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Institute of Community Health


The overall mission of the University of Houston Institute of Community Health (ICH) is to improve the health of the local community through research, teaching and service in the areas of health outcomes and public health. This will be accomplished through the collaboration of multidisciplinary scientists and health professionals, agencies and institutions of higher learning in the Texas Medical Center.

Background and Significance

The elimination of health disparities among different ethnic and racial groups in the United States is the primary focus of the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 initiative. However, the success of this initiative will depend to a large extent on the ability of health professionals to effectively work with communities to reduce and eliminate health disparities between the majority population and minority populations who have been disproportionately burdened by the impact of disease and disability.

Current evidence suggests that race and ethnicity correlate with increasing health disparities among United States populations with respect to the burden of infant mortality, cancer screening and management, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, HIV/AIDS, and health services delivery and utilization. Thus, there is an urgent need for programs that are designed to address health disparities in these populations including disparities by gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation.

In an effort to fulfill these needs, the University of Houston Institute of Community Health has assembled a unique combination of multidisciplinary researchers and clinicians to engage in health disparities and health services research, and service delivery.