Rural communities in Central Texas experience significant health disparities because they lack access to timely, quality and affordable healthcare. We know these disparities are caused by multiple factors including an inadequate health workforce, higher rates of uninsured populations, geographic and transportation barriers, lack of infrastructure as well as low health literacy and cultural challenges. As a result, rural communities often experience a higher incidence of disease and disability, increased mortality rates, lower life expectancies, and higher rates of pain and suffering. Three of the five counties in our Central Texas area – Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays – have been designated Health Professional Shortage Areas because the population-to-provider ratio is significantly above the national average, measuring at 1,320 people for every one doctor.
Our goal is to improve access and utilization of health services within the clinic setting and beyond, while simultaneously co-creating solutions to build and empower the communities’ capacity to address their own wellness issues.
In partnership with community stakeholders, St. David’s Foundation will identify, select, and pilot health intervention programming for rural communities within our Central Texas region.
Our approach for rural communities includes plans to:
Abena Asante, Senior Program Officer