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CEHD has numerous ongoing projects. Several cut across two or more of our four program areas, providing the Center with an opportunity to address different types of health disparities problems with a single type of approach.


Galveston Health in All Policies Project (G-HAP)
Pro-health planning in the post-disaster context

The G-HAP Project is a part of an NIH grant to the SECURE Gulf Coast Center , a partnership of seven academic and health organizations stretching from Texas to Florida. G-HAP is focused on incorporating pro-health planning into Galveston’s various sectoral recovery efforts, including through creation of an evidence base to support decisionmaking, public education and engagement, and support for pro-health policy development and planning. To date, our work has focused on healthy food security, housing, education, and several other issues.


Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice and Cumulative Risk
A community-centered approach to assessing environmental risk

In response to the need for a more comprehensive approach to addressing the health challenges that environmental justice communities typically face, the CEHD, NIEHS COEC, and Community In-Power Development Association, Inc (CIDA) of Port Arthur, Texas, in collaboration with partners at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health have been developing a joint program of work to translate for practical application, and then apply and test a cumulative risk framework in Port Arthur. Key to this project is joint organization of work with partner communities to ensure accurate representation of local priorities, concerns, and knowledge as well as translation of the concepts and research findings for community use.

The Port Arthur Cumulative Risk Study

Port Arthur was recently named an Environmental Justice Showcase Community by the Environmental Protection Agency, a designation that signifies a community of special environmental justice concern. Initial work has focused on applying conceptual frameworks that combine environmental and social determinants of health into practical assessments.

Environmental health risks are generally assessed by quantifying release of individual toxins in communities, but there is growing recognition that this approach underestimates human health risks in most environmentally burdened communities, since multiple toxins are generally in play. Additionally, environmental justice communities are also likely to have increased social and economic burdens that affect health. These combined effects of both multiple environmental exposures along with risks related to social determinants of health create cumulative risks that can have profound effects on the physical and mental wellbeing of residents, interacting in complex and potentially synergistic processes. Combatting them will require a comprehensive approach.

View the The Port Arthur Cumulative Risk Study Findings

Institutional Support

This page is currently under construction.


This page is currently under construction.

Global Health

The CEHD recognizes that health inequities occur not only within our own region and nation, but also between countries and of course within other countries, and that many times the dynamics driving health inequities function at global policy levels. Consequently, global health is another key program area for the Center. UTMB is home to well-developed Global Health educational, research, and service initiatives. The CEHD is proud to partner with other global health actors on campus and across the University of Texas System. Originally recruited to play an active role in global health at UTMB, Lexi Nolen’s first role in global health at UTMB was as Associate Director for the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Training in International Health, under Dr. Janice Smith. More recently, she served as Director ad interim for the Center for Global Health Education (CGHE) and for the University of Texas System Global Health Resource Center. She currently serves as Associate Director of the Coordinating Center for Global Health. CEHD Administrative Coordinator Christen Miller holds a joint position with the CGHE supporting CGHE’s educational research agenda, as well as coordinating the Global Health Inter-professional Core Course and other special events for the CGHE.

Ongoing Events

Coordinating Center for Global Health

Student Training in Global Health Governance

International Leadership in Health Equity

Past Events

The Center for Global Health Education

UT System Global Health Resource Center

Urban Governance for Reducing Health Inequities

View CEHD’s various products related to the Global Health Program Area


Lead Project

For the last three years, the LEAST Lead Initiative has focused on improving health system improvements in the treatment of children with elevated blood lead levels in Galveston County. In late 2010, the CEHD in collaboration with CEHD Senior Fellows and other from the NIEHS COEC released a report called “Childhood Lead Exposure in Galveston, Texas, 2006-2008. Blood lead levels among young children, and local interventions to reduce environmental exposure and improve the health system response.” The report was developed in response to continued local concern about lead exposure among local children.

LEAST Childhood Lead Program

Past Projects

Past Projects

  • Health Literacy and Provider Communication: It takes two: patient and provider partnerships to improve health

    Despite a national goal to include improving the health literacy of patients, the responsibility to improve health outcomes through health literacy cannot rest solely on patients; it also requires providers to adjust their patient encounters according to patient’s level of health literacy.

    In 2010, CEHD Program Manager Meredith Masel led a project focused on improving provider education on health communication and health literacy. Goals for the work include to develop an program to 1) improve providers’ understanding of health literacy and how it relates to their patient interactions; 2) increase providers’ knowledge of health communication techniques and determine if they believe they have incorporated their knowledge into their day-to-day practice; and 3) assess whether patients who have undertaken health literacy interventions require fewer hospital admissions, fewer appointments, and are more likely to attend follow-up appointments.

    As part of the project, Dr. Masel contributed to the development of the UTMB East Texas Geriatric Education Center’s (ETGEC’s) Health Learning Series focused on Health Literacy to reach a group of health professionals across the state, and worked with ETGEC curriculum coordinators to plan educational opportunities for medical doctors, nurses, and those in the allied health sciences.

    Dr. Masel’s work is now being continued through UTMB’s Oliver Center for Patient Safety and Quality Health Care.

  • Strengthening Provider Networks and Collaboration

    The National Quality Center’s Cross-Part Collaborative is an initiative to strengthen HIV/AIDS Ryan White Program-funded grantees in terms of partnership and collaboration. In 2009, CEHD was tapped to provide support to grantees by describing and discussing strategies for building coalitions and strengthening partnerships.

    As a doctoral student, Dr. Prochaska used network analysis principles to examine the development of a network of primarily non-profit organizations that were focused on improving the health status of their communities. The results from this study have allowed network partners to identify new opportunities for collaboration, and specific areas for capacity building and service provision.

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Community Resource Directory

Check out our recent Healthy Policy Lectures below

The Role of Academic Medicine in Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Jump Starting the Health Care Marketplace in Galveston County

Predictive Health Analytics: Development, Use and Regulation

Activites Report 


Health Impact