SOURCE: First Priority

First Priority

August 09, 2012 13:00 ET

First Priority Responds to Houston Healthcare Needs

10 Community Health Centers Collaborate to Offer Accessible Affordable Quality Care

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Aug 9, 2012) - Over one million of Harris County's population lives without healthcare coverage and 70 percent of the uninsured are working class individuals who are struggling to afford the necessary primary care services their families need.

In response to these staggering statistics, the First Priority program was unveiled today at Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center as a unified resource to provide low-cost, high-quality health care to help area families achieve optimal wellness.

First Priority is a network of affordable community health centers that, combined, are able to serve Houston area residents with 700 employees at more than 20 locations. The collaboration's community health centers offer convenient locations for families to obtain a wide range of well-care services.

"It's a sad fact that more than a million Houston area residents are uninsured, have no personal doctor and resort to emergency room visits," said Marlen Trujillo, CEO of Spring Branch Community Health Center, one of First Priority's collaborating Centers. "First Priority was designed to be among the most accessible and affordable in the greater Houston area, and to meet our community's health needs. Every family, every patient, and every condition receives the best care at First Priority community health centers."

First Priority's collaborating community health centers are committed to keeping the entire family healthy, with services ranging from adult and pediatric primary care, dental, ob/gyn, pharmacy, vaccinations, diagnostics and specialty care.

Houston area residents have a greater incidence of diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease, compared to those in other cities in Texas. Prevention and routine care are solutions to healthy living, and will benefit families in the long run.

"An astounding 31 percent of our residents, and more than one in ten of our children, are uninsured," stated Olivia Dear, Interim Execute Director, Harris County Healthcare Alliance. "Houston is known across the country as having some of the best health care professionals, yet financial, language and cultural barriers prevent many from taking care of their health and that of their families. For example, among women who gave birth in the last five years, 16 percent either received late or no prenatal care, primarily due to economic factors."

The First Priority program's ten centers with more than 20 locations all provide multi-lingual personnel and a wide array of medical and dental services. Committed to provide low-cost, high-quality services to the uninsured, the centers offer convenient sliding scale fees based on income. Most honor Medicare and Medicaid.

"First Priority's promise is to bring you the right tools and services so that health becomes something your family enjoys, rather than struggles to achieve," added Trujillo. "We want to make it easy to keep your family healthy."

The ten First Priority centers providing quality, accessible service to all regardless of insurance status are: Spring Branch Community Health Center, Central Care Community Health Center, El Centro de Corazón, Houston Area Community Services, Good Neighbor Healthcare Center, Healthcare for the Homeless, Vecino Health Centers, HOPE Clinic, Legacy Community Health Services, and San José Clinic.

For additional information and to learn which community health centers offer services ranging from family medicine and primary care, prenatal, dental, behavioral health and counseling, specialized services, and health education programs, call 888-344-2590 or visit www.firstpriorityhouston.org. First Priority is an initiative of the Harris County Healthcare Alliance's Funders Collaborative.