Low-income Texas women seeking services like breast and cervical cancer screenings and mental health treatment now have a reliable place to learn about the steps they need to take, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek said Wednesday as he unveiled a new state website.
Called healthytexaswomen.org, visitors to the web portal choose the service they are seeking and are directed to a list of programs, including Medicaid, the Texas Women's Health Program and others, that provide the services. Women can click on external links to the programs and services to find clinics or doctors near them.
"This amazing website makes it easy in just a few clicks for women to find the services that they need and are entitled to," Janek said at a Capitol news conference. "As we take our directions from the lawmakers about changes to the program, we'll adapt the website to make sure our changes are reflected there."
Janek said the site was funded by a charity event in Dallas during the weekend of the 2013 Texas-OU football game. The event, which was hosted by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and state Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, raised about $85,000 for The Empowerment Project — a nonprofit dedicated to low-income communities. The nonprofit created the site and gifted it to the state. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services will now oversee and update the site.
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“No woman who qualifies for these health care services should go without because they are confused about where to turn,” Keffer said. “By bringing together in one spot these women's health benefits, the Healthy Texas Women site will help clients better understand these benefits.”
Nelson said she is going to urge her fellow senators to join her in informing constituents about the site.
“Women all over the state need to know this is available, it’s easy and it’s free,” Nelson said. “This website is going to really help make those programs more accessible and more user-friendly.”
Janek said the commission would promote the site through media outreach and by advertising it on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's website.
This story was produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.