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Dental Plaque: What is it?aaaaaa


Plaque can cause your teeth to appear dull and not feel smooth. It is difficult to see, but plaque is made up of invisible masses of harmful germs that live in the mouth and stick to our teeth. Not a very pleasant thought and more than likely makes you want to go brush your teeth…right now!

Some types of plaque cause tooth decay, while other types cause gum disease. That is why it is important to brush our teeth at least twice a day and visit your dentist every 6 months for a thorough cleaning.

If you notice red, puffy or bleeding gums when you brush you may be noticing the first signs of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease destroys the tissues holding the teeth in place and teeth will eventually be lost.

The best ways to remove dental plaque it to first floss to remove germs and food particles between the teeth. Next, brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride protects teeth from decay. You may also want to brush your tongue to remove germs from there as well.



MEHOP to participate in Texas Youth Friendly Initiativeaaaaaa

Four Teenage Friends Sitting On Trampoline In Garden


(AUSTIN) The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, an education and advocacy organization committed to reducing the rate of teen pregnancy throughout Texas, has announced the selection of seven clinics to participate in the first cohort of their Texas Youth Friendly Initiative (TYFI). These clinics will participate in an 18-month learning collaborative to implement standards of excellence based on research developed by the World Health Organization and adapted for Texas’ unique demographic and political context. The seven participating clinics include:

· HOPE Clinic (Houston)

· Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (Bay City)

· Interfaith Community Clinic (Conroe)

· Lone Star Family Health Center (Conroe)

· Special Health Resources of Texas (Longview)

· Wellness Pointe (Kilgore)

· El Buen Samaritano (Austin)

The Texas Youth Friendly Initiative will help clinics across the state become clinical centers of excellence in adolescent health. International research stresses that the most effective prevention of unintended teen pregnancy comes when youth receive regular services, such as annual well-visits, where they can be screened for a number of risk factors including those associated with their reproductive health and contraceptive needs.

“In Texas, it is estimated that more than 1 million youth do not have access to healthcare,” says Dr. Gwen Daverth, President and CEO, Texas Campaign. “In addition, Texas has the most barriers to accessing confidential healthcare for teens. Because Texas laws are complex and difficult to follow, medical professionals often report not understanding under what circumstances they are allowed to treat youth, which blocks many young men and women from accessing care.”

The Texas Youth Friendly Initiative will increase the number of youth accessing high-quality comprehensive health homes by reducing community barriers for youth to access affordable health care; creating and operationalizing a statewide standard for youth-friendly services; developing and implementing a clinic-level system transformation approach; and increasing collaboration between youth-serving organizations and health care providers.

Project Partners Include:

The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy The Texas Campaign is dedicated to reducing the rate of teen pregnancy across Texas. They provide statewide leadership around this issue by focusing on what works and connecting Texas communities to the research and tools they need to make an impact. For more information, visit

Cardea Services Cardea is a national organization that provides training, organizational development, research and evaluation services to improve organizations’ abilities to deliver accessible, high quality, culturally proficient, and compassionate service to their clients. For more information, visit

People’s Community Clinic People’s Community Clinic is among the nation’s oldest independent clinics offering comprehensive health and wellness care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Its mission is to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans by delivering high quality, affordable health care with respect and dignity. For more information, visit

Baylor Teen Health Clinic The Baylor Teen Health Clinic is a system of 10 community and school-based clinics that provide comprehensive medical care, including primary care immunizations, sports medicine services, reproductive care and more, via 30,000 visits to medically underserved and mostly uninsured adolescents and young adults each year. For more information, visit

University of Michigan – Adolescent Health Initiative

The Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI) at Michigan Medicine began with a multidisciplinary group of health care professionals who shared a vision for improving the quality of care provided to adolescents not only within Michigan Medicine, but across the country. With support from Michigan Medicine and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, they transitioned the AHI from an inspired idea to a nationally recognized organization. They currently work with primary care, school-based health, and youth-serving organizations across 40 states. For more information, visit

Coping with the Disaster of Hurricane Harvey – Resources for Familiesaaaaaa

Stress, worry, and fear are common responses during and after a disaster or public health emergency like Hurricane Harvey. It is important to pay attention to how you and your family members react and address the situation. Talking to children about a crisis can be difficult, but it is very important to help them cope. Follow these tips to help yourself and your loved ones manage the aftermath of an emergency.

Self-Care during an Emergency

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone will react differently and your own feelings will change throughout. Be cognizant; notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family during an emergency. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.

Look out for these common signs of distress:

· Feelings of shock, numbness, and disbelief

· Changes in energy and activity levels

· Difficulty concentrating

· Changes in appetite

· Sleeping problems

· Nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images

· Feeling anxious or fearful

· Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes

· Chronic health problems can get worse

· Changes in use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

· Anger or short-temper

If you experience these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them, seek professional help.

