LAKE JACKSON, Texas — The Texas A&M Coastal Bend Health Education Center opened a new Brazosport facility March 20, offering education and medication assistance for those who suffer from diabetes and other high-impact diseases.

“It’s completely free, so you don’t have to have insurance to come in,” said Tanya McCoy, a registered nurse and health educator for the center on the CHI St. Luke’s Health-Brazosport campus.

Like the other diabetes programs in Corpus Christi, Victoria and Kingsville, the Lake Jackson location offers all-day classes, evening series classes and gestational diabetes. The diabetes courses provide information on topics such as diabetes basics, medication usage and nutrition plans.

As a partner of Texas A&M Healthy South Texas, the Coastal Bend Health Education Center delivers clinical and educational programs to help address some of the highest impact diseases in the region: diabetes, asthma and infectious disease. Because it is grant-funded, class attendees don’t have to pay anything for services.

“Once they attend classes, we will check up with them, bringing them back in and checking their lab work to see how they’re progressing with their goals,” McCoy said. “We also offer a medication assistance program, where we assist patients with getting their medication at free or low cost to them.”

Kristy Prihoda, a registered nurse and program coordinator for the Lake Jackson site, said the program’s purpose is to teach people how to better manage their disease in day-to-day life.

“We’re trying to help those that are underinsured get the care they need,” she said. “We want to fill that gap.”