El Centro del Barrio (CDB), which began doing business as CentroMed in 2001, was founded in 1971, operating one counseling program for children and adolescents. CDB was an outgrowth of the National Institutes of Mental Health-funded and Our Lady of the Lake University-sponsored Mexican-American Mental Health Education Project, which aimed to increase the number of Mexican-American social workers providing culturally-competent mental health services in San Antonio’s Westside and Southside barrios. Faced with a loss of funding, CDB’s community advisory board opted in 1973 to incorporate as a nonprofit in order to secure the independent funding needed to continue providing services.
In the mid-1970s, medical residents from the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio conducted health screenings on a elderly CDB clients, finding a disturbing prevalence of undiagnosed medical conditions. These findings raised awareness among CDB staff and community members of the severe shortage of affordable, culturally competent, and geographically accessible primary care services on the Southside. In 1979 CDB opened its first medical clinic, staffed by one physician and one midlevel provider. The clinic was overwhelmed from the start, and in 1981 CDB opened its flagship medical clinic, the South Park Medical Care Clinic.
Responding to the needs of San Antonio’s most vulnerable residents, CDB has expanded steadily ever since. The first dental clinic was opened in 1987, with the opening of the OB-Gyn/perinatal clinic following in 1988. The Health Care for the Homeless program, through which CDB now co-locates clinics with six area homeless shelters, started in 1989. The Ryan White program, which provides early intervention services for people recently diagnosed with HIV infection, was begun in 1992, as was the Somerset Rural Clinic, serving an area in far southern Bexar County with no other physician services. The Lanier Student Health Center, which serves 14 elementary, middle, and high schools with high rates of poverty, dropout, and teen pregnancy, opened in 1994. The South Park Dental Clinic opened in 2000, and the Southside Clinic followed in 2001.
Several important partnerships were forged over the decades. In addition to the significant federal support received for the Community Health Center, Health Care for the Homeless, and Ryan White programs, CDB became affiliated with the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County in 1980, and United Way continues to provide significant support for a number of CDB programs. A partnership with Methodist Healthcare Ministries, begun in 1996, provides major support for care of the low-income uninsured, including the homeless. Affiliation in 1997 with the University Health System allows CDB to provide a primary care medical home for patients enrolled in CareLink, the public health care program for the low-income and uninsured. CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care is a major partner in the care of uninsured pregnant women and infants. A partnership with the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation has allowed CDB to build the South Park Dental Clinic and implement the Precious Minds parenting education program in 2002. A number of other federal, state, and local partnerships have provided CDB with funding and in-kind support, and have allowed CDB to integrate services across disciplines and systems.
Commitment to Customer Service
Our consumer-majority Board of Directors monitor and ensure that customer service is evident at all service sites.
CentroMed is an integrated primary care clinic that provides accessible services of superior quality.
CentroMed will be a Premier Primary Care Clinic recognized for quality customer service, clinical excellence, comprehensive care and responsiveness to community needs.
Respect: Committed to treat all persons with dignity and compassion.
Integrity: Committed to build trust through honesty, word and deed.
Development: Committed to personal and professional growth.
Excellence: Committed to superior performance, quality care, creative thinking and teamwork.
Stewardship: Committed to maximize our human & financial resources for the care of our community, especially medically underserved residents.
Organizational & Professional Credits
Accredited, The Joint Commission
Member Agency, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Member, Texas Association of Community Health Centers
Member, National Association of Community Health Centers
Member, Community Health Network of South Texas