Local Clinic Awarded Grant by Episcopal Health Foundation
HOPE Community Medicine has received a $300,000 grant from the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) to better serve the Shelby and San Augustine counties.
“We applied for the grant in February and it was awarded on May 15,” Chief Operating Officer and Director of Human Resources Tracie Cain said. “It is for integrated behavioral health services, women’s health services, and to expand the mental health services we already have in place.”
In Shelby County, the ratio of Licensed Practicing Counselors to population is 1,629:1 and the ratio of Primary Care Physicians to population is 9,231:1, according to the EHF.
“We are planning on increasing the hours that we have for telepsychiatry and hopefully counseling,” Cain said. “We also want to add counseling and OB/GYN to our San Augustine clinic. Our goal is to increase the population that is getting the services needed. The way to accomplish that is to reduce the barriers to care. We are doing that by increasing the hours of services available and increasing locations that services are available.”
80 percent of Texas counties are designated Health Profession Shortage Areas for mental health.
“Telepsychiatry is where patients come in to our clinic and receive counseling by talking to our psychiatrist over a screen,” Cain said. “It has been a great service. Dr. Faiza Qureshi is board-certified in Adult/Pediatric Psychiatry and is the head of the psychiatry department at the University of Mississippi. We also help patients get the medication they need, and base the price of counseling on income.”
HCM was granted a one-time grant, but could apply for others in the future.
“It relies on where we are in the future,” Cain said. “They have grants that come up every year, so it depends on what we will need.”