In 2010, Bexar County had one of the highest rates of teen births in the United States.
Reduce the Bexar County teen birth rate among females ages 15 to 19 by 15% by 2020.
In response to this goal, the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative (SATPPC) doubled down their efforts. The SATPPC included an impressive list of cross-sector organizations, including: public entities, community-based organizations, as well as faith-based and secular institutions.
This collaborative group works towards the community goal by monitoring teen birth rates for three age categories: 10-14, 15-17, and 15-19. As a group, they agreed that there was a need for shoring up evidence-based programs that clearly focused on decreasing behavioral risk factors that underlie teen pregnancy.
In the early development stages the SATPPC member organizations identified the following five interventions areas:
A recent root cause analysis on repeat teen pregnancy in Bexar County showed that mental health was important to pregnant teens and teen moms, and Project Worth, which provides backbone support to the collaborative, created a partnership with Communities in Schools to connect pregnant teens and teen mothers to mental health counselors. Additional intervention activities range from teen engagement initiatives like DreamSA (www.idreamsa.com) to increasing the number of youth involved in advocacy efforts like Health Futures of Texas’ Youth Advisory Council (http://hf-tx.org/yac/).
In 2010, Former Mayor Julian Castro launched SA2020, a community-wide visioning process. Through a series of public meetings, online chat sessions, and surveys, San Antonians shaped a shared vision for their community by the year 2020. Nearly 6,000 residents, representing a diverse cross-section of San Antonio, were tasked with developing a framework, defining community results, and identifying measures of success. The first SA2020 report, released in 2011, identified eleven community results tracked by 59 indicators, generating a decade-long strategic vision for San Antonio.
As part of the community-wide visioning process, nearly 6,000 San Antonians wrote the following community vision for Health & Fitness:
“In 2020, San Antonio residents are among the healthiest in the country. San Antonio promotes well-being by providing healthy and affordable food choices, convenient access to green spaces and recreational facilities, and a robust network of physical and mental healthcare designed to eliminate existing health disparities in the community.”
To help advance this community result, the community prioritized reducing the Bexar County teen birth rate among females ages 15 to 19 by 15% by 2020. In response to this goal, the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative (SATPPC) doubled down their efforts.
The SATPPC also includes an impressive list of cross-sector organizations, including:
While 2016 data show that 16 zip codes within the San Antonio area have a teen birth rate two to four times the nationwide rate, progress continues. Prior to the community goal of reducing teen pregnancy, Bexar County Birth Rates for teens aged 15-19 remained stagnant. Originally hitting the 2020 target of reducing the teen birth rate by 15% in 2012, the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative created a bolder goal for 2020—a reduction of 25%—and hit that target by 2014. Now, the San Antonio community is on track to reach the next goal of reducing the teen birth rate by 50% by 2020.
More specifically, because of the targeted approach of holding each program and organization responsible for its own outcomes, birth rate by race illustrates progress. Between 2010 and 2015, the teen birth rate for Latino teens, aged 15-19, went from 65.4 per 1,000 to 39.0, and the teen birth rate for African American teens, aged 15-19, also nearly cut in half from 45.6 per 1,000 in 2010 to 25.3 in 2015.
Assistant Director, Environmental Health & Safety Division
San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department
City of San Antonio