Victoria College to take over public health grant
June 3, 2013 at 1:03 a.m.
Updated June 4, 2013 at 1:04 a.m.
Victoria College is expected to take over a public health grant in September originally carried out by the Community Mother and Child Health Center.
From January 2012 to the end of August, the Department of State Health Services has awarded $150,000 to the county to curb preventable hospitalizations.
Victoria County Commissioners approved a change Monday to the grant contract that added a "termination clause."
Under the new clause, the county or state can terminate the subcontract agreement with the Community Mother and Child Health Center with 30 days notice.
The grant goes through the county and is subcontracted out.
County Judge Don Pozzi said he is "happy to help them in their efforts."
Robbyn Michalka, the Victoria region director for Texas Area Health Education Center with Victoria College, said the grant has not officially been awarded for next year, but the money is earmarked.
She expects the funding to increase to $175,000 because three counties will not continue the grant.
The program targets bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure and diabetes. By providing immunizations, patient and community education, as well as nutrition and self-management, the program has reduced hospital admissions, Michalka said.
Since the grant began in January 2012, 847 people have been vaccinated for bacterial pneumonia, nearly 200 received help to quit smoking, and 366 people diagnosed with diabetes received nutrition and physical activity services.
According to the quarterly grant reports, Victoria County partnered with already existing diabetes lunch groups at both Victoria hospitals to provide education as well as other community partners such as Community Mother and Child and The Victoria Center.
They also hosted a vaccine clinic at Christ's Kitchen, where they administered 20 pneumonia vaccines to high-risk people.
Michalka said the college is a neutral, education community partner, and that DeTar Hospitals and Citizens Medical Center will continue partnering with the grant.
Once DeTar acquired the clinic in July 2012, Jace Jones, a spokesman for Community Mother and Child Health Center, said the board of directors stayed intact to fulfill the grant duties.
However, because DeTar is a for-profit hospital, it was not eligible for the grant, he said.
"The board saw the good of the grant and how positive it was going to be, so they were willing to keep volunteering their time," Jones said. "DeTar is a community partner and will help in any way it can."