Central Health plans to expand health services into Eastern Travis County, expanding access to care to areas with few resources.
“I’m really excited about what will happen in Eastern Travis County with bringing these new services and service expansions to the area,” CEO Mike Geeslin said.
The Del Valle area, Northeast Travis County, city of Manor and Community First! Village may soon have access to more health care services and clinics, Central Health COO Larry Wallace said.
Wallace said the expansion will help provide health care in areas currently underserved. Manor, Colony Park and the Community First! Village each only have one operating clinic. Del Valle only has services provided for children after its sole clinic closed in 2016 because of road construction.
“When we looked at that territory, there was very little in terms of resources available,”
Central Health is working with 14 partners in a joint group called the Eastern Travis County Health & Wellness Collaboration. Collaborators include the city of Austin, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University and Planned Parenthood.
Central Health is still in the planning stage of the proposals for each area. Some of the proposed clinics still need to be approved by several different entities, Wallace said.
“That’s the nature of partnerships,” he said. “We don’t control everything.”
Here are the proposals for each area. These proposals, however, are fluid and may change as work continues, according to Central Health officials.
Some residents in Eastern Travis County have been vocal about the need for more health services in the area and have expressed frustration with Central Health.
At a public forum hosted in early August by Germane Solutions, an independent consultancy forum conducting a performance review of Travis County Health District, residents Rebecca Birch and Richard Franklin said Central Health needs to do more for the area.
Franklin, a throat cancer survivor, said he traveled 22 miles every day for two months to receive treatment.
“We need help, and we need it right now,” Franklin said. “People are dying.”