Thursday, December 3, 2015

UTRGV holding town hall meetings with deaf community to learn their healthcare needs

By Jennifer L. Berghom
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS –DEC. 3, 2015 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is reaching out to the deaf community to find out how it can better serve Valley residents with hearing challenges.

Linda Nelson, UTRGV senior director of Clinical Operations, and Dr. Shawn Saladin, associate dean for Research and Graduate Programs and associate professor of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling for the UTRGV College of Health Affairs, have been conducting town hall meetings with deaf and hard of hearing residents throughout the Valley to find out what services they would like to see offered in the community. On Dec. 1, they met with residents at José De Escandón Elementary School in McAllen.

UTRGV plans to use the information to determine how to best serve the community in health clinics it plans to open with its hospital and other healthcare partners.

Previous meetings were held in Rio Grande City and Edinburg, Saladin said, and about 20 people attended each session.

“They’ve been very productive meetings,” he said.

In addition to having Sign interpreters available for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, some residents also suggested a speaker series and other health education events.

“A lot of people want education from us,” he said.


All the meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

DEC. 3: Harlingen - Regional Academic Health Center Auditorium, 2102 Treasure Hills Blvd.

DEC. 17: Mission - Speer Memorial Library Community Room, 801 E. 12th St.

JAN. 7, 2016: Port Isabel - Port Isabel Community Center, 213 Yturria St.

JAN. 12, 2016: Brownsville - UTRGV Brownsville Campus, Salon Cassia Room 2.402.

JAN. 19, 2016: Raymondville - Raymondville Rural Technical Center, 700 FM 3168.

JAN. 26, 2016: Weslaco - Location to be determined.

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