EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and The Caring Foundation of Texas (CFT) are partnering up to help provide underserved communities in the Borderland with access to preventive and primary care.
The Caring Foundation of Texas donated $18,500 to TTUHSC El Paso’s Care Van Program, which provides quality health care by focusing on the unique health care needs of the border population through education, research and patient care.
In late 2020, the CFT committed additional funding to TTUHSC El Paso, which will be used to support Care Van-related activities and programs. TTUHSC El Paso said the money will help purchase equipment for the Care Van, including a blood pressure cuff and monitor, testing supplies and a disinfectant sprayer for sanitization.
The money is also expected to cover stipends for students, as well as outreach kits. Students will be going out with promotoras – bilingual community health care workers – in the field to learn from them and add their medical knowledge to the outreach activities.
In 2019, the CFT donated the full-time, exclusive use of a Care Van mobile health unit to TTUHSC El Paso to address the need for access to health care in the region.
The Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic will also use the Care Van when it opens to the public. The van is currently being used by the Foster School of Medicine’s Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic (MSRC), Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso clinics and other departments.
Some of the communities served by the mobile clinic are in the Montana Vista and Sparks areas. TTUHSC El Paso said vaccination services offered by the mobile clinic, with help from Immunize El Paso, are especially important because parents can have infants and young children vaccinated early, rather than waiting until they begin school.
In addition to services offered by the MSRC, the mobile clinic will carry out medical education, conduct cancer screenings and administer vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV), along with other services. HPV vaccinations are crucial for protecting teenagers and young adults from HPV infections, which can lead to cervical and other types of cancer.
The Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic, scheduled to open later this year, will use the van initially to offer cleanings, screenings and fluoride treatments, with the eventual goal of providing cavity filling procedures and other services.