Quick Facts:


  • Until just a few months ago, Burleson County had no LCD counseling available for its 19,000 residents. Those in need would have to travel 35+ miles to Bryan-College Station, which would often create hardship for many who experience unemployment and transportation challenges.
  • Throughout the project, BHRC will track the number and source of referrals per month, the number of counseling sessions and group sessions provided per month and, the number of clients per month who successfully complete counseling and receive a certificate.
  • One major goal of the project is to increase the number of drivers from three to four and to increase driving hours to up to 100 per month.
  • The BHRC LCD program receives on average two new clients per week, and currently sees the needs of transportation for residents every day.

The Project


The Burleson Health Resource Center is using the Collaborative Innovations for Community Health (CICH) funding to support and expand its capacity to deliver much needed counseling services of a Licensed Dependency Counselor (LCD) and provide transportation to more country residents. The goal is to increase the number of hours LDC can be available to deliver counseling to residents of Burleson County from 20 hours a week to 40 hours per week. Furthermore, the plan is to expand the Resource Center’s capacity to deliver transportation services in Burleson County by increasing driving hours from part-time to full-time for the hired drivers.

The CICH grant will allow BHRC to better serve low-income residents of Burleson Country who are without health insurance and are in need of substance misuse counseling by allowing us to offer 20 more hours per week of counseling services, and offer more opportunities for elderly, disabled, low-income, and medically-challenged individuals to have access to transportation that will allow them to keep their medical and social service appointments.

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“I think that the Health Resource Center is the embodiment of what health equity means. The Center’s aim is to ensure ALL residents of Burleson County, ALL, have access to the help they need. That’s the overarching goal. When somebody calls and they need help, I don’t care what the issue is, we are always going help. We are going to respond to what the community needs—always. When it comes to health equity, the doors are open to everybody and they will stay open to everybody. We don’t care, if you need help, you’ve come to the right place. Period. End of story.”

– Albert Ramirez, Executive Director, Burleson County Health Resource Center Commission

The Major Impact


Anyone residing in Burleson County is eligible to receive services through BHRC. Set up in 2004, the Center helps all residents to gain access to a wide array of services, including resources for aging, housing, domestic violence, substance abuse, and more. The Center works with various partners throughout the area to ensure everyone can receive help when asking for it.

BHRC collaborates with the county, the superintendents in the schools, churches, counselors, nonprofits, local organizations, and anyone else who may have the availability to help—whether that’s with educating on prevention, getting medical care for a patient, or checking in post-services. BHRC connects with partners and stakeholders to help residents.

The funding will support the two specifics discussed earlier: LCD and transportation services. The need for these two specific services in Burleson County is high, and with the CICH funding, Burleson Health Resource Center feels it won’t only make a large impact by helping community members with their hardships, but also believes they are trailblazing the path by highlighting the need for these two specific services and generating awareness among partners and other organizations who are unaware of the hardships and social determinants in the area. BHRC is truly the first of its kind within the county to help their residents with these types of resources and is leading the way to fight for health equity in their rural community.

The Heart


An interview with:

Pastor Robert D. Walker – Leader, Facilitator, Teacher
Aundrey Petry Sr. – Teacher, Volunteer

What does success look like for this project? “Success of this project looks like our community members with an increased credit score of 700 or better. Success looks like people having a savings account and a checking account. It looks like people no longer live paycheck to paycheck. It looks like a family that benefits from financial freedom.”
- Pastor Walker

Why is community important to you, and what do you love most about your community? “Community is all we have. The people that live near you and with you make up your community. For all the flaws of people, there are double the grace and help from people. Your community helps pull up water-soaked carpets after a hurricane. Your community sees the need for food and creates a food bank. Your community fills in the gaps when and where they see the need. What I love most about my community is the diversity of the residents. We have all aspects of people that live here. This community is truly a melting pot.”
- Ms. Petry

While doing your work, when did you have an “aha” moment? “I’ve had several ‘aha’ moments. I have been teaching financial education classes for over 20 years now. When people come up to me and say, ‘I was able to send my child to a STEM camp because I had the money.’ When people get sick and are able to pay off the medical bills without going into bankruptcy or choosing between bills and food. The ‘aha’ moment is every time people are able to make smart decisions and they see tangible results.”
- Pastor Walker

What does health equity mean to you?“Health equity means to me, in one word: FREEDOM. When you have health equity, it means you have the power to make smart decisions in all aspects of your life. It means your children will benefit from your smart choices. It means that even if a hurricane hits (figuratively or literally), you can continue to live your life and you will not be uprooted for too long. Health equity equals freedom, leading to peace in your life. There’s nothing better than peace!”
- Ms. Petry

The Heart


An interview with:

