UH Health opens new Family Care Center

UH Health opens new Family Care Center

family care center examination room

UH Health opens its new Family Care Center.

family care center doctors

Dr. Winston Liaw, chair of the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, and third-year medical student Sarah Snyder examine a patient at the Family Care Center. Director of the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences

The UH Health Family Care Center, a new on-campus health clinic that provides affordable, comprehensive, and integrated primary care and mental health services to the University of Houston community and surrounding neighborhoods, is now open and accepting new patients.

Staffed by faculty physicians and psychologists from the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, the center expands access to health care for underserved communities, including the Third Ward and East End. These areas experience some of the highest rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, in Harris County.

More broadly, Texas is one of the worst states in the nation for health disparities, according to a Commonwealth Fund study. Blacks and Latinos, in particular, lack access to quality preventive care and are more likely to have treatment delayed. The Family Care Center aims to change this trend.

“No matter your ZIP code, everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality health care,” said Dr. Stephen Spann, founding dean of Fertitta Family College of Medicine and clinical physician. “We provide coordinated, patient-centered care that will help address these long-standing health disparities.”

The Family Care Center offers an innovative and integrated behavioral health care model that enables comprehensive primary care without neglecting the mental health needs of patients. The clinic offers pediatric and adult care, women’s health care, mental health services, and outpatient psychological and psychiatric counseling.

“This model, which allows for whole-person care and helps reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health, is something that sets us apart from other clinics,” said Dr. Brian Reed, Professor and director of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Fertitta Family College of Medicine and a practicing clinician. “It’s basically a one-stop-shop for all your health needs.”

The center is located in the University of Houston’s Health 2 Building at 4349 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Suite 1001E. Most major insurance plans, including Medicare, are accepted. For patients without insurance, a Mobile Expense Discount Program (SFDP) is available based on income and household size. Same-day and next-day appointments are available and walk-in patients are welcome. Bilingual providers are available.

“We want to be a valuable resource and provide the highest quality health care to all members of our community, whether they have insurance or not,” said Danielle Brownlie, the clinic’s senior director of operations. “We offer anyone the opportunity to be seen here.”

The clinic also provides UH medical students with real-time training in the communities they may serve in the future. Fertitta Family College of Medicine opened in 2020 with a distinct social mission to improve health and health care in underserved urban and rural communities, where poor health outcomes are often more frequent. Students are trained to provide compassionate, high-value care (high quality at a reasonable cost), with an emphasis on primary care and other necessary medical specialties.

“Educating the next generation of healthcare professionals is central to our mission. The Family Care Center is therefore an important site for our students to engage with patients and develop their clinical skills,” said Reed.

Access to a nursing home is the first step in addressing health disparities to prevent, treat, and manage physical and behavioral health issues. Brownlie believes that the culture of care developed at the clinic will truly improve the quality of life of her patients.

“What keeps our patients coming back is the culture we’ve built here,” she said. “Our leadership, faculty, and students fulfill our mission to improve the health and health care of these deserving populations.”

New patients can call 832-UHCARES or use the web form to book an appointment.

Virtual visits are available for established patients through the Patient Portal.

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