Good Health! at Goodwill: Innovations in Community Health in San Antonio, Texas
Launched in 2007, Good Health! at Goodwill is a community-based initiative that offers affordable and accessible preventive health care to underserved and underinsured San Antonio residents. Good Health! at Goodwill, a partnership among the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health), Goodwill Industries, and Bexar County’s University Health System, is based on successful models for minor care services provided by retailers such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS.
Good Health! at Goodwill offers services through a mobile health care clinic or at a healthcare clinic located in a Goodwill retail store, including:
- Immunizations for children and adults
- Health assessments
- Glucose screenings
- Blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol screenings
- Free booster seats
Good Health! at Goodwill was launched in 2007, under the leadership of Metro Health Director Dr. Fernando A. Guerra, as a public-private partnership between Goodwill Industries and San Antonio’s public health department. By putting clinics inside Goodwill stores, which had more than 1.9 million customers in 2009, health services already offered by San Antonio’s government health agencies instantly became more accessible to those residents who need it most.
The program provides services and health education year round at low or no cost to participants.
Rebecca Brune, Goodwill Industries vice president of alliances, thinks the program “could play a significant role in reshaping our local community health care system, specifically addressing delivery of services and issues of accessibility and affordability.”
The Corporation for Enterprise Development ranks Texas fiftieth in the nation for the highest percentage of non-elderly population without health insurance. Brune calls the figure unacceptable. She says that by providing a framework that allows public and private health care providers to form collaborations, Good Health! at Goodwill can reach a broad cross section of the community, allowing them to share resources and develop innovative approaches to linking families to a medical home.
Good Health! at Goodwill has one permanent clinic for which Goodwill provides the space, utilities and overhead, and Metro Health funds the staff, practitioners, and immunizations. Several mobile clinics are also open during back-to-school and flu seasons.
Since its inception in 2007, Good Health! at Goodwill has provided more than 10,000 vaccinations. In 2009 alone, the program:
- Delivered free or low-cost immunizations and health screenings to more than 12,000 adults and children;
- Conducted more than 100 mammograms with necessary follow-up provided to 25 women; and
- Distributed 100 free child booster seats, with installation demonstrations, to economically-disadvantaged families.
Building on its early successes, Good Health! at Goodwill is in the process of expanding into a new permanent location at a different Goodwill store, which will offer all the current services plus primary and minor care services, as well as coordination of care by community health workers. Goodwill Industries’ Rebecca Brune says the community health workers are vital additions to the initiative because they will facilitate the matching of patient needs to program offerings and resources, such as educational programs and screenings, as well as Medicaid and other social services. The new location will be staffed and supported by University Health System, the tax-supported Hospital District for San Antonio and Bexar County.
“At a time when we are a facing a national healthcare crisis,” says Dr. Bryan J. Alsip, assistant director of Metro Health, “it is critical to focus on this replicable model to make it convenient for underserved populations to obtain preventive care.”
In 2009, Good Health! at Goodwill was presented with the Program Excellence Award for Community Health & Safety by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
Bryan J. Alsip, MD, MPH, FACPM
Assistant Director of Health
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
332 West Commerce, Suite # 307
San Antonio, TX 78205
Vice President of Alliances
Goodwill Industries of San Antonio
406 W. Commerce
San Antonio, TX 78207-3102
210-271-8818 (toll free: 1-800-483-9455)