Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
In this small community where the local economic development corporation has taken to heart a community health project, a $2,000 grant helps bring the dream of establishing a clinic here a little bit closer.
“Our ultimate goal is to turn this – ” Alto Health For All, a monthly health screening and education fair offered every third Tuesday of the month – “into a public clinic,” said Alto EDC administrative assistant Kathi Davis. “We've visited other local clinics to get a feel how they operate, and we got to meet with a doctor. We're in the (early) planning stages of that mission (and) this grant is a good start.”
The CVS Caremark Community Grant was awarded last month to the EDC, created by the company “as part of its commitment to helping people on the path to better health by creating greater access to health care and health education for at-risk and underserved populations,” according to a release issued by the Alto EDC.
The health fair project kicked off last March, steadily growing in the number of clients served – 25 – and participating providers – 21, Davis said.
“Our providers come from all over – Smith, Anderson, Nacogdoches, Angelina (counties) – but most of our clients are local,” she explained. “The longer time (passes), the more word of mouth (the project is getting) and people are becoming more familiar with it.”
The CVS grant ensures uninterrupted operation of the much-needed project, because it helps local citizens “with their medical needs like maintaining diseases,” said EDC president Carey Palmer.
“By getting monthly screenings they can report back to their doctor. Even if people learn of possible risks, they can consult their physician about (them) … early detection with wellness education is what we like to see,” he said.
In the release, Hanley Wheeler, senior vice president of CVS/pharmacy WEST operations, said that “as a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health and supporting organizations that reduce barriers and increase access to quality health care services to at-risk and underserved populations.
“We are proud to support the work that Alto Economic Development Corp. does in the community, and we look forward to working with them in fulfilling their program's mission,” he added.
In celebration of its one-year anniversary, Davis said Alto Health For All will host a gathering from 1-3 p.m. March 19, during a regularly scheduled monthly clinic.
The event will be held at the community center located at 166 Cooper Street.
Clients and providers can contact Davis at 936-858-4412 for more information.