Category: Health

Anyone can help save lives in Central Texas

Successful and equitable deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most hopeful path to economic recovery, educational re-engagement, and re-emergence of cultural life in Central Texas. From vaccine clinics in church parking lots to high school cafeterias, we are proud to be a part of the coordinated effort to save lives in Central Texas. In collaboration with Austin Community Foundation and St. David’s Foundation, we awarded $415,000 in funding to 19 community-based organizations. These grants will support COVID-19 vaccine confidence and equitable access among Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other groups that have suffered disproportionately the adverse health and economic impacts from the pandemic.  “Vaccines save lives,” said Stephanie Cerda, Vaccine Equity Program Manager at United Way for Greater Austin. “People of color and people with low income have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and these same communities now face challenges in accessing the vaccine due to barriers like language, technology, transportation, and more. We’re honored to partner with 19 community-based organizations to improve vaccine access, provide culturally relevant outreach to address hesitancy, and get our community closer to herd immunity.” Organizations receiving grants have deep connections in the community and a plan for increasing vaccination rates for underserved, unserved, disconnected, and rural populations in Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).  Congratulations to the grantees! Learn more about the grantees here. “This work is very reliant on trust and building relationships,” said Cerda. “I know from my background as an educator, the first […]

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United together, we can weather every storm

Fighting poverty means fighting to change broken systems, and last week every member of our community felt the weight of broken systems. No one in Texas was safe from the statewide systems failure that caused millions of Texans to be without power, heat, clean drinking water, and access to food and resources when needed. It was a terrible week, and our community will feel the weight of tragedy and trauma for years to come as we rebuild together. As setbacks mounted many felt hopeless, but in the wake of the disaster something beautiful happened. While systems let us down, our neighbors came together to find their own solutions. United together in community, we helped each other make it through. There are many bright stories from across the city of grassroots organizations, volunteers, and individuals who made sure neighbors had some way to stay warm and fed, and that they had access to water. The team at United Way for Greater Austin saw an opportunity to bring together our friends and partners to help with the water crisis, and quickly jumped into action.  Last Friday (February 19), reports of city-wide water outages and clean water concerns surfaced. United Way ATX’s Madison Mattise (Director of Pre-K Partnerships) and Cathy McHorse (VP of Success By 6) wanted to ensure that Austin families with young children had access to the clean water they needed to weather this crisis. They immediately began connecting with the greater United Way ATX team, partners, and local child care […]

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Happy 2nd Birthday Family Connects! Meet the Nurses…

Family Connects Texas turns 2 years old this month, and we are so excited to celebrate the women who make this work possible! In case you didn’t know, research shows that 95 percent of all families have needs after the birth of a child. These needs are unique to each family, and Family Connects bridges the gap between parents and community resources to improve family well-being. Our nurses serve whole families in Austin/Travis County, checking in on all caregivers and the baby in the early postpartum period! We have proudly served over 1,300 families over the last 2 years through St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, and we have loved every minute of it. Don’t take it from us, take it from our team on the front line! Meet the amazing Family Connects nursing team: Brenda Fincher, RN Senior Why do you love Family Connects? I know that having a baby is the most special time in your life, a time to be celebrated! Unfortunately it can also be stressful and parents can have unexpected concerns and worries! I love that Family Connects provides an opportunity to spend time with new parents and connecting with them to give them support and reassurance. I love working with the Mommies and their Babies! I know that when I have left a family and the Mommy is feeling more confident and reassured, It’s a good day for me! Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can […]

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Meeting families where they are, virtually

Even before COVID-19 we knew that all families could use support at the birth of a child, and some things never change. Now more than ever families may be experiencing heightened stress, anxiety, and other obstacles when they are bringing a new child into their home. Babies don’t come with an instruction manual. That’s why Family Connects Texas offers a FREE home visit from a registered nurse for families with a newborn. Before the pandemic, our nurses would come to your family’s home 3-weeks postpartum and offer in depth support. Now, our nurses meet you virtually, to help your family safely in today’s socially distanced world. During your 2-hour video chat, nurses check on mom, baby, and the whole family. In light of COVID-19, Family Connects was able to pivot their model to meet families where they are – virtually. We are so proud of our team for finding innovative ways to reimagine what high quality care and education in our community looks like. Families are still receiving the same great service, at a safe social distance during COVID-19. Staci Bishopp is a local first-time mom who has been weathering birth and postpartum during the pandemic, and she is thankful for the support Family Connects was able to provide her.  Staci, her partner Tim, and their baby Finn all received a virtual visit from a Family Connects nurse earlier this summer. She first learned about Family Connects Texas from her providers at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, and signed […]

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