The Healthy Futures of Texas Blog

Robot Babies: Do They Work?

Infant simulators, aka, robot babies, have long been used in teen pregnancy prevention. The goal is to teach teens the challenges of parenthood. What once started as an egg or a flour sack has evolved with modern technology into the RealCare Baby 3. Robot babies are usually assigned to high school students overnight when wireless trackers will measure their actions. Some, however, state that this approach doesn’t offer a healthy discussion about the complexities of relationships, sex, and parenthood – making it unsuccessful for many students. Read more about it here

Free Over-the-Counter Birth Control? Lawmakers are Saying “Yes”

Citing reproductive healthcare as an economic and civil rights issue, House Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts introduced the Affordability is Access Act – a congressional bill that would require insurance companies to completely cover oral contraceptives (the pill) without a doctor’s prescription.

Communities that experience higher rates of unintended pregnancies also experience lower rates of contraceptive access and use. Nearly half of the people who could not afford contraceptives report that they would start using methods like the pill or the ring if it were available over-the-counter at their local pharmacies. In low-income areas, however, availability of healthcare isn’t enough to make it accessible. Lawmakers and researchers alike believe that the success of this bill relies on removing both barriers to using birth control: access to healthcare providers and cost. Click here to read more.

Sexual Exploration Has Taken to the World Wide Web

Many teens are experimenting with their budding sexual identities – as young people have since the dawn of time. Today’s teens, however, have a new environment in which to develop these sexual and romantic selves: the internet. Nearly all teens access the internet daily, and almost a quarter of young people claim that they are “constantly” on the web, making it a significant part of their identity. Online platforms offer youth space for both sexual experimentation and information gathering, which means sexual and public health programs need to find innovative ways to integrate online dating, flirting, and relationship-building into educational interventions. Click here to read more.

When Should We Start Teaching Sex Ed?

When most people think about the great sex ed debate, the topics that come to mind are abstinence vs safer sex practices. It’s no secret that some parents are uncomfortable with the idea of schools teaching their children about sexual health and sexuality, however, this focus on the “sex” aspect of this type of education leaves out many other factors that play a role in our health. Experts say that people – particularly younger children – should be getting the building blocks to sexual health as a whole sooner rather than later. Topics like the human body, puberty, and healthy relationships are now being recommended for children in elementary school. Click here to read more.

Reading Between the #Hashtags: Teens, Sexting, and Pornography

It’s a norm for pre-teens and teens to spend much of their time on the internet and their phones. Technology has made communicating and learning from each other more accessible, but also raises concerns for parents. Recent studies warn parents of the presence of pornographic images – including child pornography through teen sexting – on social media. Click here to see what parents should be looking for when it comes to their teen’s online accounts.

Self Lubricating Condoms Could Potentially Increase Consistent Use

There are a few reasons people give for not to using condoms during intercourse, but perhaps the most common reason is an impact on sensation and sexual pleasure. In response, scientists at Boston University have created a new type of self-lubricating condom that could potentially increase consistent condom-use. Higher condom-use could mean less unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Read more about the findings here.

Considering the Unexpected: The Idea of An Unplanned Pregnancy During College

Although many community college students feel they are not ready for pregnancy or parenthood, many also don’t have a working understanding of pregnancy risk and prevention. It’s every college students mission to graduate – considering 61% of community college students drop out due to pregnancy or parenthood, this lack of knowledge is not practical for their future goals and dreams. Click here to read more about students personal views on pregnancy, birth control, and educational aspirations.

STI's on the Rise, Although Sexual Activity is Decreasing...

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) continue to be a growing issue across the nation. Click here to learn more about the trends that lend to a record high of STI rates and learn how you and your loved ones can take preventative measure to stay healthy.

TX Education Panel Calls for $50 Mil for Mental Health

In response to mass school shootings in our state and around the nation, Texas lawmakers and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have both voiced recent support to increase funds for School Safety initiatives. With an emphasis on both physical and mental health, this initiative is hoped to have a major impact on society. Click here to read more.

Children's Shelter Funded

The Children’s Shelters newest division, Family Tapestry, focuses on a community-based care system rather than the traditional foster care system managed by the state. Family Tapestry hopes to keep youth in the foster care system close to their communities and help make positive changes. Read more about their innovative approach here.

Dangerous Deliveries Presented by Texas Tribune

 Women’s Healthcare in Texas: Deliveries Don’t Have to Be Dangerous. Read about the solution-oriented discussions surrounding maternal healthcare here.

OAH/Big Decision is Moving Forward!

Healthy Futures of Texas is celebrating big news! Click here to find out about the future of the Office of Adolescent Health Big Decisions Team.

Luncheon With the Stars Award Recipients


You don’t want to miss this! The 11th Annual Luncheon event is right around the corner and we have two more remarkable champions to showcase:

Adena Williams Loston, Ph.D., 2018 Dr. Janet Realini Trailblazer Award Recipient 

Annette Rodriguez, 2018 Estrella Award Recipient

Click here to view Adena’s full bio!

