HOUSTON – March 27, 2019 – A joint initiative between the University of Houston (UH) and Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC) will enhance access to quality health care services in Houston. A community-based Federally Qualified Health Center at the University of Houston will open on Monday, April 1, 2019 to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care services to South Central Houston residents. Located in the Health 2 Building, temporary home of the new UH College of Medicine, the center amplifies LSCC’s and UH’s commitment to health integration, improved health outcomes and improved quality of life in underserved communities including the Third Ward.
The need for accessible and affordable primary and behavioral health care services is substantial in South Central Houston. Data suggests area residents experience higher percentages of chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension than the Greater Houston population.
Access to a health care home is the first step in addressing health disparities to prevent, treat, and manage physical and behavioral health-related conditions. Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston will have family medicine, pediatric, and behavioral health teams ready to serve.
“LSCC is excited to advance a model of care at the University of Houston that combines our Federally Qualified Health Center’s innovation and expertise with underserved populations with the academic and clinical acumen of an innovative powerhouse like the University of Houston,” said Rhonda Mundhenk, CEO of LSCC. “Furthermore, partnering with the University of Houston on campus allows student learners to engage firsthand in improving the health of the Third Ward while training in an advanced clinical environment, and to directly engage in reducing health inequalities in the community where the University sits.”
Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston joins a network of LSCC clinics known for high-quality, integrated care in which physical and behavioral health needs are met simultaneously within one clinical system. Patients are co-managed by LSCC’s medical and behavioral health providers through shared electronic health records. This integrated care approach is the foundation of the UH College of Medicine, focused on preparing more primary care physicians to address a nationwide shortage. Faculty from the medical school and other health related disciplines will work as clinicians in the new health center where primary and behavioral health providers will be housed within the same location to foster coordinated patient-centered care.
“Working with an established Federally Qualified Health Center like Lone Star Circle of Care will allow for federal reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid and will charge on a sliding scale for patients without insurance, ultimately helping more people receive care. This aligns perfectly with our mission to impact the health of the region,” said Dr. Stephen J. Spann, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the UH College of Medicine. “This center also offers a valuable teaching opportunity for medical, nursing, social work, pharmacy, clinical psychology, optometry and even law students to observe a new kind of care under supervision of trained, licensed practitioners.”
Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston is located in the Health 2 Building, 4849 Calhoun Road, Suite 1001A, Houston, Texas 77204-6066. To schedule an appointment, new patients may call 1-877-800-5722. Most insurances and public programs are accepted. For patients with no insurance, a sliding fee scale based on household income and size is available. For those who qualify, LSCC can assist with enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP, Marketplace, SNAP and other programs.
A public ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house, including members of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, LSCC, UH and dignitary and community leaders will be announced at a later date.
About Lone Star Circle of Care
Founded in 2001 in Georgetown, Texas, Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing exceptional and accessible patient centered healthcare for our Texas neighbors. LSCC currently serves more than 85,000 patients, providing adults, seniors, and children with primary care, women’s health and OB/GYN, psychiatry and behavioral health, general dentistry, optometry and pharmacy services. LSCC is a registered 501(c)3 Texas nonprofit corporation. For more information visit www.lonestarcares.org
About University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.