SAN ANTONIO – UT Teen Health has been approved for a nearly $10 million grant to help stem teen pregnancies in South Texas.
Teen pregnancy rates are up to four times higher in South Texas than the national average, according to UT Health. The grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used to “advance equity in adolescent health through proven evidence-based programs and positive youth development in school districts, clinics, community-based organizations, houses of worship, detention centers, and group and residential care programs” in a mostly-rural 38-county area, according to a press release.
HHS is giving $68.5 million to 53 organizations in 29 states and Puerto Rico for teen pregnancy prevention programs. UT Teen Health is one of those organizations and has been awarded $9.86 million.
“These programs will promote youth-centered, medically accurate, high-quality programming and services that improve health outcomes and promote optimal health for youth ages 10-24, using a sustainable model to train facilitators to reach 16,000 youth annually,” said Kristen Plastino, MD, director of UT Teen Health, vice chair of clinical operations and professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Health San Antonio, and senior medical director for UT practices at University Health.
In addition to UT Teen Health in San Antonio, three other organizations in Texas will receive money including the City of Austin, Healthy Futures of Texas and Project Vida Health and UT Health Houston.
UT Teen Health is an initiative of UT Health San Antonio that promotes adolescent health and wellness with programs that teach medically accurate sex education.