Take the following steps to manage your mental health after a disaster:

· Stay informed-When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or anxious. Watch the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis. Turn to reliable sources of information

· Take care of your body– Eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

· Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life and check for updates between breaks.

· Connect with others– Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.

· Seek help when needed– If distress is impacting activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, doctor or contact:

Phone Number: 979-245-2008, Ext. 710 Fax Number: 979-316-4811

1700 Golden Ave. | Bay City, TX 77414

Free transportation services will be arranged for patients in Wharton County to visit our offices in Bay City.

Free Mammogram and Pap Testaaaaaa

earlydetectionMatagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) in conjunction with Matagorda Regional Medical Center (MRMC), is offering free pap smears to women between the ages of 21 and 64 and free mammograms to women between 40 and 64 years of age.

On Friday, October 13th from 8AM-4PM pap smears will be available at MEHOP’s Women’s Clinic, 111 Ave F North and mammograms will be made available at Matagorda Regional Medical Center. This opportunity was made possible by a Breast and Cervical Cancer Service (BCCS) grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The grant program provides quality, no-cost, accessible breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women that qualify in MEHOP’s service area.

Regular screens by medical professionals is the best way to detect breast and cervical cancer in its earliest stages. Through this program, BCCS providers like MEHOP have served more than 33,500 women and detected 450 cases of cancer in 2015.

You or someone you know may qualify for the free screenings and diagnostic services if you:

Live in Texas (can show proof of address)
Are 21 or older
Don’t have health insurance
If employed, please bring a pay stub (employment is not a requirement of the grant)
Make less than the monthly family income limits listed below.

Family Size / Monthly Family Income Limit (200% Fed. Poverty Level)
1 / $1,980
2 / $2,670
3 / $3,360
4 / $4,050
5 / $4,740
6 / $5,430
7 / $6,122

To apply and make an appointment, please call Cindy Guardado at (979) 245-2008 ext. 505 or email at

Car Seat replacement due to Harvey floodingaaaaaa

Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Program (MEHOP) will hold an event Friday, Sept. 29 to replace car seats lost due to Hurricane Harvey.

The state of Texas has provided car seats to be given away during the month of September for those that were damaged by the storm. A car seat needs to be replaced if it got wet in a flooded vehicle or home.
This will be the second event held in September. MEHOP already has given away 93 car seats for infants, toddlers and small children and has another 75 left to give away.

Friday’s car seat giveaway will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 101 Ave. F North in Bay City on a first come, first serve basis. You do not need an appointment and the child does not need to be present but you will need their weight and height to insure you receive the proper car seat.

While September’s car seat giveaway is a special event open to everyone who had flood damage to their car seats, MEHOP does have a Safe Riders program that is ongoing throughout the year.

For the Safe Riders program, families must register for a one-hour class. They can contact Mirna Sanchez with MEHOP at 979-245-2479 to sign up or for more information. All low-income families who travel on the Texas highways are eligible. If you are pregnant you must be in your last trimester to register. Only one car seat per family is given out during the regular ongoing program. The car seats are provided by Safe Riders to MEHOP in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Reporting on Performanceaaaaaa

chartsOnce a year, all Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) must provide a report to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The report, which is public record, is the Uniform Data System (UDS) and is a core system of information appropriate for reviewing the operation and performance of health centers.

The data is used to improve health center performance and operation and to identify trends over time which enables HRSA to establish or expand targeted programs and identify effective services and interventions to improve the health of communities. UDS data is compared with national data to review differences between the U.S population at large and those individuals and families who use  health centers for primary care.

The data collected through this report is analyzed to ensure compliance with legislative mandates, report program accomplishments, and justify budget requests to the U.S. Congress. UDS data also informs Health Center Program grantees, partners and communities about Health Centers and their patients.

The UDS includes:

■ The number and socio-demographic characteristics of people served.
■ Types and quantities of services provided.
■ Counts of staff who provide these services.
■ Information about the quality of care provided to patients.
■ Cost and efficiency data relative to the delivery of services.
■ Sources and amounts of health center income.


■ Comply with legislative and regulatory requirements
■ Inform HRSA, Congress, and the public of health center performance and operations
■ Document program effectiveness
■ Identify trends over time
■ Permit comparison with national benchmarks

In 2016, MEHOP had 8,168 patients who had a total of 42,156 visits.

