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San Antonio Receives Gold Medal for Health Policies

The City of San Antonio was recognized with an overall gold medal by CityHealth, an initiative of de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, for passing policies that improve the health and well-being of its residents by addressing health disparities across the most marginalized communities. This year, San Antonio is one of seven cities nationwide and the only city in the State of Texas receiving this recognition. Other cities receiving an overall gold medal include Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Portland, and St. Louis.

CityHealth annually awards the nation’s largest cities with gold, silver, bronze, or no medal across different policy areas that improve quality of life, address health disparities, and inspire healthy choices among communities. Seven cities qualified for an overall gold recognition by earning at least five gold medals across 12 individual policy areas identified by CityHealth. 

“Community health requires a comprehensive approach and CityHealth continues to push the envelope to ensure that we’re helping communities thrive in healthy and safe spaces. We are truly honored to receive this recognition,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

In 2023, San Antonio earned five gold medals and one bronze, including: 

  • Affordable Housing Trusts – Gold
  • Greenspace – Gold
  • Healthy Food Purchasing – Gold
  • High-quality, Accessible Pre-K – Gold
  • Smoke Free Indoor Air – Gold
  • Eco-friendly Purchasing – Bronze

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s Director, Dr. Claude A. Jacob, states, “We are grateful for CityHealth’s national recognition of our efforts on the ground. We look forward to using this evaluation as a guide to maintain the progress made with implementing policies that improve the health and well-being for all across the City of San Antonio. This recognition also celebrates our Metro Health team’s continuous resilience and commitment to serve our community as we address ongoing disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

In previous years, San Antonio received gold and bronze overall medals from CityHealth. This year, Metro Health’s Community Nutrition team, with the support of the City of San Antonio’s Finance Department, met with CityHealth to review results from the 2022 assessment and identify areas of improvement. These efforts have led to policy changes recognized in the overall gold medal designation.
Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston received Bronze medals. CityHealth released its 2023 annual policy assessment of the largest 75 cities in the United States, finding significant progress made by cities advancing health-promoting, prevention-oriented policies that support community health. This year, 46 cities (61%) were awarded overall medals, up from 37 cities (49%) in 2022. More than 43 million people live in a city that has earned an overall medal — an increase of more than 4 million people compared to last year. The findings suggest that local leaders continue to prioritize health as they seek solutions to a diverse set of challenges — from a lack of affordable housing to mitigating the effects of climate change and extreme weather.

Ebony Huerta Wells has over 25 years of writing and media experience. She was a former business journalist with a major newspaper and worked for other niche publications.

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