Starr County Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

Community Health Workers helped conduct a Needs Assessment of Starr County in Texas to evaluate it’s health strengths and weaknesses. This allowed the Star County Health Network to develop a strategic plan to engage community partners and match existing resources with key issues identified.

This Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program had two primary components: a needs assessment for Starr County and the development of a formal Starr County Health Network.

Our Approach

Our use of Community Health Workers allowed us to gather information from hard to reach segments of the population that may go unnoticed by standard information gathering methods, such as the U.S. Census.

Community involvement in identifying key issues also ensures that information collected is relevant to community needs and can support future programs which can benefit all residents.

Who We Served

The Starr County Health Network served all residents of Starr County. This population was truly unique. 98.5% of residents identified as Hispanic and 95.6% spoke a language other than English in the home. Only 45.3% had a high school education or higher, and 40.1% fell below the federal poverty line. The full county is designated as a Medically Underserved Area and a Health Professional Shortage Area, speaking to the lack of available healthcare services.

Where We Served

Promotores(as) and partner staff worked across Starr County, including Rio Grande City and Roma, as well as the populations living in nearby colonias.


  • Develop a Starr County Health Network to identify gaps in knowledge and key issues to be examined;
  • Conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to uncover health disparities, barriers to improvement, and the community wants and needs; and
  • Through the Starr County Health Network, develop a strategic plan for addressing health issues, including the improved use of existing resources and the active pursuit of new resources and funding.

Our Partners

  • Starr County Memorial HospitalNuestra Clinica del Valle The Pediatric Care Center, and the Rio Grande City Public Library

2015 Starr County Health Network Data

Three focus group meetings organized

307 questionnaires completed 

48.1% reported being at least somewhat satisfied with their current healthcare 

The most common barrier to care was cost/lack of insurance

Health concerns included obesity, diabetes, and depression