STV-NMHC is an innovative primary care practice that provides health care to Galveston’s uninsured and vulnerable population. In partnership with UTMB School of Nursing, UTMB Health Policy and Legislative Affairs and St. Vincent’s House Community Health Center, STV-NMHC opened in October 2008 in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
The clinic’s core mission is to provide comprehensive primary care for uninsured vulnerable adults with chronic health problems. STV-NMHC has averaged over 2,100 patient visits per year since opening and has an estimated 600 regular patients. In keeping with the mission, the average age is 46 and the majority of patients have at least one chronic illness. Data indicates that 59% of patients have hypertension, 42% have diabetes, 9% have chronic lung disease and 24% have mental health problems. STV-NMHC clinicians and staff work closely with the UTMB, Community Health Program as approximately 70% of their case management patients receive their primary care at STV-NMHC.
Gulf Coast Mental Health Mental Retardation and Recovery Services Center and the Galveston County 4C’s Community Health Centers are important community partners. STV-NMHC operates using a nursing center model and emphasizes the concept of “intensive primary care” based on the assumption that vulnerable patients need health care that extends beyond the traditional aspects of diagnosis and treatment to include assistance with social and psychological problems and patient advocacy. Because the STV-NMHC is part of UTMB, students and research are integral to the practice. Medical, clinical lab science, undergraduate community health nursing and nurse practitioner students are regular participants in STV-NMHC activities. The clinic is transitioning to an electronic practice management system that will support research and quality improvement activities. UTMB, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs provides the foundational funding for the practice and School of Nursing faculty are regularly seeking additional sources of funding to expand services. A recent HRSA grant has been submitted that would allow the Clinic to expand services to children and elders and well adults.St. Vincent’s Nurse Managed Health Clinic