Joseph Segapeli, MD, and El Paso Pediatric Associates dipped their toes in the Texas Medical Association’s outreach programs in 2017 when they hosted a bicycle helmet giveaway for local children.
Two years later, after putting on monthly community walks and an annual flu shot clinic, Dr. Segapeli and the practice were proclaimed TMA Health Heroes.
The annual award honors TMA members who have hosted local events for all three of TMA’s flagship outreach programs: Be Wise – ImmunizeSM, Hard Hats for Little Heads, and Walk With a Doc Texas.
TMA’s Council on Health Promotion presented the award during TexMed 2019 last month, along with the TMA Foundation (TMAF), which funds the programs.
All the physicians at the clinic’s Saddle Bronc location in east El Paso – Drs. Segapeli, Rana N. Kronfol, MD, and Scott K. Coleman, MD – have participated in the events.
“I am excited and pleased to be recognized for what I love to do,” Dr. Segapeli said. “I really enjoy seeing our patients outside of the office in a more casual setting.”
Although El Paso Pediatric Associates treats children, the events address the health and wellness of the entire family, said Roger Hovis, operations manager at the practice. Many of the clinic’s patients and families are low-income, insured by Medicaid, or don’t have insurance, he said.
The annual flu shot clinics are open to siblings and parents, and entire families are invited to the walks. During Hard Hats giveaways, parents are educated along with the kids about the importance of wearing helmets correctly while riding bikes or participating in other sports on wheels.
“Our events help raise the conversation about bike safety and the importance of flu vaccinations for the whole family,” Mr. Hovis said. The bonus, he said, is being outside together while walking and having a good time, rather than just seeing patients when they are sick.
“It’s great to spend time with our patients and their families, having fun together, and sharing information about health,” Dr. Segapeli said. “We’re here to treat our young patients’ illnesses, but it’s good to have conversations about prevention when everyone is healthy and happy.”
Dr. Segapeli joins seven other physicians who have received the TMA Health Hero award in 2017 and 2018.
Find out how you can host an outreach event in your community and start down the road to becoming a health hero: Contact Tammy Wishard for Hard Hats and Be Wise, and Debra Heater for Walk With a Doc.
TMAF, the philanthropic arm of TMA, raises funds to support the population health and science priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine. Be Wise – Immunize is funded in 2019 by the TMAF thanks to H-E-B, TMF Health Quality Institute, Pfizer Inc., and gifts from physicians and their families. Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported in 2019 with a TMAF grant thanks to its Legacy of Caring and General Endowments, and generous gifts from an anonymous physician and spouse, and donors to TMAF’s Make-A-Difference and Greatest Need appeals. Walk With a Doc Texas is funded by a grant from TMAF with generous support from TMA Insurance Trust, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Prudential.