GE, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), Houston Mayor Annise Parker and partners today released the “Houston and Harris County Blueprint for Action,” a report which outlines nine key areas of need with action steps and measurement criteria to drive improved health outcomes in Houston & Harris County.
A key milestone for the partnership, launched in 2013 between Clinton Health Matters Initiative and GE, the report works to provide better health for more people by advancing community health, closing gaps in health disparities, and activating community members to lead healthier lives.
Rain Henderson, chief executive officer, Clinton Health Matters Initiative said “Health Matters applauds Houston and Harris County for their systems change approach to address the health and well-being of its residents. Using a collective impact model to engage stakeholders at all levels of the blueprinting process ensures that there is a seat at the table for everyone and sustainable solutions can be as diverse as the citizens of this community."
The Blueprint for Action outlines bold action steps to be implemented by 2019 to improve health outcomes in the city and surrounding county. The actions, developed collaboratively with 150 local stakeholders, target nine priority areas:
• Physical Activity: Promote positive behaviors that increase physical activity through social and ecological approaches such as improving infrastructure, access, and creating awareness campaigns.
• Healthy Eating and Food Quality: Provide all Harris County residents with access to fresh, nutritious, and high-quality foods.
• Substance Abuse: Reduce substance abuse in Harris County through heath education efforts in community environments.
• Sexual Activity: Promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health of residents in Harris County.
• Quality of Care and Access to Care: Increase access to coordinated and comprehensive healthcare services to support quality of life improvements among community residents.
• Education, Income and Employment: Strengthen primary education to increase graduation rates and career opportunities, to lead to stronger, healthier families and communities in Harris County.
• Family and Social Support: Increase access to and utilization of social support services by residents in Harris County.
• Community Safety: Increase access to coordinated and comprehensive healthcare services to support quality of life improvements among community residents.
• Physical Environment: Implement Our Great Region 2040, where Houston and Harris County will be viewed as one of the world’s greatest places to live, work, and succeed.
Ben Hoffman, chief medical officer, GE Oil & Gas, said “At GE we believe healthcare is local. We are proud to be a large employer in the Houston area and partner, through our healthymagination initiative, with the community to drive improved health outcomes.”
Leaders from across the corporate, governmental, healthcare, academic and non-profit sectors outlined the action plan, including: the governments of the City of Houston and Harris County; Sheriff Adrian Garcia; educational institutions like Independent School Districts, Community College Systems, Rice University’s Baker Institute; University of Texas School of Public Health; healthcare insurers; healthcare providers including community-based clinics; several major hospital systems; large employers; and community groups including Shape Up Houston and Harris County Healthcare Alliance.
Toral Sindha, regional director, Clinton Health Matters Initiative said “A person’s health is not only impacted by individual choices but also by external factors such as access to care and produce, safety, transportation, parks, and employment. The interdependence of all these factors lends to the importance of cross-sector, public-private collaborations to improve the quality of life for Harris County residents.”
The Blueprint for Action in Houston adopts best practices from both GE’s healthymagination Transforming Cities initiative and the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative:
• The Clinton Health Matters Initiative, a program of the Clinton Foundation, is a national initiative that works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States to advance community health by closing gaps in health disparities. CHMI’s focus on systems change enhances collaborations, leveraging of resources and impact.
• GE’s Transforming Cities initiative focuses on communities where the company has a substantial presence, and convenes stakeholders across these regions to prioritize and put in place systems that measure and reward value creation in healthcare. GE employs more than 6,000 employees in the Houston region.
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About the Clinton Health Matters Initiative
The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. CHMI works to implement evidence-based systems, environmental and investment strategies, with the goals of ultimately reducing the prevalence of preventable diseases, reducing health care costs associated with preventable diseases, and improving the quality of life for people across America. CHMI works to activate individuals to lead healthier lives by providing a platform to access local, scalable solutions for healthy change agents; advance community health by closing gaps in health disparities and focusing efforts in underserved areas; and, engage the private sector through pledges to improve the health and well-being of the nation. These successes are showcased each January at the Health Matters conference, where national thought leaders convene to discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others.