Texas Takes Community-Oriented Approach to Providing Rural Health Care

From 1993 to 1995, the Texas Department of Health established the Texas Community Oriented Primary Care Practice Sights Initiative to build upon the state's primary health care program that funds selected sites that are providing primary and preventive care to low-income uninsured persons.

Project staff developed new models of collaborative practice at the local level, utilizing teams including both physicians and mid-level practitioners to meet the needs of underserved populations.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Practice Sights: State Primary Care Development Strategies national program.

Key Results

  • Project staff upgraded its needs-assessment process to include physician assistants and provided technical assistance to underserved communities.
  • The first effort at community-based models produced plans for a 30,000-square foot primary care clinic in McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley region.
  • The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas A&M University School of Medicine trained family practice physicians at a community health center in San Antonio to perform normal deliveries, increasing the capacity of the center's prenatal care program.
  • The Texas Community Oriented Primary Care Practice Sights Initiative co-sponsored a statewide conference, "Community-Oriented Primary Care: A Vision for Health," attended by 230 health care professionals, policy-makers and community representatives.