ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A new program is spearheaded by Angelina County and Cities Health District which aims to link residents to critical resources.
It's called Angelina County Connects which helps put eligible people to programs such as food services, important health needs or housing aid.
One individual benefiting from the program is Patricia Smith. She received news pancreas cancer seven months ago. Now, Smith drives to Houston for treatment. But it was in February that a Lufkin hospital who referred her to the new Angelina County Connects office.
"It was devastating at first. Even before I started going to M.D. Anderson the people at the Health District are so nice and supported of me," Smith said.
Smith said if it wasn't for those resources, she wouldn't have known about her cancer.
The program serves residents in Angelina County matching them to existing services and resources, according to health district administrator Sharon Shaw.
"Angelina County Connects is just not about health, however health is one of the cornerstones because we are the public health agency," Shaw said. "It's hard for an individual to concentrate on employment or education or housing needs if they have dire health care needs."
The program connects families to healthy food sources, chronic disease education programs, social services, health care resources, and medical homes Shaw said.
"Healthcare may be the starting block, but the rest of it all compiles around it," Shaw said. "So an individual is connected and linked to other programs and services to make their life more comfortable, make their well being, make them contribute to society, (and to) have a prosperous outcome," Shaw said.
Smith said she's grateful for the resources as she fights her cancer.
It's good to have support," Smith said. "And I had support at the Health District and I also have family support."
The new program is in partnership with funding provided by the T.L.L Temple Foundation.