On September 14, CAST Med launched CAST Imagines, where students met with industry professionals to discuss how to best serve their communities. Using a mantra of “do well and do good,” CAST Imagines builds on CAST Schools’ Core Pillars by connecting students to industry and other community leaders and promoting students as co-creators and co-problem solvers, while addressing real-world needs.
Approximately one-quarter of the 65+ population surrounding CAST Med in City Council Districts 3 and 4 is without health insurance, and tens of thousands of San Antonio residents are losing their Medicaid coverage due to the cancellation of pandemic-era expansion. The area is served by only one hospital, with a second not scheduled to open until 2027. This creates challenges for the community as well as opportunities for area public schools, colleges, and universities to find new ways to fill that void.
Vascular Surgeon Dr. Lyssa Ochoa, founder of The SAVE Clinic and CAST Schools Board Member, opened the conversation with a presentation on incorporating social determinants of health into healthcare. CAST Med’s entire student body then met with dozens of industry, civic, and healthcare leaders to discuss the following topics prioritized by the students:
- Healthcare access and insurance
- Heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections
- Mental health, with an emphasis on anxiety, depression, and self-image
- Healthy relationships and teen pregnancy
Students were able to brainstorm innovative new solutions for the problems affecting their community, and the industry leaders were ready to listen. Students described the experience as “Ambitious, Inspired, Hopeful, and Educated” when asked to summarize CAST Imagines.
Jeanne Russell, CAST Schools’ Executive Director, agrees:
CAST Imagines builds on the CAST Pillar of student voice by promoting students as co-creators and co-problem solvers while addressing real-world needs.
Dr. Anthony Khosravi, CAST Med Principal, thanked the many organizations and individuals that shared their insights with students, including TSAOG Orthopaedics and Spine, UT Health – TCHATT (Texas Children’s Health Access Through Telemedicine), Healthy Futures of Texas, UT Health San Antonio, Clarity Child Guidance Center, The Health Collaborative, BiblioTech, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio ISD School Counseling Department, Community Family Medicine, P.A., Methodist Healthcare Ministries, University of the Incarnate Word, Cith of San Antonio, IDRA, H-E-B, The SAVE Clinic, Brooks SanaRoots (Southside Focus Health Coalition), SAMMinistries, Ayu Wellness, SARA Homelessness, District 3 Council Office, greater:SATX, University of Texas at San Antonio, and more.
ABOUT THE CAST Schools Network
The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free, public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling in order to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students, the network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry, and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit cast.education.