Preventive Medicine and Population Health
Letter from Department Head
Thank you for your interest in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. Our department directs several activities aimed at preventing disease, disability and deaths in individuals and communities.
East Texas has some of the worst health statistics in the state. Deaths from heart disease, stroke, lung disease and certain cancers are unacceptably high. High rates of tobacco use, excessive obesity, poor nutritional habits and lack of exercise are but a few of factors contributing to our poor health status.
To help combat these trends, our department collaborates with the School of Medicine to champion activities that will improve the health status in our primarily rural region. To this end, we have initiated a preventive medicine residency program to help train specialists well-versed in promoting preventive health care and improving patient and community well-being. We also operate the Texas Home Visiting program where health professionals regularly visit the homes of pregnant women and families with children under 6 years of age to support positive health outcomes. In addition, we operate several cancer prevention programs aimed at the early detection of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.
Additionally, we have engaged our East Texas communities regarding the prevention of COVID-19 through vaccination and early detection through testing. Tobacco cessation continues to be a primary focus of our department as we provide training to health care professionals and provide patients with the tools to kick the habit. We also provide community health worker training throughout the state to increase the number of these invaluable health resources. Moreover, our unit is also home to the Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) for the eastern part of our state. A primary goal of AHEC is to improve the supply of health care professionals in our medically underserved area of the state. We also provide our communities with lifestyle management trainings related to diabetes and high blood pressure prevention. Furthermore, we conduct a full complement of research activities in concert with the programs above, including a robust partnership with the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at UT Health Houston.
We look forward to joining forces with our many community partners to make East Texas a healthier place.
Chair, Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Population Health