Walmart Foundations awards $50K for community health services on East Side


University of the Incarnate Word, Sutton Oaks Apartment Housing and the Walmart Foundation form partnership to improve healthcare for low-income and vulnerable populations

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), Sutton Oaks Apartment Housing and the Walmart Foundation have formed a new partnership to improve the health access, healthcare and community involvement on San Antonio’s East Side.

The University received a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to present four health fairs for low income and vulnerable populations on San Antonio’s East Side. The first health fair was Feb. 18 at Sutton Oaks, and a second is planned for April 8. The health fairs will provide health assessments, health education, improved access to care and evaluation of satisfaction of services. All of the fairs will be held at Sutton Oaks, which already provides housing for residents in the area.

The University will use students from the nursing, nutrition, optometry, physical therapy and pharmacy programs to practice their communication, health assessment and health education skills.

“This project exemplifies UIW’s commitment to serving the community, and we want to give special thanks to the Walmart Foundation and Victor Zuniga at Sutton Oaks for helping make this opportunity possible,” said Tina Lopez, pharmacy associate professor.  “The grant is critical to allowing us to train and educate diverse health professions students to develop the necessary skills to care for disadvantaged populations.”

“The UIW faculty and staff have been amazing partners,” said Zuniga.  “Housing is healthcare, and being able to take these much needed health services to area residents will really make a difference in their lives.”

Sutton Oaks and the Park at Sutton Oaks provide market rate and affordable housing in 404 apartment homes on the East Side.  They are part of the Artisan brand of San Antonio-based Franklin Companies.  Through these communities, Franklin Companies is helping revitalize at-risk neighborhoods by providing secure, modern and desirable residences.

“To our knowledge this is the first time an apartment community has partnered with community groups to improve access to health care services for their residents and others living in what traditionally has been an underserved area of the city,” said Zuniga.  “Our focus is on enhancing the neighborhood and building the sense of community that could have far-reaching social implications.  We are starting with health screenings and health education and plan to continue our outreach on the grassroots level with 4H clubs, a soccer league and a basketball league, organized by our apartment communities and open to our residents and families throughout the East Side.  These efforts enhance quality of life for our residents and over time will improve the livability for the entire neighborhood.”