Mayor Howard W. Peak

Mayor Backs Outreach to Underserved through Health District. s Collaboration with Community Agencies

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has been a recipient of a Breast and Cervical Screening Grant for the past six years. These funds, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fall under the Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) within the Texas Department of Health. Three other San Antonio agencies also receive BCCCP funds: the University Health System; Ella Austin Clinic; and Barrio Comprehensive Community Health Clinic.

The Texas BCCCP requires that a minimum of 85 percent of the women examined must be over the age of 50 and be below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. In order to meet this standard, BCCCP grant recipients must conduct extensive outreach to serve the target population. Mayor Howard Peak has strongly supported the health district. s plan of working with community organizations to bring breast cancer awareness to underserved women in San Antonio.

Using Community Network for Outreach

Since the health district has limited resources in its local budget to do extensive outreach for BCCCP, the agency has been partners with many organizations to assure that the needs of San Antonio. s minority populations are being met. Eighty-eight percent of the health district. s clients are Hispanic - - predominately Mexican American; 6 percent are African American; and 6 percent other. Agencies with which the health district collaborates to reach the underserved include the:

  • American Cancer Society;
  • YWCA Encoreplus Program;
  • Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation;
  • Bexar County Medical Society Alliance;
  • Baptist Health System Cancer Program;
  • University Health System;
  • Ella Austin Clinic;
  • Barrio Comprehensive Health Clinic;
  • senior organizations; and
  • churches.

The health district conducts monthly case management meetings with some of these groups to discuss concerns, complex psychosocial and logistical challenges, and develop resources for clients in need.

Organizing Events with Community Partners

Three times a year the health district collaborates with these community agencies to provide breast and cervical screening services to minority populations. The major events are the Black Women. s Health Day, which is held in February during Black History month, and the Latino Women. s Health Fair, held in October. Partner agencies do the following:

  • advertise the event;
  • contact potential recipients;
  • arrange for transportation;
  • teach breast self-exams; and
  • coordinate all activities of the fair.

The health district provides the facility and medical staff to cover these clinics. Clients are covered by BCCCP funds if they meet financial and age requirements. Partner agencies also provide a limited number of mammogram vouchers for those clients who do not qualify for BCCCP coverage.


During the six years that the health district has been screening women for breast cancer, 3,074 women have received screening mammograms, and 23 have been diagnosed with breast cancer. All have received appropriate follow-up.

Contact: Fernando A. Guerra, MD, MPH, Director of Health, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, 210/207-8780.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

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