The University of Houston Faculty Senate's 15th Community Conference, Greater Houston’s Health – Urban Healthcare in the 21st Century, will take place October 4, 2013.  The conference will be held at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel and Conference Center and will feature speakers from the City, County and University. Keynote speakers include Mayor Annise Parker, Judge Ed Emmett, and many others.

As researchers and educators we know that its Human Capital Index defines much of the region’s success. Human Capital is a measure of the knowledge, competencies and social and personal attributes of a population to create economic value, and the area's health care needs and costs are an important factor in evaluating Human Capital.

The University, with an academic staff of over 3600, offers a wealth of health science programs, including undergraduate and graduate academic programs to prepare students for health-related careers; research programs addressing health-related scientific, engineering and policy issues; and clinical programs directly involved in patient care.

The University of Houston Board of Regents and Chancellor Khator recently announced the creation of a UH Health Science Center. The System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator said, “The creation of a Health Science Center at UH, which would include patient care, workforce training, research and community outreach, is critical to the economic and social well-being of the region and state. With numerous academic, research and clinical programs in the health sciences, our University plays a vital role in meeting these needs. Formal creation of this Health Science Center brings a new level of synergy and focus that will broaden the impact of our research and education programs, and provide a clear point of access for the community.”  

The University, a member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), shares the Coalition's mission “to use the power of their campuses in education, research and service to enhance the communities in which they are located.” The Faculty Senate convened this conference in hopes of fostering a dialogue between the University of Houston, the City, County and other institutions in the area.  We hope to strengthen our position as a major anchor institution in the region and to help position UH as a facilitator and convener by providing a scaffolding to support innovative thinking and partnerships within the Greater Houston Area.  We hope this conference is the start of a long-term collaboration and in the end a partnership to improve our community and collective lives in the region.

It is my hope as President of the Faculty Senate that this conference is truly the first step in creating collaborative agreements between the City of Houston, Harris County, and the University of Houston to assist each other and work together on our common goals.

Steve Wallace
UH Faculty Senate
September 1, 2013