United Health Foundation Announces New Partnership with University of Houston to Fight Obesity and Diabetes in Houston’s Third Ward

(from left) Daniel O’Connor, fellow, UH HEALTH Research Institute; Dr. Salil Deshpande, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas; Renu Khator, president, University of Houston; Dwight Boykins, Houston City Council, District D; and Ezemenari Obasi, director, UH HEALTH Research Institute, announced United Health Foundation’s grant to the University of Houston to fight obesity and Type-2 diabetes on March 29, 2017.

A United Health Foundation grant to the University of Houston HEALTH Research Institute will support obesity and Type-2 diabetes prevention and treatment in Houston’s Third Ward and East End.

The new partnership, called Preventing and Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities in Houston (TOUCH), brings together an integrated network of partners and resources including University of Houston researchers, community- and faith-based organizations, schools and other educational groups, primary care clinics, local businesses, governmental entities, and public and private funders.

According to America’s Health Rankings®, Texas ranks 40th in the nation in obesity and more than 11 percent of Texans have diabetes.

The goal of this new partnership is to reach more than 5,000 residents and 3,000 families over the next three years.

United Health Foundation and the University of Houston aim to create a model for improving and maintaining the health of communities that can be reproduced throughout Houston and beyond.