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Improving Houston's Health

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Dynamic, diverse, and rapidly growing, Houston and Texas look today like how America will look tomorrow. UTHealth has the expertise and reach to make discoveries and bring them directly to patients and communities—and thus, a responsibility to put this breadth and depth to work: to care for the critically ill, and to respond to the urgent and complex needs of our state and of the diverse and rapidly growing city we call home.

Your support of Many Faces. One Mission. will save lives and improve health outcomes throughout Houston and Texas by empowering us to amplify collaborative research; encourage a passion for learning; and promote patient care and public health projects, programs, and outreach across UTHealth and with community partners.

Our Top Priorities

  • A Future Full of Smiles

    For children, poor oral health can spark harmful consequences that may affect the entire course of their lives—from pain that impairs concentration in school to discolored teeth that might impact their confidence.

    Since 2003, UTHealth School of Dentistry has teamed up with the Greater Houston Dental Society to offer Give Kids A Smile, a day of free oral care for underserved children in the community. Community partners identify schools with significant dental needs, and the School of Dentistry’s Mobile Dental Van visits the schools to assess children and determine what care they will need before they arrive at Give Kids A Smile.

    With support from philanthropic partners including Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, third- and fourth-year dental students, pediatric residents, second-year dental hygiene students, and faculty come together to help the event succeed. 

    The students, residents, faculty, and donors who make Give Kids a Smile possible are among the Many Faces of UTHealth who are improving oral health for all children.

    Learn more about how Give Kids a Smile is making an impact in our communities.

    Give Kids A Smile
  • Uncovering the Unknown

    At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UTHealth School of Public Health mobilized quickly, gathering data and providing projections on how the virus would affect communities in the near-term—all the while knowing that the impact of the pandemic would linger for decades. This was the genesis of the COVID-19+ Cohort study. 

    “Health disparity is at the center of COVID-19,” says Shreela Sharma, PhD, RD, whose research focuses on social determinants of health, including access to food, transportation, and housing. “The Cohort allows us to drill deeper into the health disparity issues that our communities are facing.”

    Sharma and her colleagues Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, and Alanna Morrison, PhD, are among the Many Faces of UTHealth helping us better understand COVID-19. 

    Learn more about how Boerwinkle, Sharma, and Morrison are helping address the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Map of United States
  • Frontline Heroes

    In 30 years as a practitioner, educator, and researcher, Elda Ramirez, PhD, RN, has experienced a great deal—but nothing compares to the experience of being a COVID-19 first responder.

    Ramirez and her colleagues make critical decisions about patient care. They spend 14-hour shifts in stifling protective gear. And all the while, they cope with the fear of contracting the virus.

    “For those of us on the frontlines in health care, it’s more than a job,” Ramirez says. “It’s almost like a genetic trait or calling.”

    No matter the situation at hand, Ramirez says that the dedication to healing patients and taking care of Houston runs strong within nurses.

    “In this kind of environment, it’s professional and personal,” she says.

    Ramirez is one of the Many Faces of UTHealth saving lives on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Read more about Ramirez' story.

    Elda Ramirez PhD RN