UTH

Tsai Lab

Research

Objectives

Our group is involved in numerous, diverse projects all thematically related to understanding and providing services for disadvantaged populations, including those who are homeless and/or have severe mental illnesses. Much of our work is focused on the veteran population and can be characterized as health services research. We have access to large databases and nationally representative samples. We always welcome collaboration and look for students and fellows interested in working with us. Feel free to contact us.

Projects

PROJECT HALT

PROJECT HALT

What is Project HALT? Ending homelessness requires efforts to prevent individuals from ever entering homelessness (i.e., prevention or diversion). PROJECT HALT is a clinical trial to investigate the science of homelessness diversion including when and for whom it works best and how we can continue to strengthen diversion efforts (e.g., tailoring it to sexual and gender-minoritized communities). Our research team is reaching out to select individuals as they exit emergency departments to screen their housing status. Individuals at risk of losing housing will be randomized to receive homeless diversion or standard care. Both groups will be followed over six months and health and housing outcomes will be assessed. Project HALT is a collaboration between the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth), Harris Health System, and the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.

Prevent Homelessness

Grassroots Health

Grassroots Health

GRASSROOTS HEALTH is an innovative program in Houston and San Antonio that aims to eliminate barriers to education, testing, and treatment for hepatitis B and C among individuals at risk of homelessness. GRASSROOTS HEALTH has provided services to hundreds of individuals at risk of homelessness in Houston with existing partners at New Hope Housing and Healthcare for the Homeless Houston. This grant will allow researchers to expand the program to veterans and the South Texas region

Grassroots Health

Recovery-Oriented Money Management (ROMM) program

Recovery-Oriented Money Management (ROMM) program

Veterans will participate in financial education groups, individual financial coaching, and computerized budget assistance tailored to their needs and experiences. The goal of the grant is to provide financial counseling to 100 veterans experiencing or at risk for homelessness, increase their financial literacy and money management skills, and improve their well-being and quality of life. The grant will also go toward the creation of a program manual and training on military cultural competency and money management

Bob Woodruff Foundation grant for ROMM program

People

Jack Tsai

Jack Tsai, PhD

Professor NTR and Regional Campus Dean
San Antonio

Dr. Tsai currently serves as Campus Dean and Professor of Public Health at UTHealth. He also serves as Research Director for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine where he previously served on the faculty for a decade before coming to UTHealth. He has received federally funded grants and published over 200 peer-reviewed articles on topics related to homelessness, severe mental illness, trauma, and health disparities.

Publication List

Abigail R. Grace

Abigail R. Grace, MPH

Research Coordinator I
San Antonio Campus

View bio

Abigail is a 2022 graduate of the MPH program in San Antonio. Her concentration was in infectious disease epidemiology and data analysis. She is currently the Project Manager for Grassroots HEALTH and the Data Coordinator for Project HALT. She hopes to eventually complete her PhD in Epidemiology and focus on infectious disease transmission.

Victoria A. Solis

Victoria A. Solis, MPH

Data Collector
San Antonio Campus

View bio

Victoria's primary goal as a Data Collector is to conduct qualitative research aimed at gaining insights into the experiences of veterans and landlords in relation to evictions, particularly during the period when evictions were temporarily prohibited. She's an active member of Community Health workers engaged in the GRASSROOT HEALTH project.

Alumni

Name and Credentials Title Organization Contact Information
Asha Collier, MPH Graduate Research Assistant San Antonio Campus Asha.K.Collier@uth.tmc.edu
Gabrielle Haley, MPH Graduate Research Assistant San Antonio Campus Gabrielle.Haley@uth.tmc.edu
Nicholas McCann, MPH Graduate Research Assistant San Antonio Campus Nicholas.A.McCann@uth.tmc.edu
Lydia Sumbel, MPH Graduate Research Assistant San Antonio Campus Lydia.Sumbel@uth.tmc.edu
Selena Torres, MPH Graduate Research Assistant San Antonio Campus Selena.Torres@uth.tmc.edu

Get Involved

Practicum Opportunity/Volunteer

Assist with the Recovery Oriented Money Management Program at Haven for Hope

Students needed on Friday mornings for 1-2 hours at Haven for Hope. This is the perfect opportunity for students interested in community outreach, money management, working with vulnerable populations, and mental health. Practicum opportunities are available! Carpooling is also available. Email Asha Collier for more information.

Asha.K.Collier@uth.tmc.edu

Volunteer with GRASSROOTS HEALTH

Interested in public health in action & reducing helthcare barriers?

JOIN US!!

community outreach


About School of Public Health

UTHealth Houston is internationally recognized as one of the world's great research universities. The School of Public Health connects research, education, patient care, and community outreach in bold, innovative ways. Basic scientists and clinical researchers from all disciplines work together to deliver innovative solutions that create the best hope for a healthier future. Our faculty are pioneering radical solutions for imminent public health problems and provide the tools and resources that will push our students to think critically and creatively both in and out of the classroom. This is where academic rigor meets real-world application.

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