The DDCE Community Engagement Center and UT School of Nursing’s first Community Health Dialogue drew approximately 100 community members, UT Austin students and health care practitioners. It was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in East Austin.
The session, titled “How Healthy is Your Zip Code” included presentations by Dr. Stephen Pont, childhood obesity expert and Dell Medical School faculty member and Shannon Jones III, director of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department.
A panel discussion featured the following representatives from local health care organizations that provide care and services to the traditionally underserved areas of Travis County:
- Marva Overton, executive director, Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas
- Peteria Chan, MPH, research associate at The University of Texas at Austin and Asian American Resource Center, Inc. – Asian American Health Assessment
- Kellee Coleman, co-founder Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman
- Frank Rodriguez, president/CEO, Latino HealthCare Forum (LHCF)
- Jackie Kerr, M.D. MPH, Medical Director, Seton Community Health Centers
- Terri Sabella, chief operating officer, CommUnity Care Health Centers
Dr. Melissa C. Smith, physician with Seton McCarthy Community Health Center and lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Miyong Kim, DDCE associate vice president and professor in the School of Nursing also spoke.
Dr. Suchitra Gururaj, assistant vice president for community engagement said, “We hope that these dialogues give community members, nonprofits, faculty, staff, and students an opportunity to collaborate on ways to address the priorities of the diverse communities in Austin.” She noted that the goal of the DDCE’s Community Engagement Center is for the dialogues to be held in various Austin neighborhoods.
Community members enthusiastically supported another community health dialogue that looks at ways to solve the health problems facing the community and allows community members to engage in discussions around policy changes needed to improve access and equity.
About DDCE’s Community Engagement Center
The DDCE’s Community Engagement Center is located at 1009 E. 11th St., Austin, Texas. It serves as the home base for many of the DDCE’s activities and partnerships, while also helping to develop and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships between UT Austin and diverse communities beyond the physical boundaries of campus. It helps connect the university’s intellectual resources–our faculty, students and staff–with the communities of Texas.