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Providing Special Outreach Care

Hurricane Katrina

photo of evacuees photo of nursing students

When Hurricane Katrina evacuees were directed to Lubbock, students and faculty at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center were among some the first to respond. The American Red Cross requested Tech and other community health providers in Lubbock to provide immediate health care services upon arrival of the evacuees.

When 450 evacuees from New Orleans arrived, they were immediately photo of TTUHSC medical teamseen by TTUHSC physicians, nurses and other responders. Many of the evacuees had been literally lifted from their New Orleans homes, taken to the New Orleans airport and put on a plane to Lubbock. The health team addressed conditions from dehydration to high blood pressure.

The TTUHSC response team was comprised of dozens of physicians, nurses, and staff, but also involved students. Well over a hundred students from the TTUHSC schools assisted.

For More Information:

Visit the website at to read more about how TTUHSC is helping victims of Hurricane Katrina.




Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center

The Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center (LCCHWC) is a nurse-managed primary health care center that serves a medically underserved population vulnerable to health disparities. It is federally-funded with a grant from the Division of Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration to provide chronic disease management programs for diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma. The Center itself was established in 1998 to provide a full-range of primary health care services by advance practice nurses, with collaboration from the TTUHSC Department of Community and Family Medicine.

The LCCHWC will be moving to a newly-constructed facility in Fall 2005. This new clinic will be located strategically between its two major community partners, the Harwell Elementary School and the Copper Rawlings Community Center. Through the Center, residents of the community will now have a new building in their midst that they can be rightfully proud of.

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Community Partnership Clinics - El Paso

The Community Partnership Clinics, hosted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso in the four colonias communities of San Elizario, Fabens, Socorro, and Montana Vista. These clinics were originally founded in 1996 through the collaborative efforts of TTUHSC, the College of Nursing at University of Texas at El Paso and the R.E. Thomason General Hospital, through grant funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. At the beginning of 2005, TTUHSC shouldered the sole responsibility for the operation of the four clinics in these vastly underserved communities to provide preventive and primary care services.

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The Clinics are the primary source of health care services in these communities. The clinics have served as a teaching site for third- and fourth-year medical students, who gain hands-on experience in direct patient care to this special population. Because more than 90% of the patients served speak Spanish only, it is a language and cultural immersion experience for the medical students. In addition to patient care in the clinic, students are out in the community every week.

In addition to regular clinical care, the clinic staff and students focus on taking health education out into the community. They work in close partnership with the schools and churches to promote healthy behaviors including bicycle helmet safety, good hygiene practices, healthy eating habits, immunizations, as well as free blood pressure and glucose checks. Students also do home visits with community health workers.

Grand Expectations - Lubbock

Grand Expectations, is a walk-in clinic hosted by TTUHSC's teaching hospital and community partner, UMC Health System, in underserved East Lubbock. The clinic has been in existence for five years.

This free clinic offers pregnancy testing as well as counseling regarding health care options for a population of women who have limited access to health care. Staff at the facility help pregnant women select a physician appropriate to their needs and assist them with enrollment in Medicaid. They also offer Baby Boutique, a free baby clothes program, where monthers are able to select baby clothes in exchange for documented healthy behaviors.

TTUHSC provides physician and nursing staffing of the Grand Expectations clinic five days a week. TTUHSC physicians and nurses bring with them to the clinic all of the supplies and equipment necessary for patient exams.

Hart School-Based Pediatric Clinic

Since 1993, the TTUHSC Department of Pediatrics has been making weekly visits to the Hart ISD School-Based Clinic to provide pediatric care to the children of that community. In Hart, Texas, which is 70 miles from Lubbock, the only health care provider in this small farming community of 1,100 people is the school nurse, Retta Knox. Retta has developed a school-based clinic that includes the pediatric care from TTUHSC, a class D pharmacy, nutrition counseling, and a dental clinic.

Each week during the school year, a pediatric and a resident or medical student treat between 25 to 40 children in the on-site clinic. In 1998, a weekly telemedicine clinic was added to supplement that care. Periodically, dermatology and asthma care services are also available as needed through the telemedicine system.

The Hart Pediatrics Clinic provides the only primary health care available in the community. Residents must travel 15 to 25 miles to receive basic primary health care in other communities.

The school district noted an improvement in attendance after the on-site and telemedicine clinics were added. The clinics have also helped with the management of asthma, requiring fewer visits to the emergency room for students who participate.

Aphasia Group Therapy Program - Lubbock

For more than ten years, the Aphasia Group Therapy Program has served individuals with aphasia and their caregivers (approximately 50 people) from the South Plains area, who have depleted their Medicare and other financial resources for this type of speech therapy. The program provides speech-language therapy, psychosocial education, and support.

Approximately 25 patients and their caregivers meet once a week at TTUHSC. While patients receive therapy, their caregivers take part in educational and support sessions geared to meet their needs as caregivers. For the students and patients, the challenge is to help people, who have varying degrees of speaking ability, to communicate with each other.

These services are free-of-charge to the patients. Financial support for these services comes from fundraising activities that the Speech-Language Pathology students undertake. The aphasia student group is a select group of students (peer-selected through an application and interview process) who organize the therapy sessions and pay for the clinical therapy sessions. Student fundraising activities include - but are not limited to - selling candles, t-shirts, and washing cars. Student financial support is $10 per week per patient to cover the cost of supplies.