TMA Foundation Honors Mobile Medical Program and Teen Clinics for Serving Patients in Need
The Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) has presented its 2012 John P. McGovern Champion of Health and Secondary Award to two Texas programs aimed at serving uninsured and underinsured patients. TMAF presented the awards during the TMA Winter Conference this past weekend in Austin.
John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award Winner: Mission of Mercy Mobile Medical Program
TMAF presented the 2012 John P. McGovern Champion of Health Award to the Mission of Mercy Mobile Medical Program of Corpus Christi. The TMAF award recognizes exceptional projects that address urgent public health threats and further TMAF’s mission to help physicians create a healthier future for all Texans.
Secondary Award Honoree
Since its inception in 2007, the Mission of Mercy Mobile Medical Program has treated 2,350 uninsured or underinsured South Texans. The program’s volunteer physicians and nurses have recorded more than 11,000 patient visits and free prescription medications. The program’s five mobile clinics serve people who cannot afford insurance, health care, or prescriptions, but who earn too much to receive public assistance. The organization fills a great community and personal need: More than half of the program’s patients suffer from chronic illnesses, including arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and depression.
The Corpus Christi program is part of a larger organization. Mission of Mercy was founded by a pharmacist-physician couple in Arizona in 1994. They wanted to serve people who were “falling through the cracks” in the health care system. Mission of Mercy seeks to “restore dignity to their patients by being an instrument of healing through love.” The organization serves patients in Texas, Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
TMAF Champion of Health Award honorees receive $5,000 and a specially commissioned bronze statue. The award is named after John P. McGovern, MD, who founded the John P. McGovern Foundation in Houston. Dr. McGovern established a permanent endowment at TMAF, which supports this award.
Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics Receive Secondary Honors
TMAF also awarded a John P. McGovern Champion of Health $2,500 grant to the Baylor College of Medicine’s Teen Health Clinics. The clinics care for uninsured minorities ages 13 to 25 in Harris County. The clinics primarily provide prenatal care to teen mothers and aim to prevent initial and repeat teen pregnancies with family planning programs for young men and women. The clinics also seek to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and treat symptoms among patients who contract them.
The Baylor Teen Health Clinics system was established in 1969 as a once-a-week teen maternity clinic at Jeff Davis Hospital. The program has grown countywide with seven inner-city clinics providing free or low-cost health care, counseling, and education to indigent youth. In 2010, nearly 86 percent of the clinics’ patients were 100 percent below the federal poverty level.
In addition, the Teen Health Clinics reach patients through the Electronic Media Intervention Project – teenhealthclinic.org – a teen-friendly health communication webpage; Nurse-Family Partnership, in which a nurse counsels and teaches new mothers during their pregnancy and until the child is 2 years old; and a social support program for at-risk males and young fathers.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 45,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. TMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association and raises funds to support the health improvement and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.