Initiatives and Projects

Ascension Medical Mission at Home

Medical Mission at Home (MMAH) offers free medical and dental care for all residents in the Waco community, especially those who do not have health insurance, by bringing together local doctors, nurses, and community partners to provide free care, follow-up care and information about local support services. Medical Mission at Home is a program of Ascension, which Providence Healthcare Network is a member. Events like MMAH contribute to the community’s efforts to address the Access to Care goal of the initiative. Click here to learn about the next MMAH and the services provided during the event.

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Baylor University Freedom Schools

The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a research-based and multicultural curriculum that supports children and families through five essential components: high quality academic and character-building enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational servant leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. Baylor University started Freedom Schools in the summer of 2016. Through Baylor’s Freedom School program, Waco ISD students who are at increased academic risk participate in seven-week literacy intensive at a local area middle school. Programs like Freedom Schools address the education goals of the initiative. For more information about Baylor Freedom Schools, visit the Baylor School of Education website or contact Dr. Lakia Scott via email or via phone at 254-710-6379.

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CampusTown Waco Initiative

A partnership of Baylor University, City of Waco, the Greater Waco Chamber, MCC, TSTC, and Texas Tech Waco to retain local college graduates by connecting them to job opportunities, internships, and recreational activities.

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Community Health Needs Assessment

The Community Health Needs Assessment is a survey to determine what Wacoans need in regards to health. It is a partnership between Baylor Scott & White Health, Providence, Ascension, Baylor University, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, the Family Health Center, and Prosper Waco. The results from the 2018 CHNA survey will be published here soon.

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Community Health Worker Initiative

In partnership with Providence Healthcare Network and Baylor Scott and White, the Family Health Center and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District are training and supporting the work of a dozen community health workers in high-need Waco zip codes to connect community members to accessible healthcare resources. Generous funding for this effort is provided by Episcopal Health Foundation.

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Community Loan Center

The Community Loan Center of the Heart of Texas (CLCHOT) is a nonprofit alternative to payday and auto-titles lenders. Housed at Goodwill Industries, the CLCHOT partners with local employers to make these low-cost loans available to employees through payroll deduction.

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Community-Centered Health Home

Family Health Center received a multi-year grant from Episcopal Health Foundation to implement a Community-Centered Health Home approach that includes working with multiple partner organizations to address community factors (such as access to healthy food and fitness opportunities) that impact patient health. For more information, please contact Paula Solano.

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Faith Alliance

As part of a concentrated effort to support the campuses in the Transformation Zone, an alliance of more than a dozen faith-based organizations are coordinating efforts and activities to have a bigger impact not only on the students and families of the Zone campuses, but the entire community. Through the work of the Faith Alliance, faith-based organizations are providing volunteer support through mentoring. The Alliance is also exploring ways to expand efforts beyond offering people resources by providing a fund to assist  families in need that have been identified through Family Support Specialist within the zoned campuses.

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Healthy Waco Women

In partnership with the Prosper Waco Women’s Health Working Group and the Healthy Babies Coalition (HBC), this community-wide campaign will provide information and support to encourage women (especially younger women, ages 18 to 25) in our community to receive an annual well-woman exam. For more information, please contact Janet Jones.

HOPES Program

HOPES (Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support), is a multi-year state-funded program aimed at reducing child abuse and neglect by increasing community supports to parents of young children. The program is for caregivers of children ages 0-5 in McLennan County and designed to align parents and caregivers alike with the tools they need to strengthen their family’s well-being. The grant provides two additional staff to Waco ISD’s Parents as Teachers program and created a coalition of agencies serving parents and children who will meet regularly to identify strategies for preventing child abuse before it occurs by educating families and providing support services to those children and families that are at risk. The HOPES program helps to address the School Readiness goal of the initiative. To learn more and see if you qualify to enroll, call 254-732-0482 or visit their website.

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Junior League of Waco Early Childhood Initiatives

Junior League of Waco (JLW) has adopted a focused concentration for the next 10 years on improving the education of children ages zero to three. JLW has multiple programs across the community ranging from Family Story Night and the Parent-Child Initiative (PACI), while also providing workshops for early childhood providers and funding collaborative projects aimed at improving early childhood education such as Reach Out & Read. The programs of JLW are part of the community’s efforts to improve School Readiness outcomes.

Contact JLW today to learn more about their programs by calling 254-753-5574.

Mayborn Museum Science Night

The Mayborn Museum is partnering with local elementary school campuses to provide evening access for students and their families to science activities that will increase student achievement and parent engagement in the learning process.

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MCC Work Readiness Certificate (WRC)

McLennan Community College (MCC) has partnered with the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses to develop an educational curriculum focused on the entry-level job skills valued by local employers. Jobseekers who complete the Work Readiness Certificate will earn an MCC certificate.

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Medical-Legal Partnership

Greater Waco Legal Services and Family Health Center are partnering to pilot a national model that trains healthcare providers to screen patients for legal needs that impact their health and refer them to attorneys for support.

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Mental Health Jail Diversion Program

The McLennan County District Attorney’s office has partnered with Heart of Texas MHMR and Tarleton State University to implement mental health screening for individuals involved with the criminal justice system. This widely used model allows individuals with mental health needs to receive appropriate care instead of prosecution for minor offenses.

