P-HOPER Center - University of Houston
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What is Population Health?

Population health is the body of scientific disciplines interested in the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease states in the population. It addresses overlapping factors or determinants of health, such as the environment, social structures, and resource distribution, to reduce disparities and eliminate diseases and injuries.

Many of the population's health goals require pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, medicinal agents, and others for the prevention and treatment of diseases. If epidemiology is the foundation for population health, pharmacoepidemiology is an integral component of population health practices that need pharmaceutical intervention.

Pharmacoepidemiology is the study of the use and effects of drugs in a large population; it provides an estimate of the probability of beneficial effects of a drug in a population and the probability of adverse effects. For example, pharmacoepidemiologists are interested in understanding the patterns of drug prescribing, appropriate and inappropriate medication use, and beneficial and adverse effects of medications across populations.

Houston skyline

Population health issues continue to plague the Houston community and the city and county health-related departments. The proportion population in poverty and uninsured is larger compared to the U.S. average. More than 20% of Houston residents live below the Federal Poverty Level vs. 14% of the U.S. population, while 22.2% of the Houston population lacks health insurance compared to 8.6% of the U.S. population. In addition, the prevalence of certain chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity is higher than the average in Texas or the US. For instance, diabetes is found more frequently in the Houston area (14.4% of the adult population) compared to Texas (11.4%) or the U.S. (9.9%). There is a significant need for community partners, healthcare organizations, and academic institutions to work together to improve access to care and the outcome of diseases. Using the existing partners and expansion of these partnerships, the Center can leverage its resources to improve the health and well-being of Houstonians.

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Disparities in healthcare access and outcomes, especially therapeutic innovations, are still the top health challenges in the U.S. Concerted research efforts from academic centers and universities will play a key role in understanding the best ways to address health equity and improve the quality of care for the American population. Innovative population health research, educational programs, and population practices will not only help the region but can also meet the objectives for Healthy People 2030, the fifth iteration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national initiative to address the latest public health priorities and challenges. Healthy People 2030 includes 358 core measurable objectives to attain healthy, thriving lives and well-being free of preventable disease, disability, injury and premature death.

aparasu and chen

About Us

The Center for Population Health Outcomes and Pharmacoepidemiology Education and Research (P-HOPER Center) will be the first in the nation dedicated to research and education in the area of population health outcomes and pharmacoepidemiology. The center is uniquely positioned to strengthen the partnership between public health and pharmacy, help remove the barriers to collaborations, and promote the integration of population-based pharmaceuticals outcomes assessment into community health needs assessments, disease surveillance, and monitoring of health outcomes. These synergic areas are of national importance as many of the population health goals require pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, medicinal agents, and others for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

The P-HOPER Center team will collaborate on projects both within the center and through an extensive network of community centers and patient care facilities in the Texas Medical Center and across the state to develop solutions to improve population health outcomes.

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Vision, Mission, Values & Goals

The vision of the Center for Population Health Outcomes and Pharmacoepidemiology Education and Research (P-HOPER Center) is to improve population health outcomes through innovative research, education, and practices.

Our mission is to conduct innovative population health outcomes research and offer educational programs and population practices with an impact on the region and the nation.

Core Values: Excellence | Innovation | Collaboration | Equity | Inclusiveness | Leadership | Impactful

To achieve the mission, the center will:

  1. Provide educational programs to students and the community at large in the areas of population health and pharmacoepidemiology;
  2. Conduct population health outcomes research in general and pharmacoepidemiology in specific to improve health outcomes; and
  3. Provide leadership, service, and expertise to the community in the areas of population health and pharmacoepidemiology.