Hidalgo County Commissioners Court has awarded Community Hope Projects, Inc., doing business as Hope Family Health Center, funding in the amount of $1 million from the American Rescue Plan Act and designated for the Primary Care and Behavioral Health Program.

The funding is to be distributed in the amount of $250,000 annually over a four-year period.

The funding is being provided to assist HOPE to continue in its mission to provide primary medical care, behavioral counseling, and case management services. This funding will also cover expenses for additional actions and programs necessary to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

HOPE is a free health clinic founded in 1996 by Sister Marion Strohmeyer, David Saavedra, LCSW, Ann W. Cass, and the Rev. Gerald Frank with commitment to providing integrated medical and counseling services to the uninsured and indigent living in the Rio Grande Valley. HOPE celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2021 and proudly serves as an integral part of our community’s safety-net, providing vital primary care services to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Despite the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a significant decrease in funding, HOPE has been able to continue its service by conducting over 7,800 medical and counseling appointments during 2020 and over 8,000 patient appointments in 2021. We expect demand for our services to continue to rise. HOPE does not accept insurance or charge for the services it provides. Therefore, our ability to operate is dependent on the generosity of our community and through fundraisers and grants like this substantial grant provided by Hidalgo County leadership. The funding provided by Hidalgo County will make it possible for HOPE to sustain our current level of services for the foreseeable future, expand access to healthcare services for the most vulnerable, and avoid service reductions that had been forecast for the latter half of 2022.

On behalf of the HOPE Board of Directors, our staff, our patients, and myself, we express our deepest and heartfelt gratitude to Judge Richard Cortez for his leadership in spearheading efforts to secure this extraordinary funding, and to County Commissioners David Fuentes, Precinct 1; Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu, Precinct 2; Everardo “Ever” Villarreal, Precinct 3; and Ellie Torres, Precinct 4 for their support and love for our community. HOPE vows to continue serving the uninsured population in the Rio Grande Valley with excellence, integrity and respect.

HOPE extends an invitation to our community to join us on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the HOPE Family Health Center for an honorary distinction and thank you to the Honorable Judge Richard Cortez and Hidalgo County Commissioners David Fuentes, Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu, Everardo “Ever” Villarreal, and Ellie Torres.

Here are the details:

Monday, January 10, 2022

10:30 am – 11:15 am

Hope Family Health Center

2332 Jordan Rd., McAllen, TX 78503

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Roxanne Pacheco, executive director of Hope Family Health Center. Pacheco, pictured above, can be reached by email via: [email protected] The group’s website address is: hopefamilyhealthcenter.org.

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