#WhyIVax: Care Van Program Helps Texans Get Vaccines

#WhyIVax: Care Van Program Helps Texans Get Vaccines

BCBSTX is partnering with The Caring Foundation of Texas, one of our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) grant awardees, throughout the month of August in honor of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). In awareness of NIAM, The Caring Foundation of Texas is launching a social media campaign for supporters to share their “Why I Vaccinate” stories. To join this campaign, use the #WhyIVax hashtag on your social media platforms and share with your family and friends. At the end of the month of August, the #WhyIVax story with the most likes on it will be declared the winner. The Caring Foundation of Texas can’t wait to read your #WhyIVax stories

 The Caring Foundation of Texas (CFT) recently upgraded the remaining half of the original Care Van fleet, which had been on the road since 1997. As the Care Van Program’s fleet continues to evolve to help fill the gaps of prevalent health care needs of the communities throughout Texas, so do their services. The Care Vans’ outreach is mobile, which allows CFT to continually expand the traditional health care model by going deeper into communities. This transformation of the Care Van Program helps underserved populations access preventive health care while improving the health of Texas residents for future generations. 

The vehicles are the second addition to accompany the new Care Van fleet rolled out by the CFT  in 2018 at the BIG Care Van reveal event at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) headquarters. The vans have been dispatched to the foundation’s community service regions in Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, Tyler and San Antonio, where they conduct dental and health, hygiene and wellness education for Texas children. 

Since the first five vans were dispatched, they’ve hit the road and covered many miles to serve Texas families. In 2018, these new Care Vans helped CFT: 

  • Serve 23,261 children 
  • Administer 27,692 children’s immunizations 
  • Provide health education to 49,052 participants 
  • Hold 273 immunization clinics 
  • Serve 1,490 vision and hearing clients 
  • Provide dental services to 31,582 children 
  • Administer 534 adult immunizations 

In addition to unveiling the second half of the Care Van fleet, CFT recently partnered with the National Kidney Foundation® and the Texas Kidney Foundation (TKF) to help educate, raise awareness and support both organizations in their efforts to reduce Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). 

The National Kidney Foundation will effectively reach the uninsured/underserved population to conduct KEEP Healthy screenings throughout North and West Texas with a fully ​equipped Care Van. Working together, we will impact 3,000 families by offering these free preventive and educational screenings in Texas communities where it's needed most. 

Furthermore, CFT has also partnered with the TKF to support their community efforts in over 40 unique counties in Texas. TKF will serve their clients with a newly co-branded Care Van that will include the Texas Kidney Foundation Check Program providing free kidney screenings and the Kidney C.A.R.E. Campaign, which provides community education on renal disease. 

These new partnerships are supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families®   initiative. For additional information about the Care Van program, volunteer and donation information, and to see when the van will be in your neighborhood, please visit the Care Van site


Figure 1: From left: The National Kidney Foundation Southeast Texas team; Sheena Payne,
director, Community Affairs; Edna Perez-Vega, executive director, The Caring Foundation of Texas; and team.

Figure 2: Middle: Tiffany Jones-Smith, CEO, Texas Kidney Foundation,
and The Caring Foundation of Texas team