Do you like to walk or bike? Share your input for the Waco Active Transportation plan!

Do you walk, ride, roll, bike or drive in McLennan County? The Waco region is growing! That raises questions about how we will get to places we want to go now and in the future.

The Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is now receiving public comment on a draft Waco Metropolitan Area Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The ATP provides recommendations for expanding and improving the pedestrian and bicycling transportation network in the Waco Metropolitan Area through the year 2045.


For a Draft of the Active Transportation Plan, Click Here: Draft Plan.


The Waco Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) outlines the broader mobility needs for the Waco Metropolitan Area through 2045. The MTP serves as the blueprint from which mobility projects to address those needs are developed.

The MPO will be conducting 2 public informational meetings to give interested persons the opportunity to view the draft ATP plan and to solicit comments regarding recommended strategies for improving pedestrian and biking conditions. The MPO also invites interested persons to help in the development of the MTP by identifying mobility challenges and sharing ideas to address them. These meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 12 Noon. South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Avenue, Waco, TX 76711 Doors open 11:30 AM. ATP presentation at 12 Noon. MTP presentation at 1 PM.
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 5:30 p.m. South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Avenue, Waco, TX 76711 Doors open 5:00 PM. ATP presentation at 5:30 PM. MTP presentation at 6:30 PM.

The MPO is accepting comments regarding the Active Transportation Plan through July 5, 2019, and the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) through 5:00 PM on May 31, 2019. Comments may be sent by e-mail to mpo@wacotx.gov, or by mail to Waco MPO, P.O. Box 2570, Waco, TX, 76702-2570. Verbal comments will also be accepted at (254) 750-5650 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Comments should be directed to Christopher Evilia and may be submitted via the following methods:

  • Email: mpo@wacotx.gov
  • Phone: (254) 750-5650
  • Mail: Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization P.O. Box 2570 Waco, Texas 76702-2570

Worldwide Free Comic Book Day Comes to Waco with Comics for All!

Press release – Bankston’s in Waco is one of the thousands of comic book shops around the world celebrating the largest event in the comic book industry on Saturday, May 4th: Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)! Each year, thousands of participating stores give away over five million comic books to millions of fans to introduce them to the wonders of comics.

“Free Comic Book Day is a great event for the whole community. Bringing everyone together, finding books for everyone to enjoy, and seeing people of all ages—children, teens, and adults—sharing our passion for comics is incredible,” said Jeremy Root, manager of Bankston’s. “Even if you’ve never picked up a comic book, we want to welcome everyone to Bankston’s on May 4th, because there are so many amazing comics this year and we can’t wait to share them.”

This is the 18th year Bankston’s will celebrate FCBD, offering the community a fun, family-oriented event where everyone can find a comic they’ll enjoy. Bouncy Houses, DeeJay Versatile, Sidewalk Sale, FCBD Patches and this year several Music Bands.

“With awesome titles like Avengers, Tokyo Pop Disney, Riverdale, TMNT, Pokemon and others, we’re sure there’s a comic book for everyone,” Root continued. “Comics are a fun and enduring form of entertainment for readers of all ages to dive into as imagination comes to life. Whether it be popular comics, film, television shows, or video games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Regular updates, information about comic books, and a list of participating publishers and their free comics are all online at www.freecomicbookday.com.

Free Comic Book Day kicks off at 10:00am and runs until 6:00pm at Bankston’s Comics and Sportscards at 1321 S. Valley Mills Dr in Waco. Call 254-755-0070, or follow us on Facebook for more information.


ABOUT FREE COMIC BOOK DAY—Celebrating its 18th year, Free Comic Book Day is the comic book specialty market’s annual event where participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their comic shops. The event is held the first Saturday in May and is the perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to the many worlds of wonder available at local comic book shops. From super-heroes to slice-of-life to action/adventure and beyond, Free Comic Book Day has a comic book for everyone!


