Maverick County Broadband Committee hosts kickoff event for broadband initiative and study

Eagle Pass, Texas (March 11, 2022) – The Maverick County Broadband Committee hosted a special kickoff event on Tuesday, March 8, to launch Connect Maverick, a community initiative focused on improving broadband access, adoption, and use throughout Maverick County. Members of the Committee shared information with local stakeholders and community residents about internet access in the county and explained how a broadband assessment facilitated by Connected Nation Texas will help.

Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program is being provided at no cost to Maverick County residents thanks to a $51,000 grant from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

A livestream of the event is available on Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Facebook page for anyone to view:

https://www.facebook.com/mhmstx/videos/1316396555531083

The Maverick County Broadband Committee is comprised of Maverick County Judge David Saucedo; Eagle Pass Mayor, Rolando Salinas; Eagle Pass Maverick County Economic Development Alliance Executive Director, Judith Canales; Eagle Pass Economic Development Director, Arturo Marquez; Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas Director of Information Technology, Sonny Snyder; Eagle Pass ISD Chief Technology Officer, Jose Munoz Jr., Juan Garza from Sul Ross University Office of Information Technology; Oscar Galindo, Maverick County Ag Extension Agent; Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber; Eagle Pass Library Director, Cristina Olivas; Brenda Hoffman, AHEC Eagle Pass: Claudia Wright, SHAC Chairperson Eagle Pass ISD; Pastor Javier Leyva, Pastor FUMC Eagle Pass; Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Christine Yanas, Wesley Nurse, Juliet Martinez, and Wesley Nurse District Manager Patricia Villarreal.

A central key to the kickoff was the launch of the Maverick County Community Broadband Survey for county residents and organizations. The survey results will be critical to developing an assessment of local broadband availabilty and related needs.

Connect Maverick Community Champion, Judy Canales, Executive Director of the Eagle Pass Maverick County Economic Development Alliance said, “The survey is a great opportunity for Maverick County residents, businesses, and institutions to voice their opinions and to help build solutions for improved internet services to benefit the entire community.”

The survey will be accessible through April 30. The Maverick County Broadband Committee’s goal is to engage at least 1,630 households in the survey to ensure adequate representation from the community. Survey results will assist the committee in identifying the unique challenges and opportunities that exist for expanding high-speed internet in Maverick County so that every family, business, and community organization can access the critical resources needed to be connected. The Maverick County Broadband Committee will then work with CN Texas and Methodist Healthcare Ministries to develop recommendations to help close the Digital Divide within the community. To access and complete the short survey, visit: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/maverick-county

Methodist Healthcare Ministries is a faith-based, nonprofit organization focused on improving the health and wellness of the least served. In Maverick County, Methodist Healthcare Ministries offers free health and wellness services through its Wesley Nurse program, located at the Eagle Pass First United Methodist Church.

“Closing the digital divide in rural communities will play a critical role in our efforts to support resilient families and build thriving communities across South Texas,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. “The long-term impact of having strong access to broadband technology on the health, education and other social determinants of health for Maverick County residents makes this partnership a priority for our organization.”

Once the survey has been completed by the community, a Technology Action Plan will be developed for the county by leveraging Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program and will be shaped by the information provided by local stakeholders. For that reason, it’s important to include as much information as possible so that no area is left out of this plan.

The Connected Program has been used in nearly 650 communities across the country to develop county or regional Technology Action Plans that offer both short-term and long-term broadband solutions.

For more information or if you have questions, email info@connectednation.org or head to connectednation.org/texas.

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About Connected Nation Texas: CN Texas is the statewide subsidiary of the national nonprofit Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
About Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.: Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. Guided by its mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God,” Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ vision is to be the leader for improving wellness of the least served. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit www.mhm.org.

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