A Central City Health Careers High School!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
February 26, 2009

There is a tidal wave of aging baby boomers rolling through our society. There is an acute need for health care prevention and the huge financial savings awaiting those gifted leaders so capable of capturing them through their innovation and inspired leadership. There are huge costs associated with new infrastructure and savings in utilizing rather than ignoring the existing infrastructure in our central city. We are aware of the massive investment that has been made in its public schools and how costly it is to ignore it. Today we are boldly planning for a central city health careers high school (HCHS)!

Not only do applicants for the existing health careers high school exceed its capacity, there is an obvious and well-publicized crisis in health care delivery. Baby Boomers have begun to tax our already overburdened healthcare system. Many of our current healthcare providers are in that growing population and are ready to retire or approaching retirement.

This is magnified by the fact there is a continuous decline in students entering school for training in the healthcare profession. Healthcare systems have had to even recruit from other countries to compensate for this growing shortage. Complicating this dilemma is the high dropout rate from our high schools.

A centrally located HCHS partnering with SAISD and other ISD's along with Bexar County and the University Health System (UHS) at Fox Tech has several good reasons to be successful. The UHS is preparing to invest $300 million in the nearby historic Robert B. Green, the site of the most clinical visits to any health care institution in Bexar County. Health care institutions surround the school and are within walking distance.

Furthermore, the teaching and mentorship would be enhanced by practicing doctors, nurses, technicians, and other medically related professionals nearby who are willing to volunteer their time and support to help the faculty for this worthy endeavor. Additionally, this central city location is ideal has excellent expressway access and nearby bus lines.

With certain basic provisos, the SAISD Board and Superintendent Dr. Robert Duron approved this concept as early as June 23, 2008.

All of the other independent school districts would be invited to join this partnership.

A Blue Ribbon Committee should be formed and consist of well known individuals to oversee the project in its development, strategy and implementation.

The University Health System and the Bexar County Commissioner's Court could play a significant role in this proposal. The alumni of the various high schools are interested and have deep ties to the foundation families of our community. Their support could be substantial by virtue of their grassroots support and what they could contribute financially. Also, pharmaceutical and health-related companies can contribute through their foundations.

The Central City HCHS would serve San Antonio's first medical center downtown and beyond as well as provide an environment for educating our youth to cross the bridge to advanced training, excellent paying jobs and an inspired calling to the health care profession!

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