SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 1, 2007) ― Young children enrolled in programs of Avance-San Antonio will have the opportunity for free medical care through a new Community Outreach Clinic staffed by nurses and nursing students from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 5, at the clinic, 2642 Castroville Road.
Initially, the clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, staffed by Mary Maffei, P.N.P., coordinator of the pediatric nurse practitioner program in the School of Nursing. In addition, undergraduate nursing students and nurse practitioner master’s degree students will have the opportunity to practice their skills at the clinic, under the supervision of UT Health Science Center faculty members.
Avance-San Antonio, the local chapter of the nationally recognized nonprofit parent-child education organization AVANCE Inc., provides a variety of parenting education and support programs to low-income families to help them enhance their parenting skills, nurture their children and improve their lives. Among the services offered are prenatal support, parenting education, early childhood education for children from birth to age 3, health and nutrition services, social service assistance and parent leadership/involvement activities.
“The services we will provide at the Community Outreach Clinic are for babies and for children under the age of 3,” explained Kay Avant, R.N., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Family Nursing and holder of the Roger L. and Laura D. Zeller Charitable Foundation Professorship. “Many of the families who receive services through Avance-San Antonio are low income, do not speak English or are illegal immigrants, so they are often distrustful or do not know how to navigate the traditional health care system. This will be a safe provider that they know and trust,” she said.
The clinic will offer well-baby checkups and developmental assessments. “We hope that, over time and when more funding becomes available, we will be able to expand the staff and days of the week that we are open and eventually be able to provide services for the whole family,” Avant explained.
“The biggest value of the Community Outreach Clinic for the families and children will be the accessibility to these services where they already have a relationship and foundation of trust,” said Rebecca Cervantez, executive director of Avance-San Antonio.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields.