AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services is raising awareness of National Women's Health Week beginning May 8 by encouraging women and girls across the state to take care of their physical and mental health.
“We hope to motivate women this week to make time for important health screenings, including mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. At HHSC, we know the importance of participating in wellness programs that prioritize physical and mental health,” said Lindsay Rodgers, HHSC associate commissioner for Health and Developmental Services.
The week raises awareness about women’s health issues and highlights ways women can make their health a priority and maintain healthy habits throughout their lives.
During this week, HHSC is hosting a Women + Aging Webinar on May 11 at noon CDT. HHSC presenters will focus on the importance of physical, mental, social, and financial wellness for women and resources to promote healthy aging. This online event is free and open to the public. To register, visit this webpage.
HHSC also offers a variety of programs and services that support the health of women and their families. These include:
Women’s Health Services
HHSC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured Texas women who meet eligibility requirements. The program helps identify breast and cervical cancers in the early stages when treatment is more likely to be effective. In 2021, the program helped more than 29,000 women in Texas.
Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs provide health and family planning services, including cancer screenings, contraception, 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 Healthy Texas Women Plus services. In fiscal year 2021, the Healthy Texas Women program served more than 190,000 women and the Family Planning Program served more than 108,000 Texans.
For more information on women’s health services, visit 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. Texas WIC serves an average of 682,000 people each month, providing healthy food benefits, breastfeeding support, and nutrition education. Additionally, live and self-paced health, nutrition, and breastfeeding classes are free to the public at TexasWIC.org.
Substance Use Disorder Programs
To help women with substance use disorders, HHSC provides a variety of services, including two initiatives that launched in 2021:
- Pregnant women with opioid use disorders in the Medicaid program may be eligible to participate in the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) model in the Harris County area. The model improves access to treatment and care through a multidisciplinary clinic that offers coordinated care and peer support.
- 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.
Hear Her Texas Maternal Health Safety Campaign
In October 2021, the Texas Department of State Health Services, part of Texas HHS, launched the Hear Her Texas Campaign. The campaign is a multi-phase media and outreach effort with the primary goal of encouraging health care providers, family, and friends to listen and act when a pregnant or postpartum mother expresses health concerns. This year, the campaign is developing Texas-specific educational resources and toolkits and collecting survivor stories to help create awareness about serious pregnancy-related complications and urgent maternal warning signs among families and medical professionals throughout Texas. For more information visit the Hear Her Texas webpage.
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.
Family Violence Program
The Family Violence Program promotes self-sufficiency, safety, and long-term independence of adult and child victims of family violence and victims of teen dating violence. Through a network of service providers, the program provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims and their children, educates the public, and provides training and prevention support to various organizations across Texas. All services are provided for free. In fiscal year 2021, the program served 62,796 survivors, provided emergency pandemic housing funds to survivors and their children, and received new federal funds to support survivors of sexual assault.
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 8-14, 2022, serves as a reminder for women and girls to make their health a priority.