Health experts unveil new health plan

By Eileen Gonzales - Reporter
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SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio-area medical experts have unveiled a plan to help improve the health status of our community.

They presented the 2014 Community Health Improvement Plan on Wednesday morning at the TriPoint YMCA's Graham Center.

The plan was compiled by members of the Health Collaborative and assesses public health, based on information from area hospitals.

"The hospitals are charged with doing these anyway, so the idea was to collaborate and do one major assessment," said Dr. Stephen K. Blanchard, a committee member of the Health Collaborative.

The two-year study shows five areas needing improvement: healthy eating and active living, child health and family development, safe communities, behavioral and mental wellness, and sexual health.

The report also includes solutions will be part of the area's ongoing initiatives.

While experts say it's too soon to tell on paper whether community health initiatives are making a significant difference, many people in the community said they have seen a change for the better.

"It's changed a lot. I love the improvements," said Tammy Garcia, who exercises at Woodlawn Lake.  

"You see more people coming here to the parks. Everywhere you go, everywhere there are more people actually running, walking," said David Alcantar, an area bicyclist.

The next CHIP report will be released three years from now.

Blanchard believes the results will be positive.

"In 2017 we'll be able to say yes, we have made some improvements," he said.

To see the full CHIP report, click here.

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