TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries looks to federal designation for sustainability

Tomball, Magnolia, Waller, November 20, 2020 - TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries —founded more than 30 years ago to serve uninsured residents in the Tomball, Magnolia and Waller areas—has grappled with treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, as all health care organizations have.

But unlike some other providers, TOMAGWA has not had access to the same resources because it is not a federally qualified health center, CEO Timika Simmons said. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act has awarded $1.3 billion to health centers nationwide, including $1.8 million to nearby Conroe-based Lone Star Family Health Center, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

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TOMAGWA Tomorrow Campaign seeks community's help to endure the COVID-19 pandemic

Tomball, Magnolia, Waller, September 5, 2020 - TOMAGWA Healthcare Ministries is launching a new fundraising campaign to become a Federally Qualified Health Center — a move that could grant the nonprofit access to additional funding as it struggles to keep up with client needs during the pandemic.

TOMAGWA provides affordable health care services to underserved families in the Tomball, Magnolia and Waller communities.

TOMAGWA CEO Timika Simmons said the organization is currently at about a 60 percent loss in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the greatest challenge they’re facing is finding the funds to continue caring for patients and the staffing to do it. Financial contributions and supplies from members have carried them.

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Tomball, Magnolia and Spring,Klein uninsured rate to grow following layoffs; state sees calls for expanding health care coverage

Community Impact - Tomball, Magnolia and Community Impact - Spring, Klein, May 28, 2020 - There are about 100,000 residents without health insurance within TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries’ 600-square-mile service area, CEO Timika Simmons said.

That number is expected to surge as more residents find themselves unemployed as a consequence of the host of layoffs and business closures caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Since March 11, unemployment claims peaked for the period spanning March 18-April 18, totaling 6,582 claims in the five Tomball and Magnolia-area ZIP codes, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

“That was before the layoffs, so now the phones are ringing off the hook. We’ve had to streamline our process and move it online to start accommodating the number of people who are now without insurance who live within our service area, and they’re finding out TOMAGWA is their only option,” Simmons said.

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High unemployment rate further exacerbates resources for medically uninsured, complicating COVID-19 containment in Spring, Klein

Community Impact - Spring, Klein, May 18, 2020 - Timika Simmons, the CEO of TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries, said there are about 100,000 residents without health insurance in her 600-square-mile service area. That number is expected to surge as more residents find themselves unemployed as a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, causing a host of layoffs and temporary business closures.

“That was before the layoffs, so now the phones are ringing off the hook,” Simmons said.

TOMAGWA is a safety-net clinic providing care to those ineligible for or unable to access health insurance, Simmons said. The nonprofit’s reach spans 16 ZIP codes throughout portions of Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties, six of which are located in Community Impact Newspaper's Spring and Klein coverage area. The organization serves about 3,000 patients annually.

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