San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health)
332 W. Commerce
San Antonio, TX 78205
click here to read Metro Health's Departmental Overview
2012 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
Optimal health for our communities and our environment
Provide leadership and services for San Antonio and Bexar County to
prevent illness and injury, promote healthy behaviors, and protect against health hazards.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is moving in a new direction towards a high-performance health department. Two key shifts have recently taken place that are helping us strive toward this goal.
One of those initiatives was the integration of clinical preventive services with University Health System (UHS). On February 4, 2008, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County took an unprecedented local step towards improving the long-term health of the community by merging what is often viewed as two separate functions of health care – preventive services and treatment of sick patients. UHS is now managing 10 former Metro Health clinics (see locations) that offer a wide range of clinical preventive services.
The move was designed to reduce duplication of services and enhance coordination of care, while simultaneously increasing prevention, early detection, and continuity in care. Providing early preventive care in a holistic health care system that includes the County’s public hospital (University Hospital) should help more effectively address costly and debilitating health problems that plague this community such as diabetes and heart disease.
Another key change is the creation of a new service area within Metro Health called Population-based Services. This division will focus on chronic disease prevention, health education, and wellness while utilizing evidence-based resources. Examples of some of the division's major initiatives include tobacco cessation and prevention, prevention of alcohol-related health problems, and a focus on chronic health conditions such as asthma, obesity and diabetes.
It is our hope and vision that these key changes, along with our commitment to continuously improve the services and programs you have become accustomed to, will help us, with your partnership, achieve optimal health for our communities and our environment.
More About Metro Health
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is the public health agency charged by State law, City code, and County resolution with the responsibility for providing public health programs in San Antonio and unincorporated areas of Bexar County.
Although Metro Health is a City/County organization, administrative control is under the City of San Antonio and Metro Health is operated as a City department.
Services include health code enforcement, food inspections, immunizations, clinical services, environmental monitoring, disease control, health education, dental health, emergency preparedness and issuance of birth and death certificates to the public.
The Director of Public Health, Thomas L. Schlenker, MD, MPH, serves as the chief executive officer of Metro Health and is the Health Authority for Bexar County. As Health Authority, the director is charged with administering state and local laws pertaining to public health within Metro Health's area of authority. The director, in consultation with the City Manager, City Council members and the County Judge sets public health priorities and guides the overall activities of Metro Health.
What Is Public Health?
The mission of public health is to promote physical and mental health and prevent disease, injury and disability ( Source: Essential Public Health Services Working Group of the Core Public Health Functions Steering Committee, 1994, U.S. Public Health Service)
– Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
– Protects against environmental hazards
– Prevents injuries
– Promotes and encourages healthy behaviors
– Responds to disasters and assists communities in recovery
– Assures the quality and accessibility of health services
Public health is centered around three core functions (assessment, assurance, and policy development) and ten essential public health services. The Texas Health and Safety Code uses the ten essential services to guide the work of local health agencies