The University Health System expansion is one of the most exciting projects in Bexar County. With nearly 25 clinics and campuses, UHS is the third largest public health system in Texas. It is San Antonio’s only health system recognized by U.S. News & World Report regarded as one of America’s Best Hospitals.
Increasing Access to Care
Judge Wolff and County Commissioners are working with the University Health System on a state of the art freestanding Women and Children’s Inpatient Tower next to the South Texas Medical Center. The $390 million facility will have 250 inpatient rooms for women and children, along with labor and delivery and women’s operating rooms. The Tower will house an expanded Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, as well as dedicated pediatric emergency department. UHS remains the only certified Level I trauma center for adults and children in South Texas.
The Opioid Crisis
The national opioid epidemic has reached our region. Confronting this public health threat head-on, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, and University Health System convened the Joint Opioid Task Force in the summer of 2017. This collaboration is seeking to decrease the number of opioid deaths in Bexar County and develop strategies to address the opioid crisis in a comprehensive manner.
The Task Force received grants to pay for 16,000 doses of Naloxone which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.
Thus far the Task Force has identified a needle exchange program as being a priority. When users share needles, diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C are spread. An added benefit of an exchange program is the opportunity to talk to the user about rehabilitation. Increasing the number of drug treatment beds available in San Antonio is another core focus. We led Texas in the number of neonatal abstinence syndrome cases, in which children exposed to drugs in the womb are born addicted. More treatment beds mean more people in recovery.
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