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Population Health

Health has no boundaries—it starts in our homes, at our workplaces, and throughout the communities where we live.

Consequently, better health outcomes require more than a visit to the doctor. They require population-wide strategies that pinpoint health and social disparities in our communities and create solutions that don’t just build better health for one—but better health for all.

Population Health

At the intersection of health, policy, and industry, population health defines the well-being of groups of individuals and disparities within these groups. At UTHealth, we are building the framework for a healthier Texas by pioneering population-wide strategies. This means addressing social determinants of health, which influence approximately 80% of a person’s health outcomes.

We draw on our breadth of expertise across UTHealth and our robust partnerships throughout the Texas Medical Center to reduce health disparities, prevent disease before it occurs, and treat it when and where it strikes. Together, we are tackling the toughest health problems in our local communities—from cancer to diabetes to obesity—while educating the future health professionals who will serve entire populations.

But we have a long way to go. While Texas ranks as the second most populous state, we trail in health benchmarks, including the prevalence of unmanaged chronic diseases and health care access and affordability. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities of color, especially Hispanic populations, has brought these health disparities into sharp focus.

As populations in Texas continue to evolve, health issues are becoming more complex and disparities are growing more severe. Your support of Many Faces. One Mission. will empower us to leverage our expertise and mobilize our partnerships in Houston and across the state to improve health for all Texans—now and in the future.

  • Improving the health of populations requires us to think and act bolder—to not only improve health in our communities, but to address the social barriers that hinder people from achieving good health. Our university, situated in one of the country’s largest and most diverse cities and boasting a reach that spans Texas, is primed to lead this burgeoning field of population health.

    Michael R. Blackburn, PhD


    John P. McGovern Distinguished Professor

    MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School

    William S. Kilroy, Sr. Distinguished University Chair in Pulmonary Disease

    Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

    Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer


  • Research

    Our goal is to become the nation’s preeminent site for scientific study in population health. From using big data resources to analyze health care cost and quality to leading local interventions that reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases, UTHealth is driving the charge in population health across Texas. By creating scalable models, we can apply our work across the nation to bring health benefits to all.

    Additionally, we are uncovering the unknowns of the pandemic and safeguarding our communities. Health disparities are at the center of COVID-19, and by understanding how COVID-19 impacts populations in our region, we can devise better strategies to mitigate long-term effects of the virus.

  • Education and Faculty Support

    The ability to recruit and retain extraordinary educators, researchers, public health professionals, and clinicians makes it possible to advance strategic areas in population health, including precision health, policy, public health infrastructure, and pandemic preparedness. Endowed faculty funds empower us to continue to attract the brightest experts in the field, offering a sustainable source of support for the research that leads to better health outcomes.

    Additionally, our passionate and committed learners will go on to work at the intersection of health, policy, industry, and systems design. They will serve as the connectors that bring people and organizations together, creating better health outcomes for all. Scholarships, fellowships, and funds that enrich our education programs in this field enable us to attract the best and brightest students and trainees and equip them for a successful career.