  • 28% – Private Insurance
  • 31%  – Medicaid and CHIP
  • 38% -  200% of poverty and below (eligible for discounts on fees for services)
  • 8% – Medicare

Some of the items that we report on regarding the services and quality of care provided to patients is;

  • Childhood immunizations
  • Cervical cancer screenings for 21 to 64 years of age
  • Weight assessment and counseling for 3 to 17 years of age
  • BMI with counseling for 18 years of age and older
  • Tobacco use screening and cessation 18 years of age and older
  • Percent of patients age 5 to 64 with persistent asthma and prescribed medications
  • Percent of patients age 50 to 75 with appropriate screening for colorectal cancer
  • Percent of patients age 12 and older screened for depression and counseling
  • Percent of children age 6 to 9 with moderate to high risk of cavities who received sealants on first permanent molars
  • Weights of babies at birth
  • Controlled hypertension age 18 and older
  • Controlled diabetes age 18 to 75

These reporting measures allow MEHOP staff to annually review performance and operations, program accomplishments, identify areas for improvements and maintain an understanding of the patients we serve so that in turn we can better serve their healthcare needs.

Medicare and MEHOP – Benefiting your Benefitsaaaaaa


If you are currently covered by Medicare or will be in the near future, there are some interesting facts about MEHOP that you may not be aware of.

  • MEHOP accepts Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans
  • Medicare waives the Part B deductible for covered services at MEHOP because we are a  Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
  • Medicare waives patient cost-sharing requirements for most Medicare covered preventive services
  • MEHOP offers prescription assistance and savings programs that are only available through FQHC’s
  • MEHOP offers Case Management services to assist patients with referrals for specialists and diagnostic testing
  • MEHOP always accepts new Medicare patients
  • MEHOP offers discounts on fees for services based on household income, if eligible, for non-Medicare covered services such as Dental
  • MEHOP has three clinical locations in Bay City and offers five types of primary healthcare services; Family Medical, Family Dental, Behavioral Health (counseling & psychiatry), OB/GYN, and Pediatrics
  • MEHOP offers discount eye exam vouchers and discounted costs for eye glasses
  • MEHOP offers free transportation to MEHOP appointments (lab and eligibility only appointments excluded)
  • MEHOP Family Medical has extended hours until 9pm Monday – Friday and is also open on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • MEHOP has an after hours on-call number patients can use to contact a nurse after hours should a medical question arise
  • MEHOP is a recognized Patient – Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance

To learn more about MEHOP visit To contact us call 979-245-2008.


Medical care when you need it mostaaaaaa



  It’s a Saturday morning and you wake up with a sore throat and fever. You know you can’t go the whole weekend without seeing a Doctor but what do you do….It’s Saturday?

How many times have we been in that situation with our selves or a family member? At MEHOP we eliminate having to wait to see a doctor when you need it most. Our Family Medical clinic offers extended office hours and is open;

Monday – Friday 7am – 9pm

Saturday’s 7am – 4pm

Sunday’s 8am – 12pm

During regular business hours, Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm, we have same day appointments available as well as walk-in hours either at 8am or 1pm. During these hours of operation Family Medicine sees patients from the age of 4 yrs – adult.

After 5pm Monday – Friday and on Saturday’s and Sunday’s during our extended hours of operation we have scheduled appointments available as well as walk-ins any time during those hours.  During these hours of operations all age range of patients are seen, newborn – adult. For newborn – age 18, Texas Healthy Step/Vaccines are not available during extended hours.

MEHOP Family Medicine accepts new and established patients during all hours of operations. Also when you are an established patient at MEHOP, each of our physicians are able to access your medical records to see your full health history with us so you receive continuity of care 7 days a week when you need it most.

MEHOP Family Medicine is located at 1700 Golden Ave. in Bay City and can be reached at 979-245-2008 ext. 502 and 700 during regular office hours and at ext. 702 during extended hours. MEHOP accepts private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and offers self pay fee for service discounts, if eligible, based on household income if uninsured.


A Different Kind of Medicine……aaaaaa

Health care traditionally has been symptom and illness based. Patients typically receive episodic care that is disjointed and spread among multiple clinics and providers. What if there was a better way to provide health care, a way for patients and providers to coordinate care together?Stethoscope and Model House on Gradated Background with Selective Focus.

At MEHOP we are taking health care to the next level, transitioning away from a delivery model of symptom and illness based care to a delivery model of comprehensive coordinated primary care for children, youth and adults. It is the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and is an approach to primary care that is completely different than the traditional way it’s been delivered and organized. PCMH encourages patients and their providers to work closely together to ensure that care is more comprehensive, coordinated, and consistent. This approach results in more streamlined and appropriate care, reduced waste, lower costs and better outcomes.

