Community Updates:

SEPT 30

Boost the Spirit Vax Clinic @ Windsor Village Church Family

6011 W. Orem Dr., Houston, TX 77085

Saturday, October 29, 2022, 10 AM to 1 PM

See Flyer: COVID VAX Windsor Village Church

 

 

SEP 21

Voices for the Heart Community-Based Event for the Houston Area

September 24th at 11 AM CT

Attend virtually or in person at 6202 Lockwood Dr., Houston, TX 77026

(See September 24 2022 Houston Flyer)

 

 

 

SEP 20

mchb logo


COVID-19 Boosters

The CDC recently recommended the following updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine boosters to help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and target more transmissible and immune-evading variants:

  • The Moderna bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster is authorized for people 18 and older.
  • The Pfizer bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster is authorized for people 12 years and up.

These boosters are referred to as “bivalent” vaccines because they target both the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants currently circulating in the United States. These updated boosters will help better protect us against these and future variants that might be closely related to Omicron.

 

Everyone who is eligible to receive the bivalent booster – including those who are moderately and severely immunocompromised – are recommended to receive ONE dose of the booster regardless of how many doses they have received previously. Those eligible may receive the updated booster if at least 2 months have passed since their last COVID-19 dose (either the final primary series dose or the last booster).

 

The original (monovalent) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine boosters are no longer authorized for people aged 12 years and older and can no longer be given to them, even if they had not previously received a monovalent booster dose. Children ages 5-11 should still receive the monovalent booster (at least 5 months after their second dose).

 

Routine Childhood Immunizations, Seasonal Influenza, & COVID-19 Vaccination can be co-administered

 

COVID-19 disrupted both in-person learning and routine well-child visits for many children. As a result, tens of thousands of children and adolescents have fallen behind on receiving recommended vaccines.

 

Timely vaccination is critical, as immunization schedules are designed to provide children with immunity early in life before they may be exposed to life-threatening diseases. Not only do delayed or missed vaccines leave children vulnerable to illness but when vaccination rates fall even just a little, vaccine-preventable diseases can spread easily.

 

We know from studies conducted throughout the pandemic that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as routine immunizations is safe. If multiple vaccines are due, giving more than one vaccine at the same visit is important because it increases the probability that an individual will be up to date with vaccines.

 

In addition, with both influenza and COVID-19 viruses circulating, getting both the Flu and COVID-19 vaccines is important for prevention of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. CDC recommends health care providers offer influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same visit, with each dose administered in separate limbs.

 

COVID-19 Vaccines during Pregnancy

 

Despite the increased risk of severe COVID-19 among pregnant women, the increased risk of pregnancy complications, and a growing body of evidence showing COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy to be safe and effective, only 71% of pregnant women in the U.S., and only 58% of pregnant non-Hispanic Black women, were fully vaccinated as of August 27, 2022.

 

Several factors appear to be associated with a higher likelihood of maternal COVID-19 vaccination, including recommendation from trusted health care providers, data on vaccine safety, and evidence that vaccination during pregnancy can protect the newborn babies and infants.

 

Protection from COVID-19 infection is especially important for infants younger than 6 months as they are at higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization than older children and unable to receive COVID-19 vaccination. A recent study found that completing a two-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series during pregnancy can help protect babies younger than 6 months old from hospitalization due to COVID-19.

 

Providers should counsel patients on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy for both pregnant women and their infants. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy and can protect newborns and young infants from severe COVID-19 infections and hospitalization.

 

Please reach out to your Project Officer if you have any questions regarding routine immunizations or vaccination against COVID-19 or seasonal influenza. Thank you for your efforts every day to improve the health of America’s mothers, children, and families.

 

Sincerely,

Michael D. Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP

Associate Administrator, Maternal and Child Health Bureau

 

 

SEP 15

Create your online Medicare account
Now’s the time to create your online Medicare account! It’s a secure way to access your personal Medicare information anytime. It takes just a few minutes to create your account. Then you’ll be able to:

  • Add your prescriptions and pharmacies, to better compare health and drug plans in your area.
  • Sign up to go digital — get your yearly ”Medicare & You” handbook electronically.
  • Print a copy of your official Medicare card.

