MEHOP announces partnership in Palacios


Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) and Palacios Community Medical Center (PCMC); a Mid Coast Health partner, announced a collaboration designed to improve and increase access to care for the entire Palacios community, and beyond.

Beginning November of this year, PCMC will make space in the Palacios Medical Clinic (PMC) available to MEHOP practitioners to serve our collective community.

“We’ll be providing both primary (medical) care and behavioral health services several days a week, to start,” saud MEHOP CEO Celeste Harrison.

According to PCMC Administrator Bob Pascasio, “This is something we’ve been working on for a while.”

Harrison shared that due to the federal support provided MEHOP, collaboratives of this nature not only require local Board approval; which was granted by both organization’s boards, but approval from the governing federal agencies as well. Hence, the reason it took a while to complete the transaction.

“MEHOP has served the Palacios community from its inception. For the past 10 years, patients of MEHOP had to drive to Bay City to receive MEHOP services. This arrangement allows those who call Palacios and the surrounding communities home to see their providers closer to home,” said Harrison.

Further, current literature identifies that rural providers like MEHOP and PCMC are under extreme pressure to survive, let alone thrive.

“It just makes sense to work together,” according to Pascasio who added “in order to drive down the cost of healthcare, while improving access, partnering with complementary agencies and organizations is critical.”

The initial plan is for medical staff from MEHOP to spend two days a week in Palacios, and behavioral/mental health providers one day. MEHOP will also bring along all their own support staff; nurses, front desk, etc., so MEHOP patients will still interact with the same familiar faces as always.

“We have been wanting to establish a presence in Palacios for many years. The partnership with PCMC allows us to do that with minimal risk and we hope it does,” said Harrison, who also stated that as demand increases.

Harrison said the arrangement will allow MEHOP to grow its presence in Palacios and added it will be a mutually beneficial relationship.

“While PCMC providing MEHOP with the space to provide its services is beneficial to our community, it is our hope that those patients who access services from MEHOP will allow PCMC to provide the necessary testing, physical therapy, inpatient, etc. services,” said Pascasio. “This is simply a matter of each organization – MEHOP and PCMC – focusing on its core services: MEHOP providing medical, mental and oral health primary care services; PCMC providing inpatient and outpatient programs and services.”

It is important to note that Palacios Medical Clinic providers will continue to remain in place.

“Nurse Practitioner Alexis Martinez and Physician Assistant Gary Cook will continue to see patients at PMC; they are and will be an integral part of the PCMC family going forward,” Pascasio said.

Additional information on schedules, etc. will be forthcoming in the near future. In the meantime details are available from MEHOP’s Donna Huitt at (979)245-2008, and, Huyen Tran, (361)655-7553 of PCMC.

“We look forward to developing and growing this partnership for the mid coast region,” said Harrison.

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