Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – At Wednesday’s President & Community Partners' Luncheon held by the Methodist Healthcare Ministries, in Jennifer Knoulton’s brief remarks, she was very appreciative, “of all the work that is done in this community and that we are very blessed to be a part of it, we feel like this is our community.” And rightly so, as Methodist Healthcare is interested in being more a local community partner, evidenced by the collaborative partnership with agencies such as La Esperanza Health and Dental Centers. And more recently with West Texas Counseling & Guidance.

Knoulton, Vice President of Regional Operations at Methodist Healthcare Ministries, was among four speakers who addressed 60 attendees from various agencies as it was held in the Cactus Hotel.

VP, Knoulton, spoke about the Wesley Nurse Program, on one individual’s contributions as a community health worker and MHM’s importance on developing partnership relationships.  

Methodist Healthcare Ministries, once it was founded in 1995, within three years it formed relations with the Concho Valley. The first thing MHM did in 1997 was to start the Wesley Nurse Program which placed faith-based, nurses in partnership with churches to improve the health of the underserved within the community. Two of those areas where registered nurses were assigned in the early beginnings was in Ozona and Brady. 

“These nurses practice the specialty of faith-community nursing,” said Knoulton. “It is not home health nor is it public health.”

Then in 2007, a funding relationship was started with La Esperanza Health and Dental Centers through a Capital Improvement grant. Six years later, MHM expanded its community healthcare through a partnership with West Texas Counseling & Guidance Center.

Another direct service that was provided in the Concho Valley area is through one local community healthcare individual, Aaron Milan. Milan has represented MHM for the past two years here in San Angelo.

“Aaron serves as a resource model of a community health worker which is called the Empowerment Model,” said Knoulton. 

Milan doesn’t just connect people back to Methodist Healthcare Ministries. “Aaron is in the community building relationships that help people understand there are options and resources available to make connections.” He will send folks to La Esperanza or the right people and other places within the community.

Knoulton mentioned that while MHM is headquartered in San Antonio, the organization is excited to grow the area regionally because it’s important to establish local partnership/ relationships in the Concho Valley.

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