AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Beginning Feb. 25, Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers will start making house calls in the Greater Hornsby Bend community - an area with limited access to health care.
Residents can schedule appointments with a CommUnityCare family nurse practitioner, who will come to their home along with a bilingual medical assistant to address acute illnesses like colds and flu, help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Home visits will be available by appointment Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
"This is an interim solution to bring greater access to health care in the Greater Hornsby Bend area," said Mike Geeslin, Central Health President and CEO.
"Residents who live in the area, and our partner CommUnityCare, have been instrumental in making this happen - they helped us shape this pilot program. Until we can open a permanent clinic, we're following a timeless health care model used around the world, especially in rural or harder-to-reach areas, which is bringing health care into a person's living room."
The next phase for Greater Hornsby Bend, which includes Austin's Colony, includes a 1,000-square-foot, pre-fabricated modular building with three exam rooms located next to the Travis County Emergency Services District (ESD) 4 fire station. The modular building will be similar, yet smaller, to the Sandra Joy Anderson Health & Wellness Center on the Huston-Tillotson University campus in East Austin. Long-term plans (Phase III) include construction of a permanent health and wellness center at a location to be determined.
Thousands of individuals living in Eastern Travis County, including Austin's Colony/Hornsby Bend, travel to Austin's main urban core to receive care through CommUnityCare. "For too many people in Eastern Travis County, access to care includes driving into Austin, taking an expensive taxi or rideshare, or several bus transfers - if transit is even available," said Dr. Jaeson Fournier, CommUnityCare CEO. "We are committed to finding better, more effective solutions to connecting people to care closer to home."
CommUnityCare hired Family Nurse Practitioner, Emily Griffin, to lead the pilot. Griffin recently met with residents to answer questions and talk about her experience performing home health visits. "I've been doing home visits in the Austin area for more than two years, and I really enjoy bringing care to the patients in their own homes. When I see the patient in their home, it helps me better assess their challenges and devise a plan to help them get better and live healthier, "said Griffin.
To make an appointment, residents should call 512-978-8881.
The home visit pilot is limited to the area of Greater Hornsby Bend.