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Nurse-Family Partnership

Housed at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Hillcrest, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free community healthcare program that provides pregnancy and parenting support to first-time mothers from nurses who visit their homes beginning in early pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. To get learn more, contact NFP by calling 254-202-1130.

The programs of NFP contribute to the School Readiness goal of the initiative.

Our Community. Our Future. (System of Care)

In Fall 2016, the Children/Youth subcommittee of the Behavioral Health Leadership Team, under the leadership of MHMR’s Klaras Center for Families, was awarded a multi-year federal “system of care” grant. In 2017, the coalition began providing school-based mental health services in multiple local schools districts. The grant also provides resources for youth peer supports, a children’s mental health respite facility, and other services to improve the mental health of children and youth in our community.

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Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers, housed at Waco ISD, is an evidence-based home visiting support model a parent education which serves mothers and fathers throughout pregnancy until their child enrolls in preschool at four years of age. This program contributes to the community’s efforts to address the School Readiness goal of the initiative. To learn more about Parents as Teachers, call 254-755-9417.

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Produce Prescription Program – CCHH

World Hunger Relief, Inc. raises, harvests, prepares, and delivers boxes of produce to participating Family Health clinic sites twice a week during two 12-week growing seasons each year.  Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers write produce prescriptions for FHC patients. Patients redeem their prescriptions for a box of produce and a no-cost refill voucher which can be used weekly.

Project Link

A multi-year project funded by the Rapoport Foundation that partners Waco ISD, La Vega ISD, MCC, and TSTC to serve a cohort over 1,000 local students and their families in charting a successful post-secondary journey through intense one-on-one college, career, and financial advising.

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Quick Response F.I.T. Trail System

With the help from the Live Well Waco Coalition and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, the QR F.I.T. Trail System has launched, which is a new active lifestyle campaign in 11 parks throughout Waco. In partnership with the Live Well Waco Coalition and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, City of Waco Parks and Recreation installed the QR F.I.T. Trail System in 11 Waco parks. At F.I.T. Trail neighborhood parks, a series of signposts placed along the walking trails feature a QR code park visitors can scan to access free workout instructional videos. Visit their website for more information.

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Reach Out & Read

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based program that uses doctors and nurses to emphasize the importance of early literacy as part of a child’s development and to distribute books to parents as part of the well-child visit. Family Health Center currently implements Reach out and Read in twelve of its local clinics.

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Reintegration Program

This collaborative program, housed at MHMR, provides individualized support to people who are returning to the community from incarceration.

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School Readiness booklet

The School Readiness Working Group designed a booklet geared toward parents and caregivers to help prepare children ages 0-4 to enter school prepared and ready to learn! Click here to download the booklet in English, and click here to download the booklet in Spanish. 

Start Up Waco

Start Up Waco will lead the creation of an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” that will connect entrepreneurs to support programs, mentors, and other entrepreneurs. Start Up Waco will launch the Hustle co-working and incubator space at 6th and Austin Avenue in 2018. Email Kevin Renois for questions, comments and to get connected.

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Strong Kids Card – Doris Miller YMCA

The YMCA of Central Texas’ Strong Kids Card program is a summer enrichment program which focuses on youth development, social responsibility and healthy living for youth and teens ages 10-17 in the Waco community. The program requires each youth to complete eight hours of enrichment activities which range from volunteering opportunities, working out, hearing from speakers, and many others. In return, each youth receives a free Doris Miller YMCA membership. Programs like Strong Kids Card work to address the College & Career Success goal of the initiative. To get connected to Strong Kids Card, email Alex Prince, call 254-752-1605 ext. 206, or visit the Doris Miller YMCA (1020 Elm Ave.).

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Summer Internship Program

Since 2016, the Prosper Waco backbone has partnered with Waco ISD to build and grow a summer internship program that matches rising seniors to paid internships with local employers in the industry relevant to each student’s career academy. As the program grows, students from other McLennan County school districts will participate.

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign

Waco Foundation has engaged the consulting firm 1000 Feathers to produce an in-depth report on teen pregnancy in McLennan County with recommendations to guide a coordinated community effort to provide education, healthcare access, and social support to local youth to reduce rates of teen pregnancy in Greater Waco. Download the report here.

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Multiple initiative partners actively promote the Vroom app (developed by the Bezos Family Foundation), which gives parents tools to prepare their child to enter school ready for success.

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Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN)

This network is comprised of local job training programs, social service agencies, staffing agencies and employers that collaborate to help job seekers find full-time jobs more quickly, provide support to individuals to maintain employment, and offer employers a central point of contact to access the services of local agencies to fill job openings and reduce turnover among entry-level employees. To get connected to WERN, email Katy Schulz.

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Waco-McLennan County Library Literacy Kits

These Literacy Kits, funded by the Rotary Club of Waco, contain early literacy materials that parents can check out at the Waco-McLennan County Library to help their children learn to read and increase school readiness in our community.

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Wellness Center – CCHH

Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers write prescriptions for Family Health Center patients to use the exercise facility at the FHC Madison Cooper Community Clinic. Patients work directly with Baylor Exercise Physiology graduate students until they feel confident exercising independently. After patients gain confidence and a sense of well-being, they transition to another community-based exercise facility where they can continue being physically active.