Leading Care Innovation

With non-medical factors, such as food insecurity, un- and under-employment, educational attainment, health-related behaviors, and housing accounting for 80 to 90 percent of health outcomes, Texas’ teaching hospitals invest in programs and services beyond the delivery of medical care to improve health.

Teaching hospitals’ history of creating and implementing DSRIP programs over the last 10 years also gives us a legacy of experience in innovating in systems of care.

Harris Health partners with local food resources and created three Food Farmacies at primary care and specialty clinics for all patients with food insecurity with a special focus on Type 2 diabetes and walk and learns with on-site dieticians. Harris also partners with the county community services department and implemented social service referral interventions to address housing, emergency shelter, rent and utilities vulnerabilities including a fully virtual closed loop referral system.

University Health’s CareLink program in collaboration with Bexar County and the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension service established the Greenies Urban Farm to grow, harvest, and distribute vegetables to uninsured and financially challenged residents. CareLink staff identify members in need who are provided baskets of fresh vegetables from each harvest. The farm is located on approximately 10 acres of land in the middle of a food desert. After distributing 10,000 pounds of produce in 2020, during the pandemic, the farm grew 8,500 pounds in 2021 which was given to low-income and uninsured residents through the San Antonio Food Bank, Wheatley Park Senior Living Apartments and University Health’s CareLink program. University Health dietitians provide recipes with each basket of vegetable to help recipients prepare healthy meals.

Midland Health established a community fridge through a local partnership with Healthy City. The fridge is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables to support those who may be experiencing food insecurity. The fridge provides an accessible way for underserved Midland County residents to obtain whole foods and information on healthy lifestyle choices.

Two THOT members — University Health and Parkland Health — are among the 200 hospitals nationwide that operate innovative, patient-centered Hospital at Home programs, and Harris Health is preparing to operate a program. Learn more.

Click on the links below to read more about the many facets of Texas’ teaching hospitals.

Teaching Hospitals of Texas

Teaching Hospitals of Texas is the state’s principal voice and advocate for hospitals and health systems that teach, train, and mentor the next generation of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals and are united in their commitment to supporting policies and funding to ensure healthcare access for all Texans.

View our members here.

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