Flores Named New Healthy Start Program Director

Photo: Araceli Flores

BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) has named Araceli M. Flores as the new program director for its Healthy Start program, which has played a major role in ensuring thousands of healthy babies were born from families living in Webb County colonias.

“Araceli brings a ‘get it done’ leadership attitude, combined with the caring nature of a nurse,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS HHS Executive Director of the Community Services Division. “No doubt these traits, combined with her many years old experience in health care, is going to make her a great leader of our Laredo operations.”

Flores is a registered nurse with 17 years of experience delivering and directing efforts to bring compassionate care to children and families in Laredo.  She previously served as a board member for the Salvation Army, participated in Leadership Laredo and was a Laredo Medical Center Healthy Woman Advisory Council Member. She attended Laredo Community College and earned a certification in forensic nursing from Kaplan University before earning a BSN from Texas A&M International University.

BCFS HHS’ Healthy Start program was established in Laredo in 2001 as an effort to decrease disparities in access to maternal and child healthcare. Since transportation is limited or nonexistent for many families served by BCFS HHS, Healthy Start travels to clients, providing mobile medical care, case management, and other comprehensive services to Colonia residents along the U.S. border with Mexico. Thanks to the program, more women in Laredo now receive prenatal care than ever before.

Women who are pregnant or have a child/children younger than 2 years of age are eligible for free services. Services provided by BCFS HHS include:

  • Prenatal and postpartum care via mobile unit
  • Health education and parenting education
  • Pediatric services
  • Laboratory services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Mental health services
  • Outpatient case management services to address the medical, social, financial, educational, legal, housing, parenting and employment areas of the served families

BCFS Announces Leadership Changes and New “Community Services Division”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ new “Community Services Division” will lead programs that serve thousands of children, families and communities each year. Terri Hipps will serve as executive director, focusing on on developing best practice service models, and expanding programs and community support.

Effective April 1, BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) will join together the Teen & Youth Services and Community-based Services Divisions to create one unified “Community Services Division.”

The new division will lead programs that serve thousands of children, families and communities each year. Terri Hipps, who has been with BCFS HHS for 10 years, will serve as executive director. In this role, she will focus on developing best practice service models, and expanding programs and community support. Under Hipps’ leadership, three associate executive directors will assist with the management of operations throughout the far-reaching division.

Cindi Garcia, who has been with BCFS HHS for 14 years, will make the transition from executive director to vice president of program operations support for BCFS Community and International Operations. In this role, she will lead the agency’s investments in quality assurance, professional development, systems improvement, research, and other special projects.

“Smart and strategic growth management has ensured the BCFS system has had fortitude needed to sustain and expand our work times of prosperity as well as times of challenge,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President of Community and International Operations. “This new structure will support increased standardization of business processes and shared best practices.”

“Terri and Cindi’s longtime leadership as executive directors has played a key part in making BCFS HHS what it is today,” he continued. “In their new roles, I know they will continue to be strong forces in the development of who we will be in the future.”