30 percent of Houston residents are currently uninsured
Greater Houston is a nine-county metropolitan area located in Southeast Texas. Harris County, the area’s largest county, is the third most populous county in the United States with an estimated 4.1 million residents in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately half of the county’s residents live in the city of Houston, the nation’s fourth most populous city, trailing only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The population of Harris County continues to grow rapidly—the county population doubled from 1970 to 2000 and increased by 20.3% from 2000 to 2010.

The Greater Houston area is home to a diverse population and a rich collection of cultural, visual and performing arts, and academic institutions, as well as multiple professional-level sports teams. The area is powered by an economy based on a variety of industries, ranging from energy and technology to health care and aeronautics. As of 2011, 23 Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in the city of Houston or the surrounding metropolitan area. The Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world with a local economic impact of $10 billion, is also located in Houston. More than 52,000 people work within its facilities, and 4.8 million patients visit them each year.

Despite its many cultural, industrial, and economic achievements, the uninsured rate of Texas is the highest in the nation at 26%, with 30% of Houston's residents currently uninsured. Additionally, there is a marked differences in insurance status are evident among racial and ethnic groups in the Greater Houston area, with 11% of whites being uninsured in 2010 compared to 54.8% of Hispanics and 26.7% of blacks. The American Lung Association also named the metropolitan area’s ozone level as the eighth worst in the United States. Furthermore, Houston's  poverty rate of 22.8% is significantly higher than the national average of 15.3%.

In response to these health disparities, CHMI is partnering with Greater Houston community leaders to develop a regional Blueprint for Action, a strategic plan outlining various steps to improve local health and wellness in the area.