Grants Enable Six Texas Cities to Fight Vaccine-Preventable Illnesses

 June 9, 2017

People in six Texas communities will receive disease-preventing and potentially life-saving vaccinations, thanks to special grants from the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise —ImmunizeSM program. TMA recently awarded $13,500 in grants to physicians and TMA Alliance (TMAA) chapters to provide free and low-cost vaccinations to uninsured and underinsured Texans in their hometowns.

Residents in San Antonio, Austin, Whitehouse, New Braunfels, Conroe, and Cedar Park will receive shots this summer through the special program.

TMA created the Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact Grants program in 2012 to enable members of TMA and TMAA (an organization of physician volunteers and their spouses) to help ensure their communities are healthy by offering childhood, adolescent, and adult vaccinations at special events and clinics. Members often partner with local organizations to reach residents in need.

In five years, TMA has awarded 66 grants totaling more than $123,000 to provide nearly 9,800 vaccinations across the state through the Local Impact Grants program. Be Wise — Immunize and the Local Impact Grants are funded by the TMA Foundation (TMAF), TMA’s philanthropic arm.

“Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and whooping cough, are still a threat in Texas. Our grant funding will help Texans avoid hospitalizations, hearing loss, and even death that can be caused by these and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said TMAF President Leslie H. Secrest, MD, of Dallas.

Texas physicians and shot-clinic volunteers will begin vaccinating Texans in the select areas this month. In April, TMA awarded these grants, ranging from $1,350 to $2,500 each:

 

  •  Heather Aguirre, DO, and Austin Primary Care Physicians in Austin will help prevent bacterial pneumonia in the practice’s elderly Medicare patients by providing the vaccination free this summer to people at higher risk who can’t afford the copay or whose insurance doesn’t cover the vaccination. 

  •  Bexar County Medical Society (CMS) Alliance will partner with the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District to provide free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for children during a back-to-school vaccination drive during August. 

  •  Lata Joshi, MD, and Lone Star Family Health Center in Conroe will provide back-to-school vaccinations, along with a well-child visit, for uninsured children in Montgomery County during August. The event will kick off on Aug. 7, 1-7 pm, and continue Aug. 8-18, 1-5 pm. Appointments are required. 

  •  Nandini Kohli, MD, and Austin Primary Care Physicians in Cedar Park will help prevent bacterial pneumonia in the practice’s elderly Medicare patients by providing the vaccination free this summer to people at higher risk who can’t afford the copay or whose insurance doesn’t cover the vaccination. 

  •  Dorothy Overman, MD, and Comal County Public Health in New Braunfels will offer a first-time Saturday shot clinic on Aug. 12 from 9 am to 2 pm to prepare 50 children aged 4 to 6 for school. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted.  

  •  Smith County Medical Society will provide back-to-school vaccinations on Aug. 11 for students in Whitehouse Independent School District who are eligible for the Texas Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program or who have health insurance coverage that covers vaccinations but the plan’s deductible hasn’t been met. The event, in conjunction with the Northeast Texas Public Health District, will be from 9 am to noon and 1-6 pm at the Whitehouse ISD Annex Building; shots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Flu vaccinations also will be offered in the fall.  

 

TMA actively works to improve vaccination rates in Texas through its Be Wise — Immunize program. More than 320,000 shots have been given to Texas children, adolescents, and adults since the program began in 2004. TMAF funds the Be Wise program in 2017 through generous support from H-E-B and TMF Health Quality Institute, along with contributions from physicians and their families.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. The TMA Foundation raises funds to support the population health, quality of care, and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.

Be Wise — Immunize is a service mark of the Texas Medical Association.

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Contact:  Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org

Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org

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Last Updated On

April 20, 2018

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