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Adam Schultz / Clinton Foundation
Thursday
Jul 24
2014
July 24, 2014

Gillian Sealy and Toral Sindha

National Director, Clinton Health Matters Initiative; Houston and Harris County Regional Director, Clinton Health Matters Initiative

A Blueprint for Action: Transforming Community Health in Houston and Harris County

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Manageable, good health is a basic need for all residents regardless of zip code or demographics, but over the past several decades, poor health outcomes and the resulting disparities have been steadily increasing.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, our nation spends 75% of our health care dollars on treatment of chronic diseases.  This statement not only reflects the fiscal impact that poor health has on our nation, but at the individual and local level, it also symbolizes factors that hinder a person’s ability to work or obtain an education, for example, thereby also impacting the local economy. To help address these challenges, the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) works in regions disproportionately impacted by chronic disease to improve health outcomes and close gaps in health disparities. Our current focus communities include the Coachella Valley, CA; Central Arkansas, AR; Northeast Florida and the Greater Houston Area.

To specifically address health disparities in the Greater Houston area, less than a year ago, we teamed up with GE Healthymagination. Today, we are excited to launch our Houston and Harris County Blueprint for Action, a strategic plan developed with input from over 150 stakeholders that lays out the steps needed to improve community health in the Greater Houston area. Using the County Health Rankings model, we have generated specific goals and local priorities, known as "bold action steps," to generate positive change by 2019. Our approach focuses on 9 key health factors: physical activity; healthy eating and food quality; substance abuse; sexual activity; quality of care; education income and employment; family and social support; community safety; and physical environment.  

To ensure we’re working to make a difference in the right places with the right people, we will continue to engage stakeholders, establish partnerships and cross-sector collaborations to advance the work set forth in the report. As we’ve seen from our work across the country, everyone has a part to play in making a difference – especially when it comes to improving the health of our friends, our family, and our community. As we are all too familiar with, large scale efforts require the involvement of numerous partners, and as such, we ask that you:

  1. Learn how bold steps can make a difference. Review the report to learn more about our work and our bold action steps that will help improve Harris County’s health.
  2. Join us. Identify areas where you can join our efforts with your own organization and contact us at tsindha@clintonfoundation.org
  3. Connect with us. Stay up to date with how we’re transforming community health across the United States by participating in our online conversation: Like us on Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, follow us at on Twitter at @ClintonFdn and use the hashtag #HealthMatters