UH Moment

UH Moment: United Health Grant

“I can take better care of myself as I gain the knowledge to do that,”

Jacqueline Robinson fought through a torrential downpour to make it to the DAWN Center in Houston’s Third Ward.

“I came to get tested,” Robinson said.

The testing Robinson is referring to are medical screening for things like blood pressure and body mass index. The screenings are part a partnership between the University of Houston and the United Health Foundation focused on preventing and treating obesity and diabetes in the Third Ward and East End.

Professors Ezemenari Obasi and Dan O’Connor from UH’s HEALTH Research Institute received a $2 million grant from the United Health Foundation to create a network of partners and resources, and offer health screenings and education to the community.

“We are trying to make a pretty big impact,” O’Connor said. “We want to get them proper information, and then they can have the desire and motivation to do the right behaviors.”

According to America’s Health Rankings, Texas ranks 40th in the nation in obesity and diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Harris County.

“When you think about health disparities as a whole, we know that African-Americans and Latinos generally have a much greater prevalence rate,” Obasi said.

By screening and educating the underserved communities, Obasi and O’Connor hope to give residents like Robinson the tools to stay healthy.

“I can take better care of myself as I gain the knowledge to do that,” Robinson said.