This April, St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities-the largest charity in Houston devoted solely to health - celebrates its 10th anniversary. Established under the leadership of the Rt. Reverend Claude E. Payne, then-Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and Michael Jhin, CEO Emeritus, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, it was truly a gift to the community from the Diocese.
In its ten years, The Charities has awarded more than $66 million to programs throughout 30 counties of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas-and in doing so has touched the lives of 10 million individuals. Its support has gone to such efforts as health clinics, mobile dental vans, children's after-school and nutrition programs, and social service agencies, to name a few.
Nearly 25 percent of Texans and 32 percent of Houstonians do not have health insurance. Houston has the highest rate of uninsured of all major metropolitan areas in the nation. To change that, The Charities has made more than 1,100 community-based grants, some of which are ministries associated with the Diocese and others of which go to non-affiliated agencies. In addition to providing such support, St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities has conducted research that has resulted in providing important health information to our community.
One form that information takes is the Community Health Information System, an online interactive website that contains demographic, health and social data on the 57-county Diocese, as well as data on more than 12,000 health and human service programs in the 13-county area of the Texas Gulf Coast. The newest feature on the site is Project Safety Net, a bilingual listing of more than 70 safety-net clinics and associated services in Harris County.
Another research-based outcome is the Healthy Neighborhood Initiatives, a neighborhood-specific and participatory model which gathers in-depth community health information, permitting wise assessment and the development of appropriate programs. Now active in 10 Houston-area neighborhoods, the model serves also in the development of Federally Qualified Health Centers.
During the 10 years that St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities has been in existence, individuals and families of every faith and every ethnicity have been reached through these programs. This is in harmony with the Diocese's mission to serve all God's children wherever they may be and in whatever circumstances they may find themselves.
To learn more about The Charities' first decade of service, open the 10th Anniversary Report now.