UTRGV College of Health Affairs ceremonies launch primary care clinics

BY Jennifer L. Berghom

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s College of Health Affairs will hold ribbon-cutting ceremonies July 7 and 8 for the grand opening of two primary care clinics it will operate in McAllen and Harlingen.

Both events start at 9 a.m. The first will be July 7 at 300 E. Hackberry Ave in McAllen; the second will be July 8 at 2106 Treasure Hills Blvd. in Harlingen.

The UTRGV Community Primary Care Clinics were made possible by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, to provide primary healthcare services to residents in underserved communities.

The College of Health Affairs and its School of Nursing will operate the two clinics four days a week, two days at each clinic.

The purpose of the grant is to provide students in the nursing and other allied health disciplines the opportunity to get hands-on training in an interprofessional model of providing care, and to offer much-needed healthcare to underserved communities, said Dr. María I. Díaz, UTRGV associate professor of nursing and the project’s director.

“The whole emphasis is that students learn this new model of care to have more positive outcomes for patients,” she said.

In addition to the clinics, the nursing program and its partners also plan to go to colonias throughout Hidalgo County.

UTRGV is one of more than 20 national institutions — including universities, health systems and community health centers — participating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Program grant to offer care through these Interprofessional Collaborative Practice clinics.