PCMH is designed to correct many flaws of primary care. Patient centeredness refers to an ongoing, active partnership with the patient’s primary care physician who leads a team dedicated to providing proactive, preventative and chronic care management.  It is built on the premise that the patient is at the center of care, receiving a range of comprehensive services by a team of health professionals that may include physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, educators and case managers.   The team shares the responsibility of patient care ensuring the patient receives recommended preventative care like routine screenings, assistance with chronic disease management like with diabetes, as well as acute care as with a respiratory infection or flu.

The information technology that MEHOP utilizes for our practice management systems is robust. Our electronic health records (EHR) allow patient team members to know if patient’s conditions are under control, have upcoming appointments scheduled with other providers within MEHOP, easily review medications prescribed to the patient and share other patient health information easily between MEHOP providers.  Patients also have access to their own medical records at any time through our Patient Portal. With patient portal, patients can access their medical records, request appointments and prescription refills, and communicate via email directly with their providers. We also have extended primary medical clinic hours beginning at 7am until 9pm on weekdays and have weekend hours as well.  Our after-hours number is also available so patients can speak directly with one of our nurses should something arise after clinic hours.

Our on-going commitment to quality and safety is also a feature of PCMH. This commitment is demonstrated through quality improvement measures such as ongoing engagement in activities using evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools which help patients and their families have the education and support to actively participate in their own care, engaging in performance measurement and improvement, measuring and responding to patient experiences and patient satisfaction.

MEHOP has five practices that fall under the spectrum of primary healthcare;

  • Family Medicine – Provides a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services including diagnosing and treating illness, routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic illness often coordinating care provided by other sub-specialists.
  • Family Dental – Provides a range of general dentistry services to children starting at 6 months of age and adults including exams, x-rays, and cleanings, oral health education, oral cancer screenings, periodontal treatment and maintenance, fillings, root canals and crowns, partials, bridges, and dentures and extractions as well as cosmetic services including teeth whitening.
  • Pediatrics – Provides a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services to children from birth to 18 years of age including diagnosing and treating illness, routine checkups, immunization and screening tests, parent education and manage chronic illness often coordinating care provided by other sub-specialists.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) –  Provides medical and surgical care to women and has particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the reproductive system. This includes preventative care, acute and chronic medical conditions, prenatal care, Pap test screening, family planning and infertility.
  • Behavioral Health – Clinical health care that is simultaneously co-located, collaborative, and integrated within the primary care clinic. Behavioral health addresses the emotions, behaviors and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in everyday life and their concept of self. It addresses stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, ADHD or learning disabilities, mood disorders, or other psychological concerns. Therapists, psychologists, and/or psychiatrists can help manage behavioral health concerns with treatments such as therapy, counseling, or medication.

Each of our clinics utilize the same EHR, which means that patient health information can follow the patient across our multiple clinics that the patient may use. So, for example our pediatrician has access to the health information from birth of a baby delivered by our OB/GYN and then would also have access to that child’s dental information when the parents bring the child to their dental visits. If the child needs to be referred to a specialist that would be coordinated through our case managers and then the pediatrician would be in communication with the specialist.

MEHOP is accredited through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient -Centered Medical Home. PCMH has become a widely accepted model for how primary care should be organized and delivered throughout the healthcare system. It is a philosophy of health care delivery that encourages providers and care teams to meet patients where they are, from the simplest to the most complex conditions and enables strong and trusting relationships with providers and staff. Your health is important to us and we want it to be to you as well.

Healthy Texas Womenaaaaaa

  The Healthy Texas Women program provides family planning and reproductive health services to eligible women in Texas. These services help women plan their families, whether it is to achieve, postpone, or prevent pregnancy. These services can have a positive effect on future pregnancy and general health.



You may receive services if you:

  • Live in Texas
  • Are a woman age 15 to 44 (Women age 15 to 17 must have parental or legal guardian consent)
  • Are a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant
  • Are not pregnant
  • Don’t have health insurance
  • Make less than the monthly family income limits listed in the chart below

Family Size

Monthly Family

Income Limit
















The Program offers a wide range of women’s health and core family planning services including:

  • Pregnancy testing
  • Pelvic examination
  • Sexually transmitted infection services
  • Breast and cervical cancer screenings
  • Clinical breast examination
  • Screening and treatment for cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure
  • HIV screening
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives
  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • Permanent sterilization
  • Other contraceptive methods such as condoms, diaphragm, vaginal spermicide , and injections
  • Screening and treatment for postpartum depression


  • You may fill out an application at MEHOP Woman and Children’s center
  • Submit an electronic application on
  • Complete a paper application and fax or mail in. Information is available at
  • or Call toll-free 2-1-1 or 1-877-541-7905 for assistance

If you apply in person at MEHOP,  you may be able to receive services the same day. Call our Women and Children’s Center at 979-245-2008 ext. 701, 403 or 404  to schedule an appointment.