The Business of Health: Other Roles besides Doctors and Nurses

By Glenn Robinson

When you think of patient care, doctors and nurses are usually at the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, hospitals are increasingly utilizing supplemental programs in addition to the excellent care provided by their clinical staff to fulfill their mission of caring for “the whole patient.”

This month, we take a look at three lesser-known roles in health care that are just as vital to the patient experience and road to recovery as that of a physician or nurse.

Patient Navigators

If you’re going on a long journey to somewhere you’ve never been before, the best bet to get to your destination is being aided by navigation. The care process for a terminal disease or chronic illness is often described as a journey – physical, emotional, and spiritual – so one of the ways many health systems are making the road to survivorship easier is by offering patient navigation.

A patient navigator is a partner for patients and families from the time of the initial diagnosis and throughout their journey – wherever that may lead. A patient navigator strives to help patients make decisions and find their way through the complexities of the healthcare system so they can focus on recovery.

Navigators connect patients with resources and information to help them better understand their diagnosis and treatment options. They can also help remove barriers, whether they be financial or practical – like transportation to and from appointments.

Additionally, patient navigators serve as personal advocates to help ensure patients are receiving high quality care and have all the answers they need… even if it means challenging the status quo.

Another critical job of a patient navigator is to provide emotional support. Patients sometimes have a hard time expressing their fears and sadness even to their closest loved ones, so a navigator can be that listening ear.

On the road to survivorship, to some patients, the help and support navigators provide may be as important as the caregivers delivering the treatment. 

Community Health Workers

Community health workers have emerged as an effective strategy in engaging patients and caregivers in lowering costs for healthcare’s “frequent flyers” – patients who often visit emergency rooms and fill hospital beds.

Community health workers have been part of healthcare worldwide for decades. They generally are not doctors or nurses, and often are recruited directly from the communities they serve. Their purpose is to help individuals navigate the healthcare system, manage chronic illnesses more effectively, and access preventive care.

They also help patients tackle important health-related issues such as food and housing insecurity. Community health workers often serve people in impoverished communities who lack access to quality healthcare, lack the means to pay for healthcare, do not speak English fluently, or have cultural beliefs, values, and behaviors that differ from those the traditional U.S. healthcare system is geared towards.

New research suggests these workers may contribute to fewer days in the hospital for some patients. Patients with help from a community health worker were nearly twice as likely to report receiving high-quality primary care and spent fewer total days in the hospital.

Recognizing the value of these individuals, the Texas Department of State Health Services has a community health worker certification program to develop these dedicated individuals’ communication and navigation skills, as well as their knowledge of available community resources. 

Though typically not clinicians or administrators, community health workers are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare quality and cost. 

Volunteers

Often known as candy stripers in the past, today, hospital volunteers are a diverse group of men and women of all ages who perform a wide range of functions.

Volunteers are vital members of the community and the hospital team who share their time, talents, and passion for helping others, while either directly or indirectly making a difference in the lives of patients and families. 

There are many different roles for hospital volunteers. Some oversee the hospital information desk and provide directions and a warm smile to patients and visitors.  Others deliver flowers and packages to patients, run the gift shop, or perform a full range of back-office administrative tasks so other staff can keep their focus narrowed in on patient needs.

Many hospitals also have special volunteer programs. For example, pairing former patients who have successfully overcome a serious condition, such as heart disease or cancer, with patients who are now on that same journey. Or even more innovative programs like volunteers who share their musical or artistic talents with patients as a form of therapy. There are even animal-assisted therapy volunteer programs at some hospitals in which four-legged volunteers join their two-legged team members to bring smiles to patients’ faces.

Programs like these have been shown to raise the spirits of patients and can contribute to a better patient experience. But volunteers also benefit. Research has demonstrated that volunteers are often healthier, happier people.

Hospital volunteers truly create a win-win-win situation – for themselves, for patients, and for the hospital.


Glenn Robinson is the President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest. He has over 30 years of experience in hospital and health care management, and currently serves on several Boards associated with the Texas Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association. In addition, Glenn is Past-Chair and an active member of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Prosper Waco Board.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.