September 20, 2004
East End Healthy Children’s Collaborative Celebrates First Alternate Site Approval in Houston in 10 Years
(Houston, TX) – The East End Healthy Children’s Collaborative (EEHCC) will be celebrating the first alternate site approval of a Federally Qualified Health Center in the city of Houston in 10 years on Tuesday, September 21 at El Centro Eastwood Clinic at 4500 Polk.
Community leaders including Mayor Bill White, David Fine, president and chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, Carla Cooper, chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, Mr. Jay Guerrero, regional director for Senator John Cornyn, Mrs. Melissa Noriega (wife of Texas State Rep. Rick Noriega, District 145, who is currently serving in Afghanistan) and representatives from the Houston Area Rotary Clubs and Bank of America will be present to kick off the celebration and speak about the progress the EEHCC has made in providing healthcare services to the East End in the past few years.
The designation of El Centro Eastwood Clinic as an alternate site of a Federally Qualified Health Center is a major milestone in addressing the healthcare needs of the East End community. This was made possible through the dedication and commitment of the Board and staff of El Centro de Corazon, The East End Healthy Children’s Collaborative (EEHCC) and many local and state officials. With a total population of 50,000, 89 percent of the East End community is Hispanic and 34 percent of the households have incomes of less than $15,000. Nine out of ten children are economically disadvantaged.
The EEHCC is a collaboration of eight agencies working to improve the well being of underserved children 0-18 who live in the predominantly Hispanic East End Community of Houston. The eight agencies are St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, Christ Church Cathedral, Communities in Schools, Community Family Center, El Centro de Corazon – Eastwood Location, The Institute of Religion, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, and Rusk School Health Promotion Project.
Established in 1999, the EEHCC initiated comprehensive mobile child health services, i.e., education, immunizations, lead screening, hearing screening, vision testing, mental health and dental services. The mobile medical clinic, Espiritu de Salud: The Spirit of Health is available to the Collaborative weekdays through gifts from Bank of America and Christus, in addition to St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities. The mobile clinic services local area schools and one community center, providing primary care, CHIP application assistance and mental health services. In a new partnership with Houston Area Rotaries, the mobile clinic served more than 1,000 children in six days this summer providing 1,900+ “back-to-school” immunizations and supplies. The EEHCC is actively pursuing additional funding for the unit and additional East End priorities: dental and mental health services, and childcare.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System comprises the flagship St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke’s Community Medical Center-The Woodlands, opened in 2003; St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and Kelsey-Seybold Management, LLP, overseeing 21 area clinic locations. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart Institute, founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation by U. S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, it serves as the primary adult teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine. St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and the Health System has been recognized by Fortune as among “100 Best Companies to Work For” (2002 and 2004) and by Houston Business Journal as the top healthcare employer in Houston for three consecutive years.