Bexar County taps Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo to lead new health department

Bexar County has hired Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo to lead its new public health division, officials announced Thursday.

The Department of Preventive Health and Environmental Services was created this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic with the goal of aligning county health-related services, expanding access to preventative health care, and reduce health disparities for county residents.

“Health disparities have long existed in Bexar County, and these disparities are even more pronounced in unincorporated areas,” Guerrero-Guajardo said in a press release. “I sincerely appreciate the support of the County Executive and the Court, and I am confident that we can create a real impact on the health and well-being of individuals and families – and be in an excellent position to answer on behalf residents of Bexar County if and when the next public health emergency occurs.

She experienced these disparities growing up in Alvin, Texas, where her family depended on public health services.

“Some services were preventative care, but most care was only available when you were very sick,” she said. “I know what it means to not have access to care and to have limited options to create a healthy life.”

This led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in disease control from the University of Texas Health Houston School of Public Health, and a doctorate in education and organizational leadership and program evaluation. the University of the Incarnate Word.

Guerrero-Guajardo was previously CIO for Workforce Solutions Alamo. She will begin her work with the county on November 10.

“Going through COVID and not having the expertise on hand was a little difficult,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “Andrea knows this community and knows the health issues we face. I am confident that with his guidance we will be able to get ahead of some of these underlying issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

The new department, a collaboration with the University Health System, is funded by $60 million in federal pandemic relief grants.

County commissioners said the department will complement, not duplicate, the work being done by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.