Legislative Initiatives

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living has several legislative initiatives that aim to advance child health by strengthening the relationship between research and policy, and providing data and information as a resource that can support key decisions and best practices. The Center aims to connect policymakers and legislators to researchers, including public health and community organizations, in Texas, and communicate data-driven, products and outcomes that include recommendations to impact state-level child health issues.

Texas Legislature Bill Tracker

Since the 2013 session, the Center has hosted a legislative bill tracker that identifies relevant legislative actions to research taking place at the Center and the expertise of our faculty. The legislative tracker is segmented into general categories: active transportation, early childhood education, food access and insecurity, healthcare access, maternal and child health, obesity, oral health, school/after-school care, and tobacco/e-cigarettes. 

Texas Research-to-Policy Collaboration (Texas RPC) Project

The Texas RPC Project bridges research and policy by supporting partnerships between child health research experts and policymakers in Texas.

The Texas RPC Project supports legislators by:

  • Providing Texas level-data and research,
  • Sharing current research on health issues, and
  • Establishing partnerships between researchers and policymakers.

The Texas Research-to-Policy Collaboration Project team and research network are available to support Texas policymakers with informational requests or resources related to health topics, during the interim and throughout the 2023 Legislative Session.  Please direct requests to TXRPCNetwork@uth.tmc.edu

Texas Child Health Status Report and Toolkit

The Center has created a series of user-friendly materials to raise awareness of child health risk factors in order to develop new programs and actions, and to build on current initiatives in Texas. The Healthy Children, Healthy State report series and the accompanying toolkit include:

  • Status highlights of child health in Texas, with a focus on health disparities (i.e. obesity, nutrition, screen-time, tobacco use, etc.); and
  • Toolkits to accompany the reports that are intended for parents, schools, and public health audiences to use to advocate for child health in relation to local, school, and statewide policy.

Community Partnerships

The Center is involved in various steering committees that are involved in legislative work such as the Partnership for a Healthy Texas, Live Smart Texas, the Texas Public Health CoalitionTexas Food Policy Roundtable, and Texas Action for Healthy Kids