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Collaboration for PHE communication

Friday, March 31st, marked the end of continuous Medicaid coverage, which was part of

the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declared by the federal government as a response to the

COVID-19 pandemic. There are millions of Texas residents that are predicted to lose their

coverage, which illuminates a need to support our community in navigating these changes. Increasing awareness, education of available resources, and action taken is important to reduce the amount of people who lose or experience a gap in coverage as a result of the PHE ending.


So, what can we do to help spread the word?


Department of Health and Human Services shares information about using a "Surround Sound"

communications outreach strategy. This strategy focuses on the relationship between beneficiaries and trusted messengers, such as friends and family, community leaders, providers,

and government entities. Information and resources can be provided to these messengers to

share the message about the PHE ending, in a way that builds trust and credibility. Here in

Waco, Texas, we can utilize this strategy to reach the over 260,000 residents of McLennan

County.


In order to ensure that we are effectively supporting our fellow community members, it is

critical that we collaborate to establish a network of information and assistance surrounding

this topic. As community members, leaders, and influencers in our personal networks, we can all

play a part in helping to spread the word about the PHE ending by connecting individuals with

other trusted messengers that can provide necessary assistance and resources.


The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has existing efforts to notify individuals, by

mail or electronically, when they need to renew their Medicaid coverage. In addition, many

community-based organizations and providers are offering sites for public use to apply or renew

benefits using computers and/or with the help of trained staff.


Prosper Waco is proud to be working together with some of our community partners, such as

Highview Insurance Group, Meals on Wheels, Shepherd's Heart, Baylor Scott & White,

McLennan County Public Health District, Heart of Texas Goodwill, Waco Family Medicine, and

McLennan County Indigent Care. We are looking forward to distributing business cards with

information about the "Unlock Healthcare" website, created by our Access to Health Care

working group. By connecting them with local resources, our goal is to help people to navigate

the next steps that meet their circumstances and needs.


If you are interested in partnering with us to spread the word about the PHE ending, please

contact telawna@prosperwaco.org or visit www.unlockhealth.care for more information.

Together, we can spread the word about the PHE ending!


Karissa Maeda is working on her Public Health degree at Baylor University,

and currently serves as an intern at Prosper Waco.






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