Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine
The city of Houston and the state of Texas are in the midst of a verified health care crisis. Houston’s population has grown by more than four million since its last medical school was founded in 1972.
Numerous studies have shown that many low-income and minority populations lack access to a regular source of care, have gaps in preventative care and face delays in obtaining needed care. These populations often have higher rates of morbidity, hospitalization and mortality that could have been avoided with appropriate access to care.
A growing consensus of professionals recognize the need for a new approach to providing health care that acknowledges these discrepancies and have called for person focused and community-oriented primary care services to be provided in a continuous and coordinated manner to meet the health needs of the population. Additionally, studies have shown that states with a higher ratio of primary care physicians have better health and lower rates of mortality. Patients who regularly see a primary care physician also have lower health costs than those without one.
Answering the Call
Statistics | Provost's 2022 Impact Report
Yole Odhom’s Lens on Life
Odhom’s loves photography. She enjoys the challenge of seeing potential for beauty that other people miss and she understands that seeing an image from multiple angles can increase her understanding of what’s really going on in an situation. That passion and eye for detail—and yes, even the creativity she brings—lead her to wonder if her career might center around radiography. Imaging the body and capturing a landscape actually have a lot in common, Odhom feels. They both require analysis to recognize the normal state, find the abnormalities, and then come up with a solution that might escape others. Learning through visual media sheds a light on situations that words alone cannot.
Odhom is eager to pursue her dreams. Born in Nigeria and in the US for the past 10 years, she joined the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine class of 2026.
But she knows that in the course of her studies, she may very well find a different calling. “I’m open to all paths,” said Odhom. “I like oncology as well as radiology and I might find something interesting in another specialty. That’s what this process is all about: seeing where you fit in.”
Fertitta Family Pledges $50 Million to UH College of Medicine to Propel ‘New Era of Health Care
Prominent businessman Tilman J. Fertitta and his family have pledged $50 million to the University of Houston College of Medicine to ignite a new era of innovative and equitable health care in Houston and across Texas. In recognition of the legacy-defining support, the medical school is now named the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine.
The longtime chairman of the UH System Board of Regents, Fertitta was instrumental in establishing the city of Houston’s first new medical school in nearly 50 years. Founded in 2019 on a distinct social mission to improve health and health care in underserved urban and rural communities where poor health outcomes are often more prevalent, the Fertitta Family College of Medicine educates students to provide compassionate, high-value care (high quality at reasonable cost), with a focus on primary care and other needed physician specialties. Building on the University’s legacy of excellence as a Tier One research institution, interdisciplinary research involving the community and other disciplines at UH will propel improvements in patient care and health.
University of Houston Creates ‘UH Population Health’ to Advance Health Equity
The University of Houston has launched UH Population Health, a first-of-its-kind initiative to advance health equity in Houston, the state of Texas and beyond through a holistic approach to health and well-being.Unlike any other university in the country, UH is taking a multifaceted, University-wide approach to reduce health disparities and health care costs by addressing the full range of factors that affect health, such as access to healthy food, healthy behaviors, the environment, the health care system and other key factors.
“I am so proud that the University of Houston has accepted the challenge to lead a national effort to improve health patterns and trends for everyone. This is a bold step forward for our University, for our students and faculty and for the various communities we serve and impact through our work,” said Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston.
Investing in Brain Research and Neuroengineering
On any given day inside the BRAIN Center at the University of Houston, you might encounter visual artists, dancers and musicians, or even paralyzed individuals – all wearing brain caps to teach researchers about what they are thinking, creating or feeling while they move expressively, or try to regain movement.
Machines and researchers copiously chart the electrical brain signals of the artists moving fluidly through their activities. Those living with paralysis who are re-learning essential movement skills, from young children to older adults, are wearing prosthetics with brain-machine interfaces designed to interpret their thoughts, to help make them move as soon as they think of moving.
Orchestrating all the activity and watching as fellow researchers put his discoveries into practice, is Jose ‘Pepe’ Contreras-Vidal, the neural engineer and “brains” behind the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Building Reliable Advancements and Innovations in Neurotechnology (BRAIN). The partnership between UH and Arizona State University includes industry and world-class academic teams.