Community Health Connect:
A Texas Accountable Communities for Health Initiative

Bridging health care and community in Williamson County

Did you know that how long you live or how healthy you will be has a lot to do with where you live? Current research shows that 80% of health outcomes are driven by non-medical drivers like community environments, healthy behaviors, and access to basic needs such as housing, food, and transportation.

Community Health Connect, powered by United Way for Greater Austin, is addressing health challenges across Williamson County. Through partnerships with health care providers and local nonprofits, we bring together diverse groups of invested community members and organizational leaders to launch evidence-based initiatives rooted in community.

Our Vision

To provide equitable access to opportunities for all residents in Williamson County to improve their health and well-being.

How do we work?

We are working to reduce health risks in the community, increase access to healthy food, increase cross-sector initiatives to address health drivers, and increase outcome-based community services.

We bring local residents and partners together to take a deep look at community and individual health outcomes and decide where it makes sense for us to work smarter together. We are building a shared understanding of what it means to live in a community where everyone who lives, works, plays, and prays has a role to play in supporting health and not just health care.  

Using the Texas Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (TACHI) model means we are committed to working on a broad scale focusing on policy, systems, and environmental shifts that have the potential for community-wide impact. 

Our measurable outcomes

Reduction of health risks in targeted populations

Reduction of food insecurity

Increase in multi-sector health care and social service engagement

Increase in data-sharing and outcome-based services

Our programs

Pathways Community HUB

Our Pathways Community HUB is currently providing care coordination, health education, and advocacy for pregnant moms and postpartum moms in Williamson County. We harness the power of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to serve as bridges between health care providers and community members, offering personalized support and guidance.

This is an evidence based program with a strong track record of improving health outcomes for moms and babies. This no-cost service to Williamson County participants is one way Community Health Connect is working to reduce health disparities and connect families to the resources they need to thrive.

The benefits:

Through home visits and personalized support they are working to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.

Here’s a little of what our Community Health Workers (CHWs) can do:

Develop trusting, one-on-one relationships by meeting moms in their home, at the doctor’s office, community center, or wherever they feel most comfortable. Our CHWs provide services in English and Spanish and will get translators as needed. Many of our moms are nervous about accessing health care or food benefits. We can work with them to build their confidence and advocate for their needs.

Act as a liaison between the healthcare system, patients, and families/caregivers. Many families aren’t just juggling one or two needs, they are juggling many needs and pregnancy can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to go. Our team stays up to date on best practices, availability of local resources, and take the guesswork out of knowing where and how to get started.

Gain support from other organizations serving the community. Isn’t great to go to a doctor’s visit or community organization when you already know what to expect? Our CHWs work hard to network and participate in community events, health care opportunities, and benefits. They share this information with local providers and those seeking services to streamline the intake process, get right fit referrals, and track outcomes.

Know someone who may benefit from this program?

Have more questions?

Email: pathwayshub@uwaustin.org

Call (512) 382-8614 for more information

Did you know…

13.1% of babies in Williamson County are born after mom receive inadequate prenatal care

The preterm birth rates for Williamson County have increased to 9.9%

Our Initiatives

Community Health Connect launched our Food Access Initiative in 2023 to address the growing number of families needing access to food.

With every food pantry and church support program reporting a drastic increase in requests for food since the pandemic, we started convening partners to find out ways we could work smarter together.

Current Projects

County Needs Assessment

In partnership with the Central Texas Food Bank we are launching Williamson County’s first-ever community needs assessment based entirely on food access. Our final report will be out in Fall of 2024. 

Community Meals Project

In partnership with the Sustainable Food Center we are reaching out to local communities in Williamson County to discover those deeply-rooted community practices that are connecting families to the food they need. We want to learn what’s working in our rural and urban areas to create a roadmap of best practices and uncommon behavior that works here in Central Texas. 

Food Facts

1 out of every 3 families in Williamson County worries about their ability to meet their basic expenses including food

1 in 9 people in Williamson County experience some level of food insecurity

1 out of 7 children in Williamson County are food insecure

Central Texas Food Bank indicated it will take an increase of 6.2 million meals annually to meet the need for local families

Meet our coalition partners

Funders
  • Episcopal Health Foundation
  • Georgetown Health Foundation
  • St David’s Foundation
  • Texas Mutual Insurance Company
Partners
  • Lone Star Circle of Care
  • Ascension Seton
  • Williamson County and Cities Health District
  • Georgetown Health Foundation
  • Williamson County EMS
  • GTX Connect
Dark silhouette of girl on a white background, the concept of anonymity

To learn more, please contact:

Dorothy Light
Community Health Connect Director
Dorothy.Light@uwatx.org

More about TACHI

TACHI is making big changes in how we approach health in Texas. Episcopal Health Foundation, St. David’s Foundation, and local partners in six Texas communities are launching TACHI programs and partnerships across the state. The goal is to find smart and lasting ways to help people and communities stay healthy. TACHI uses innovative ideas and tools to make it easier for everyone to get the care they need and play a part in keeping everyone well. For more information, please see the TACHI website.

More about Pathways Community HUB

The Pathways Community HUB model is an evidence-based approach to improving health outcomes by harnessing the power of Community Health Workers (CHWs). These dedicated individuals serve as bridges between healthcare providers and community members, offering personalized support and guidance. In this model, CHWs play a crucial role in finding and addressing non-medical drivers of health. By building trust and relationships within the community, CHWs empower individuals to navigate the complex healthcare system and make informed decisions about their well-being. The Pathways Community HUB model not only focuses on reducing health risks but also emphasizes preventive measures and holistic support, creating a more connected, informed, and healthier community. For more information, please see the Pathways Community HUB Institute website.