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The Gulf Coast SECURE Center

A transdisciplinary approach to disaster preparation, response & recovery

Communities living on the U.S. Gulf Coast have faced decades of interdependent challenges directly affecting their individual health and health inequities: lack of preparedness against natural disasters and the impact of those disasters on physical and mental health well-being; persistent health disparities related to chronic health conditions such as cancer and asthma that worsen after a disaster; and environmental contamination, which hurricanes often create or exacerbate, as seen with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

While progress has been made in documenting those challenges, the solutions to date have employed narrow, “silo-driven” research designs, lacked a community-based participatory approach, and failed to produce sustainable ecological, system-driven solution. Therefore, in May 2009, seven institutions along the Gulf Coast came together to propose the creation of a Center that would identify best practices, develop tools, and advance state-of-theart research on disaster planning, response and recovery.

UTMB’s CEHD is proud to be part of this coalition with MD Anderson, Tulane School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and the City of Houston Health Department.

The project was funded in late 2009 through a substantial award from the NIH Grand Opportunities grants, and the Center partners are currently advancing projects focused on a number of areas.

Check our Galveston Health in All Policies Project (G-HAP Project) and the Development of an Environmental Justice and Cumulative Risk framework.

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