Ongoing momentum to improve population health in the Houston community and beyond

As the Institute continues its focus on developing and training 21st century physicians and clinicians, programs are designed to better enable practitioners to help patients achieve better health outcomes outside the doctor’s office through community engagement.

This is also one reason why Humana named Houston a Bold Goal market in 2019. With this shared focus, the Humana Institute is creating and supporting programs that not only revolutionize clinician training but also promote positive health outcomes and increase the number of healthy days within local communities.

By convening community leaders, local physicians and residents, the Institute and Humana are working to create efficient and effective solutions to detect and better understand and address social risk factors and social needs.

Following a Jeffersonian style dinner event — curated by TEDMED and facilitated by Humana and the Humana Institute last fall — Humana and the Institute have teamed with several new local partners in Houston to advance the Bold Goal and empower the medical community to better approach social determinants of health. The Houston Coalition on SDOH, City of Houston Complete Communities and Alief Community Association are three of the many partners that will help Humana and the Institute convene provider/physician voices, community leaders and residents.

These new partnerships stand on the shoulders of recently launched programs, including:

  • An evaluation and analysis to identify key population health indicators to address risks and social determinants of health within key Houston target zip codes. Quarterly and use case-specific data reviews will inform the collective impact of population health efforts and aid in the development and promotion of community resources for areas that need it most.
  • A Community Health Worker test program, which the Institute designed in an effort to build trust in community health. By connecting the most un-engaged patients in the area with trusted members of the community, the university and Humana are gaining insights on how to better change this passive patient behavior and ultimately lower costs and promote health outcomes.
  • Sponsoring participation in the VA Homeless StandDown event where more than 150 University of Houston faculty, students and staff and Humana associates participated to help provide Houston at-risk veterans with social and wraparound services, such as housing.
  • A community discussion and Q&A on racial inequality and health outcomes, facilitated by the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and Dr. Jocelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States.

As Humana and the Humana Institute look ahead to the second half of 2020 and beyond, simplified patient- and community-centered care that prioritizes personalization and ease will continue to remain a sharp focus. The Institute is planning to announce several new initiatives already underway, all of which promise to revolutionize traditional training and education.