Manage your Medicare information online — create your account today!

Sincerely,

The Medicare Team

 

 

SEP 14

For September Suicide Prevention Month, we need your support for one of AFSP’s main policy priorities: funding for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

 

Two important federal bills are currently moving through Congress that would provide vital investments and supports for 988. Contact your members of Congress to urge them to support the 988 Implementation Act (H.R.7116) and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act (H.R.2981).

 

Email your members of Congress by clicking TAKE ACTION below!

TAKE ACTION

To learn more, watch our panel, “Supporting 988 Post-Launch Through Federal & State Advocacy,” @ 2pm ET TODAY, September 14, on Facebook Live and visit our 988 policy page here.

 

Share this action with your friends and family members, your community members, and on your social media pages tagging #AFSPadvocacy and #StopSuicide.

 

Please also join us for additional suicide prevention education and advocacy opportunities throughout this month, including:

Remember to check out AFSP’s 2022 National Suicide Prevention Week website for social shareables, merchandise updates, a calendar of events, and much more.

 

As always, we thank you for your support and your advocacy!

 

Warm regards,

 

AFSP Public Policy Team

 

SEP 12

  • September 12, 2022

 

 

  • September 17, 2022

 

If you are interested in participating in the Emancipation Park 5K Walk, the info is below.

 

 

 

Youths wearing masks

Image from Prevention Institute’s Suicide Prevention Modules. Photo credit: Bill Dickinson on flickr

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

We partnered with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) to develop a suicide prevention toolkit to focus on equitable strategies that promote social connection. The resources were designed for local and state government agencies and community-based organizations, but can be useful for all.

Suicide is preventable. This month and beyond, we encourage you to recognize the importance of strengthening protective factors—particularly among young adults, people of color, essential workers, and caregivers, who have had increased thoughts of suicide over the past two years.

Learn more about how events like COVID-19 and climate change disrupt social connection and support, and promising interventions to prevent suicide.

REGISTER: Lessons Along the Journey: Taking Action Toward Racial Justice in Public Health Systems

We recently launched Lessons Along the Journey: Taking Action Toward Racial Justice in Public Health Systems, a learning series funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The first of three sessions happened on Thursday, August 18 where we discussed the role of public health in social movements for racial justice and health equity. Watch the recording.

Our organization is on a journey that is taking us beyond understanding and documenting health inequities toward emphasizing racial justice in our work to achieve health, safety, and wellbeing. We want to prioritize the importance of sharing and learning while we’re still on that journey both within our organization—across projects—and outside of our organization with current and future partners.

Register now for our next sessions:

  • On October 20, we’ll discuss cultivating authentic partnerships, power sharing, and responding to push back to anti-racism in practice
  • On December 15, we’ll discuss narrative strategies, emerging policy themes, and opportunities to embed racial justice and health equity in public health policy and advocacy efforts.

PI’s Elva Yañez Appointed to Federal Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names   

Last month, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced members of the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names, a federal advisory group to help identify, review, and recommend changes to derogatory terms still in use for geographic and federal land unit names throughout the country. Elva Yañez, Senior Advisor for Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment at Prevention Institute was one of 17 members appointed to the Advisory Committee.

Read more about Elva’s work and learn more about her appointment.

From Our Partners: Funding Narrative Change

Narrative change is important work and imperative for social change. The Convergence Partnership just released the first-ever report to focus exclusively on funding narrative change work: Funding Narrative Change, An Assessment and Framework. The report’s authors Rinku Sen and Mik Moore propose a vital framework for funders and practitioners seeking narrative shifts around racial justice and health equity. This report marks a powerful turning point for our collective commitment to narrative change, health equity, and racial justice. Read the report.

We’re Hiring! 

Are you passionate about and want to support our work in racial justice and health equity? Well, we’d love for you to join the team. We have two positions open; both are temporarily remote but will be based in our Oakland office.

 

 

SEP 1

MAYOR’S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE

 

Houston Pays It Forward
Mayor Sylvester Turner Announces Water Donation Drive For Mississippi

August 31, 2022 — Mayor Sylvester Turner is encouraging Houstonians to donate water to help residents of Jackson, Mississippi. People in the state’s largest city lack safe drinking water or water to flush toilets due to a catastrophic failure of that city’s water system earlier this week following flooding and torrential rains.

