Feb. 13, 2014
Austin program named secondary award honoree for the 2014 John P.
McGovern Champion of Health Award by the Texas Medical Association Foundation
The Texas Medical Association Foundation
(TMAF) presented its 2014 John P. McGovern
Champion of Health Secondary Award to Refugee Services of Texas’ (RST’s)
Medical Case Management (MCM) program of Austin. 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.
Founded in 1978 in Dallas, RST is a not-for-profit social
service agency that helps address the health, social, housing and other needs
of refugees. RST’s Austin program assists approximately 400 refugees each year
by providing culturally competent services in seven distinct areas including
MCM within the first 90 days of a refugee’s arrival. RST’s MCM program provides intensive case
management to help refugee patients with complex medical needs receive quality
health care. RST also educates and empowers the patients to manage their care
independently. The program addresses the top three barriers most refugees face —
language, transportation, and literacy. Patients are partnered with a medical
case manager who is present at appointments and helps aid patient-physician
communication, resulting in better health outcomes and making preventive versus
reactive care a possibility.
In addition to meeting the immediate health care needs of 40 patients per year,
RST provides refugees temporary cash assistance and housing, transportation to
appointments, and needed surgeries, including plastic surgeries for
reconstruction due to violence they have suffered. They also receive assistance
with special education as well as support securing health insurance coverage
and navigating public assistance programs.
“Thanks to this award, more medically needy refugee individuals and families
will receive culturally appropriate services. It would be difficult to expand
our reach without the support of the Texas Medical Association Foundation, so
we are excited to be in a position to do so,” remarked Erica Schmidt-Portnoy, Area Director, Refugee
Services of Texas, Austin.
TMAF Champion of Health Award secondary honorees receive $2,500.
The award is named after John P. McGovern, MD, a philanthropist, scholar, and
noted allergist who founded the John P. McGovern Foundation in Houston. Dr.
McGovern established a permanent endowment at TMAF, which supports this award.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 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 public health and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.
Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320
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