TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries earned its Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike designation Feb. 1, the next step in its yearslong journey of transitioning to be a Federally Qualified Health Center eligible for federal funding, the clinic announced in a Feb. 29 news release.

With the designation, TOMAGWA can now develop and implement services that are required to meet the full qualifications for designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center, according to the news release.

How we got here

TOMAGWA began the process to become an FQHC in 2020 in response to struggling to meet growing patient demand, as FQHCs are able to receive federal grant funds, Community Impact previously reported.

TOMAGWA has previously operated as a safety net clinic, relying on private donations to fund its services for uninsured and underinsured residents in Tomball, Magnolia and Waller, according to prior reporting.

“It was an unsettling time in our history to not know how we were going to care for existing patients while having our systems overwhelmed with new patients who had lost jobs during the lockdowns and needed comprehensive health care services,” CEO Timika Simmons said via news release. “We had a choice to either succumb to the pressures of the times and close our doors or stand for those most in need who depend on us. After seeking God, we were clear that we had to make a clarion call to our community so that we could once again bind together to meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Last May, the clinic submitted its application to become an FQHC Look-Alike, with a site visit conducted last fall.

Zooming in

According to the news release, with this designation, TOMAGWA can now:

  • Expand its income-based sliding fee discount to individuals and families regardless of their insurance status
  • Remove high deductibles and copays as a barrier to quality health care if a patient has an income at 200% or below the federal poverty level
  • Expand its discounted prescriptions to patients through select retail pharmacies for those with transportation barriers
  • Bring National Health Service Corps health care professionals to the region
  • Offer student loan forgiveness to clinicians employed by the clinic

Learn more

Learn more about the clinic by visiting