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The Meadows Foundation Awards TAMIU $150,000 Grant for Juntos for Better Health Program Posted: 7/12/18

The Meadows Foundation Awards TAMIU $150,000 Grant for Juntos for Better Health Program



A $150,000 continuation grant from The Meadows Foundation has been awarded to The Texas A&M University System for Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) to continue to strengthen its coordinated and integrated healthcare delivery network in Laredo and Jim Hogg and Zapata counties.

The Grant supports the Sí Texas Juntos for Better Health Grantadministered by TAMIU’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, said Canseco College of Nursing Dean Dr. Glenda Walker, grant principal investigator.

Dr. Walker noted that the program, initiated in 2016, has impacted over 12,000 South Texans, and has gained national recognition.

“TheJuntos for Better Healthintegrated care model has gained awareness and prestige from being featured in academic presentations at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  Ohio’s Kent State University is planning to implement a similar program in their area based on the Juntos model,” Dr. Walker explained.

She said the continuation grant will help Juntos for Healthto scale its operations successfully.

“This grant from The Meadows Foundation will provide vital support to help to continue to realize our Sí Texas - Juntos for Better Health Grantobjectives through a linked constellation of education, outreach and services,” Dr. Walker said. 

Juntos for Better Health focuses on the health care systems in Webb, Zapata, and Jim Hogg counties. The combined population of these counties is 290,688, most of which are in Webb County. Laredo, TX accounts for 94.8% of the population residing in Webb County (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Residents in this region suffer from disproportionate health disparities which stem from extreme poverty, lower levels of educational attainment, and inadequate access to basic health care needs. In Webb County, 95.5% of the population is Hispanic/Latino of Mexican descent and over half (51.2%) of the population indicate they speak English less than “very well” (Statistical Atlas, 2015). Twenty-three percent of residents in Jim Hogg and 39% of Zapata residents are monolingual Spanish speakers. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013).

Dr. Walker said the program operates through an approach featuring comprehensive healthcare and patient engagement.

“We’re focused on comprehensive healthcare and patient engagement using best practices, alongside an innovative patient education model delivered by our Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing students in a community course.  We also deploy a Traveling Health Care Team (THCT), a critical community outreach initiative that emphasizes primary screening and links to a medical home or mental health services. Primary screening is medical care assessment that includes glucose test, blood pressure, height, weight, BMI and behavioral health pre-screening,” Walker explained.

Service providers include Border Region Behavioral Health Center, City of Laredo Health Department, Gateway Community Health Center, SCAN (Serving Children and Adolescents in Need), and the Mid Rio Grande Border Area Health Education Center, Walker explained, noting the  THCT provides free of charge onsite visits and services for individuals 18 and over who are residents of Webb, Jim Hogg and Zapata counties. 

Secondary program interventions target health education and treatment compliance on topics such diabetes, depression and obesity. Finally, the program’s third intervention looks to build critical capacity and sharing resources with partner organizations to develop referral protocols and a shared information system to improve care and facilitate referrals.

TAMIU remains the primary part of the inaugural cohort of the Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas Project, funded by Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, the largest, private, faith-based funding source for healthcare services in South Texas, and a program of the Social Innovation Fund of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Project includes organizations in the Rio Grande Valley and Coastal Bend.    

Established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows, The Meadows Foundation has contributed greatly to enriching the lives of countless Texans in areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services. Headquartered in Dallas, it has also developed high-priority grant making initiatives in support of the environment, public education, and mental health.

Since its inception, The Meadows Foundation has disbursed more than $775 million in grants to more than 3,000 Texas institutions and agencies. It also established the Wilson Historical District in Dallas, a 22-acre campus that provides as many as 39 nonprofit agencies with rent-free space in restored historic buildings and new structures. The Foundation has invested more than $120 million to create and maintain the unique neighborhood, considered a benchmark for historic preservation and a holder of local, state, and national landmark designations.

For more on The Meadows Foundation, visit

Additional information is available by contacting Walker at the TAMIU College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing at 956.326.2574, by email at, or by visiting offices in the Canseco School of Nursing.

University information is also available online at and on social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.