To accelerate health equity in the state of Texas, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health has established the Center for Health Equity.
The Center for Health Equity will create, advance, and sustain research opportunities spanning the continuum of care to improve understanding of disease and health disparities, including the structural, behavioral, environmental, social, economic, and health literacy factors related to the prevention and control of chronic disease across the lifespan. The Center will resource research projects tailored to address population health and health equity priorities and serve as a trusted community resource, partner, and support activities to improve health outcomes across Texas.
Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, vice chair of the epidemiology, human genetics, and environmental sciences department at the School of Public Health, will serve as Director of the Center for Health Equity. The mission of the Center is to build core population health and health equity research infrastructure at UTHealth Houston, including systems of data capture, curation, management, and interoperability to build data-driven insights to address inequities and upstream factors, including social and structural determinants of health. The Center will strengthen collaborations to support health equity research, policy, and practice. Moreover, the Center will lead and support the education of the next generation of public health researchers and practitioners while being at the forefront of health equity and health disparities research.
“What is particularly exciting is that we have a lot of great work happening at our school and in our region. But, we also continue to be a region of high need that struggles with poor health outcomes. Using a community-centered design, the Center for Health Equity will advance health equity by providing foundational infrastructure and scaffolding to support new ideas and existing efforts, create opportunities for collaboration, foster health equity-based education, and public health practice, and ensure the sustainability and long-term impact of the work in the greater Houston area and across the state of Texas,” Sharma said.
As Center Director Sharma will lead the research program and develop and maintain collaborative relationships across all spheres of population health. The establishment of the Center for Health Equity will help accelerate the rate of discoveries and enable researchers to ask and answer questions beyond the reach of any single investigator or institution.
“Health disparities cannot be addressed or solved by any one agency, organization, or actor and requires collaboration and partnership. The Center for Health Equity will foster and sustain such collaborations to ensure equitable outcomes for our communities,” Center Director Sharma said.
For more information please contact:
School of Public Health
Center for Health Equity