Health Collaborative, Metro Health unveil comprehensive plan for healthier Bexar County

Top issues of plan change each year

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Community input helped form a list of new health priorities in a comprehensive plan aimed at creating a healthier Bexar County. The Health Collaborative and Metropolitan Health District presented their list to the public Tuesday.

Battling Bexar County’s health issues is no small challenge, but at least 200 people are working together to do just that.

“In 2016, the Health Collaborative released the community needs assessment that gives us a snapshot of where we are as a community — all things that make us healthy and unhealthy,” said Elizabeth Lutz, Health Collaborative director.

Lutz said the 2017 Healthy Bexar plan lists five main priority areas:

  1. Safe communities
  2. Healthy eating, active living
  3. Healthy child and family development: Access to care
  4. Sexual health: Focusing on teen pregnancy and STD prevention
  5. Mental health, behavioral health

Residents, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, educational institutions, businesses and government officials are all a part of tackling these issues.

District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval is chairwoman of the City Council’s Community Health and Equity Committee and said the recommendations most importantly identify huge health disparities in Bexar County.

“There's a 20-year difference in life expectancy in some of the neighborhoods in San Antonio,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval said she hopes the multi-industry approach can begin to close that gap.

This is the county’s third community health improvement plan, and Lutz said each year the top issues change. Next year, many agencies will assess the progress of the current priorities.

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