What role can Austin play to improve access to affordable healthcare?

Susana Almanza

City Council, District 3


There needs to be improvements for increased access to healthcare services and information by promoting and protecting a healthy community through the use of best practices and community partnerships. Improved health outcomes for our community are critical and could be achieved in a number of ways. First, we feel that there needs to be improvements to the overall service delivery model at local health clinics to ensure cultural and language barriers are broken and services to those who need it are met. To reach the greater population, the City could hold educational classes at recreational centers, neighborhood centers and other City facilities to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy eating. These classes could be a forum to promote the use of parks and trails as community gathering sites for exercise and recreation and to endorse community gardens as a means to a healthy lifestyle. Funds should be prioritized for health services versus administration. Produce marketing that clarifies the role of the City of Austin in providing health care services, versus other providers, clinics and primary care health centers and integrate clinical care and community health resources. Increase the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the existence of disease prevention programs, and nutritional information to the communities where the need is greatest, particularly for children and the elderly and address the high level of health problems in the community.