are in need of health care. These communities not only have an access to care problem but also have to tackle many environmental issues, such as polluted water and contamination of their land. Frontera De Salud is a volunteer organization run by medical students at UTHSCSA that are committed to bringing healthcare to the underserved. South Coastal AHEC partners with Frontera providing housing and the needed supplies to care for the families living in the colonias.
South Coastal AHEC has partnered with South Texas Colonia Initiative in providing promotoras to the colonias. The Promotoras educate on issues related to the well-being of the family. They serve as resources in their neighborhoods. If they don't know an answer to a question, they know how to find out the answer and help educate their community.