Bexar County Commissioners Court Named Winner of the 2014 Health Literacy Heroes Award

September 22, 2014

County Judge Nelson Wolff and County Commissioners to be Honored for Recognizing the Importance of Health Literacy in Serving the County’s Diverse Population

Bexar County Commissioners Court has been named the winner of the 2014 Health Literary Heroes Award. The award will be presented by The Health Collaborative (THC) through its San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative (SAHLI) in ceremonies on Wednesday, Oct. 8 in the Sky Tower at University Hospital.

The court includes County Judge Nelson Wolff and County Commissioners Sergio “Chico” Rodriguez, Precinct 1; Paul Elizondo, Precinct 2; Kevin Wolff, Precinct 3; and Tommy Adkisson, Precinct 4.

“The Commissioners Court is to be commended for recognizing the importance of health literacy and its impact on community health, as well as for the leadership and vision members of the court have shown in supporting and developing programs that are improving health literacy in the County,” said Elizabeth Lutz, Executive Director of The Health Collaborative.

“For many years the Commissioners Court has worked with The Health Collaborative, broadening the reach of our efforts to improve health literacy in San Antonio and Bexar County,” said Lutz. “In doing so, the Commissioners Court has made Bexar County a healthier place to live for all its residents.”

Health literacy is the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. The Institute of Medicine estimates that nearly half of all American adults, 90 million people, have difficulty understanding and acting upon health information.

“The support of the Commissioners Court has been instrumental in making the San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative one of the top programs in the country,” said Lutz. “The leadership of the Commissioners Court is setting the standard for other communities as they deal with similar health literacy concerns.”

“Judge Nelson Wolff and the Commissioners Court are worthy of this award for their invaluable commitment and leadership in helping improve the health of our community through important health literacy initiatives.” said George B. Hernández, Jr., president/CEO, University Health System. “Their passion and dedication to making health literacy a priority in our community is admirable.”

In presenting the award, The Health Collaborative cited the leadership provided by Commissioners Court through these initiatives and programs:

The Bexar County Community Health Assessment and the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The Commissioners Court has provided funding for the Bexar County Community Health Assessment, a research-based report card on local health which serves as a planning tool for many local organizations. Compiled every three years, the assessment has identified health literacy as a community health priority. The Court also has provided support for the Community Health Improvement Plan, a plan which offers measurable goals and strategies for key focus areas to improve community health. Both the assessment and CHIP are THC programs.

Other collaborations with THC include Vote & Vax, a national community health program that provides convenient flu vaccinations near or at polling places throughout the country, and the Immunizations Provider Conference, which updates doctors, clinics and other organizations in Bexar County on the importance of immunizations through out the lifespan and on best practices.

The Health Collaborative is a powerful network of citizens, community organizations, and businesses addressing the health needs of San Antonio and Bexar County. Member organizations of The Health Collaborative include Appddiction Studio, Baptist Health System, the Bexar County Department of Community Resources, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care System, Community First Health Plans, Charles L. Kight, community leader, Methodist Healthcare, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., Pilar Oates, community leader and independent consultant, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, University Health System, the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, WellMed Medical Management, Inc., and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.

For additional information, visit, or phone The Health Collaborative at 210-481-2573.