UH launches program to solve root of health issues in the U.S.

An estimated 70% of health outcomes are determined by factors other than health care and genetics — things like lifestyle, environment and access. The pandemic put a spotlight on differences in health results, and let to outcries to improve health equity.

But how? The University of Houston wants to figure that out.


The institution has launched UH Population Health, an initiative to identify effective solutions to health disparities and health care issues by addressing the full range of factors that affect health.

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other developed nation in the world but has some of the poorest health outcomes among wealthy countries.

FOX 26 spoke live with Dr. Bettina Beech, chief population health officer at UH, who explains that more health care does not buy better health. She says the program will look at ways to improve health upstream of medical care.


The University’s approach includes courses and new degree programs, collaborating across multiple sectors. It will incorporate a variety of majors – from medical to arts.

UH is currently working on population health research grants that would total nearly $37 million. From National Institutes of Health-funded projects that aim to ensure the technology of machine learning benefits everyone and bolster the pipeline of diverse health faculty researchers in the field of obesity health disparities, to a pending CDC-funded national initiative to address COVID-19 health disparities among high-risk populations.

Watch our full interview with Dr. Beech in the video player above to learn more.

Click here to visit the official UH Population Health webpage.