The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Serving those who are underserved

Photo by Creative Commons

First responders ages 18-75 are eligible to participate in a vaccine trial hosted by A&M.

A “first-of-its-kind” Health Hub has been opened by the Texas A&M Health Science Center for the Brazos Valley.
The Health Science Center celebrated the opening of this institution on Oct. 6, which is designed to provide holistic treatment for all ages, for both the body and mind. The “Hub” represents a combination of training for future medical associates and treatment for those in need of any sort of health assistance.
Located on 29th St. in Bryan, the services provided include urgent care, family care, psychiatry, heart health, telebehavioral care and pharmacy medication management all in one convenient center. The ultimate goal of this operation is to benefit the community as a whole.
“If you think about it, the largest amount of needs for a population is primary health and wellness and mental health and wellness,” Dr. Sam Hogue of A&M Health and Family Care said. “So we put them together in a building where we could have team-based care, for caring for patients in the Brazos Valley, leveraging the expertise of our [Health] Science Center, pharmacy, medicine, nursing, public health, etc. all under one roof.”
Dr. Carly McCord, director of Telebehavioral Health at A&M’s College of Medicine, said Texas has one of the highest proportions of counties with mental health professional shortages. One of the motives for opening this health establishment is to equip medical students and future providers with either specialization or a broader expertise in order to accommodate the shortage, as well as equip them for any medical need.
“Texas A&M brings expertise, research, teaching and service delivery, and we put all of those together to provide the best care for our community,” McCord said. “At the same time, the training and education piece of the university is really important — equipping the next generation of health professionals to work together on physical and mental health.”
McCord said in addition to the ability for individuals to receive help for multiple services in one place, one of the best parts of the new Health Hub is the capability for patients to more easily connect with psychiatrists in the community.
“A big piece of what makes it so unique is the psychiatry piece,” McCord said. “Generally, psychiatrists are working independently in this community, and so being a part of a larger healthcare system and team is part of what makes that unique.”
Executive Director of the Office of Clinical Initiatives Les Jebson said the first two floors of the Hub are primary care, which involves a 30-resident, full-scope family medicine training program. They also have funding for best practices in maternal health and education. This center could be compared to the different urgent cares located in the area; however, the difference is the combined aspect of multiple services in one place for underserved populations.
“Our mission is to serve the state of Texas, with concentration on rural and the underserved, so we try to graduate residents that will go into underserved rural areas across the nation, and we’ve been successful at that,” Jebson said.
McCord said the Health Science Center has given way to a new kind of health operation for the Bryan-College Station community to utilize.
“We want to provide high-quality, evidence-based services, physical and mental health and beyond for the whole person, accessible to everyone in the Brazos Valley,” McCord said. “And on the training front to have an equipped generation of health professionals ready to work and serve in other underserved areas and to collaborate across disciplines, and to conduct cutting edge research that’s going to further patient care for decades to come.”

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