The Sealy & Smith Foundation recently awarded $1.45 million in funding to the University of Texas Medical Branch to improve health care access and services to the medically underserved citizens of Galveston.
A significant portion of the funding will be used to install UTMB’s Epic Electronic Medical Record at both the St. Vincent’s House community health clinic and at all five Teen Health school-based clinics on the island. 
“This grant is going to have a huge impact on those patients being seen in Galveston’s community clinics,” Dr. Ben Raimer, UTMB president ad interim, said. “Their community clinic health care providers will have the same access to review and make notes in a patient’s medical records that we have here at UTMB. The result will be much improved diagnoses and treatment for the patient – a true continuum of care that has not been available to Galveston’s underserved population before.”
The Sealy & Smith Foundation grant also will support the purchase of new medical equipment, laboratory and radiology services, and supplies for the St. Vincent’s House clinic. UTMB medical, nursing and health professions students volunteer in providing patient care to clients at St. Vincent’s House, under the supervision of paid professional and support staff.
John Kelso, chair of The Sealy & Smith Foundation Board of Trustees, said, “Through our grant to UTMB, we are very pleased to support both St. Vincent’s House and Teen Health Center. These organizations work tirelessly to care for those in our community who do not otherwise have access to health services. The work of both agencies aligns well with the mission of The Sealy & Smith Foundation, which is to provide health care to the people of Galveston Island.”
The grant also has an important educational component for UTMB students. “In addition to the improvements planned in patient care, UTMB students will also vastly benefit from this grant,” Raimer added. “Once the upgrades in equipment and supplies are completed at St. Vincent’s House, our students will be practicing in a setting more closely resembling a standard UTMB clinic, creating continuity in their education and training.”
Raimer said the installation of the electronic medical record will likely take nine to 12 months across all the clinics. The improvements to St. Vincent’s physical clinic site are in the planning stage now, with work expected to begin later this month.
“We are tremendously grateful to the trustees of The Sealy & Smith Foundation for seeing these important community health care needs and stepping forward to help meet them,” Raimer said. “Because of their generosity, UTMB and the two community agencies will be able to take much better care of the underserved people of Galveston.” 
St. Vincent’s House was formed in 1954 to provide various forms of support for the Galveston community’s neediest citizens. Through a partnership with UTMB, its School of Medicine students and its School of Nursing, St. Vincent’s House provides an array of primary health care services and limited specialty care services to the people of Galveston.

Galveston’s Teen Health Center, also through a partnership with UTMB, provides high-quality, free medical and mental health care to students in five, school-based settings within the Galveston Independent School District. The organization is nearly 30 years old.