Most people think of suburban dwellers as having it all: access to urban jobs, cultural events, and major hospitals on one side, rural recreation on the other, and plenty of convenient amenities—including medical centers—in between. Yet there are 16.9 million suburban Americans living in poverty, which is more than in cities or rural areas. In addition, nearly 40% of uninsured people live in suburban areas and, for all their proximity to numerous medical facilities, don’t have a way to receive affordable healthcare.
Lack of Social and Healthcare Services for the Suburban Uninsured
Complicating this paradox further is the fact that social services, institutions, and community-based programs designed to serve low-income and uninsured groups are scarcer in the suburbs than elsewhere. This includes community health centers and free clinics as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, many of which are far enough away that they can’t be reached by public transportation routes. Healthcare policy and infrastructure haven’t yet been adapted for the growing number of underserved suburbans.
Ways to Bridge the Medical Care Gap for Underinvested Suburbans
All of this highlights the need for suburban healthcare facilities and providers that cater to underserved populations—especially until high-quality health insurance becomes more affordable for all Americans. Much of the power to fill this need at the systemic level lies in the hands of federal and state governments and policymakers. In the meantime, a number of nonprofit health centers are working to address the need for accessible, affordable healthcare one community at a time.
Affordable Healthcare with TOMAGWA in Tomball, Texas
One such equity-oriented healthcare nonprofit is TOMAGWA Healthcare Ministries in Tomball, Texas. It provides not only virtual and in-person primary healthcare services, but also pediatric and women’s wellness care as well as full-service dental care.
TOMAGWA is a comprehensive family practice and dental clinic serving the Tomball, Magnolia, and Waller communities in the greater Houston, Texas metro area. We provide care to underserved and uninsured families regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or ability to pay. TOMAGWA Healthcare Ministries provides care, offers hope, and restores dignity.