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These Three Texas Communities Are Healthier, Thanks to Amerigroup/TORCH Partnership

Torch grants

More than a half-a-million dollars in grant funding has started rolling out to rural Texas hospitals and health providers, thanks to a partnership between Amerigroup Texas and the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH).

Working together, Amerigroup and TORCH are targeting funds at innovative initiatives that fortify Texas communities by helping Texans get healthy and stay healthy. The program has especially supported programs focusing on social and societal factors that help people to stay healthy and out of the emergency room (such factors are also known as social determinants of health).

All told, the $500,000 was divided between 22 rural providers across Texas.

“Every day, Amerigroup works to help ensure that distance from resources does not deny Texans the health that they deserve. Rural Texas communities are so important to us, and we know their needs are often vast. This partnership with TORCH not only meets immediate, on-the-ground needs across the state — it also supports and catalyzes models that other communities can learn from to improve health.”

Greg Thompson, President, Amerigroup Texas

Here are three recipients that demonstrate the important work that the grants support:

  • In Mt. Pleasant, $25,000 in Amerigroup funds are supporting implementation of a new electronic software program focused on improving health in Titus County and four surrounding counties. The program, called Unite Us, allows the Titus Regional Medical Center to work with community organizations to address residents’ healthcare needs. The effort will empower people by better connecting them not only to healthcare, but also to housing, employment, food, behavioral health services and other critical resources. As the grant application notes, health needs are especially acute in Northeast Texas — which experiences mortality higher rates than most of Texas and, were it a stand-alone state, would have ranked 45th in overall adjusted mortality.
  • In Snyder, the Cogdell Family Clinic also received $25,000 to help recruit a female, bilingual family practice and obstetrics physician to not only meet health needs in Scurry County and surrounding counties, but also to lessen the crushing workload on the region’s physicians. In its application, the clinic noted that the community recently lost two family practice and obstetrics physicians who moved elsewhere: “While we’re fortunate to offer OB services … our existing family practice/OB physicians are frankly exhausted.”
  • In Breckenridge, the program provided nearly $26,000 to the Breckenridge Medical Center, which will allow the center to buy a generator to provide backup power. While the clinic is open seven days a week to serve Stephens County and the surrounding area, it is vulnerable to power outages that require medicines to be moved, communications to cease, and appointments to be cancelled whenever they strike. Further, such blackouts require patients to get care at the local emergency room when it can’t be provided at the medical center. The generator will not only guard against these threats — it also will make the medical center more resilient during an emergency or disaster.

“These are three examples of communities that are benefitting from this program. There are 19 more in 2022 alone,” said Quang Ngo, President of the TORCH Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be making this difference for Texas communities, and we’re grateful to Amerigroup for providing the drive and the resources to make these initiatives a reality.”

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