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Q&A with Chara Bowie, Precinct 2 Director of Health Services

Chara-1.JPG1. What new health services can residents expect this year?

This year we want to open even more doors for our constituents to increase their access to health services. This year, we'll increase access to mental health services with our new Access2MentalHealth SmartPod that will be located right near our new James Driver Inclusive Park in Aldine. This program is a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and the Harris Center.  Our goal is to provide mental health services for all ages and regardless of financial ability. 

Also, we are branching out to three of our Precinct 2 courthouse annexes with our health screening kiosks so individuals can have greater access to monitor their blood pressure, pulse rate, weight, and body mass index (BMI). They’ll also be able to have a record to track their biometrics. Thanks to our sponsor Amerigroup, putting these kiosks in the community at our courthouse annexes address the barriers of transportation and addresses prevention. 

We will also begin programs in partnership with Community Health Choice to strengthen our Precinct 2 families with our co-parenting program to create a working relationship between parents to provide for a healthy and stable future for their children.  Next, we plan to partner with the Houston Children’s Museum for their Welcome Baby program. This program addresses the brain development of babies 2-months to 9-months-old.  Lastly, we plan to offer more data driven health screenings throughout the year at our Precinct 2 community centers. It’s a year of exciting new beginnings for a healthier future!

2. What health services or programs are you expanding this year?

We plan to expand our Access2 Health SmartPod program to transition from primarily COVID vaccine and testing sites to clinical services for children, adults and seniors with our Harris County Public Health partners.  Our goal is to make sure our residents of Precinct 2 have a medical home.

At the same time, we’re working with trusted vendors to expand our COVID testing and vaccine program to help our residents get back to work faster with accessible locations and quick results.

We’re expanding our youth heart screening events with the Cody Stephens Foundation to empower families to get a free health screening and physical to raise awareness and prevent sudden cardiac arrest.  And we’re expanding our free physicals program in partnership Comprehensive Care Clinic and Prevent Blindness Texas to offer free eye health risk assessments. The physicals are for uninsured residents and they may also qualify for a free eye exam and a pair of glasses!

Our virtual and, eventually, in-person educational programming are also expanding! We’ll be covering more topics with our partners at MD Anderson and UT Health Salud En Mis Manos.

3. What are you most looking forward to 2022?

I am looking forward to increasing the number of constituents that we serve. Many people are unaware or fearful of accessing services and asking for resources. The Health Services team looks forward to being instrumental in breaking down those barriers and addressing those fears so that our constituents can get the services and resources they need.

4. What inspires you most about your job?

I don’t consider this a job. I consider this a blessing to be able to help people in this role. Knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives inspires me to want to work even harder. However, there is only 24 hours in a day and must be dedicate time to worship, family, self, and sleep!

To learn more about Precinct 2 Health Services Department click here, email Health@pct2.hctx.net, or call 713-274-2124.

Chara L. Bowie, MA, LPC-S

Director of Health Services, Harris County Precinct 2, Commissioner Adrian Garcia

Chara has served Precinct 2 for more than 14 years where she leads a team of 5 for Precinct 2 Health Services Department. She’s a licensed professional counselor supervisor with more than 20 years of experience in community programs for youth, seniors, and veterans. As the Director of Health Services, her goal is to improve the health outcomes of the constituents of Precinct 2 by improving healthcare access, decreasing health disparities, and, thus, leading to increased health equity. Chara has a deep understanding of the correlation between physical health and mental health. She’s also a published author and member of various community boards and councils.

Chara is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of Louisiana Tech University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a master’s degree in Counseling & Guidance, and enrolled as a Doctoral Student at Houston Baptist University. Chara is a proud parent who believes in instilling a strong spirit of community service in her children.