Community Medicine Program

I often say to residents, “People come to you for care because of what’s happening out there in the community!” says Leah Fanuiel, LCSW.  This is one of the reasons the Family Medicine Community Medicine program was created.  It is imperative for a conscientious physician to know about the community in which she/he lives.

Our residents are exposed to various facets of the Galveston County community to increase their knowledge base of appropriate interactions which includes interpersonal skills, patient advocacy, collaboration building, cultural awareness, sensitivity, and more.  Residents are placed at community sites with target populations, to learn about systems related to services for patient referrals.  They also provide services to these communities by way of classroom interactions in primary schools, teaching prevention strategies to ward off obesity, teenage pregnancy, diabetes and aid in healthy lifestyle habits, to name a few.

These experiences are meant to facilitate an integrative approach for the understanding of assessing and addressing patient needs within the context of the community which includes social and cultural aspects.  The Family Medicine Community Medicine program as been in existence since 1994 and has evolved through the years to become a very integral part of resident training.

Some of the goals for the program are to:

  • Familiarize the resident with multiple aspects of community medicine and public health, which include disease prevention, health screening and promotion, epidemiology, community education, disaster responsiveness, environmental illness and injury and occupational health.
  • Foster community health projects that reflect an assessment of a community’s health needs and a collaborative approach to positively influence the health status within that community
  • Develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and tools to enable integration of the concepts of community health, advocacy and intervention in future practice
  • Emphasis the importance of  being mindful of professionalism
Some of the organizations our residents have been interacted with include:

The Jesse Tree
Holistic organization that provides a wide variety of services to underserved population including Chronic Disease Management Classes, ESL classes, Substance Use Disorder counseling, employment help, Food Fairs, Medical Equipment Loan Program and Medication Assistance. Community outreach is a special facet of this organization; Port Bolivar is a new venture, a community that was devastated by hurricane Ike.  Residents are providing medical screening and patient education.

St. Vincent’s Clinic

This is a free clinic for the uninsured, run by UTMB medical students. Some of the services St. Vincent’s offers are a Medication Patient Assistance program, clothing bank, food pantry, and a fully certified Day Care for low income families.

Ball High Teen Prenatal Clinic
Residents provide OB care for pregnant teens and classroom presentations on topics related to parenting, pregnancy, etc.

Mainland Preparatory Academy

Residents have provided classroom presentations on various topics such as nutrition, career planning, self-esteem, etc. to the schools 8th classes.

The Children’s Center Multicultural Institute

The agency provides shelter, medical care; counseling and classroom instructions to children who are in the country illegally, all children are Spanish speaking only. Residents have provided classroom instruction to these undocumented children who live at the center. Residents have also provided presentations to staff.

Our Daily Bread
This Sisters of Charity organization provides counseling, clothing, meals, AA/NA support groups to homeless and other populations

Galveston County Health District

Residents have various experiences at this public health agency that include Women, Infant’s and Children program, STD/HIV Prevention and Control program, TB Elimination Services, etc.

Women’s Resource and Crisis Center
This is a shelter for women and men in abusive relationships. Residents have provided group counseling to this population.

Galveston County Senior Citizens Programs
This provides home delivered meals program, in-home caregivers, on-site structured activities for well elderly, social excursions and transportation assistance.

The Gulf Coast Center MHMR Recovery Program

This program is the hub of all recovery services in Galveston and Brazoria counties.  Residents are scheduled for various experiences at this site including visits to ADA House and Pathway to Recovery Substance Use Disorder Treatment facilities.
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The Department of Family Medicine, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1123. Phone 409.772.0620. Fax 409.772.4296
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