Current Initiatives

 

1. Attracting and retaining medical and health professionals of all types to the Gulf Coast Medical Foundation service area.

2. Increasing favorable life outcomes for vulnerable children, birth through 12th grade. The outcomes include reducing the negative impacts of poverty on mental and behavioral development; improving physical, emotional and social outcomes in children; and building competencies for successful navigation of adulthood.

3. Wharton West End Initiative

The impact of Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floodwaters in August of 2017 have challenged eastern Wharton County in many ways, not the least of which is the health and welfare of its citizens. Gulf Coast Medical Foundation has led the way in responding to this challenge by organizing and facilitating the WHARTON WEST END INITIATIVE, a coalition of stakeholders represented by governmental leadership from the City of Wharton and Wharton County; local funders and non-profit agencies; faith-based organizations; representatives from the Wharton County Recovery Team; economic and business leaders; and residents.

In the past three years, one particular neighborhood in Wharton has experienced dramatic flooding on three separate occasions: the 2015 Memorial Day flood, the 2016 Tax Day flood and the 2017 Hurricane Harvey flooding. The area is bound by FM 102, Highway 59 and the Colorado River, and is commonly known as The West End of Wharton. The West End is comprised of approximately 460 single-family residences. Only 149 of the 460 homes did not experience flood water above the finish floor.
This historically African-American neighborhood has experienced decades of generational poverty, high teenage pregnancy rates, high rates of unemployment and high dropout rates from public school. The high social vulnerability in census tract 7403, where the West End is located, has been expressed by the following determinates:

 CT 7403State of TX
Total population 1846 28.5M
Population in poverty 27.8% 17.2%
Children in poverty 38.8% 25%
No high school diploma 35.2% 18.4%
On disability 14.0% 8.2%
Unemployment 21.3% 3.9%
No health insurance 31.9% 16.6%
Single parent families 39.8% 35%
Free or reduced lunch 63.2% 50%
* These statistics derived from Episcopal Health Foundation and KIDS COUNT data center.

 

The Initiative is working to engage and empower individuals, families and groups in the West End of Wharton to create a just, vibrant and sustainable community by reaching four pillars of success:

  • To offer safe, affordable and resilient (flood-proof) housing.
  • To improve overall health of residents and access to affordable health care.
  • To equip the Dawson Resource Center to be the hub of the community.
  • To build a more economically vibrant and socially integrated community by developing businesses to reinvigorate the West End.