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On behalf of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the Bexar County Community Health Collaborative, we are pleased to present the 2017 Healthy Bexar Plan. Over the past six months, representatives of various sectors of Bexar County including residents, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, community organizations, educational
institutions, businesses and government organizations have worked together to identify community health priorities and develop a strategic action-oriented document to improve the health and well-being of everyone who lives, works, and plays in Bexar County. This plan is a result of many hours of thoughtful analysis, assessment, and creativity by everyone involved. We want to thank everyone who participated in the many meetings, discussions and reviews during the development of this document, and as a result, contributed to its value.

The 2017 Healthy Bexar Plan represents a beginning, not an end. We all need to continue to work collaboratively, engage new partners, and leverage our resources to successfully implement this plan. This is a “living” document that will be modified in response to evolving circumstances, resource availability, and other factors. Through policies, education, and programs/initiatives, we can address the many determinants of health for a better, healthier, and more sustainable San Antonio and Bexar County. We encourage all residents, including elected officials and political and community leaders, to read the report and work with the entire community to implement its recommendations. Our goal is to effectively implement these action steps over the next three years. We will assess and update each year as we engage in implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

We are proud of the work done by our community, and Metro Health and Health Collaborative staff in bringing this forward. We look forward to continuous collaboration with the San Antonio and Bexar community to improve everyone’s health and well-being.

Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD                      

Health Director                                                  

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

Robert L. Ferrer, MD, MPH

Board Chair

Bexar County Community Health Collaborative



The Bexar County Community Health Collaborative, also known as The Health Collaborative, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, also known as Metro Health, co-led the 2017 CHIP planning and development process.


For the past 20 years, The Health Collaborative works to improve the health status of the community through collaborative means. It was founded in 1997 when the local hospital systems set aside competitive business practices to create an organization that would develop a countywide CHNA. In 2000, The Health Collaborative became a 501 c 3 non-profit organization and has continued to provide the CHNAs in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2013, and 2016.Since its beginnings, The Health Collaborative has expanded beyond the CHNAs into a powerful network of citizens, community organizations, and businesses working together using more robust, less duplicative, and more synergistic approaches to resolve the county’s critical community health needs.


In addition, The Health Collaborative provides administrative support to nine learning collaboratives and coalitions including:

  • San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative

  • Immunize San Antonio

  • Active Living Council

  • LezRide SA

  • San Antonio Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Coalition


The Health Collaborative offers community health programs such as Young Minds Matter and Healthy Me Healthy We, providing free wellness, nutrition education and fitness opportunities for low-income and vulnerable families throughout the county. The Health Collaborative functions under the leadership of an Executive Director and is guided by a Board of Directors comprised of 18 members from all sectors, including the hospital systems, the business sector, the city, the county, non-profits, health insurance providers, and academia, and board members representing the community’s interests.


The Health Collaborative co-leads the community health improvement planning process with Metro Health every three years with more than 100 stakeholders across the county.  In 2017, Metro Health took the lead in organizing and developing the CHIP and The Health Collaborative will take the lead in the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the CHIP.


Metro Health is designated by State Law, City Code, and County Resolution with responsibility for the health of the population in San Antonio and all incorporated and unincorporated areas within Bexar County. Although Metro Health is a city and county organization, administrative control is under the City of San Antonio. Metro Health functions under the leadership of a Public Health Director. The director, in consultation with the City Manager, Mayor and City Council sets public health priorities and guides the overall activities of Metro Health. 


Metro Health’s mission is to prevent illness, promote healthy behaviors, and protect against health hazards throughout the community through education, collaboration, and key services.  It has been serving the community and protecting the health of our population as a district since 1966. It routinely publishes health data for the community’s use and assistsThe Health Collaborative with information needed to develop and publish the CHNA.


Metro Health’s major services include regulatory functions, environmental monitoring, health code enforcement, preventive health services, including chronic disease prevention, clinical and laboratory services, communicable disease control, oral health, maternal, child and infant health, health education and community outreach, teen pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, neighborhood engagement, health equity, and emergency planning and response for natural and manmade disasters.   In addition to these services, Metro Health leads or supports multiple coalitions and collaborations throughout the community, including:

  • San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative

  • Healthy Families Network

  • Mayor’s Fitness Council

  • San Antonio Diabetes Collaborative

  • Opioid Task Force


To develop the CHIP, The Health Collaborative and Metro Health partnered with 70 unique organizations. Specifically, 210 unique individuals representing 121departments and community programs participated in the five CHIP workgroup meetings held between March and July 2017. An average of 97 people attended each meeting. The main types of organizations represented included city and county governments, philanthropic organizations, health systems, health insurance providers, school districts, non-profit organizations, private businesses, faith-based organizations, and community residents. All workgroup participants, including community members, are listed in the acknowledgement section of this report. The Health Collaborative and Metro Health appreciate the time and commitment every community partner and member dedicated to developing this CHIP collaboratively.

Steering Committee 

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