This past May, we celebrated 44 years of helping the community. Over the years, we have worked hard to provide our patients with the medical assistance and advice they need, along with educating them about their medical issues and preventative health measures. Unfortunately, with so many in our community needing assistance, we haven’t always had the time to address the educational aspect as fully as we have liked. So in 2016, El Paso Baptist Clinic partnered with the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine to create a community outreach program for our patients and provide them with the information and support they need.
The Community Education Outreach Program pairs medical students each week with small groups of patients for intimate information sessions on a range of health topics, such as diabetes care, hypertension, and heart-healthy lifestyle choices. Currently, the group hosts 5 sessions each month, with information provided by student volunteers from the medical school and educational materials from well-respected references, such as the CDC & the US Preventative Services Task Force. Student volunteers also assist doctors with pharmacy and intake duties, and they’ve even created a newsletter to share the information about their programs.
With the Outreach Program, patients get their questions answered while also learning about prevention, early screening, and healthy lifestyle options. By involving them in their own care, and empowering them with information about their health, this program is helping reduce the likelihood of patients repeating at-risk behaviors or passing on misinformation and bad habits to family members. The medical students gain invaluable experience treating a range of patients from diverse backgrounds, while also learning how to refine their communication and treatment techniques to better communicate with and treat their patients.
The Community Education Outreach Program has already proven to have a real, tangible impact on the communities served by the El Paso Baptist Clinic. Our hope is to continue to expand this program to offer more sessions and incorporate additional educational input from our community of doctors, nutritionists, and other healthcare providers. We’re always looking for additional volunteers and medical collaborators to help support our programs.
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