Island University and Texas A&M Partner to Create Change in Colonias

Published: October 14, 2016

Island University and Texas A&M Partner to Create Change in Colonias

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Celebrating 25 years of change and development within economically distressed areas in Texas, the Texas A&M University Colonias Program has partnered with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences to provide resources to those who have limited access to medical care.

It is the mission of the Colonias Program to develop and deliver solutions for the betterment of those residing within the colonias. The partnership will assist those residing within rural communities that lack one or more of the major infrastructure such as potable water, sewage systems and electricity.

“There are long wait times to see healthcare providers in these communities, and often providers drop in and out inconsistently which allow for immunizations, infectious disease and chronic illness to become an issue,” said Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at A&M-Corpus Christi. “Our intent with the program is to build healthcare bridges that will sustain the residents of the colonias by providing the help of our Islander nursing students.”

Standing together to create a change, the Texas A&M College of Architecture Colonias Program hosted a symposium on Oct. 6 in the A&M-CC University Center Anchor Ballroom. The event aimed to educate community healthcare professionals who will be working in the colonias, to recognize basic health and psycho-social needs of patients. Dr. Theresa Garcia, Ph.D., RN, and Assistant Professor of Nursing at A&M-CC gave the keynote address on her research, “The Healthy Us Grandparents Study (HUGS).” Students learned about the cultural expectations and challenges that arise while serving these rural communities while providing assistance with the symposium.

“Students who participate in this program are not only learning while earning their degree but they are being exposed to communities and populations they may not encounter on a daily basis,” said Oscar Munoz, Director of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University Colonias Program.

Munoz plans to work towards the integration of the Colonias Program with A&M-CC’s College of Science and Engineering and College of Education and Human Development to increase affordable services and resources within the colonias.