Click here to view Annette’s full bio!

Back to School Tips and Tricks


School is back in session, SA! Healthy Futures of Texas is excited for the new school year – both for parents and students. School shopping is one way to prepare, but have you thought about how to monitor your teens social media and phone use? Check out these tips and tricks for parents, and kick off the semester with a healthy start!


Season Two-Unexpected!


Don’t miss out on Season 2 of The Learning Channel’s (TLC’s) series Unexpected. This series continues to share experiences of young people becoming teen parents and the effect it has on their lives, relationships, and families.


Disengaged Youth


A successful society is built by people who are engaged with their communities, goals, dreams, and futures; however, nearly 1 in 6 young adults in San Antonio are neither working nor enrolled in school. A unique approach to address this issue is underway.


Luncheon with the Stars 2018 Keynote Speaker Mrs. Erika Prosper Nirenberg


Healthy Futures is excited to announce the Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Erika Prosper Nirenberg, for the 2018 ‘Luncheon with the Stars’!


Fatherhood Summit


Supporting dads benefits both their children and communities. This was the theme for this years Texas Fatherhood Summit: Engaging Communities, Strengthening Families. Organized by the Child & Family Research Partnership and Texas Department of Family & Protective Services Prevention and Early Intervention, this years summit had speakers and attendees from across the nation – including San Antonio’s own Mayor Ron Nirenberg as a Keynote Speaker.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS): Latest Findings


New findings show that we need prevention education to uplift the health of our young people. The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance shows that there is a decline in condom-use across the nation, and that Texas teens are indulging in more risky behaviors than other US teens.

Click to learn more about current teen health trends!


Tackling Maternal Mortality


 Concerns about maternal mortality rates have been heard – many Texas hospitals are taking special care to protect pregnant mothers who are at risk for difficulties during pregnancy and after childbirth. 

 Click to learn more about this maternal health initiative.

WELCOME New Board Member Ms. Unity Puente


Healthy Futures of Texas is delighted to formally welcome Ms. Unity Puente to the Healthy Futures of Texas Board of Directors!


Talking Is Power

Talking about consent can be much more than a simple one-time conversation about saying “yes” or “no” to sex. Learn more about how to approach this topic here.


Pregnancy Prevention Among Foster Youth

It goes without saying that a child in foster care will face many challenges, but pregnancy should not be one of them. Texas Care for Children has come up with strategies to ensure healthier futures for these youth. Read more here.


HFTX Wins Big!



Court Rules that Healthy Futures of Texas and Other Organizations Can Continue with

Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

It’s a wrap!


BAE-B-SAFE, Healthy Futures’ program at three Alamo Colleges ended the 2017-2018 school year with a BANG!


Postpartum Depression Leading to Untimely Deaths


The healthiest option for a pregnancy is a planned one so that mothers are physically and emotionally prepared for a child and all that comes with it.

Parenting a newborn is typically seen as a tiring but joyous time. Not everyone experiences a sense of fulfillment after giving birth, however. While many may feel overwhelmed, for some it may be fatal…

Women in Community Colleges take the Mic

What do we want? When do we Want it? Now!”

Throughout community colleges in Texas, women are expressing their demand for short and long-acting contraception. Still, barriers have prevented students’ from accessing some of the most effective methods.

Learn about the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TXPEP) and what Texas women are saying by clicking to read more!

SA awarded Millions for Mental Health

March 2018

Did you hear? Our Community Friends at The Center for Health Care Services Awarded Mental Health Funding Under Senate Bill 292 and House Bill 13. This is fantastic news for our #SACommunity!

UNESCO Updates Global Guidelines for Sex Ed

March 2018

In response to new evidence and social demands such as the #MeToo movement, UNESCO updated the nearly 10-year-old Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education.


Addressing Texas Mortality

January 2018

An alarming trend is continuing to grow in Texas – too many mothers are dying during pregnancy or within the year after. Learn how Texas is actively working towards addressing issues contributing to maternal mortality.

Click here to read more. 

New Rules? Who could be affected?

November 2017

Contraception has proven to be a leading force in preventing unplanned pregnancies, however, the nation’s current Administration has dealt a potential blow to the accessibility and affordability of contraceptives for Americans, particularly in underserved communities.

In the fight to reduce teenage and unplanned pregnancies, several organizations and initiatives nationwide are doing what they can to promote safe sex, educate, and empower adults and youth about their reproductive and sexual health.

Although the US has seen a decline in teenage and unplanned pregnancies, new federal regulations may alter the progress we have made thus far.  

What is the #MeToo Movement? What Can We Do About it?

November 2017

Recent sexual assault and harassment allegations in the media have sparked people’s attention across the nation. Actress Alyssa Milano recently took to social media to call attention to the #MeToo movement. Milano spoke about Tarana Burke, Senior Project Director at Girls for Gender Equity, Founder of Just Be Inc., and the creator of the movement.