An interview with Albert Ramirez (Executive Director, Burleson County Health Resource Center Commission), Dianna Gradington (LCDC), and Amy Hildebrand (Office Manager).
What are your hopes/wishes/wins that will bring joy to you at the close of this project?
“Regarding transportation, I am hoping for every phone call that comes in, for someone who needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment, or a social service appointment, or homeless people that come in—to get them to where they need to go without any hesitation.”- Amy Hildebrand
“I am hoping that by this time, next year, every individual that comes into the program, that experiences on one our classes, feels the impact not just for themselves, but I hope it has an impact on their entire family. We follow up after three months, then six months. It’s very important to find out once the program is complete, that the individuals are still clean, still sober, still attending their meetings, and still holding onto the information and help they received, and to see how it’s not only impacted them, but the family as a whole.” - Dianna Gradington
Why is community important to you and what do you love most about your community?
“When I started this job, I was totally out of my comfort zone. I had gone from 12 years in health care to basically nothing I was used to. I came here from a large city. The amount of reward that I have at the end of the day is amazing. Working with the community and knowing so many people within the community is unreal. Seeing the hardships first hand was truly an eye opener when I first started. It’s that one person you can help at the end of the day and know you made a difference; you know you did something good—and you might even be the only person that cared for that community member that day. It’s so rewarding to be part of this community as a whole and as part of the BHRC community.”- Amy Hildebrand
“In this community, I have seen such cohesiveness here that I haven’t seen in other communities in a long, long time. People are getting their needs met here. Burleson County, the core, is saying, we need more of this, more than what we’ve been getting. More to help. The core, the courses and counseling involve their family and ensure all needs are met, for everyone. People within the community work with one another, the hospitals work with the courts, and the courts work with us, and so on.” - Dianna Gradington
What does health equity mean to you?
“I think that the Health Resource Center is the embodiment of what health equity means. The Center’s aim is to ensure ALL residents of Burleson County, ALL, have access to the help they need. That’s the overarching goal. When somebody calls and they need help, I don’t care what the issue is, we are always going help. We are going to respond to what the community needs—always. When it comes to health equity, the doors are open to everybody and they will stay open to everybody. We don’t care, if you need help, you’ve come to the right place. Period. End of story.”- Albert Ramirez

Quick Facts:


  • Iconium Missionary Baptist Church, located in Beaumont, Texas, was established in 1996.
  • Iconium Family Church has been teaching economic stability classes for adults for 24 years.
  • The course lasts eight weeks, offering access to financial resources, quality housing and food, and jobs that provide stable income.
  • The three teachers within the program have worked in finance for over 30 years and have an accounting background as well as a college education in finance and business.
  • The goal is to inform and provide the knowledge and support of changing one’s views on finances and how to become sustainable as an individual and as a family. Becoming debt-free and maintaining a budget with savings is something that is vital to a healthy life.
  • Provides resources and information that can be used instantaneously.
Pastor Walker, Iconium Family Church

The Major Impact


There are a number of social determinants the financial classes will support. People miss doctor appointments when they lack reliable transportation, children are exposed to environmental hazards like lead-based paint because families can’t afford to move to better neighborhoods, diets are poor, prescriptions go unfilled—financial status impacts your health.

The success of each participant in the economic stability class is determined by application of the student. The student will be given all the tools and knowledge to become economically stable. The way this will be evaluated is through a one-on-one sit down, pre-and post-consultations with their teacher to find out where they are financially (do they have a savings account, a checking account, credit card(s), etc.), and a pre- and post-class survey. The success of the class will be determined by the changes that have been made in the student’s life exactly one month after the eight-week course.

The Project


Iconium Missionary Baptist Church opened its classrooms to spread knowledge in the community though teaching classes on topics of financial literacy, bullying, crisis counseling, college readiness, and more. The audience the church serves are minorities, youth (13-18), poor, and working poor. This specific project focuses on economic stability for adults (19 and older) and works to lift people out of their current life challenge into a better situation for them and their immediate family.

For the past 24 years, this class has allowed members of the community access to resources essential to life, including financial resources, quality housing and food, and a job that provides a stable, living wage. Because of this class, students have increased their credit scores, purchased homes, created a savings and checking's account, and more.

The Major Impact


There are a number of social determinants the financial classes will support. People miss doctor appointments when they lack reliable transportation, children are exposed to environmental hazards like lead-based paint because families can’t afford to move to better neighborhoods, diets are poor, prescriptions go unfilled—financial status impacts your health.

The success of each participant in the economic stability class is determined by application of the student. The student will be given all the tools and knowledge to become economically stable. The way this will be evaluated is through a one-on-one sit down, pre-and post-consultations with their teacher to find out where they are financially (do they have a savings account, a checking account, credit card(s), etc.), and a pre- and post-class survey. The success of the class will be determined by the changes that have been made in the student’s life exactly one month after the eight-week course.

The Heart


An interview with:

Pastor Robert D. Walker – Leader, Facilitator, Teacher
Aundrey Petry Sr. – Teacher, Volunteer

What does success look like for this project? “Success of this project looks like our community members with an increased credit score of 700 or better. Success looks like people having a savings account and a checking account. It looks like people no longer live paycheck to paycheck. It looks like a family that benefits from financial freedom.”
- Pastor Walker

Why is community important to you, and what do you love most about your community? “Community is all we have. The people that live near you and with you make up your community. For all the flaws of people, there are double the grace and help from people. Your community helps pull up water-soaked carpets after a hurricane. Your community sees the need for food and creates a food bank. Your community fills in the gaps when and where they see the need. What I love most about my community is the diversity of the residents. We have all aspects of people that live here. This community is truly a melting pot.”
- Ms. Petry

While doing your work, when did you have an “aha” moment? “I’ve had several ‘aha’ moments. I have been teaching financial education classes for over 20 years now. When people come up to me and say, ‘I was able to send my child to a STEM camp because I had the money.’ When people get sick and are able to pay off the medical bills without going into bankruptcy or choosing between bills and food. The ‘aha’ moment is every time people are able to make smart decisions and they see tangible results.”
- Pastor Walker

What does health equity mean to you?“Health equity means to me, in one word: FREEDOM. When you have health equity, it means you have the power to make smart decisions in all aspects of your life. It means your children will benefit from your smart choices. It means that even if a hurricane hits (figuratively or literally), you can continue to live your life and you will not be uprooted for too long. Health equity equals freedom, leading to peace in your life. There’s nothing better than peace!”
- Ms. Petry

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