East Texas Wellness
The University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center is collaborating with community leaders and members in Cherokee, Gregg, Smith, Van Zandt, Henderson, and Wood counties to promote improved health outcomes. These efforts have been supported by a Texas Department of State Health Services program titled Community-based Consortium for Increasing Vaccine Uptake in East Texas.
Focus group discussion with community leaders and members in these counties revealed East Texas benefits from health information delivered by trusted local medical professionals and peers. Our data also revealed that East Texans would benefit from a better understanding of the future risk of COVID-19 surges, how to best protect individual health by layering mitigation efforts as additional variants emerge, and the need for future boosters and vaccines. There are other pathogens such as flu and RSV that have also caused concern, and ETX wellness would like to help provide information on how best to avoid severe illness and disease, as well as avoid hospitalization, for infectious disease.
ETX Wellness understands that wellness requires a multifaceted community response. We are utilizing a Whole Health Framework with some components from the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/wscc/index.htm ). In order to promote physical education and physical activity, nutrition environment and services and health education, we aim to connect individuals to health services with a focus on vaccine preventable diseases. Community involvement is critical in this process of improving health outcomes in our local and regional communities and neighborhoods.
If you would like to know how your community or neighborhood can be involved in this effort towards greater wellness and whole health, please contact us!
Pandemic Public Health in East Texas
Grant Paul, Research Assistant & MPH Student