People across the country have rallied together to open the discussion about sexual harassment and assault using two simple words to share their personal stories. Though people have different views on the #MeToo campaign, there are many things we can do to prevent one more person from becoming a victim of sexual abuse or exploitation.

“Someone teach me how to adult…”

October 2017

Infancy, childhood, adolescence…. emerging adulthood? Learn about the theory of the newly created life stage, emerging adulthood – a hotly debated topic among experts in psychology today.

Poverty On the Rise

October 2017

A recent article reported an increase in San Antonio’s poverty rate, much higher than state and national levels. Mayor Nirenberg and the City of San Antonio continue to focus efforts on shifting the ladder of inequality and equity throughout its communities. Click here to read more.


Targeting Teenage Pregnancies

October 2017

San Antonio recently experienced great support from the City Council regarding teen pregnancy prevention.  The City Council voted 9-1 to approve a funding contract that will continue through September 30, 2019, that will provide both birth control and behavioral and mental health counseling for teen parents in the city.

 Click below to learn more about how the City Council is supporting the need for teen pregnancy prevention.

Brotherly Love

September 2017

Initiatives, such as the Ever Forward Club, are leading the forefront in including young males “in the conversation”. Through academic, community, and personal development, males have the opportunity to be real, when society says otherwise. Healthy Futures’ BAE-B-SAFE project values this commitment to positive male engagement and has taken its own approach to include young males in conversations about sexual health.

Read more about the how the Ever Forward Club and Health Futures of Texas are approaching male engagement.

Uniting for Teen Pregnancy Prevention in San Antonio

September 2017

With Mayor Nirenberg’s remarks last month about teen pregnancy prevention as a priority for the city, the San Antonio business community has reinforced this cause by supporting Health Futures of Texas’ 10th annual Luncheon with the Stars this October.

What’s Up with that Teen?

September 2017

School’s only been back in session for a few weeks now, and you may be asking yourself – “What on earth is up with my teenager, grandchild, niece/nephew or student?” Exciting things in their brains – that’s what!

Being an adolescent can be a difficult and exciting time for a young person – check out these 40 Developmental Assets from the Search Institute and read more here on how you can build young people up.

Calling all you Mother Lovers!

September 2017

In Texas, maternal mortality is still an issue we face in our communities. Yet, there is hope on the horizon, we can do better, Texans! Locally, there are a few organizations looking to make an impact by offering free preventative services to improve pre-and postnatal care.

In Texas, maternal mortality is still an issue we face in our communities. Yet, there is hope on the horizon, we can do better, Texans! Locally, there are a few organizations looking to make an impact by offering free preventative services to improve pre-and postnatal care.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Declared a Priority in San Antonio

August 2017

With recent unexplained federal cuts to Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) funding and San Antonio’s recent ranking as one of the most economically segregated cities in the nation, a call for action is needed– now more than ever…

See which San Antonio champions have stepped up to the plate.

Including San Antonio’s Powerhouse Players

Preliminary data from HFTX’s BAE-B-SAFE project reports the top two barriers to accessing Healthcare reported were ‘not knowing where to go’ and ‘lack of insurance’; other obstacles mentioned included financial barriers, and fear or anxiety. In addition to providing evidence-based programs, BAE-B-SAFE staff can provide assistance in accessing the vast array of services that CentroMed provides through a new partnership.

HFTX and CentroMed are working furiously to eliminate barriers to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy amongst older teens and college aged youth. Healthy Futures of Texas is delighted to announce this year’s ‘Luncheon with the Stars’ Richard C. Alvarado Award winner is Dr. Ernesto Gomez, CEO of CentroMed. 

BAE-B-SAFE Gears Up for Round Three!

Quiet hallways, empty dining halls, and uncrowded sidewalks are typical of what BAE-B-SAFE has seen on campuses throughout the Alamo Colleges District this summer. With summer winding down quickly, all is set to change for the upcoming fall semester!  

Healthy Futures of Texas’ BAE-B-SAFE project will begin year 3 of this three-year Competitive PREP grant this upcoming fall semester. For the next few weeks, our BAE-B-SAFE team will be preparing to take their biggest strides in making their mark at San Antonio College, St. Philip’s College, and Palo Alto College.  


Steps Toward Becoming Culturally Competent

Understanding our own cultural norms may be completely opposite from another’s which could potentially lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, loss of productivity and exclusions.

  1. Self Reflect— Recognize and understand your own values, beliefs, and norms and how they shape your views of the world
  2. Awareness — Increase your knowledge of other particular cultures and recognize there may be differing views within the group

For more tips on becoming more culturally competent:

We're # 1, but it's not what you think

How is San Antonio the most economically segregated city in the nation? Research links that the zip code you reside in can limit educational opportunity, economic success, and better health outcomes.

Capitol News: Small Victories and Missed Opportunities for Women's Health

Learn about both the successes and the missed opportunities for the future of women’s preventive health care in Texas. Check out these updates from the most recent Texas’ 85th Regular Legislative Session.