Serving
Houston's
Underserved

In Third Ward and East End, Houston's historically African American and Latinx neighborhoods, the Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities in Houston (TOUCH) program lasted for three years and impacted the lives of nearly 4,000 residents.

Since the communities involved were in close proximity to UH, this just proved further that the University is committed to creating a healthier Houston and being a good neighbor.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston.

Professors Ezemenari Obasi and Dan O’Connor, of UH’s HEALTH Research Institute, were co-leaders of the TOUCH program.


As experts in health disparities, Obasi and O’Connor spearheaded a program which identified those at risk for chronic diseases and obesity.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston.

TOUCH provided free and culturally informed health education, prevention strategies, and intervention support and served as a model of a sustainable and scalable programming that can be replicated in other communities.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston.

This UH program, in collaboration with the United Health Foundation and the YMCA, went into the places where the participants shopped, worked and lived and helped them to make healthier choices, thus improving their quality of life.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston.

“[TOUCH] has given me renewal and another reason for living here on this earth,” said Margaret Jefferson, TOUCH participant.

See more stories about UH research impacting the city of Houston.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston.