AUSTIN – During National Women's Health Week, which began May 9, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is encouraging women and girls to take care of their physical and mental health.
“Texas HHSC is committed to helping Texas women access quality health care and wellness programs that can be life-changing and life-saving,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young. “As we commemorate Women’s Health Week, we hope to motivate women to learn about the health resources that are available to them and inspire others to do the same.”
National Women’s Health Week raises awareness about women’s health issues and highlights ways women can make their health a priority and maintain healthy habits. HHSC supports these efforts through a variety of programs and services that are dedicated to the well-being of Texas women and their children. Some of the programs include:
Women’s Health Services
The Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs provide health and family planning services, including contraception, cancer screenings and pregnancy testing, at low or no cost. Additionally, eligible women can receive comprehensive women’s health care for up to 12 months after childbirth through expanded Healthy Texas Women Plus services. Last year, the Healthy Texas Women program served 182,466 women and the Family Planning Program served 116,779 Texans.
HHSC Women’s Health Services also includes the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program which provides screenings and diagnostic services for women to help identify breast and cervical cancers in its early stages when treatment is more likely to be effective. In 2020, the program helped more than 28,300 women in Texas. More information about women’s health services can be found at www.HealthyTexasWomen.org.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a health and nutrition program that helps improve the diets of infants and children as well as pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women. WIC served approximately 675,000 people each month in 2020, providing healthy food benefits, breastfeeding support and nutrition education. Live online and self-paced health, nutrition and breastfeeding classes are available at TexasWIC.org to anyone at no-cost.
Substance Use Disorder Programs
To support women with substance use disorder, HHSC provides a variety of services, including two new initiatives. Beginning in July 2021, pregnant women with opioid use disorders in the Medicaid program may be eligible to participate in the new Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) model in the Harris County area. As one of ten states selected to implement MOM, the model will improve access to treatment and care through a multidisciplinary clinic that offers coordinated care and peer support.
Beginning in April 2021, Texans in Bexar, Dallas, and Harris counties can access social support services and medication-assisted therapy as part of the Integrated Family Planning Opioid Response program through a partnership with HHSC’s Texas Targeted Opioid Response.
Through the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is part of Texas Health and Human Services, the TexasAIM initiative helps hospitals and clinics improve maternal safety through implementing best practices. The goal of the initiative is to end preventable maternal deaths and reduce postpartum health issues. This year, 98 percent of Texas hospitals with obstetric service lines are enrolled in TexasAIM.
Postpartum Depression Screening
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program cover postpartum depression screening for the mother of an enrolled infant, regardless of whether the mother has Medicaid, CHIP, or other coverage. The screening may occur during a covered well-child visit before the infant’s first birthday. HHSC also provides an array of mental health and substance use services for all eligible Texans. Services include resource referrals, crisis counseling and other special assistance.
About National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on women’s health. The week May 9-15, 2021 serves as a reminder for women and girls to make their health a priority. The agency has posted tips about how women and girls can improve their health.