University Health System and the San Antonio Housing Authority Announce Partnership for a Healthy Community

June 25, 2014

New family health center to bring primary care and specialty services to the East Side

With the goal of bringing much-needed medical care to neighborhoods on the city’s East Side, University Health System and the San Antonio Housing Authority are teaming up to build a new family health center.

The center will be built on a 2-acre site owned by SAHA on Interstate 35, just east of Walters Street and adjacent to the Sutton Oaks Apartments. University Health System will invest about $4 million to construct, equip and staff the new location.

The hope is to open the new center in early 2016. However, University Health System plans to provide some services within weeks by opening a temporary health center using its healthyUexpress mobile vehicle. The vehicle has two well-equipped exam rooms, telemedicine capabilities, and can accommodate most of the services provided in stand-alone clinics.

“This is an innovative partnership that leverages the resources of both of these fine organizations,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “And as we stand here envisioning the health center that will one day be open in this location, we need to keep in mind this partnership is not just about a building. It’s about improving health, and it will be focused on results.”

“We envision this new family health center as a model for outpatient care, with advanced technology and a team of health professionals working together to address the individualized health needs of both adults and children.” said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. “As we’ve done with our new buildings on our Robert B. Green Campus downtown and University Hospital, our goal is to provide the very highest level of care in an environment that is convenient, efficient, welcoming and first class in every way.”

“We are thrilled to partner with University Health System to bring quality medical care to East Side residents,” said Lourdes Castro Ramirez, SAHA President and CEO. “Today’s announcement directly addresses the goal established by area residents during the Choice Neighborhood planning activities, to establish a new family health center within this community.”

Significant funding for the health center will come from the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program, or DSRIP — part of the Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver. University Health System proposed the three-year project when additional DSRIP funds became available earlier this year. The Health System already has 23 DSRIP projects in progress — including the healthyUexpress mobile health vehicle.

The project will complement the Eastside Promise Zone announced by President Obama in his State of the Union Address last year — one of five such Promise Zones nationwide selected under the program. It aims to revitalize communities by creating jobs, reducing poverty, expanding educational opportunities, providing affordable housing and improving public safety.

University Health System, proudly owned by the people of Bexar County, operates more than 20 locations, including University Hospital, the historic Robert B. Green Campus downtown, the Texas Diabetes Institute, four family health centers and a number of preventive and specialty centers throughout Bexar County. It is the premier Level I trauma center for a 22-county region of South Texas, and the highest designated pediatric trauma center in the region.