School of Nursing Receives Grant to Address Social Determinants of Health in Travis County

A one-year, $250,000 grant was awarded to The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing by the Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation to conduct a community-centric needs assessment inclusive of social determinants of health. The assessment will be instrumental in informing services that will be provided by a new comprehensive community-based health clinic in the 78617 zip code neighborhood located in Southeast Travis County.

Over the next year, School of Nursing faculty and staff will complete 100 individual household assessments for health and social needs and identify the top five social needs and top five health needs from the data. This will include identifying current strengths and supports in the community as well as existing gaps in services. In addition, the project staff will assist clients with navigation and access to currently available community resources.

“We are thankful to the Episcopal Health Foundation for the funding to track and assess acute social and health needs here in Central Texas,” said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the School of Nursing. “This information is critical to help us understand what services are needed in the community from the perspective of those who live there.”

As one of the leading schools of nursing in the nation, The UT Austin School of Nursing’s purpose is to achieve excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and public service to advance the mission of The University of Texas.

The Episcopal Health Foundation believes that all Texans deserve to be healthy and is committed to transforming the health of communities by going beyond the doctor’s office. By providing millions of dollars in grants, working with congregations and community partners, and providing important research, EHF supports solutions that address the underlying causes of poor health.

“We look forward to partnering with the UT Austin School of Nursing to improve the health of the neighborhood by listening to those who live here,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “Access to medical care is just one important part of what determines a person’s health. When we also focus on non-medical factors like economic and social conditions, then we can begin to improve health, not just health care in a community.”