Health Equity

Romaine lettuce.

Discovering Disparities in Food Deserts

People living in Houston’s low-income, urban neighborhoods suffer higher rates of gastrointestinal illness, but the reasons behind this troubling disparity have been difficult to pinpoint. Food safety researchers at the University of Houston are shedding light on a possible cause after finding a significant disparity in the quality and safety of romaine lettuce available in low- versus high-income communities.

By Chris Stipes
Syrian woman standing at window

Examining Health Disparities in the Syrian Refugee Community

Islamophobia, especially among women and girls who wear the traditional hijab, is common, as is name-calling in Houston elementary schools. Samina Salim, Ph.D., is researching how culturally Syrian women react to health crises and how their children respond to bullying.

By Sarah F. Hill
Thomas Street Health Center; front of building

Improving Memory in Houstonians with HIV Disease

A UH professor operates the Thomas Street Health Center, a clinic that provides HIV primary care, addiction counseling and HIV prevention services in conjunction with the Harris Health System.

By Sarah F. Hill
Woman talking to doctor in white coat

Combating Health Harming Legal Needs

Many people who visit Houston’s community health clinics deal with stress stemming from inadequate food, unsafe housing or the threat of eviction or incarceration. These stressors take a toll on physical and mental health.

By Sarah F. Hill
Black man with mask getting shot from doctor also wearing mask

Investigating Racism and Stroke Recovery

Recovering from a stroke can be more difficult for those who identify as African American or Black. A new study will explore the effects of racism and resilience on quality of life for these Houstonians...

By Sarah F. Hill
Preparing syringe with vaccine with covid-19 in the background

Combating Vaccine Hesitancy in Houston, by Listening

Less than 10% of Black adults in Houston have elected to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and Black and Latinx adults are disproportionately represented in COVID-19 death rates. With Houston rising as the most diverse city in America, trends demonstrate widespread mistrust of COVID-19 prevention among Blacks and people of color, especially in Houston's underserved communities.

By Laurie Fickman
Children working in a community garden.

BOUNCE Into Good Health

A “food desert” is an area with little or no access to produce and other healthy foods. Houston’s Third Ward, the neighborhood adjacent to University of Houston, had its first grocery store in three decades built just last year.

By Sarah F. Hill
An image of a set of lungs made up entirely of smoke

Taking Texas Tobacco Free

In Houston, like in many major cities, smoking is a complicated problem for vulnerable populations.

By Sarah F. Hill