The Mayor of Jackson has close ties to the City of Houston.

Water for Mississippi

Details:
The Water Drive for Mississippi

Friday, September 2, 2022
7 a.m. – noon
Herman Square at Houston City Hall
500 McKinney Street
(between Smith and Bagby)
Houston, TX 77002

“Houstonians know firsthand what it is like to experience flooding and the need for relief supplies. I ask people to join me Friday in front of Houston City Hall as we collect all sizes of bottled water,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba graduated from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and he is a TSU Tiger and a fellow mayor. We are like one big family, and I hope Houston will show its love and support for the people of Jackson, MS.”

 

AUG 29

 wanted to provide you with some information on the current Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, as well as on the President’s Wednesday announcement on student loan forgiveness. 

 

You may qualify for relief – and I hope you take advantage of this opportunity if you do! 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program 

 

As government employees you may be eligible to have some of your federal student loan debt forgiven, thanks to temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Under this limited waiver, borrowers can receive credit for payments that otherwise would not have qualified for PSLF.  

But, time is running out to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.  

Borrowers with federal student loans have until October 31, 2022, to apply for PSLF and/or consolidate non-Direct federal student loans to get the benefit.  

This waiver applies even if you did not make the payment on time, pay the full amount, or if you were on the wrong repayment plan. It also applies to loans that typically do not qualify for PSLF, including Federal Family Education Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federally Insured Student Loans, National Defense Student Loans, and more.  

Please check your eligibility before it’s too late and tell your family members and friends who may be eligible, to check their status as well. 

Visit www.pslf.gov for more information and to apply for forgiveness. 

 

President’s announcement on student loan forgiveness 

On Wednesday, President Biden announced that the Administration will cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in student debt for non-Pell Grant recipients. This relief will be available to borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually or households earning less than $250,000 annually. While more details on claiming this relief will be available in the coming weeks, public servants are encouraged to seek immediate relief through the temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program mentioned above. 

Thank you for your continued service to the American people.  

 

Sincerely, 

Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman  

 

 

 

AUG 25

Learn about the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan (website)

 

AUG 17

AUG 4

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
Lily Rodriguez, Communications Director
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Press Phone: 202-430-012
Email: algreenpress@mail.house.gov

Congressman Al Green Joins Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to Announce Launch of Brighter Future for Harris County Kids Initiative

(Houston, TX) — On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, Congressman Al Green released the following statement:

“It gives me great pleasure to know that the quality of life for many babies in Houston will greatly improve thanks to the Brighter Future for Harris County Kids initiative. The Brighter Future for Harris County Kids initiative consists of multiple programs that will address early childhood education and development, as well as support infant and child health.”

 

“The Brighter Future initiative would not be possible without the support of over $80 million in federal funds, which I am proud to have helped secure for Harris County through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 along with my colleagues Reps. Jackson Lee, Garcia, and Fletcher. These funds will be distributed between five different programs: The Child Tax Credit Outreach Program, the Early Childhood Impact Fund, Maternal and Child Health Program, Child Care Contracted Slots Program, as well as the Lead Abatement and Prevention Program.”

 

“All of these projects will be of great benefit to the people of the Greater Houston area because they will improve the quality of life for many children, provide parents with child development education and resources, increase the number of childcare providers available, as well as strengthen the health of many infants. It is exceedingly important for us to invest in our youth because they are our future. I thank Judge Hidalgo for what she’s done to help make Houston a leading city in early childhood development. I look forward to supporting future similar initiatives that may be launched by Harris County.”

# # #

 

Washington, DC
2347 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7508
Fax: (202) 225-2947
Hours: M-F 9AM-5PM EST

Houston Office
3003 South Loop West, Suite 460
Houston, TX 77054
Phone: 713-383-9234
Fax: 713-383-9202
Hours: M-F 9AM-5PM CST

 

 

 

 

JUL 23

The Houston Fire Department (HFD) is hiring, and we are excited to partner with community churches to share information with the entire congregation about this phenomenal career!

