UT Teen Health gets $9.86 million federal grant to stem teen pregnancies in South Texas

The grant will cover 5 years of programming and services

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.

You can read more about how the grant money will be used on UT Health’s online newsroom.

About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Halee Powers is a KSAT producer primarily focused on digital newscasts and events.