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We live in an era of big health data. Not just massive amounts of newly available health data, but new methods for analyzing and interpreting the data, new software infrastructures for housing, correlating, and categorizing it, and new mapping and visualization tools for communicating it.
In theory we have the data and the analytical tools to develop precise interventions that will improve population health and reduce health inequities. In practice, we face two major obstacles.
- Big data is locked up and underutilized.
- Collaboration is hard.
Despite the extraordinary quantity of data now being collected, useful presentations of that data are rarely available to communities at scales below the county-level. This is particularly true for communities in areas that lack well-resourced local health departments.
Big data sets, and the insights they yield, also present a challenge to public health and health care systems. They point to the need to connect and integrate structures that have traditionally operated in isolation from each other.
UT System Population Health is a solution to these disconnects. Our group of data analysts, epidemiologists, clinicians, data architects, journalists, designers, and experienced public and population health professionals bridge the gap between communities and the data and structures they need to make informed and strategic decisions about their health investments.
We obtain often hard-to-access data sets, analyze it for relevant patterns and insights, map and visualize the key information, and bring together collaboratives of stakeholders and experts to devise strategic and systemic interventions.
- UT Population Health Strategic Plan: In this Population Health Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-2024, prepared at the request of the UT System Board of Regents, we outline a strategy focused on our institutions and their unique strengths and opportunities. Our institutions are committed not only to providing exceptional health care to their patients, but to working in partnership with their communities to identify and implement programs that will improve the health of all people and inform practices and standards across the United States.
- Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies (TCHMB): The Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies (TCHMB) is a multidisciplinary network made up of health professionals throughout the state whose mission is to advance health care quality and patient safety for all Texas mothers and babies. Website.
- Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN): The Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN) is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration designed to address urgent health care challenges in Texas. Website.
- Texas Safe Babies: The Safe Babies project evaluates hospital and clinic-based interventions that are designed to prevent maltreatment, especially abusive head trauma, in the first year after birth.
- Eliminate Tobacco Use: Eliminate Tobacco Use™ is a joint initiative of The University of Texas System and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center that seeks to create a tobacco-free culture on Texas campuses. Website.
- Mental Health Workgroup: The Chairs of the Psychiatry Departments at UT Health Institutions, non-UT Institutions, and local and state mental health department representatives are meeting regularly to discuss opportunities to improve coordination between the state and academic mental health.
- Healthier Texas Summit: The Healthier Texas Summit empowers leaders from diverse sectors across the state with the latest science and proven approaches to improve health where Texans live, learn, and work. Website.
- Texas Community Health Indicators Project (T-CHIP): As part of our mission, we are producing a series of analyses, reports, and maps that document the health of specific populations in Texas.
- Healthy Families: Healthy Families is an initiative, funded by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, to identify and reduce disparities associated with infant mortality in Hidalgo and Smith Counties.
- Sendero Health Plans Partnership: Sendero Health Plans' partnership with UT System Population Health brings a population health perspective to improving the health of Sendero’s member populations.
- Texas Health Journal: The Texas Health Journal is an ongoing digital effort to tell the story of how the 14 institutions that make up the University of Texas System are improving the health of the people of Texas and expanding the base of health knowledge and practice on a national and international scale.