We welcome opportunities to participate in upcoming events to engage the community and are open to presenting to groups, speaking with individuals, attending health and/or career fairs, staffing a booth, and more.

Attached, please find an overview of information that outlines the minimum requirements, incentive pay opportunities, hiring process steps and benefits that may be posted or shared electronically.

Please contact the following individuals to facilitate this partnership:

  • Chief Shelby Walker, HFD Assistant Chief

Email:  shelby.walker@houstontx.gov

Phone: 832.394.6700

  • Tameka Hardison, HR Recruiting Manager

Email:  tameka.hardison@houstontx.gov

Phone: 832.394.6623

(See recruitment flyer)

 

JUL 18

Are you a Veteran or senior citizen in need of home repair? You may qualify for free home repairs. Please visit rebuildinghouston.org for more information. Apply for aid.

______________________

New 988 number for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline launches Saturday, expanding access amid funding concerns (link to news article)

 

 

JUL 12

Cooling centers in Houston
https://www.khou.com/article/weather/houston-heat-emergency/285-782b3f0c-8a91-433c-8dcc-7ae2d7bd9e53

15 tips to save on your power bill
https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/15-tips-conserve-power-save-money/285-6889bbf6-9abc-4cea-81c8-5daa37e0a0b5

Stay safe in extreme heat
https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/how-to-stay-safe-dangerous-houston-heat/285-27d8ef06-92d5-4539-8944-7fc9afcfc771

Keep pets safe
https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/heat-pet-safety-tips/285-1a8412b6-b910-4b18-839d-7f38b1cf738a

Check the forecast
http://khou.com/weather

 

JUL 11

Volunteers Needed to Participate in a Study

Seeking young adults, who recently completed cancer treatment, and their significant other to complete surveys on stress, health behaviors, and quality of life.

To participate, you must:

  • Be 25-39 years at the time of cancer diagnosis

  • Recently completed cancer treatment (within 3 months)

  • Have a spouse or significant other who is willing to participate

Study Details:

  • Participants will be asked to complete a 5-minute survey, for 7 consecutive days, every 3 months, over 2 years

  • Participants will be compensated for their time, up to $810 an individual

If interested, click on the link below to complete an interest form and a member of the CBC team will contact you.

https://redcap.link/q0690sj0

For more information, contact 713-834-6883|email: CBCstudy@mdanderson.org

Study Flyer: Coping Beyond Cancer (CBD)-Dr. Cho

Interest Form link: https://redcap.link/q0690sj0

 

 

JUL 9

 

Baker Ripley is helping residents in HARRIS, BRAZORIA and GALVESTON counties with utility bills. Below is info on how to apply.Info on the Utility Assistance Program:https://www.bakerripley.org/services/utility-assistance-program Application in Englishhttps://d2dmd73kpz2s55.cloudfront.net/uploads/pdf_upload/pdf/61eb2f91e835621aeea94c4b/2ffe647d-51e7-4263-bb72-83957d91cf19.pdfApplication in SpanishAplicación de Asistencia de Servicios de Utilidadeshttps://d2dmd73kpz2s55.cloudfront.net/uploads/pdf_upload/pdf/61df4fefe49893728f5dc55c/ba39c758-f611-49dd-b3a2-342f5a7ebb3f.pdf

 

JUL 1

New Harris County Recovers Website

A new website has been launched that will serve as an external resource for the public. The Harris County Recovers website is an initiative of the Harris County Long-Term Recovery Committee working to increase access and awareness of disaster recovery resources.

To learn how you can get ready, get help, or get involved, please explore the new site at: www.harriscountyrecovers.org

 

 

__________________________________________

JUN 29

 

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Be Inspired!

WATCH the Community Re-entry Network Program Biannual Spring Graduation on HTV on 7-1-2022 at 6:00 PM.

You can also watch on Comcast (Ch. 16) Phonoscope (Ch. 73 &  99)Suddenlink (Ch. 14)AT&T U-verse (Ch. 99). In addition, the Graduation will be available on the Houston Health Department YouTube Station, and on our CRNP Website Community Re-Entry Network Program | Houston Health Department