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What is a Public Health Institute?

A public health institute is an organization that works collaboratively with multi-sector partners to improve the public’s health and foster innovations in public health systems. Public health institutes are committed to collaborating with government, the business community, academia, and other non-profit organizations to improve public health structures, systems and outcomes.

Common attributes of Public Health Institutes:
• Convene multi-sector partners
• Support a mission and strategies that are grounded in health systems improvement
• Complement the governmental public health system
• Leverage new resources
• Rework boundaries through creative alliances and projects
• Reframe and define a public health focus for system partners

Our Vision:
To become a nationally recognized defining resource and catalyst for innovations that improve the health of Texans and their communities.

Our Mission:
To provide leadership to improve the health of Texans and their communities through education, research, and health policy development.


The Institute was created in 1964 as the Texas Hospital Education and Research Foundation. Recognizing that health care was changing, that the number of uninsured persons in Texas was growing, and that managed care organizations were expanding their market share, the Texas Hospital Association (THA) authorized the transformation of the Foundation into the Texas Institute for Health Policy Research in 1996, with primary focus to be on policy research to understand and evaluate the new operating environments.

In late 2005, the Institute began discussions with the Texas Health Foundation, which existed as a partnership between governmental public health agencies and a private non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting the programs of the Texas Department of Health and to improving the health of all Texans, regarding a potential merger of the two organizations. That agreement was reached in 2007 with the emergence of a single entity, the Texas Health Institute.

While the Institute identifies current problems, its approach is to seek preventive solutions that improve the health of Texans. It employs unique research methodologies to seek community solutions, using grassroots input and feedback from providers, practitioners, government, consumers and academics. The research conducted via focus groups, forums, and symposia indicates that there is a universal concern regarding access to health care for Texans, and a growing understanding that public health prevention and early intervention is essential for a healthy Texas future.

The combined histories in public health issues and integrated strengths in creating policy action have built an organization which will serve as a national health institute model with proven abilities to improve the health of Texans.

©  2008
Texas Health Institute
/ All Rights Reserved

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Austin, TX 78759

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