The Houston Health Foundation works with donors, organizations and volunteers to forge public-private partnerships that bring valuable health services to the children and families of under-served communities. Each year, the Houston Health Foundation impacts over 20,000 children and families.
In our work as the non-profit affiliate of the Houston Health Department we seek to leverage public investment in the community's health by identifying and aligning with partners that share in a commitment to improving the health of all Houstonians. While the families we serve are the stars in the show, our partners are the superheroes in the story.
A Broad Constellation of Services
The ability to see well has a direct impact on a child's success in school and functioning later as an adult. See to Succeed is a program for school children who have not been able to receive vision care. The program works hand-in-hand with Houston area school districts and has provided free eye exams and glasses to over 59,000 children.
School-based data showed that 80% of at-risk students with failing grades showed a substantial improvement in their grades (Houston Health Department 2015).
Project Saving Smiles serves approximately 9500 at-risk 2nd graders each year and has provided free oral screening, fluoride varnishes and cavity-preventing sealants on new molars for over 50,000 children.
My Brother's Keeper Houston (MBK Houston) improves outcomes and reduces opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color by uniting the efforts of many community-based organizations.
The Houston Health Foundation provides targeted support for key initiatives under the MBK Houston umbrella. For instance, the Team Up Campaign serves to motivate kids to pursue college and career by introducing them to off-the-field careers in sports.
The Community Gardens and Nutrition program encourages communities to share designated open spaces to grow organic and nutritional produce to cook at home. The Program's 72 garden beds have yielded over 27,000 pounds of produce for 12 communities and over 2400 families.
Recently, the Houston Health Foundation broadened its scope to support Healthy Aging, Restorative Justice and Adolescent Mental Health.
Since 2010, the Houston Health Foundation (HHF) has worked to address critical public health needs impacting the City's most underserved families and children by leveraging the public investment of resources in the Houston Health Department (HHD) public health programs through the development of community partnerships.
Recognition of the magnitude and impact of unaddressed vision issues in children led the HHF Board to commit to this problem's resolution. HHF played a central role in the development of a community-based partnership, which enabled the See to Succeed Program (STS) to provide comprehensive free eye exams and eyeglasses to over 59,000 children. Through the collaborative efforts of HHF and HHD, STS gained the support of several private and public partners for this cause. While the model for this program is evolving, HHF's contribution to resolving childhood vision cases at the local level is a testament to the HHF capacity for building community collaboratives.
As the organization has grown, HHF has modeled support for new initiatives on the STS model.
Nationally accredited, HHD has been recognized as one of the leading municipal health departments in the country, noteworthy for its professional capacity in key areas of public health and for addressing broad social and economic factors that impact the community's health beyond mere access to health care. The HHF Board and staff work collaboratively with HHD and community partners to design and refine interventions promoting health for members of our community. Through multiple community projects, HHF has learned the importance of collaborating with communities to determine goals and methods.