Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute

Achieving health equity through the next generation of healthcare professionals


Improving health outcomes by addressing social determinants of health at the community level

Despite overall improvements to public health in the US,

significant health disparities persist in our society, primarily along socioeconomic and racial divides.

  • Race

    People of color report more unhealthy days, suffer from more chronic illnesses, and experience shorter lifespans than white populations, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are under represented among physicians and other healthcare professionals.

  • Food insecurity

    Food insecurity exists in every state, county, parish and congressional district across the United States with over 35 million Americans experiencing some degree of food insecurity.

  • Life expectancy

    As life expectancy increases, American seniors’ risk of adverse health outcomes associated with loneliness and isolation also increases.

Health disparity in Houston

Like many cities in the US, these longstanding systemic inequities have led to poorer health outcomes for Houston’s most underserved communities.

Texas’ rank in the number of primary care physicians relative to population*
year gap between life expectancy in the healthiest and unhealthiest communities in Houston*
residents in Harris County live within a food desert*

*City of Houston/Harris County statistics, 2020.

“Being outside of a state of health takes you away from your life’s goals.”

Jalyce Taylor Student, U. of Houston College of Medicine


Humana and the University of Houston

In partnership with the University of Houston,

the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute’s population health strategy is focused on addressing social determinants of health to improve health outcomes at the community level.

A More Perfect Union

Our partnership combines Humana’s reputation as a champion of value-based care and an industry leader in integrated care delivery with the University of Houston’s thought leadership, world-class academic programs, and ground-breaking research.
  • Leading the way in healthcare innovations

    Humana is proud to lead the way in healthcare innovations and shift paradigms toward community wellness.

  • Delivering integrated care

    Humana’s core strategy is to deliver integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs.

  • Working toward

    Humana is working toward a new system that rewards physicians for better patient outcomes and lower spending.

  • World-class academics

    The University of Houston has an outstanding reputation for student success, teaching, research, and innovation.

  • Groundbreaking research

    With over 1,000 ranked faculty, $201M in expenditures, and a Nobel Laureate on staff, UH researchers stand tall.

  • Thought leaders

    UH faculty and students are committed to developing new technologies focused on healthcare delivery.

Participating colleges

The Institute comprises five core health colleges, including the newly formed University of Houston College of Medicine, and provides multi-disciplinary programs designed to promote community-based, integrated care through education and research.

core health colleges participating within UH
multi-disciplinary programs involved with the Institute
investment in growing programs by Humana

“We’re thinking more broadly to improve the health of communities.”

LeChauncy Woodard, MD, MPH Founding Director, Humana Integrated Health System Sciences institute


Meeting communities where they are

In order to move forward and eliminate health disparities,

underserved communities require better access to quality care, insurance and medicine. One of the Humana Institute’s goals is to build trust in the community by rethinking how to engage patients. An essential element of this strategy involves recruiting and training a diverse set of future healthcare professionals, who better represent the communities they serve.

Students are trained to work with Community Health Workers (CHWs) to help others achieve health and well-being by establishing trust and increasing engagement with primary care by supporting health promotion, prevention programs, care coordination and chronic disease management.

Community needs focus groups
Virtual companionship for community Seniors
COVID-19 community resources

“Having an opportunity to look like and identify with my patients is unique.”

Jalyce Taylor Student, U. of Houston College of Medicine


Partnering in times of uncertainty

The COVID-19 epidemic created many challenges, but the Institute

took advantage of the opportunity to further leverage the relationship between Humana and the University of Houston to meet the needs of students and patients in the community.

College students assisting seniors

The Humana Institute partnered with Papa Inc. to connect college students from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work with seniors who experience loneliness and isolation using data collected by Humana.


“Connecting social and medical data is the next frontier in healthcare delivery.”

Lola Adepoju, PhD, MPH Research Director, Humana Integrated Health System Sciences institute
of adults 45 and older experience loneliness
of adults 65+ are considered to be socially isolated
experiencing social isolation are at risk for premature death


Thinking about health care differently


Bringing together a shared vision and shared mission,

the Humana Institute is focused on not only training more nurses to meet community health needs, but better prepare them to go out into the communities they serve through cutting-edge clinical experiences that ensure continuity of care. Learn more in our nurse-managed clinic report.

“Humana has been instrumental in crafting these new clinical experiences.”

Kathryn Tart, EdD, MSN, RN U. of Houston, Humana Endowed Dean’s Chair, Nursing
Humana preceptors have worked with UH College of Nursing students
hours of clinical work performed by UH students
Humana members cared for by UH students


Demonstrating the advantages of integrated and value-based care

is a key component of the Humana Institute’s educational strategy. Through participation in the Centerwell program, College of Pharmacy students are learning how health equity leads to better clinical and patient outcomes.

“Value-based care is unique. It allows for patients to be taken care of more holistically, which actually helps to decrease costs, consistently.”

Amy Kelleh, PharmD, BCGP, CDCES Integrated Clinic Pharmacist, Centerwell