(NYSE: GE) – GE, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), Houston Mayor Annise Parker and partners today announced an initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the greater Houston area. The partnership will work to provide better health for more people by advancing community health, closing gaps in health disparities, and activating community members to lead healthier lives. It aims to be the largest coordinated community health improvement effort in the city’s history.
The initiative will improve health in Houston and drive measureable results by bringing together leaders from across the corporate, governmental, healthcare, academic, and non-profit sectors. Initial local leadership discussions have been held with: the governments of the City of Houston and Harris County; educational institutions like the Rice University’s Baker Institute and the University of Texas School of Public Health; healthcare insurers; healthcare providers including Texas Medical Center and Harris County’s Harris Health System; other large employers such as BP, and community groups including Shape Up Houston and Harris County Healthcare Alliance.
President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation said, “This initiative will promote healthier lifestyles in Houston by working with diverse organizations across the public and private sectors. Each of us—the City of Houston, GE, and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative—will leverage our expertise to collectively strengthen the health and well-being of all Houstonians, and create a model for other cities trying to improve their health.”
The 2012 Houston State of Health report notes nearly 34% of Houston high school students and nearly 66% of Houston adults are overweight or obese. 8.9% of Houston area adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and 5.1% of Houston area adults have been diagnosed with some form of heart disease.Houston Mayor Annise Parker said, “Houston has always been the heart of healthcare in America. We are coming together to improve our health in Houston just as Houston improves the health of the world. Together we will drive progress.”